Within the next couple of week students from over 20 countries start in the new full-time MBA batch at HHL. In a short interview the two Chileans Claudia Manriquez (28) and Renzo Aristondo (28) who just arrived from Viña del Mar and Santiago de Chile respectively talk about HHL and their first impression of the City of Leipzig.
Why did you decide to study at HHL?
Claudia Manriquez: When I came to the decision to do an MBA program, I started looking for business schools in no English or Spanish speaking countries to learn a new language. At the end, there were only France, Germany and the Netherlands left because another criterion was that it should be a business school that is on the one hand worldwide top ranked and on the other hand affordable for me regarding the tuition fees. I contacted all business schools on my list and the HHL’s response was the best of all. Raluca Modoiu, the Manager Student Recruitment MBA, did a really great job, provided me with all the information and was very kind. This really convinced me and I decided to take up studies in Leipzig.
Renzo Aristondo: My main driver has always been my wish to study an MBA program outside of Chile combined with the desire to learn a new language. Germany is well known for being a very stable and economically strong country with a very good education system and famous business schools. When I contacted the Manager Student Recruitment MBA at HHL she gave a summary not only of HHL and the MBA program but also about the existing cultural diversities on campus. The very diverse classes with over 20 nationalities plus the super professional and thoughtful behavior of all HHL personnel really got me.
You’re originally from Chile, which is quite far away. How were your feelings when you arrived in Leipzig?
Claudia Manriquez: As Leipzig is part of the former German Democratic Republic, I expected a city in Soviet style. I came here before the studies start to attend an intensive German course. But when I arrived in the city center, I was really surprised. Leipzig is such a beautiful and green city with many lovely spots. My favorite place by far is Karl-Heine-Strasse in the neighborhood Lindenau with all the little restaurants, which is a very welcoming environment. I also decided to live in that area after I had a look at all parts of Leipzig beforehand.
Renzo Aristondo: From my perspective, Leipzig is a very green, safe and interesting city with friendly inhabitants and a lot of stuff to discover. So far, I can really say that I love Leipzig. I already do have an apartment and did all the administration; thus, I have seen quite a lot so far.
Where there any hurdles you recognized when you came to Germany and how did you manage to overcome them?
Renzo Aristondo: The language is a big challenge because not everybody in the city speaks English and my German is not that good yet. I have already been in situations when we didn’t really understand each other, but people try to help you and stay very friendly even it takes a bit more time to communicate.
Claudia Manriquez: The language was a big hurdle, of course, because in Leipzig not as much people speak English as you might think. Thus, it was a bit hard to find an apartment in the beginning, for example, when you don’t speak a word of German.
What are your plans after the time at HHL?
Claudia Manriquez: At this point, I am trying to do the things in my life I have ever wanted to do. HHL gives me the opportunity to work in Germany after I finished the program and this is one of the things I always wanted to do. Furthermore, my boyfriend and I really like doing outdoor activities, so we think about founding our own outdoor-related startup or maybe a bed & breakfast after I have gained some job experience.
Renzo Aristondo: If I had to say it now, I would keep on doing something like I did in my first job. I like being the face of some company and doing the relationship management with their partners internationally. But in two years, I’ll probably have a different scope and things have changed.
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HHL comes to Santiago, Chile, for an exclusive HHL event with HHL staff and alumni on August 21, 2017.
HHL school presentation & workshop with Raluca Modoiu, MBA Recruiter and Christian Orellana, MBA Alumnus, followed by and an informal reception with HHL alumni and future students.