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 Professional Paths 

Our Alumni contribute essentially to the visibility of American Studies Leipzig beyond the University. They have careers in a wide range of fields and areas - from local cultural institutions, to public relations work in national and international organizations and firms. While some work successfully outside academia, others continue their academic careers at universities in Europe or the US. Their diverse occupations reflect the interdisciplinary approach of American Studies in Leipzig, and their communication and analytical skills testify to the quality and adaptability of our graduates to various professional areas.

Below you can find out what some American Studies Alumni from Leipzig are doing today and how their studies have influenced their careers.


American Studies Leipzig Alumni


Inga Pötzl, Program Assistant, Fulbright Commission

Magister Degree, 2006

"I received my master's degree in August 2006 and left Leipzig soon afterwards for a museum internship in Berlin. By accident, I came across a small company offering educational programs for teachers in Germany and the U.S. and thanks to my studies and my experience abroad was offered a job as coordinator of the U.S. programs. Ms. Renker from the Consulate General in Leipzig brought me in contact with the chief of the American Program Unit at the Fulbright Commission [more...]"



Jan Saeger, Vice President Employee Communications, Healthcare Sector, Siemens

studied American Studies and Journalism at Leipzig University

"American Studies meant a head-start into business life because my job requires quite a lot of communication with Americans – and of course withpeople in many other countries. So my studies prove to be a great asset every day."


Frank Meinzenbach, trainee

studied German Studies, American Studies, and Journalism at Leipzig University; graduated in 2006

"Even though my working career is still rather youngish, I can already say that Leipzig's American Studies Department was crucial for me in developing core abilities that are very useful for my job. First and foremost that would be how to analyse texts, both in language or visual, the importance of which cannot be stressed strongly enough. The second important thing coming to mind besides critical thinking is that I learned from the American Studies Institute that teams work best when all individuals treat each other with respect and on a friendly, personal basis."



Katja Borowski, Dezernat Forschung, TU Darmstadt

studied American Studies, Communication and Media Sciences, and German Studies at Leipzig University; graduated in 2002

"In general, American Studies gave me an understanding of other languages and cultures. In specific, English has become the international language of higher education and, herewith, has succeeded Latin and German. For this reason, I need it almost every day to communicate with colleagues from other universities and institutions of higher education worldwide."


Dr. Anja Becker, DAAD Postdoctoral Fellow in American
History at the Center for the Americas, Vanderbilt
University, Nashville, Tennessee, researching German
influences on higher education in the American South
and West around 1900.

"Before I came here, I finished a Ph.D. degree on academic networks of American students at Leipzig University in the 19th century. I also hold a MA degree from Leipzig University in Amercian Studies and French Studies. I spent two semesters at Harvard University (1998/99) and one semester at the Sorbonne Nouvelle - Paris III (1999/2000).

I enjoy a lot researching and teaching American history, but it's much more than merely a job in academia. For example, I'm a member of the German Committee of Sister Cities of Nashville, which allows me to be actively involved in student exchange programs between Nashville and Magdeburg, translate for German delegations in town and help organizing German social events. Put differently, I can mediate between German and American cultures even in every-day life. What can I say - I love it."



Meike Refardt, Koordinatorin des Geschäftsfelds International beim Baden-Württembergischen Industrie- und Handelskammertag in Stuttgart

studied American Studies, History, and Communication Sciences at the University of Leipzig, graduated in 2003

"With the degree of a Magister people very often think you are not prepared for a professional life in industry or economy. On the contrary!

Of course I was hired for many reasons, among others my other Masters Degree in European Public Affairs. But the soft skills I acquired during my Magister studies tipped the scales in the end. In my department we have quite a few Magister graduates with all kinds of backgrounds. The reason being: we are flexible, acquire knowledge of a new topic fast, know how and where to acquire information, and bring in new ideas due to our open-mindedness and usually very spanning perspectives, traits very much valued in today's professional world. Another very often neglected aspect of American Studies is the level of English we learn to speak. Everyone seems to speak English these days, but only a few who speak it business fluent. American Studies graduates do and for my career development a super plus everywhere I've worked so far."



Dr. Jasmin Fischer, editor

studied Political Science, Journalism and American Studies at Leipzig University, earned her doctorate at the John-F.-Kennedy Institute of the Freie Universität Berlin

"American Studies has opened quite a few doors for me in terms of media internships or academic stays & stipends in the US. I've never benefited from American Studies directly, e.g. I don't work with American themes & issues, but job-wise I've certainly profited in many ways from having been exposed to a different way of life, a different way of doing and seeing things."



Dr. Stefan Röhrbein, in charge of Internal Audit and Risk Management at Mitteldeutsche Braunkohlengesellschaft MIBRAG since 1999

earned his doctorate in American Studies (topic: Stadtsoziologie/immigration) at Leipzig University in 1993

"In the early nineties I had several opportunities to live, work and study in the States. Upon returning and completing my postgraduate studies, at a time when very few East Germans had US experience and sufficient English language skills, these skills helped me to mediate and interpret between two different cultures, since I was familiar with both. In addition, I have had the pleasure to befriend some of the most wonderful people I have ever met. Until the late nineties, almost 20 trips, mostly business, took me back to various parts of North America."

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