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Darla Moore School of Business

International MBA candidate is 'achieving his dream' through program

Aug. 30, 2018

Sören Friede, International MBA candidate

Where are you from?
I’m from Western Germany. I was born and raised in the same town and didn’t move until I was older, when I went to work in Hamburg and then studied abroad in Peru before coming to the Moore School.

What brought you to the Moore School?
I have a friend who graduated from the business school who I met back in 2013. Ever since meeting him, it’s been my dream to come here. He spoke very highly of the school. I also knew that the program’s reputation is very good, and I majored in international business in the Netherlands, so it was a logical pattern. It’s always been my dream to study in the United States.

Who at the Moore School has most impacted you?
The MBA office in general, and, more specifically, Jennifer Ninh because she’s always there and she’s very organized. Jennifer also encouraged me to apply to the program even though I didn’t think I would get in, which I appreciate, because otherwise I wouldn’t be here.

What is the most influential thing you’ve learned in the International MBA program?
The social skills I’ve been learning stand out more to me than anything. I’ve really enjoyed being part of this class and being with the people. That network has impacted me most in the program.

Do you have any scholarships?
Yes, I have a whole package, which has really eased the financial burden of coming to the Moore School. One scholarship in particular that I’m grateful for is my scholarship from the Thomas Meyer Foundation, which was founded by Thomas Meyer, head of the Chamber of Commerce of Wuppertal, Solingen and Remscheid back in Germany. My scholarships have made my life easier in that I can travel and therefore broaden my experience in the United States and abroad. They also enable me to travel to career fairs and other events such as the Black MBA Conference in Detroit.

What makes the Moore School special to you?
Its small class size. The interaction with your professors and your classmates is enhanced when you know everyone’s first name, as opposed to sitting in a classroom with 300 people and not knowing who’s to your right or to your left. And the international focus is important. In doing business in Germany and Peru, I’ve realized that those intercultural skills are the most important. You could have the best product, but if you don’t know how business is done in that specific country, you won’t sell anything. I think the Moore School has picked a good focus in emphasizing international business.

Why did you choose the International MBA specifically?
It enables me to work on my French, and there’s another internship within the program, which is a good measure of where you stand and what you’ve learned so far.

Where do you see yourself in five years?
Short-term, I’d like to work for a German company in the U.S. That would likely provide a huge career boost if I were to go back to Germany later, so that I think will be a good way to get my foot in the door. Long-term, I’d like to go back to Germany, so that would help keep my options open.

Is there anything else you’d like to mention?
When I studied in the Netherlands, I didn’t have to take the GMAT, which the Moore School requires. I’m not a good standardized test-taker, so I was hesitant to take it and apply to the Moore School. I eventually decided to just try it because this has always been my dream. This was my No. 1 option. If someone were to ask me what I’ve learned from the process, it’s that if you have something you really want to achieve, you should just try. If it doesn’t work out, that’s fine, but at least you tried. I didn’t think I’d make it into the program, but I decided to try, and I now I’m here.

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