Meet: Jael – MLB student from the USA

Each year people from all over the world come to study the Bucerius Master of Law and Business. In the Meet interviews they tell their stories.

Education & Study |

Where did you study before coming to Bucerius Law School? 

Before Bucerius, I received my JD from University of Colorado Law in Boulder, CO, and my BA in English Writing from the University of Oklahoma in Norman, OK.


How is studying different here?

Of course, no two universities are the same. Bucerius has stood out to be from my very first interactions with the university as one that provides unmatched support and community for its students. It works them hard, but ensures that academics are a community enterprise rather than a competitive one. The international aspect of my studies here is also completely unique. I’ve studied abroad numerous times in a variety of environments, but never has internationalism been such a fundamental core of every aspect of the program as it is in Bucerius’ MLB program.


What do you find to be the biggest challenge when living in Germany?

I would say the greatest challenge has been navigating the immigration system to ensure that I can remain here in Germany as long as I desire. The bureaucratic systems in Hamburg have been less than helpful in allowing me to move forward in my visa process. However, this particular visa process has been much better than those I’ve experienced in other countries, and navigating the German system has been made much easier with the aid of the MLB team, and the support from my fellow immigrant MLBs.


Why do you think is it important to study abroad? 

The more you travel, the smaller the world gets. Childish tendencies such as racism or aggression stand no chance against actual human relationships. There is absolutely no better way to gain a fundamental understanding of different ways in which humans live and interact with one another than living abroad. I would also like to say a word about the particular experience of studying abroad. Studying is an opportunity to focus your mind on one subject.

In doing so abroad, you gain a freedom and flexibility to focus on that subject from a completely different perspective, in a completely different setting. Moving abroad for work is competitive, arduous, and emotionally taxing (saying nothing of the benefits), but studying abroad provides all the beautiful things that come with experiencing a different place without any of the burdens of permanency.


How do the experiences you made abroad influence you personally? 

My experiences abroad have fundamentally changed who I am as a person. Each time I go abroad I am able to see time and again how different people live, and thereby question the norms under which I was raised, and how I would like my life to look moving forward. Through my experiences abroad, I’ve learned to question my goals, purpose, and priorities. I’ve gained a deeper understanding of what brings me joy and how to fit those things into an ever-busying existence.

Further, and perhaps most importantly, I’ve changed the way I learn from and interact with the world around me. Travel of any kind creates empathy for those different from yourself, and approaching any interaction with that renewed sense of respect and appreciation is essential to keep learning and growing as a human.


Why did you decide to do a master’s degree in business and law? 

When researching international masters programs, I found that so many of them are in either rather niche legal fields such as arbitration, or completely outside the scope of my experience as a young lawyer (such as an MBA). I think the MLB is a perfect balance between the two for anyone trying to follow non-traditional paths, or alter the course of their career.


Does it help that you have a background in business from your bachelor’s degree? 

I would say that the business background I have attempted to cultivate up to this point had been tenuous at best. However, I always had some sense that a traditional practice of the law would not be appealing to me. Therefore, I’ve always known that its important to broaden the scope of my knowledge further than the law alone. During my bachelor’s degree I was able to gain some basic understanding of certain business terms and operations, but this MLB has been the first time that I’ve truly delved into the nuance of this field of study.


How do you like living in Hamburg?

I ask a lot of the cities I foresee myself living in. Hamburg has all the essential qualities of a city that you can only find in the US in gigantic metropolitan areas such as NYC or Chicago: functional public transit, ample arts from museums to concert venues, unique neighborhoods, and lots of water. However, Hamburg allows one all these benefits with none of the same competition. There are ample jobs, low cost of living, and a lot garbage. In other words, Hamburg has all the benefits of living in a large metropolitan area with none of the compromises you would have to make in the States to enter such an ecosystem.