“My career path is much clearer now!”

Léa Beringuer is 22 years old and comes from Metz in France. After having completed a German-French bachelor's degree, she decided to enroll in the Mannheim Master in Management. In her myUniMA story, you can find out why the student of Business Administration collaborated with radiologists and why she chose to study abroad. She also tells us about the new perspectives she gained during her time in Mannheim.

Did you always plan to study abroad?

My parents wanted me to learn German, so I started when I was 11 years old. One year later, I spent two months with a very nice family who lives near Ravensburg. During this time, I learned that the language is not only useful but can also be fun. When I returned to Metz, I had a slight Swabian accent. (laughs) Later, I decided to do the German-French AbiBac and since then, I knew I wanted to study in Germany. I could have pursued a bachelor's degree in Germany, but I was unsure if I could keep up with the other students in terms of language. This is why I decided to pursue a German-French bachelor’s degree. I studied a year in Metz and a year in Saarbrücken and did an internship in Germany. Then I was ready to go to Germany for a master’s degree and went to Mannheim!

What do you do when you're not studying?

I am reading or running at the Rhine promenade. I also love to discover new places. My favorite place for a relaxed evening with friends is the harbor. In the last months, I also worked at a company in Heidelberg. The company offers radiologists a software that uses artificial intelligence to detect cancer. During a three-months internship last summer, I developed and implemented the company’s market entry strategy in France. This was so much fun that I chose to continue to work there as a working student. Two hospitals in France already use the software. I also think of working in the health sector in the long term. Currently, there are so many important innovations and challenges in this area, and it is an exciting interface between sciences, economy and medicine. I would like to support the transformation of this sector and facilitate the introduction of new products. It was not until I studied in Mannheim that I noticed that I love this area.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Mannheim?

I chose to study in Mannheim, because the university is known for its Business Administration programs and because the curriculum seemed exciting. However, I feared that the program would focus on theoretical knowledge, but this is not the case at all. My courses feature many guest lecturers, there are events with companies and students can gain insights into the business world, for example at the Q-Summit or the Mannheim Forum. In my opinion, it is a huge advantage that there are so many interfaces between the University of Mannheim and the business world. It helps to get more specific ideas for your future. In Germany, it is much more common for students to have a part-time job or to do a gap year. In France, most people focus on finishing their degree as soon as possible. Therefore, I am one of the youngest of my year.

You have also used your time to volunteer, right?

Yes! The master’s team of the departmental student committee for business administration has an “International Workshop”. The goal is to support international MMM students and create a network among these students. I participated in the MMM International Peer Program, in which international degree-seeking students get a buddy for support, even before they come to Mannheim. The buddy helps you, for example, with finding a place to stay. My buddy was awesome, she was really nice, and I also met her friends. Then I began to support the student organization and now I am a member of the managing team of the International Workshop. We organize events for international students, have created a guide on Mannheim to support students during the first weeks in Mannheim and we want to connect international and German students even more.

Are you missing France sometimes?

I have learned how to quickly feel at home in new places. My home is where my family is: in France. But I have friends in different countries and cities. During the coronavirus pandemic, it was strange: Before the pandemic hit, I often traveled at the French-German border. During the pandemic, I suddenly became aware of the fact that I am, indeed, abroad and that there is a border, because I could not visit my parents and friends whenever I wanted. Generally, it is easy for international students to meet new people and find their way around town. I live in a residence hall where 24 people are on my floor. There is always someone available for a trip. We have students from various disciplines and in different semesters and it is interesting to exchange ideas and share experiences.

What are your goals for the future?

First, I will spend a semester abroad in Boston. I am a huge fan of Europe and up to now, I mostly traveled in Europe. Now I am looking forward to broadening my horizon. I have never been to North America and I am looking forward to new experiences. Then I will write my master’s thesis in the field of innovation management. I am also thinking of staying in Germany after having graduated, depending on my options. The master's degree in Mannheim has helped me to see a much clearer career path!

Text: Theresa Poralla / August 2021