Students in Portrait: Lisa Boenke – The Listener

2020-04-20 The 21-year-old studies the European Programme “International Joint Master of Research in Work and Organizational Psychology”. Despite the Corona pandemic she stays optimistic about her course of studies, also because the digital semester start at Leuphana went smoothly.

Lisa Boenke is not a spokesperson. She prefers listening, observes and tries to understand humans. The influence of different cultures on personality development is especially interesting to her. “That´s why it was clear to me long before I finished school that I would like to study abroad”, says the 21-year-old. Lisa Boenke comes from North Rhine-Westphalia, the Netherlands was a logical choice - especially because of the opportunity there to study in English. The Rhinelander completed her psychology degree at the University of Twente. “The studies were very interdisciplinary. We learned programming, for example, or dealt with the philosophy of science”, recalls Lisa Boenke.

Her Masters should meet similar requirements. The graduate began her search – and came across the study programme “International Joint Master of Research in Work and Organizational Psychology”. It is studied at three European universities: Leuphana in Lüneburg, Maastricht University and Universitat de València and concludes with a joint degree. Lisa Boenke just finished her first semester in the Netherlands: “For me, this programme is a fantastic opportunity to study different cultures, but also to prepare myself specifically for an academic career. Psychology as an independent field of research is comparatively young and only emerged around 1870. Therefore, there are still many unanswered questions”, says Lisa Boenke. She feels well-prepared for a doctorate through her studies: "We have a lot of courses in statistics and methods. That is a big plus.” She also experiences the international exchange as enriching: “Although Germany and the Netherlands border each other, their mentalities are very different. In the Netherlands, everything is very egalitarian; professors, for example, are called by their first name”,  she reports.

“That worked out really well!”

In the meantime Lisa Boenke is back again in Germany and is now studying at Leuphana. She was particularly positively surprised by the start of the semester, which went smoothly despite the Corona pandemic: “It worked out really well! Due to the small group size in our study programme, the online seminars via video conferences also easily implemented.” At the beginning of the semester, the students dealt with the topic of negotiations. “Leuphana is the only one of the three universities that offers negotiation as a subject. That's why I would like to write my Masters thesis here. The content convinces me”, says the student.

Lisa Boenke has been interested in industrial and organizational psychology for a long time already: “This subject is very formative and has concrete benefits for the whole of society.” At the moment, for example, she is working on the topic of the home office and its impact on social relationships: “How do people create boundaries between work and home? In today's situation, work can quickly take over and annoy partners, because they feel that they aren´t getting enough attention”, explains the Masters student.

In the winter semester, she plans to continue her studies in Spain: “After Maastricht and Lüneburg, Valencia is the third stop. I would be very sad if it cannot take place as planned due to the pandemic, but I am also open to other solutions. So far everything is running very smoothly at the university despite Corona.” But later, when she has finished her Masters degree, Lisa Boenke would very much like to do research and work in different countries.

Further Information

The study programme is funded by the German Academic Exchange Service´s programme "Integrated International Degree Programmes with Double Degree". The scholarship holders receive 860 EURO per month for the two five-month study phases in Maastricht and Valencia; in addition, a one-time travel allowance of 200 EURO is paid.

International Joint Master of Research in Work and Organizational Psychology