Meet Our Graduates

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Henrieke Max

ISS Class of 2016

Currently pursuing a MA in Sociology at Oxford University, UK

“I would not be the person that I am today, had I not studied Integrated Social Sciences. Not only does ISS teach you the analytical skills and methods to develop solutions to any social problem that requires knowledge of several social sciences, the program also (re-)shapes your way of thinking. Pursuing a degree in ISS felt similarly to learning to walk from scratch – in a good way! Because of this, many career paths and opportunities open up to you that you might have never thought of or considered prior to your studies. The breadth of the ISS program is mirrored in the diversity of its students and range of their academic and professional interests. This makes for an exceptionally stimulating study experience and a unique program alumni network post-university.”



luisaLuísa Gonçalves

Class of 2013

Luísa Gonçalves currently works at Zalando SE as Learning Manager. She develops learning and training solutions for the technology department at Zalando, focusing on online learning partnerships.

“My favourite thing about the ISS program was how certain topics overlapped and complemented each other among different disciplines/classes. I remember as I was writing my thesis, I was researching on topics I had learnt in my communications & media classes, but also on topics from my social movements class. The ISS program is the perfect showcase example of how interdisciplinarity can benefit one’s studies.”



jan2Dr. Jan Eichhorn

Class of 2009

Chancellor’s Fellow (Social Policy), University of Edinburgh
Research Director, d|part
© Jan Eichhorn, 2014

“Instructors in ISS did not only teach me extensive research skills – that allowed be to directly enter a PhD programme at the University of Edinburgh afterwards – they also instilled a passion to look beyond disciplinary boundaries. Learning about social problems as issues that require multi-disciplinary approaches is a rare opportunity in undergraduate programmes, and something I now try to emulate when teaching my own students. The problem-solving approach in ISS has also led me to work with partners outside of academia and given me the confidence – together with collaborators from Jacobs University and outside – to set up my own independent think tank ‘d|part’ focusing on connecting research and practice in the field of political participation.”

Professional Website: http://www.sps.ed.ac.uk/staff/social_policy/jan_eichhorn and www.politischepartizipation.de


Eliza Bivolaru-200x293Eliza Bivolaru

Class of 2009

PhD Candidate in Management, INSEAD
© Eliza Bivolaru, 2013

“One of the major strengths of the ISS program is its disciplinary foundation, which provides solid knowledge in preparation for both corporate/public and academic careers. Its interdisciplinary structure enables students to acquire both breadth and depth of the respective disciplines, which helps students become extremely versatile candidates in academia or industry. I think the fact that so many ISS graduates have succeeded in such a wide variety of domains (e.g., finance, law, business, education, public policy, consulting, entrepreneurship etc.) speaks to the high quality of the program and its forward-looking orientation.”

Professional Website: https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=vviRQWAAAAAJ&hl=en&oi=ao


DeyanVitanov2013-200x300Deyan Vitanov

Class of 2007

CEO and Co-Founder, Chobolabs
MBA ’09, Stanford Graduate School of Business
ISS ’07, Jacobs University Bremen
© Deyan Vitanov, 2013

“The very broad curriculum of the ISS program was the main reason I attended Jacobs University Bremen. I had no idea what I wanted to do “when I grow up” so having exposure to many fields was a great way to figure out what I am passionate about. The ISS curriculum’s focus on the “big picture” uniquely prepared me for life as an entrepreneur post-Jacobs.”

Professional Website: http://www.deyanvitanov.com


cristinaCristina Greculescu

Class of 2006

M.A. (Jacobs University Bremen)

“If you are interested in social sciences in general but do not want to only focus on a narrow discipline from the get-go, ISS is the right study program for you. When I chose this major back in 2003, I thought I would enjoy the Mass Communication discipline the most. ISS opened up for me, additionally, the worlds of Sociology and Political Science, which I ended up liking just as much. After finishing my Master studies, I worked for a global anti-corruption coalition and was surprised to discover that, in some cases and for certain types of work, ‘more is more’: I actually needed the multidisciplinary – or transdisciplinary – background in order to understand how corruption transforms economies and societies around the world. Later on, longing to be back in an academic environment, I started working in higher education management and discovered that many people choosing this field are actually political scientists or sociologists by formation. Looking back, I don’t think any other study program would have provided me with such a well-rounded education in the social sciences, which gave me real choice from among many different professional paths after graduation.”


2013-1Melanie Alexandra Wilneder

Class of 2006

MSc (University College London 2007)

Key Account Manager at South Pole Group

“Out of all the social science majors, ISS was the one that appealed to me immediately. Ever since I was little, I would question what was happening in the world, from politics to the economy and society. I would discuss those “big picture topics” with my parents for hours, and knew that I wanted to play my part in resolving some of the issues I was reading about.

The wide range of subjects studied as part of the ISS degree, including a solid grounding in research methods and statistics, enabled me to pursue a varied career path and to keep my options open until I found my sense of purpose.

I started as “global graduate trainee” at one of the largest UK insurance companies, and as I developed a career in supply chain I worked with a lot of different corporate functions. I became a supply chain consultant at Deloitte’s management consulting division to get insights into sourcing and procurement in different sectors, before finding my calling at an environmental NGO in a supply-chain focused role. After 3 years at CDP, I am now working as a key account manager at a profit-for-purpose helping companies to implement their environmental sustainability strategies. My “ISS mindset” allowed me to navigate through these very different settings and dynamics, adapt easily, and connect the dots.”


dana Dana Silvina Trif

Class of 2005

PhD (Freie Universität Berlin)

“ISS was a great intellectual experience, which opened doors for me in many different ways. The  solid education I received in political science, sociology, communication studies and social science methodology was the best type of training I could have ever wished for. My Jacobs years helped me pursue my own research interests in academia and work for one of the European Union’s institutions in Brussels. I will never regret having earned a degree in social sciences in one of the countries with the longest and most prestigious tradition in this field!”


Jan-Dirk Früchtenicht Jan-Dirk Früchtenicht

Class of 2005

Senior Manager Business Processes, Risk Management & Compliance
First Sensor Group – Berlin, Germany

“After high school I was determined to study economics and the enrollment confirmation of my dream major was already on my desk. Then, I came across Jacobs. And ISS in particular. To me, studying ISS in an intercultural environment seemed like the perfect combination of my interests: learning to understand social, political and economic developments as well as the psychological traits and processes governing the respective human interactions and the shaping role of mass media. I also loved the possibility of diving into exciting electives close to the core curriculum, e.g. behavioural psychology and history. The very comprehensive education in research methods and statistics was a welcomed plus and should prove to be one of the most valuable parts of the programme.

Through this combination, ISS like to other majors, teaches you critical thinking and to combine seemingly isolated issues to arrive at all-encompassing explanations of phenomena in the real world. This ability has boosted my career in inconceivable ways. Why? Because this way of thinking helps you solve complex problems not just in the social sciences – the methods are transferable to completely different areas, be it IT-project management, supply chain optimisation or risk management. Having learnt to see the links between business processes in a company, human behavior, incentives and communication styles helps you to set-up and execute projects extremely efficiently while avoiding many problems other project managers encounter with their often more subject-specific approach. Being used to seeing the big picture and screening the environment for factors that could have impact on your work makes you a much more effective and faster employee than most others. The ability to then use your education in methods and statistics to precisely dissect a problem with numbers while presenting your arguments in a short yet comprehensible way quickly gets the attention of upper management. Hence, I can clearly recommend studying ISS – also because you can deepen you interest when choosing a master programme afterwards, be in the social sciences, in marketing, HR or business.”


janRobert Eckhoff

Class of 2004 (Pioneer Batch)

PhD (Jacobs University)

“People tell you that focus is important and that you should focus on one single subject in which you become an expert. And if you are such a person, the advice is great. I never was like that. Sometimes the things that you are most enthusiastic about are not defined within the limits of one specific major. Sometimes you don’t even know what you are passionate about when you leave high school. It is more of a vague feeling that you are interested in this or that. This was definitely the case for me when I started ISS. And thanks to ISS, I later discovered my passion for innovation. I started looking at innovation from a sociological, political and economic perspective. Today I benefit from this broad view on innovation and use the insights I gained at Jacobs in my day to day work with clients in my own innovation consulting firm.”