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Andreas Lohmüller is 36 years old and currently works as a freelancer for Investmentfonds. Beforehand, he gained working experience in various companies, amongst other things in the Credit Distribution for Germany & Austria section of Lloyds Bank Commercial Banking. In 2007 he was awarded a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) degree in Business Administration by Frankfurt School of Finance & Management. He had already trained as a bank clerk, and completed his degree course on a part-time basis so that he could combine his studies at Frankfurt School with his job and simultaneously gather relevant work experience. He also spent a semester abroad in Santa Barbara, California.

You completed a combined studies programme at Frankfurt School. How did you manage your time?

I finally decided to do a degree course at the ripe old age of 26. Actually, it was an easy decision, even though my friends and family couldn’t understand what I was doing: taking a degree? At 26 years old? They thought I was crazy, giving up a secure salary because my employer wasn’t prepared to support a combined-studies course. That was back in May 2003; the course was due to start in the September. I received a lot of support from Professor Steffens, and the Grants and Bursaries Trust advanced me my tuition fees. I started by working as an intern at T-Online, then as an equities analyst for Independent Research. During my third and fourth semesters I was given a wonderful opportunity to work in JP Morgan’s Asset Management division. JP Morgan also sent me to London for an internship in their Securities section. I spent my semester abroad at the University of California in Santa Barbara. I had a fantastic time there getting to know and enjoy the American way of life. Afterwards I went back to Frankfurt for another two semesters. Again, I was able to gather valuable work experience while getting to know yet another company: for six months I worked as an intern for the Equity Options division at Goldman Sachs. It was a full-time job, so my studies suffered a little during my time there. But the university and some good friends – especially Peter Peterburs – gave me plenty of support, and I was able to finish my degree.

How did your career develop from there?

In January 2007, I started working in Credit Sales at Goldman Sachs. I was able to reimburse Frankfurt School for my tuition fees with my first bonus – so my career was off to a flying start. Two years later I was ready for a change. After a brief spell at Knight Libertas, I accepted a new challenge in London, and now I’m playing a major part in building up Lloyds Bank’s credit business in Germany.

In retrospect, how important were your studies at Frankfurt School to you?

My clients currently include major investment funds as well as insurance companies. The combined studies programme was an ideal springboard for my current work – I got to know many different companies in Germany and abroad and was able to ask questions and share my impressions in class. The academic staff are extremely knowledgeable, and emphasize practical relevance – they encouraged us to report on our own experiences while at the same time helping us to follow our own career paths. Overall, my degree course – or more accurately, the combination of degree course and practical experience – proved to be an invaluable education for my life and career. I look back on my student days with genuine pleasure, with especially fond memories of my semester in Santa Barbara. Plus I have a very special memory of my time at Frankfurt School, because that’s where I met my wife.

How important are alumni to a university? What – in your view – can alumni do for their alma mater?

When people want to know more about a university, they check out the depth and breadth of the alumni network. This is a key criterion when you’re deciding which university to choose. Rankings play an important part, too, but the networks and successes of former students are just as significant: you can exchange views with alumni, ask for advice, make contacts. Alumni can assist their old universities and younger students by offering advice and practical support. And they should make a financial contribution if they feel their studies were worth it. That’s certainly how I feel! I’m truly delighted by Frankfurt School’s extraordinary development, and was very happy to contribute to funding the campus extension. Now my name is inscribed on a window – I think that’s just great!

What’s the motto you live your life by?

Don’t scratch like a chicken, fly like an eagle!