Hermann: Protecting the planet with a degree in International Energy Economics

I caught up with Hermann via a video call and, apart from his time studying abroad at Western Sydney University, I knew nothing about him. By the end of our conversation, I was astonished at how much he has already fitted into his 22 years. I asked him about his current degree in International Energy Economics.

“I’m currently studying International Energy Economics at the University of Applied Sciences in Ulm, southern Germany. As the name suggests, it’s a combination of computer science (data analytics, mostly), energy engineering and business studies relating to the energy sector. I completed my sixth semester abroad at Western Sydney University in Australia, now in my seventh semester. I’m currently writing my thesis with my bachelor’s degree graduation in March.

“My semester abroad made me want to continue using my English, so I’m currently working as a Student Assistant at the International Office. Because I was an international student myself, I can empathise with the internationals here. I know how it feels, being in a new country and some of the difficulties that can cause, so I can help them.”

Why study International Energy Economics?

Hermann’s enthusiasm for his chosen field was striking. I wondered why he chose to go in this direction, and if he had ever considered anything else. It was towards the end of his high school studies that he chose the energy sector, making a big shift from his previous plans.

“At the very beginning I wanted to become a banker; you could say I was just after the money! But then a visiting professor from The Biberach University of Applied Sciences delivered a presentation in my school about renewable energy sources. He talked about sustainability and how we need to protect the environment, using my home region as an example. It changed everything.

“I’m from a town that’s really close to nature. Five minutes by bike and you’re outside in the forest or you can go swimming in the lake. I realised that the professor was right – we have beautiful landscapes here, close to the Alps and close to Lake Constance. It’s beautiful, it’s green and there is so much nature. His presentation reinforced the importance of protecting all that, rather than running off to chase the money. I think I was only two or three weeks from my final exams when I switched. I was about to enter a programme offered by Deutsche Bank but that persuasive and inspiring talk made me change my mind.”

Find out more about Hermann’s time as an international student in Australia.

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