From Chemistry to International Business and Economics

What does a chemist do when she realises that she doesn’t enjoy working in a lab? She takes up International Business and Economics at the University of Klagenfurt and gains the necessary tools to enter a managerial position – perhaps in a chemical company – in the future.  Janna Despriet Roig, from Spain, tells us how this decision brought her to Klagenfurt.

Janna Despriet Roig already holds a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the Universitat Rovira i Virgili (Tarragona), which is located in southern Catalonia. Nonetheless, she decided to come to Klagenfurt to pursue a second Bachelor’s degree in the autumn of 2022. What prompted her to choose “International Business and Economics”? Janna Despriet Roig recounts: “I like chemistry, but I soon discovered that I don’t much enjoy spending time in a lab. When you feel like this, you have to think about what to do with yourself. I resolved to combine my expertise in the field of chemistry with business skills at the management level. That’s what brought me here.“ The fact that the degree programme also covers a broad range of economic topics did not discourage her: “I soon realised that economics has a huge impact in everyone’s life, so it’s really interesting for me on many levels.”

Klagenfurt was the destination of choice for Janna Despriet Roig for several reasons: “Here, the number of students per intake each year is limited. This allows me to get to know my fellow students better, but also to engage in a more direct and personal exchange with the lecturers. All in all, this is a place where you can study very efficiently and quickly.” She is also impressed by the attractions offered by the city of Klagenfurt: “This city is great for students – from the public transport to the accommodation options.” The cherry on the cake was the great range of opportunities to study abroad: “I knew I wanted to spend some time studying outside of Europe. The University of Klagenfurt had three options for me in my desired destination, Japan. So, it really couldn’t have come at a better time.”

Janna Despriet Roig is making good progress with her studies; she is even slightly ahead of her own schedule so as to complete as many courses as possible before embarking on her time abroad. She likes to plan her next steps carefully – and sometimes she takes steps years in advance: “I don’t like to be late with things; I prefer to be well prepared.” Janna Despriet Roig has not yet decided what to do after her second Bachelor‘s degree: “I will then have two Bachelor’s degrees and need to think carefully about the area in which I will then follow on with a Master’s degree. There is no programme in chemistry here in Klagenfurt, but there are some good options in the field of management. After that, I don‘t know what will happen.”

Finally, we enquire whether the busy schedule leaves room for private pursuits, and learn that it does: “I make new friends here at the university. I have taken two USI courses this semester: Krav Maga (self-defence) and Pilates. But I also do a lot of things off campus.” She now has enough German to cope with everyday life in Austria. She will continue her studies in Klagenfurt for another year and start learning Japanese as early as this summer.