Stefanie Kautzmann, an international PhD student in the Cardiff School of English, Communication and Philosophy, is now Head of International Relations at one of Germany’s leading Business Schools.
My first visit to the University was in August 2005 and I can remember walking down Park Place on a beautiful sunny day. I just loved the main building and how the white stone shone in the sunshine and remember vividly a lady calling me “my love” in the Blackwell’s bookstore on campus, which was really cute and a completely new experience to me. The bilingual signs were also totally new to me: staring at the Welsh for a few seconds before realizing you can’t read it and have to read the part on the right-hand side of the sign instead
I am originally from Germany, but had lived in Chicago/USA from 2003 to summer 2005. I had then applied for PhD studies in the UK. In August 2005 I went to see my future PhD supervisor at Reading University: I had already accepted the offer from Reading and was just travelling to Cardiff afterwards to be absolutely sure that I had made the right decision. Well, guess what: I immediately fell in love with Cardiff and Cardiff University and didn’t want to leave again! I accepted the offer from Cardiff and informed Reading that I had changed my mind … and never regretted it.
I started my full-time PhD in October 2005 to October 2007 and in the November of that year, I moved back to Germany to continue my research as a part-time student.
My research is about the British media and I look at how “climate change” is being dealt with in TV broadcast news and newspapers by journalists, politicians and scientists. This is a research project funded by the European Union, and Cardiff University is one member of several European universities in it. Even though I am not physically in Cardiff most of the time, my relationship with my PhD supervisor, for example, is really good. She is academically very good and a great person. We e-mail most of the time or speak on the phone. In general, the lecturers in the Cardiff School of English, Communication and Philosophy are academically very strong but at the same time so approachable and so down to earth.
During my two years in Cardiff, I also worked part-time in the International Development Division and it has prepared me for my current role as the Head of International Relations at one of the top German Business Schools. Myself and colleagues from the Cardiff University International Development Division also took place in the Run for Life in Bute Park (for Cancer Research Britain) which was great fun and for me a very British, memorable event, as there are no such charity events in Germany.
Cardiff is internationally ranked as the top university in Wales and among the best in the UK and that’s one reason why I decided for Cardiff University. When I tell people abroad that I am a PhD student at Cardiff University, they know the University and where it is located. My hope for the University is that it will keep its place among the top universities in the UK. Congratulations on your 125th Anniversary.