Julie Meißner,
BMS Phase II student,
BSc TU Dortmund,
MSc TU Berlin

My first interaction with the BMS was when all got started. I was starting my bachelor studies in Berlin and the BMS was set up at about the same time. The impression I got was that something cool was happening and changing in Berlin's math community. There was some construction in the building due to the BMS and there was a whisper around the department about excellent study possibilities in an international environment.

With this impression I left Berlin to go to TU Dortmund and continue my studies there. I liked the place but when it came to write my Bachelor thesis I realized that the possibilities in Berlin, the bigger group in combinatorial optimization, and also that all my family was there were good reasons to go back. And then on top of that there was the BMS which should have grown by now, bringing in many international students – There was not really a question about it, I had to go back there. I had been close to choosing international relations as my field of study in the first place, so for me this was a big chance to combine both a bit.

I would say I came with pretty high expectations to the BMS Phase I, so it is actually quite amazing I was not disappointed a minute. Nobody cared that I was sure I wanted to do a Master degree instead of the qualifying exam and that I though it was unlikely I would go for a PhD at the time. Even though it is called a fast-track program, I could take the time to do an internship at Lufthansa Technik and a master thesis with industry cooperation. For sure I did not take the quickest way to start a PhD, but I took the path I wanted to take for it. And I am still thankful that I got a lot of encouragement for it instead of time pressure.

So I would really say that because of the wonderful environment and the great support I got, I decided to stay in the world of academia for a PhD with the BMS. It is a place with lots of opportunities in the form of talks, lectures, and mentors but it lives from the people love the program and its events and are open for ideas and opinions to improve even further.

published in March 2014