Students in portrait – Jhan Araja: Jetting across the globe

2019-05-06 The Fi­li­pi­no stu­dent stu­dies In­ter­na­tio­nal Busi­ness Ad­mi­nis­tra­ti­on & En­tre­pre­neurship (IBAE) at the Col­le­ge, works suc­cess­ful­ly in a so­ci­al me­dia team and is wri­ting a no­vel thanks to his com­ple­men­ta­ry stu­dies.

[Translate to Englisch:] Jhan Araja ©Leuphana/Patrizia Jäger

Jhan Ara­ja re­cei­ved some qui­te unusu­al ca­re­er coun­sel­ling: He heard about Leu­pha­na for the first time in Bris­bane, Aus­tra­lia. “I was stu­dy­ing law then. But the sub­ject was too dry for me,” re­calls the 24-year-old. Back-pa­ckers from nort­hern Ger­ma­ny told him about Lüne­burg and the Leu­pha­na. Ara­ja was very in­te­rested: not only could he stu­dy in Eng­lish, but also bring in his dif­fe­rent in­te­rests. “Eco­no­mics is a very im­portant sub­ject and puts me on a firm pro­fes­sio­nal foo­ting. Howe­ver, Leu­pha­na and my com­ple­men­ta­ry stu­dies give me loads of op­por­tu­nities to ap­p­ly my crea­ti­ve po­ten­ti­al”.
For Ara­ja, go­ing to Ger­ma­ny was no dif­fi­cult step to take. He was born in the Phil­ip­pi­nes, his par­ents soon mo­ved to Eng­land with him and his si­blings. Ara­ja's mo­ther is a sought-af­ter nur­se and found a very good job in Lon­don. A few ye­ars la­ter, the fa­mi­ly mo­ved to Aus­tra­lia. But soon, Ara­ja felt the grip of wan­der­lust again: “I wan­ted to be in­de­pen­dent"”. When he went to Ger­ma­ny, his par­ents were par­ti­cu­lar­ly proud. “Ger­man uni­ver­si­ties have a very good re­pu­ta­ti­on in the world,” says Ara­ja.

He is now in his sixth IBAE se­mes­ter and is al­re­a­dy ap­p­ly­ing the skills he ac­qui­red pro­fes­sio­nal­ly. The stu­dent is suc­cess­ful in mar­ke­ting. His Ins­ta­gram fa­shion and tra­vel blogs have over 11,000 fol­lo­wers. He is also part of the so­ci­al me­dia team of a Ham­burg mem­ber of par­li­a­ment. “My cour­se pre­pa­res me very well for the job. Lec­tu­res and se­mi­nars deal not only with eco­no­mics, but also ethics and psy­cho­lo­gy, for ex­amp­le. I can use this know­ledge well in mar­ke­ting. PR is a fu­ture per­spec­tive for me,” says Ara­ja. He par­ti­cu­lar­ly app­re­cia­tes the in­ter­na­tio­nal ori­en­ta­ti­on of the cour­se: “We learn a lot about for­eign mar­kets and will the­re­fo­re en­su­re that are not spa­ti­al­ly li­mi­ted at all la­ter on,” says Ara­ja.

He can ima­gi­ne li­ving in many coun­tries and learning other lan­gua­ges. He has been li­ving in Ger­ma­ny for a good three ye­ars now. He now speaks Ger­man flu­ent­ly. Again and again, he ta­kes cour­ses: “If you can't speak the lan­gua­ge, you miss too much of a coun­try's cul­tu­re”. Jhan li­kes to deal with words. In ad­di­ti­on to his stu­dies and work, he is wri­ting a book about a disa­b­led fri­end: “I'm glad that the uni­ver­si­ty of­fers me so many op­por­tu­nities to de­ve­lop. I lear­ned a lot about crea­ti­ve wri­ting in my com­ple­men­ta­ry stu­dies.”

Ara­ja had a good start at Leu­pha­na right from the start: “The In­ter­na­tio­nal Of­fice is very sup­por­ti­ve. I wasn't even con­fu­sed,” he re­mem­bers. De­s­pi­te suc­ces­ses and many Ger­man fri­ends: Jhan mis­ses his par­ents and si­blings. He the­re­fo­re flies to Aus­tra­lia at least once a year whe­re he en­joys the sun, the cul­tu­re and his fa­mi­ly. Most re­cent­ly, they all ce­le­bra­ted the New Year to­ge­ther in the Phil­ip­pi­nes. Af­ter­wards, Ara­ja vi­si­ted Ja­pan for ano­ther week. The flight from To­kyo to Ham­burg ta­kes about twel­ve hours. Glo­be­trot­ter Jhan spent that time learning.