Universität Bonn

Alumni stories

Farina Burgsmüller

Nationality: German

Year of Graduation: 2021

MSc thesis
A digitalized Bioeconomy – Exploring cross-industry Merger and Acquisition activities to analyse convergence potential

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

I started the AFECO master’s degree in 2017 choosing my major in Agribusiness and graduated in May 2020. AFECO was fundamental for my development path. The opportunity to learn more about the agri-food industry and my personal ambition to make a positive contribution has always motivated me. Not only that I acquired a lot of specific knowledge especially in the areas of organizational & strategic planning and marketing but also, I learned scientific working, self-organization, presentation, language, and teamwork skills. Through the AFECO program I felt perfectly prepared to start my career.

But also besides my studies I was able to learn during internships and part-time jobs: During my last year I worked as student assistant at the chair for technology and innovation management in Agribusiness (Uni Bonn). Moreover, I had the chance to gain experience in the feed industry, in a food quality scheme and in consulting. 

What is your current occupation?

I work for ELFIN Consulting GmbH, located in Cologne. ELFIN Consulting is a business consultancy bridging the gap between strategy and implementation. With the goal to transform strategies into accelerated and sustainable growth. Main service areas are (a.) Agile facilitation & digital transformation, (b.) marketing and communications, (c.) sustainability and life cycle assessment and (d.) Learning and knowledge transfer. Our competencies and services focus on the industrial sectors of agriculture, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and plastics.

I started as junior consultant (2021) and got promoted to Consultant this year. I have my special expertise in Food and Agriculture related topics. My key working areas are internal regulation management, training development, process mapping and implementation as well as analysis of monitoring tool data and derivation of improvement measures.

How did AFECO help you get where you are?

Knowledge acquisition and learning: In two years AFECO I learned a lot, so I can just mention a small extract here: With having the major in Agribusiness I learned how a company works and basic theories of organizational management. I acquired knowledge in strategy development and Innovation management. But also the classes in market and consumer research were very interesting. I learned how to cope with complex data sets, scientific publications, to write reports and papers by myself and to present the outcome to the class daily. Especially turning complex interrelationships into understandable, digestible content is helpful in my current job.

Personal development: But also on a personal level I learned to be confident in my role, to organize and structure myself and I improved my communication skills. But one of the most important and valuable points is, that I met a lot of great people and made close friendships that last until today.

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