Laura Guaglini, B.Sc. Business Administration, class of 2022, has received the prestigious DAAD Prize, which recognizes the outstanding achievements of foreign students studying at German universities and comes with €1,000 in prize money. Guaglini impressed the jury with her extracurricular involvement on and off campus, including representing Kühne Logistics University (KLU) as a student ambassador and supporting social projects in her home country of Brazil.
The DAAD prize honours not only academic achievements but social and intercultural engagement at KLU. What activities and projects have you been involved in at the university?
I've been part of the student ambassador program since I started, and then became lead student ambassador. I was part of the events committee and UniKonnect, and I also was involved with the International Office. They have this buddy programme, so whenever international students come to KLU for their semester abroad they were matched with a student who showed them around. Throughout my time I was always supporting the social media team and every team that needed something.
What motivated you to become a student ambassador?
When I started the KLU’s preparation program, which used to be in Berlin but is going to take place in Hamburg in the future, a KLU student ambassador would connect with us and make us feel part of the KLU community. There were also times KLU invited us to the campus for events and student ambassadors were part of it. I had this good experience with them, so I decided I wanted to also be part of the team.
What activities have been particularly rewarding?
I started just as a normal student ambassador, so you go to fairs and events either on campus, online, or outside campus. You share your KLU student experience with prospective students. I then became lead ambassador and the touch point between the student ambassador community and the Student Recruitment Team and as well leading some projects. So, for example, the Open Day is a big thing for us on campus and, as the lead ambassador, I was the moderator from the student side of it.
You also helped create content for KLU’s social media channels. What did that involve?
I did Instagram lives at online fairs about my experiences at KLU and I would share a little bit of KLU’s study programs. I also did testimonials, for example, for the 10 years anniversary magazine, the KLU website and Instagram. I did lots of videos to invite people to events and I did Instagram takeovers during open days, to show to those not able to join the Open Day what happened at it. A lot of people starting at KLU tell me they feel like they know me, because my face is on a lot of brochures, the website, Instagram and so on.
You support two non-governmental organizations in Brazil. Who are they, and how do you support them?
The first one is BRASA and they are an organization that has in mind that everyone should have the right and means to study abroad. My role in this organization is like a mentor because I know the process of getting into university in the USA and Germany. I help them write their motivation and application letters, and with everything they need to go to study in the US, such as choosing the right university and where they can find the documents they need.
The other organization is Gerando Falcões and focusses helping the poorest in society so that they can also achieve education and a better life. Brazil was hit very hard by Covid, so I did my own campaigns to get money to create these cards that allow people access to a “basic basket”, which is a food basket with essentials you might need for a month or two. Also, in my hometown - São José do Rio Preto in the state of Sao Paulo - I worked with the police to use funds that had been raised by campaigning to go throughout the city distributing milk whenever the winter hits, for example. I was raised from a very young age in my family with the mentality that we always helped if we could.
What advice would you give to students that are joining KLU?
My biggest advice is that they should try to integrate into the community and take part in everything that's offered by participating in classes and in all the clubs and volunteer opportunities such as joining the events committee and UniKonnect, and becoming a student ambassador. We are a small university so there is the chance to know everyone, which I think is cool.
What does winning the DAAD prize mean to you?
I was very happy. My bachelor degree has taken three years, but my story with KLU is over four years, with doing the prep program. I have always been very active and KLU has always been so helpful to me. So that was a way to give back to KLU, and it was fun. To have this recognized was very nice - it was like a grand finale to end my time here.
What do you plan to do after graduating?
I haven't fully planned everything yet but most likely starting a new job. I really liked it here in Hamburg – the mix of modern and old architecture, and how green and close to the water the city is. For now I would like to stay here.
Laura Guaglini on LinkedIn