Graduate Interview: Friederike Exter, Master of Law and Business, Class of 2013

Just a few months after receiving her degree, MLB graduate Friederike took over her father's company. How did that go? What else has she been up to?

Business is in her blood. Just a few months after Friederike Exter received her Master of Law and Business degree from the Bucerius Law School, she took over her father's company. Two years later, at the young age of 25, she has not only acquired an additional master's degree, but at the same time has successfully opened two more stores. The bubbly Berliner returned to the Bucerius Campus in Hamburg for the international alumni reunion.

Tell us about your company. Did you know always that you would take it over one day?
"The company is called Witty's and we produce and distribute organic fast food. This includes currywurst, bratwurst, meatballs and fries. All the ingredients are organically certified and we developed the recipes ourselves. My father founded the company 30 years ago and I grew up with it so I knew from an early age that I would be involved in the business at some point! "

Why did you choose the Master of Law and Business Program?

"I wanted to add legal skills to the business knowledge that I gained from my bachelor degree so that I wouldn’t always have to rely on the opinions of the lawyers! Now I can understand clauses in contracts better and I am much more aware of the legal matters affecting the business. I can really use the skills I learned from the MLB program in my everyday professional life. "

Thinking back on your time in Hamburg, what are your happiest memories?
"So for me the best part of the program was definitely the people that I met and the friendships that I made. Of course, we don’t see each other as often anymore, but it's always nice to know that you have friends all over the world!

I also remember with pleasure the charity fashion show, which I organized for the Social Project. We donated more than 7000 euros to a children’s cancer foundation. The organization was so impressed that they even offered me a job as assistant to the management.  Finally, I decided against it, but it was a great honor to know that the work of my project team was so highly regarded. "

What have you been doing since your graduation 2 years ago?
"Right after graduation, I spent a few months backpacking and visiting some of my former classmates in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. During my trip my father became unexpectedly ill and I had to travel back to Germany and take over the company much earlier than was planned. It was hard at first but luckily everything has worked out for the best. We have opened up another two stores in less than two years and have doubled the number of employees to 40. Whilst working in the firm I also studied for a distance learning Masters in Food Service Management as I would like to become a business consultant for restaurants and fast food chains. "

What does your father think about that?
"He is very supportive, he thinks that it's important, to gain experience and to experience new things outside of the family business. Ultimately though, I'll probably come back to Witty’s. I believe in our business concept and I think it would also be good as a franchise - I worked on the business plan for that during my Master's thesis at the Law School."

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