German student speaks about studying at the Presidential Academy
Jessica Grunwald, a third-year student from Bielefeld, Germany, decided to join an International Management program at RANEPA Institute of Business Studies (IBS-Moscow), a possibility provided by the partnership between IBS-Moscow and Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences (FH Bielefeld), where Jessica is an Economics student majoring in international management. The German student shared her impressions and plans in an interview with the RANEPA website.
Every year, Jessica orders a special Christmas photo calendar for her parents and sister, picking the most memorable moments from family life. One of her calendars included photos from Kazakhstan, a special place for the Grunwald family; Jessica has always dreamed of visiting that country someday. She also planned to learn to speak Russian fluently – firstly, because it is spoken a little at home, but mainly because she believes speaking Russian is a useful skill for working in Russia or other European countries.
“I was delighted to learn about the opportunity of spending two semesters at RANEPA,” Jessica says. “It was also a little scary because the program implied a huge workload and high responsibility.”
Jessica was not wrong; she does have to work hard. According to her estimates, she spends about 40 hours a week on studying. She had to take as many as 13 courses at some point; some of the modules were as long as 10 weeks. But, as Jessica says, at least she never gets bored and always has something to do.
“Apart from my English and Russian classes – special thanks go to my teacher, Galina Filatova – I take some really fantastic courses at RANEPA that are simply not available at my university in Germany,” Jessica Grunwald says. “Those include Advertising Management, Corporate and Social Responsibility, Project Management, Career Planning, Strategic Management and others.”
The student had to attend classes remotely because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but even this situation has a positive aspect, she says – by doing the work online, she has perfected her skills at creating vivid and intelligible presentations and presenting them to unfamiliar audiences at videoconferences. She also did well in her online exams, despite the unusual format.
Jessica's classmates from FH Bielefeld keep asking her how it goes at her Russian university. “I highly recommend RANEPA,” she says. “I have the most positive impressions from my supervisors who have been incredibly helpful from day one, and also my lecturers who put so much effort and enthusiasm into teaching us.”
Jessica Grunwald is sure that the year at the Russian Academy is an important part of her preparation for working in any country in Europe. Perhaps she will eventually find a job in Moscow – this is something Jessica would very much like to do.