Meet: Juan Felipe – MLB student from Colombia

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 work before coming to Bucerius Law School?

Before coming to Bucerius Law School, I worked for over five years in different law firms (large, medium, and small-sized) in Colombia. In my first years, I was part of a dispute resolution team and, afterward, I focused my professional practice on Competition Law, Privacy, and Consumer Protection Law.

Why did you decide to study in Germany?

Since I was a child, I have had close contact with German culture. Although I was born and raised in Colombia, I am also German and studied in a German school in Bogotá. In 2011, I had the opportunity to take part in a short academic exchange in the city of Dresden where I lived for almost four months.

Ever since, I always wanted to study and live (even for a while) in Germany. Germany offers a lot of opportunities for students and the quality of life in this country is quite high. The culture, the history, the socioeconomic level, the public transportation, the safety, and the cost of living in Germany are just some of the reasons why I decided to study in this country.

What makes the MLB program special in your opinion?

I believe what makes the MLB program unique and innovative is the practical approach it has, the specialty in some of the courses (e.g., Legal Tech, Blockchain Law, among others), and, particularly, the interdisciplinarity between Law and Business, considering that neither in my country nor in the rest of the educational offerings that I reviewed for a master's degree, I could find a program that combines both disciplines in the way Bucerius Law School does. All in all, I firmly consider this a state-of-the-art program.

What are the biggest differences between Colombia and Germany?

The answer to this question could go on forever (laughs). In my opinion, Colombia and Germany are substantially different, whether you look at their culture, climates, landscapes, lifestyles, foods, and people's way of being. However, both countries have so much to offer in their own way and I am certain that anyone can find wonderful things in each country.

At this point in my life, I am happy to be able to feel at home in both countries.



What’s an experience in Hamburg, that is completely new to you?

During these months I have had plenty new experiences in Hamburg. However, one that is worth highlighting has been to meet, live day to day, and work as a team with people from many countries, of different ages, and with a very diverse socio-cultural and academic background, all in a very short time.

Having the opportunity to share academic and social spaces with my classmates from all over the world is a totally enriching experience, not only from an academic and professional point of view but also from a personal one.

Side note: Experiencing Hamburg’s weather continues to amaze me as time goes by. As a port city, the weather in Hamburg changes very fast, has very strong winds and umbrellas definitely do not fulfill their purpose during heavy rain. Despite everything, one learns to live with the city's changing weather and now I understand why Germans say "es gibt kein schlechtes Wetter, nur schlechte Kleidung" (there is no bad weather, just bad clothing).

You worked in law firms before. What are your future career plans?

One of the main reasons for choosing the Master of Law and Business at Bucerius Law School was precisely the combination of both disciplines. Based on my professional experience, I have realized that lawyers sometimes overlook fundamental business aspects of their clients (aspects that, probably, can only be known if one truly understands the dynamics of an enterprise from an inside perspective and knows a business needs first-hand).

Therefore, once I graduate from the Master of Law and Business, my short-term goal would be to pivot to an in-house counsel position in a company operating in some sector where I can exploit my knowledge and experience in Competition Law, Privacy, and Consumer Protection Law and apply the knowledge I have acquired during my studies as Legal Tech, Entrepreneurship, and managerial aspects.



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. Click here to get to know the other students.



Which role will German law play in the future for you?

Although the Master of Law and Business has a strong international focus in its studies and there is no course based on the exclusive application of German law, it has been quite enriching to know some of the particularities of this legal system (for instance, the two-tier system or the codetermination rules in German Corporate law).

Additionally, knowing and understanding how EU Law also plays a relevant role in the application of national law, has been a very pleasant academic challenge.

All of this will allow me to elevate discussions of law application in other legal systems, understand the differences in thinking that arise between lawyers from different jurisdictions, and even serve as a basis for working on public policy affairs.

How did you like living in Hamburg?

During my life, I have had the opportunity to know (and even live) in many cities in Germany, such as Berlin, München, Dresden, Köln, Frankfurt, among others. Without any doubt, my favorite city in the country is Hamburg.

This is due to the multiculturalism of this city, some of its most emblematic sites (such as the Elbphilarmonie, the Hamburg Port or the Speicherstadt), the multiple environments and architectural styles that the city has, the nightlife in the Reeperbahn or Sternschanze, the vast gastronomic offer of the city, the magnitude of public green spaces (being my favorite Planten un Blomen), and the endless number of activities to do in the city and its surroundings.

Juan Felipe, thanks for the interview!



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