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CBS International Business School, 12 April 2019

Alumni interview with Sonja Handke

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After her Bachelor's degree in "Media Business Administration", Sonja Handke said "Yes" to the management of the bridal fashion business "Festtruhe" (party box). The step into the self-employment was also a resolution against a media career and one of the best decisions of her life. Thanks to the business administration and soft skills courses from her studies, she was able to gain a foothold quickly and would like to expand by taking over further branches.

CBS: Why did you apply for a Bachelor's degree in Media Business Administration on our campus?

Sonja Handke: After graduating from high school, my initial goal was to work in the media industry. But I had also toyed with the idea of entering my mother's bridal fashion business. In my opinion, business studies are ideal, if not essential, for a career in business or successful self-employment.

CBS: What did you like best about studying at CBS?

Sonja Handke: I particularly liked the diversity of the lectures, the internationality and the practical relevance.

CBS: What does a typical working day look like for you today?

Sonja Handke: During the week I do the back office in the morning - i.e. bookkeeping, marketing, personnel matters, customer inquiries, orders, mail and much more. In the afternoon and on weekends, customer traffic begins, so that I coordinate the day-to-day business and the sales and tailor's studio areas.

CBS: What do you like about your work?

Sonja Handke: It's this diversity and the change between customer and supplier contact as well as back office that never makes you bored. Of course, I can consider myself lucky that I am dealing with cheerful customers and beautiful products on a professional level. But globalization is making customers more and more demanding - and this is precisely the challenge that awakens my ambition.

CBS: What typical cliché about your current position doesn't apply?

Sonja Handke: That self-employed people always have time for coffee and an extensive chat. Unfortunately, the opposite is the case, since you have to invest considerably more time than, for example, an employee. And if I don't manage a task for whatever reason, I don't have a colleague to do it.

CBS: What are your career plans for the next few years?

Sonja Handke: Hopefully in the long run I will also take over my mother's four stores and move my store forward.

CBS: How did your studies at CBS prepare you for your current position?

Sonja Handke: For me personally, the basics of business administration were decisive for all my jobs and especially for my step into self-employment. Thanks to Mr Hanisch, my soft skills also developed very well.

CBS: What advice would you give to prospective students?

Sonja Handke: Nowadays it is more important than ever to complete various internships, gain professional experience and establish contacts in the business world.  Meanwhile, the first professional goals often develop. Nevertheless, the students should be open to new paths and not be too focused on one direction.

CBS: Thank you very much for the interview!

Learn more about the CBS Alumni Network

CBS International Business School

CBS International Business School is a state-recognised private university of applied sciences for business. We offer accredited Bachelor's, Master's and MBA degree programmes in German and English on a full-time or part-time basis. Throughout Germany, the university is represented at three locations in Cologne, Mainz, and Potsdam.

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