Meet: Viktor – MLB student (Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina)

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 coming to BLS I studied law at the University of Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina. I obtained my bachelor’s and master’s degrees there.


How is studying different here?

I’ve found the system here in Germany to be quite different than the one at my previous university. Education back home was quite typical for a law school, meaning that the accent was on acquiring as much theoretical knowledge as possible. An ordinary school day would mean spending a couple of hours in lectures and then spending the rest of the time sitting by a desk and consuming hundreds of pages from large legal books. The emphasis here in the MLB program is on the in-class learning and lectures that, although sometimes can be quite long, allow you to comprehend the topics on the spot and to exchange views with the professors and colleagues.

Also, what I like the most about the program is that it is very career oriented. From the first days we are given an opportunity to engage in career talks, get advice on application documents, and participate in company presentations and visits, while the mandatory internship period enables us to receive (for most of us our first) experience on the German job market.


Why did you decide on pursuing another master’s degree in law and business? 

Studying abroad has been my big desire for quite a while now, so when a chance for that came up, the fact that I already had an LLM didn’t stop me from taking the opportunity and coming to Germany. Also, getting work experience outside of my home country, particularly in a strong and competitive market like the one in Germany, has been an indispensable part of my goal to become a truly international professional who is not constrained by the limits of a single jurisdiction. However, law is a nationally oriented profession, and this is especially true for Germans who are very proud of their educational system and oftentimes are reluctant to allow foreigners to take the legal positions.

That is why I thought this master’s degree was a good entrance ticket to the German legal scene, and from my experience thus far, I believe it was a wise choice. Additionally, this degree is content-wise very different from my previous studies. Although my LLM degree was focused on the area of business law, it was a "pure" legal degree, whereas the MLB program allows me to expand the sole legal knowledge and complement it with the actual business subjects, which is something I did not have an opportunity to do earlier. 


Why is the intersection of law and business important to you?

The traditional, narrow look on law is rapidly changing and those who do not adapt are deemed to fall behind. Globalization, rising complexity of legal work, and the influence of technology are just some of the factors that call for an interdisciplinary approach to a lawyer's work in order to produce optimal results.

The combination of legal and business background comes in particularly useful when working in corporate settings, as it gives the person a holistic overview of the projects and tasks they’re working on, which are regularly performed in cooperation with colleagues from several departments and which require inputs and expertise from multiple fields.


Do you see yourself working in that field in the future?

I do. Although I have not set on a particular job position or company, I know that I want to continue working in the field of business and corporate law, and after learning about interesting options that are arising at the intersection of law and business, I would also be open to exploring roles which are not purely legal, but rather require an application of knowledge from several disciplines.


How does a degree in law and business benefit you in the field of finance?

Banking and finance is a very peculiar field for legal professionals and not somewhere that law students usually see themselves working in after graduation. I had a very interesting, but also challenging experience in this industry because I first had to learn the basic application of general legal notions (it was my first “real” job post-graduation) but also face the numerous specific concepts present in the field.

These have become clearer now because we touch upon them in several courses throughout the program, but what I find most beneficial is the fact that I am given a better understanding of the overall functioning of the companies. It’s interesting to now look back and get a clear picture of the intra-company processes that I both participated in and wondered about from the side, and to fully comprehend the reasons and mechanisms behind them.


How does your experiences abroad influence your view on law and business? 

Experiencing foreign systems is always interesting for a lawyer, but I think my stays abroad did not fundamentally change my understanding and vision of the law and business, except for maybe forcing me to think bigger and wider in terms of my future work. I found my experience in these countries to be a significant stimulus for my decision to pursue an international career, and also an opportunity to become comfortable functioning in an unfamiliar, multicultural environment.


How does your international experiences influence your career choices? 

My experience has made me expand beyond the options I had in my home city/country, but also indirectly prompted me to build a career path within the organizations that have a global outreach and that allow me to apply my skills in doing impactful work. It has also allowed me to get an insight into positive and negative business practices from different spots, which I now apply when choosing my potential workplace. 


Why did you decide on Hamburg?

It was a mixture of personal preferences and the effectiveness of the Bucerius Law School. When I was applying for master's programs, I knew I wanted it to be in the area of business law and in a German-speaking country, so I prepared applications for several universities but first sent out those for my top two choices – to BLS and a university in Vienna. Luckily, I got accepted into both at the roughly same time, but the BLS was quick to offer me the generous Bucerius Global Scholarship which made my stay here possible, so I accepted the offer and came to Hamburg. 


Would you like to stay in Hamburg after graduation? 

I've found Hamburg to be a very livable city - a lot of great spots to visit, very well-connected, interesting nightlife, an abundance of water and green areas, and quite a diverse community of people from all around the world. As someone who is used to the Mediterranean climate, maybe the only thing I am missing is more sunny days.

Nevertheless, I could definitely see myself staying here after graduation but that is a decision that has yet to be made. I’m taking it step by step and trying to use this year to explore as many new things and areas as possible and I'm keeping an open mind to both places and opportunities that come up throughout this year.