Annika from Mülheim an der Ruhr
is studying Environmental Process Engineering and Recycling
The talented organizer
Although Annika Budde loves the Ruhr valley, she turned her back on her home region after finishing high school and deliberately applied for something a little further away. She wanted to explore new territory and find a small university with a good reputation. Clausthal was her first choice, and her acceptance letter came after just a few days. She has always been interested in the sciences, so decided to study business and engineering. Looking back, the 25‑year-old readily admits, “It took a bit of adjusting to live in such a green and somewhat more rural place. In retrospect though, I think it’s great. You get distracted less and can really concentrate on your studies.” But that’s not the only thing Annika appreciates about her university.
Making appointments with professors at short notice
“You can get an appointment to talk to your professor really quickly,” she reports. “I’m always really surprised when friends at other unis tell me they can only get appointments with the student assistants. And then, often, they can’t help.” Annika also likes the “everybody knows everybody” mentality: “It makes it easy to build a network of friends. That’s not something you can expect at larger universities.”
Experiencing and living diversity
If the Ruhr valley’s inhabitants are known for their direct language and open manner, it might take longer to find “the typical Clausthaler”. “I think the town lives from its mingled variety and just is multicultural,” Annika reckons. Her leisure time in Clausthal seems to be a lively mixture too. Interestingly, her hobbies have completely changed. Ms Budde now unwinds from studying through painting, photography and sports. On top of that, she is involved in Consulting Team e. V., a student business consultancy service, as well as the Clausthal-Zellerfeld Rotaract Club, the youth arm of the international Rotary movement. It was the latter organization that arranged the profs@turntables event, a party highlight for the students where professors and other teachers show off their DJing skills. The Glück in Dosen (“luck in cans”) campaign, in which audiences at the Rockharz music festival donate the deposits on their drinks cans, was also created by the Clausthal Zellerfeld Rotaract Club. But if you think those are all the activities Annika Budde is involved in, you are mistaken. She works as a student assistant too, to support the university’s press office. “I need all that variety,” she explains, adding, “I find it really fascinating to keep getting together with different people and pursuing some common goal together depending on the context.”
Staying in Clausthal for a master’s degree
Annika has now moved on to her master’s program. That has meant switching from business and engineering to environmental process engineering and recycling. “That field is becoming more and more important in my eyes. I could well imagine working in the recycling sector one day,” she says. Switching degree programs presented no great difficulty at Clausthal. The university also does a lot to enable its students to gain experience abroad. There is an extensive portfolio of cooperative partnerships with universities in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America. Annika already has a semester in Norway under her belt. Irrespective of final theses or credit points, she has a wish to see a lot of the world in future too. She would most like to travel to Canada or support a family-run aid project in Africa – so life post-graduation looks set to be just as rich in variety.