Universität Bonn

Alumni stories

Kathrin Poetschki

Nationality: German

Year of Graduation: 2018 (2016/17 in Bonn, 2017/18 at WUR)

MSc thesis
The impact of geographical indications on farm incomes in the EU olives and wine sector

Kathrin Poetschki
© Uni Bonn

Please tell us about your AFECO experience  and its benefits to your development

In 2016 I started with the AFECO programme in Bonn. Apart from the compulsory courses, I took courses which manly focused on agricultural and environmental politics. My Bachelor programme was more about rural development and I was interested in learning more about the impact of trade and trade politics as well as agricultural and rural politics on economy, society and nature. I decided to do the double degree programme, so I spent the second year of my MSc at Wageningen University. This was linked to some extra challenges and efforts, but of course also to some extra benefits. What I liked most about my master programme: improving language skills in Dutch and English, building a network among German and international students and alumni, learning more about the correlation between society, agricultural economy, nature and policy and politics.

What is your current occupation?

I am working with Agrobusiness Niederrhein e.V. as a project coordinator for a Dutch-German project called “Agropole”, which is funded by the EU, the province of Limburg and the MULNV of NRW.  The agribusiness faces various challenges that limit and endanger the competitiveness of companies. My task is to network stakeholders from the agribusiness so that solutions can be worked out together or inspiration for solutions can be exchanged. Transfer of knowledge and experiences is facilitated through seminars, company visits and workshops, which are organised by the Agropole project team. Furthermore, we are also interested in keeping young talents in the region. Helping companies improving their employer branding, publishing information about local companies and organising matchmaking events is also part of the Agropole project. Are you looking for a job or opportunity to do an internship? Get in touch with Agrobusiness Niederrhein and benefit from a broad cross-border network.

How did AFECO help you get where you are?

Within the AFECO programme, I chose for the Double Degree. This gave me advantages in terms of building my network in Germany and the Netherlands. It also allowed me to take inspiration from both universities and broaden my own perspective. I specially remember the ACT – the Academic Consultancy Training at WUR, because here I also learned a lot about my strengths and weaknesses and my role within teams through the intensive support of a coach and other supervisors. This was very helpful in knowing what kind of job and position suits me and to better reflect on my work and the overall work of my team. I have the idea that these learning outcomes are more relevant for my current occupation than the expertise I gained in specific courses. Nevertheless, the knowledge gained in specific courses of course helps be better understanding complex problems and challenges that affect the agribusiness.

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