Aston German graduate among 30 Ones to Watch 2016

Karina Burrowes, who graduated from Aston University with a BSc in German in 2011, has been selected as one of 30 Ones to Watch 2016 by Brummel Magazine. In their fourth annual Ones to Watch list, they celebrate “the breadth, performance and achievement of bright young talent in London’s financial services sector and allied fields”. Nominees are required to be under 40 years of age and an outperformer in their market and, beyond that, need to demonstrate drive, energy and an entrepreneurial spirit. Additionally, the judges looked for evidence of a nominee’s holistic contribution to the organisation, whether internally, as a leader of a networking or advocacy group, or externally, as a champion of a charity, mentoring programme or other such project.

Karina joined the Bloomberg graduate scheme in 2011 and currently holds the position of EMEA technical support manager.

Here’s what Brummel has to say about her:

Burrowes joined Bloomberg as a graduate in 2011 and has progressed from individual contributor to leader, then manager in less than five years.
A co-leader of the Bloomberg Women’s Community, Burrowes has a strong interest in gender diversity and is an advocate for a number of women in the technical-support department. She has organised events on topics linked to diversity and inclusion, from panel discussions to a workshop for leaders on male advocacy, which explored ways of tackling workplace gender issues.

Karina, congratulations from the German staff at Aston and all the best for your future endeavors!

Guest post: Life after graduation

Today’s guest post is from Ben Young, an Aston graduate who now lives in Munich.


Hawidere and Grüße aus München!

My name is Benjamin Young, I’m a 25 year-old Aston graduate who is currently living and working in Munich, southern Germany. I studied on the International Business & Modern Languages (IBML) BSc between 2008-2012 and moved back out shortly after graduating.

After initially moving to Munich in May 2012, I started working for the British Government at the Consulate General in May 2014. My day to day work is with the commercial arm of the Government, working for UK Trade & Investment, helping German firms invest into the UK and providing a route into (and through!) Government from a local perspective. My remit covers advanced engineering & manufacturing with a heavy focus on the railways, so I am often working with large German companies such as Siemens, Deutsche Bahn and BMW. The skills that I learned at Aston, and vitally the combination between applied business subjects and language skills, was really key to me hitting the ground running in this job.

The Ambassador’s Residence in Vienna – there is still always time for tea, even in Austria!
The Ambassador’s Residence in Vienna – there is still always time for tea, even in Austria!

Outside of my main duties there is more general, Consular work to be done to show off the UK to the Germans, widen our network and organize visits from British delegations. I was part of the organizing group for the HM Queen Elizabeth Royal State Visit earlier this year, and was fortunate enough to be with the delegation on the Frankfurt leg of the trip to the Roemer and historic city hall, and garnering a surprising amount of camera time! As well as this, we still organize a Queen’s Birthday Party each year (she is yet to attend), and I am often asked to represent the UK at interesting events such as the maiden voyage of the National Express trains linking Cologne, Bonn and …, from which I am writing this blog post- it’s a far shout from the old National Express coach station in Digbeth!

I feel very fortunate to have studied at Aston and there’s no doubt in my mind that it has helped me greatly so far in my career. Although I do occasionally feel the pangs of homesickness (as a season ticket holder at West Bromwich Albion, it has been particularly tough), I have at least been able to switch the Birmingham Christmas Markets for the real thing – and there is of course Oktoberfest!

I’m happy to speak with any prospective or current students or indeed upcoming graduates should you have any questions about working for the British Government overseas, moving countries or my course studies – please do feel free to get in touch.

Aston German Graduate Wins Prestigious Scholarship

Dr. Stefan Manz, Head of German and dissertation supervisor, congratulating Jekaterina on a student prize during the graduation ceremony in 2013
Dr. Stefan Manz, Head of German and dissertation supervisor, congratulating Jekaterina on a student prize during the graduation ceremony in 2013

Aston Graduate Jekaterina Grigorjeva awarded Euro 29,500 to do Master of Public Policy in Berlin

We are proud to announce a fantastic student achievement. Jekaterina graduated from our International Business and Modern Languages (German) programme in 2013. She writes about her grant, her aspirations, and the support she received from Aston:


Being a convinced European my biggest aspiration has always been to contribute to the development of the common European foreign policy. By winning the Future of Europe Stipend I am now able to hit the envisaged road by undertaking my studies in Master of Public Policy at the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin. I am expecting it to be a very intense, highly demanding degree, which should prepare me for the real world of policy making. Prior to the beginning of my studies in September 2014, I will be working for a member of the German Parliament on an International Parliamentary Scholarship provided by the German government to young people from 28 different countries.

After passing my final year exams at Aston in May 2013, I moved to Germany where I started my job in Mergers & Acquisitions at E.ON SE. After completing an acquisition project of a UK-based energy efficiency company I decided to move to Berlin to undertake a new position, also with E.ON, however in Political Affairs & Corporate Communications, where I am working at the moment.

I would have never been where I am now without the support of Aston University lecturers, who always believed in me. My applications have always been strong thanks to the recommendations and references I received from them. And even now, after I left Aston, I can still rely on valuable advice from my lecturers. I am also absolutely convinced that without the guidance from my dissertation supervisor during the final year of my studies I would have never remained as focused on my objectives as I am now.


Former Aston Student Nick Holzherr Comes Third on “The Apprentice”

The Final Four Copyright 2008 News Group Newspapers Ltd

So Nick did not win the final on BBC 1’s “The Apprentice”. *sniff* However, not only did he manage to come third, effectively beating 13 impressive competitors, he also gained 5000 followers on Twitter – and we are convinced that at least some of them did not exclusively sign up to hear more about his hair.

In Sunday’s finale Lord Sugar preferred to play it safe and decided to invest in Ricky Martin’s recruitment idea. That’s Ricky Martin the entrepreneur and wrestler, not Ricky Martin the flamboyant singer. Even his proud mum calls him Richard, but this year’s winner clearly felt that something was to be gained by associating himself with a completely unrelated Latino show star.

Although this means that Nick’s exciting business project will now not receive the boost of a 250,000 pound investment, our former student appears to be doing well. Already at the weekend there was a lot of interest in his mobile phone app “whisk”  which will help consumers to order recipe ingredients online. Sign up here  to be one of the the first people to hear news on the launch of Nick’s recipe service. A preview app is available here.

We’re sorry you didn’t go all the way, Nick, but we’re convinced that you will continue to be a successful businessman and any exciting news of your future endeavours will be posted here.

Viel Erfolg und alles Gute!

Aston Alumnus in the Final of BBC Show “The Apprentice”

Nick Holzherr, a former German student at Aston, has made it to the final of the popular and notoriously tough BBC show. He had to undergo several extremely challenging tasks for the past ten weeks and is now one of the four lucky ones to compete in the final for a business deal with Lord Sugar worth GBP 250,000.

Let us all keep our fingers crossed for Nick in the final on Sunday!

Scholarly Edition of Hitler’s Mein Kampf Is Published

2015 will see the expiration of the copyright for Adolf Hitler’s controversial memoir “Mein Kampf”. Written while he was in prison for trying to overthrow the Bavarian government in the early 1920s, Hitler’s book outlines some of his key political ideas, including his strong antisemitic sentiments which led to the Holocaust. Understandably a bestseller in the years of Nazi rule, the book was effectively banned after the Second World War. The state of Bavaria holds the rights and stopped all efforts to re-issue the text in German.  This has now changed and a commented edition has been published. In an interview with Spiegel Online International Christian Hartmann, the project leader, talks about the controversial decision to produce this scholarly edition of a text which might still inspire racial hatred and encourage Nazi ideas in today’s readers.

Dr Stefan Baumgarten

For decades the book was not publicly available in Germany. After the war it was feared that its influence on impressionable young people and unrepenting old Nazi supporters posed a threat to the new German republic. In the decades to follow, most people who had access to the book had most likely come across it in their grandparents’ attic. In the 1930s a copy of “Mein Kampf” was a popular wedding gift and many copies of the book had survived the transition into democracy, stashed away behind old curtains and Christmas decorations.

Never a good read, this vitriolic polemic written in longwinded bad prose was mystified and made strangely attractive by the fact that it was not publicly available. That changed around the turn of the millennium when internet trading started and young neo-nazis could order English translations of “Mein Kampf” from Soon it could also be downloaded  as an e-book. German authorities were not pleased but powerless.

Outside of Germany the book  had always been freely available and there is a surprisingly large number of translations. In English alone, there are more than a dozen different renditions. The analyis of these translations was the focus of a PhD thesis written at Aston University and published as a monograph in 2009. Stefan Baumgarten, now Lecturer in German at Bangor University, analyses in his study the translation processes linked to this politically sensitive text and explores the complexities of power relations and ideological management involved in the production of translations.

Apprentice Contender and Aston Graduate Nick Holzherr to survive third round of the show

“German lecturers at Aston University are all proud to see Nick performing well on The Apprentice”, says Stefan Manz, Head of German. He was an outstanding student on our International Business and German programme, graduating with a First Class degree. During his four years with us he perfected all the skills that are necessary to do well in professional life: team-work, leadership, communicating, thinking outside the box – and he’s just a really nice guy. Go for it, Nick!

Nick studied International Business and Modern Languages at Aston from 2005-2009 and chose the university for its good ranking in graduate employability. He funded a society establishing business links with companies across the West Midlands, which soon became Aston’s biggest student’s society.

As part of his degree, Nick spent some time abroad on a placement in Germany, notably with Deutsche Bank, which gave him first-hand experience with international financial players. He then funded a coffee-business selling high-quality fair-trade coffee named “Go-go Coffee to Go”, the business-plan for which won him the American-German business plan competition. Since 2010, he ventured more into technology and advertisement, he is now linking mini-websites to advertisements via QR codes. Last year, Nick was awarded the title “Birmingham Young Business Personality of the Year”.


The Birmingham Post has recently published an article on the young entrepreneur from Aston: Read the article here.