Eller College welcomes exchange students into the MBA program each year. This semester, we have three exchange students from Germany and Australia, while two Eller candidates are overseas in Poland and Italy. Next semester, an Eller MBA candidate will be attending university in France.
Linda Pielsticker is an exchange student from Germany. She will receive a Diploma in Business Administration from University of Cologne at the end of the semester. Linda has taken marketing classes at the University of Arizona this semester after completing two marketing internships in Germany at Johnson & Johnson and BBDO Consulting. She hopes to become a Brand Manager for L’Oreal, Henkel, or Mars after graduation.
Linda has enjoyed her experience in Tucson and plans to travel to San Francisco, LA, Hawaii, San Diego, and Vegas after. Willkommen, Linda!
Linda Pielsticker, Class of 2010
I arrived to Tucson while still working on my German diploma thesis. I had no specific expectations of Arizona and after getting off the airplane, the first thing I experienced was the incredible heat! About two weeks later, I adapted to Arizona weather.
From the start, the American people were very kind and helpful. The most distinctive difference from Tucson to Germany was its structure. Tucson has fewer inhabitants than Cologne and its city limits are really spread out making it difficult to travel without a car.
In school, I dealt with a lot more differences than what I was used to from my home university. The Management, Economics, and Social Sciences departments at University of Cologne had about 10,000 students – the largest of its type in Germany. Business classes usually consisted of 500 graduate students and the professors typically did not know their names. Also there was no attendance requirement.
The grading system in Cologne is quite difficult and consists of an exam counting for 100% of our final grade. The failure rates are about 20%. The German academic norms led me to have a completely new student experience in Tucson. For instance, I was not exposed to tiny classes and individual group work prior to University of Arizona.
Due to the size of Eller MBA classes, the students already knew each other very well. Hence, during my first days I was asked if I was a new student. However, my classmates were very nice and interested in me and my German origin. The weekly Happy Hour and other social events made it easy for me to get to know my classmates better.
When I heard the expression “tailgate” for the first time, I did not understand what it meant until I attended one of them. I was highly impressed by the amount of people wearing red on campus and in the stadium.
Although it might appear to you that student life in Cologne is very hard, I really enjoyed studying there. On top of that I was lucky that I got the chance to experience being part of the MBA program at Eller and living in the U.S. for half a year. It really enriched my life!