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Caroline Spanaus, IBEI Alumni 2017-19

Name and Last Name: Caroline Spanaus

Nationality: German

Master studied at IBEI: Master's in International Development

Class: 2017-19

Current working company, position and city: Development Advisor, GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit); Abuja (Nigeria)

1. Why did you choose IBEI Master’s?

After engaging in a more general undergraduate degree specialising in various social sciences I wanted to focus on a more Economics-oriented and highly specialised degree in International Development. My goal was to sharpen my profile as I wanted to work as a professional in this field.

2. What is your experience at IBEI? 

My experience at IBEI was all that you could want from a postgraduate program. Studying in the bustling and dynamic city of Barcelona in a small group of very driven and experienced people was fantastic. A lot of my colleagues already had vast work experience when they started the master programme, and I was able to benefit from this a lot. Furthermore, IBEI gave me the chance to start an interview platform together with some other students and we were able to interview high-level speakers on topics relevant to our course, including Branko Milanović. In addition, I got to spend an exchange semester in Cairo.

3. Describe your career path since graduating from the IBEI

Since graduating from IBEI I have been able to work for the German Embassy in South Africa, a think tank in Germany and in German development cooperation in Ethiopia as well as Nigeria.

4. How did the master programme prepare you for the work you're doing now?

The master programme gave me the theoretical background knowledge to master my work as well as making me culturally fluent and easily adaptable to new places.

5. Is this more or less what you pictured yourself doing after the master programme?

My dream after the programme was to work in development cooperation and this is what I am doing now. I find my job as an advisor to the Federal Ministry for Employment and Labour as well as a job creation agency fascinating and challenging and enjoy learning on the job each day.

6. What advice would you give to current students who want to follow this career path? / Some advice to future IBEI students?

My advice would be to immerse yourself in the experience as much as possible and try to use all the opportunities. The time will go by so quickly. There are many chances for group work where I would try to get the most out of it. You will be studying with fascinating people from all over the world – listen to all their stories. If you can use the chance to go abroad or use IBEI’s vast network of internship opportunities. Enjoy the city and go salsa dancing a lot.

7. What do you miss most about IBEI? 

Hearing the lions roar from the library and going to the beach after class. And most of all the community that I was able to share this experience with.