“I Benefitted Doubly from the International Ethos of IUBH”
Rüdiger Muermann studied Tourism Management at IUBH in Bad Honnef, and completed a year abroad at Victoria University in Australia. Later, he found that this international experience helped him significantly in his professional career. He is now Managing Director of Partnership International e. V., where he and his colleagues enable students to undertake English-language exchanges abroad. In this interview he talks about how his studies prepared him for this job and what advice he would give to students along the way.
I’ve always enjoyed organising and planning trips and working with people. So it made sense for me to study Tourism Management. The programme offered me, not only a solid foundational education in business administration, but also an experience of the industry that appealed to me the most. I came across IUBH through a newspaper ad. I was attracted by the university’s excellent reputation, as well as the fact that it offered me greater flexibility than other universities in North Rhine-Westphalia. I was also impressed by the practice-oriented ethos and overall international outlook. There was a strong campus community at IUBH and I did a lot with my fellow students. During my studies, I made many useful contacts whom I’m still in contact with today, both as professional peers and as friends. It’s not an classic saying for nothing that, “You always meet twice in life”. That’s why I can recommend all IUBH students to make the most of their opportunity to network with their fellow students.
Valuable Experience for an International Career
In order to work successfully at an international level, it’s essential to spend time abroad and experience difference cultures. My programme at IUBH gave me the opportunity to do a year’s study abroad. In 2003 I found myself in Australia, studying at Victoria University in Melbourne. This and the specialist teaching at IUBH provided me with a wonderful basis for working successfully with international partners after my studies. So 15 years ago I got my job at Partnership International e. V., where I’m now Managing Director. We offer students a similar experience to what I was offered in my time: an exchange to an English-speaking country. I tried the product myself, so to speak – so I benefited doubly from the international ethos of IUBH.
Excellent Customer Service and a Strong Alumni Network
Service is always our top priority in our day-to-day business. After all, a foreign exchange programme places different requirements on the participants to what a holiday trip demands. It’s important to us to take our customers seriously and always be there to help with their needs and concerns. We get to know all our exchange students and their parents personally, provide them with in-depth preparation and ensure high-quality, personalised support before, during and after the exchange. So of course we are proud to have won the German Service Award 2020 in the Education category.
Our alumni network also plays a major role. Returned exchange students can inform, prepare and support future participants. They can exchange ideas with almost 700 other members. IUBH also maintains an alumni network, and I strongly recommend all students and graduates to make use of it. You never know what kind of opportunities the future might hold as long as you keep in touch with people.