For me, FHWS is ...
the dawn of a new era.
What do you appreciate about FHWS?
A great deal. The most important thing for me is certainly the freedom to experiment and develop here. That suits me and my way of working very well: not discussing ideas to death, just trying them out and putting them into practice. And if the result is not satisfactory, analysing the mistakes and developing the ideas further. But certainly also the diversity that prevails at FHWS, not just with regard to the origin of the university members, but also with regard to their life plans and the generation they belong to – that’s very exciting. And all this within the framework of a dynamic, trusting and creative environment that also allows you to not neglect your own family life.
What was the best decision in your professional career and why? What has changed since then?
For me, there were two decisions: firstly, to go abroad for studies and work. And secondly: the parental leave after the birth of my daughter. Without the first, I would certainly not be able to do my job in the International Office as well as I do, and without the second, I would probably not be as satisfied with my work as I am. Both were challenges that helped me understand myself better, gain knowledge, develop empathy and meet very different people.
What do you think has shaped FHWS the most over the last 50 years?
I actually think that we have all shaped and continue to shape FHWS. Trends, also in academia, come and go, internationalisation is constantly developing. But people, be it students, lecturers or staff, contribute ideas shaped by their needs and expectations, set priorities in their activities – and this is how an institution also acquires its very own character, which distinguishes it from others. And as someone who has moved here, I can say: you can tell that FHWS has regional roots! Which is wonderful, because we can only extend a genuine invitation to people who are new to us, such as international students, to arrive and feel at home in a place that is really authentic.
What is your vision of the future for FHWS? What might FHWS look like in 50 years’ time?
I hope that FHWS will continue to look at its strengths, its networks and its university members with confidence in order to develop continuously – with its finger on the pulse and always with an eye on the major challenges of the present and the future: internationalism, sustainability, digital transformation. The applied approach to research and teaching will continue to allow us to find workable solutions to pressing issues such as migration, climate change and the transformation of the working world – while introducing them here too.
What is your insider tip for the cities of Würzburg or Schweinfurt and why?
I don’t have a real insider tip, but there are a few things that helped me settle into the region and get to know its people after moving here: as a historian, the staircase at the Residenz in Würzburg and the Georg Schäfer Museum in Schweinfurt always inspire me anew, the wine culture creates a link for me to my old home south of Heidelberg, at the wine festivals or small Christmas markets you come into contact with people and the range of restaurants with regional cuisine is huge compared to many other regions in Germany.