More than 100 DLG and MAIS alumni as well as former participants in the DA’s Executive Programmes have been inducted into the DA's Alumni Hall of Fame since 2010. The DA initiated the project to honour the DA’s most distinguished alumni and to show students what they, too, can achieve with excellent education and hard work. In 2020-21, for the eight time our Hall-of-Famers supported a student via the Alumni Hall of Fame Scholarship.

This scholarship, funded by donations from members of the DA's Alumni Hall of Fame, is available for second-year students.

Alumni Hall of Fame Scholarship Awardees 2020-21

Sarah Noemi Weckbecker

Introducing Sarah Noemi Weckbecker

MAIS 24 student and Alumni Hall of Fame Scholarship awardee 2020-21

What brought you to the DA and why have you chosen MAIS?

Ever since high school, I pursued a career at the Foreign Ministry in Germany in the future, with a focus on human rights and economic development. The MAIS programme offered me not only a wide range of subjects but also professors from the diplomatic service with first-hand experiences. The international community with different academic backgrounds further spurred my interest and motivation to study at the DA.

What impact did the Alumni Hall of Fame Scholarship have on your second academic year?

The COVID pandemic has brought unexpected consequences and changed all our lives in various facets. The scholarship, therefore, eased the financial burden on my family and provided a great financial support. Thereby, it allowed me to fully focus on my future career: I was able to do an internship at the Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development in Berlin in addition to my studies.

What were some of the highlights of your time at the DA?

I would say that my personal highlights were the Christmas Extravaganza in December 2019 and the Charity Ball in February 2020. Our student life has changed dramatically due to COVID-19 ever since. On the one hand, I learned to appreciate these shared memories even more. On the other hand, who can say they went through a global pandemic with their friends at university? So, the long-term friends I made in these two years have been my personal highlight.

What are your professional aspirations?

As cheesy as it may sound, my endeavour has always been to bring more justice into the world and to have a lasting impact with my work. I have always wanted to change the lives of others. To me, this never meant travelling to orphanages, playing football and teaching English: I aspire to make a sustainable contribution and provide help for self-help with my work.

Who are the people you would like to meet and work with in the future?

Generally speaking, I want to work with people who are not satisfied with the status-quo and strive for change. I would be honoured to work with women, such as Malala Yousafzai, on projects protecting human rights while improving the education standards of young girls around the world.

How would you want to be involved with DA’s alumni network?

The DA’s alumni network is a great opportunity to share experiences and stay connected with like-minded people. Of course, I would like to support DA students in the future - just as I was supported this year. Thereby, I hope to give something back to the community that welcomed me once so warmly and supported me financially.

Sarah Noemi Weckbecker, a 24-year old German student, who holds a BA in European Studies from Maastricht University, answered our questionnaire. She is enrolled in the DA's 24th MAIS programme.

[April 2021]

Alumni Hall of Fame Scholarship Awardees 2019-20

Konstantin Oedl

Introducing Konstantin Oedl

ETIA 12 student and Alumni Hall of Fame Scholarship awardee 2019-20

© DA/Peter LechnerWhat brought you to the DA and why have you chosen ETIA?

I decided to apply for the ETIA programme, as I was looking for an education focusing on the topic of sustainable development. The combination of its various dimensions, the political, the economical, the social and the environmental, embodies the foundation of what I wanted to include into my expertise. Furthermore, the dual education of politics and diplomacy as well as technlogical understanding allows me to work competently within this field.

What impact did the Alumni Hall of Fame Scholarship have on your second academic year?

The HoF Scholarship strongly supported me within a personal process of transformation. Through not worrying about my income and bills I have to pay, I certainly could put all my focus on my studies and my future career. Now, in the moment of almost being finished with my programme I feel much more confindent in succesfully graduating. 

What was your personal highlight of your time at the DA?

There are a few things I have to mention. First of all, interacting with my colleagues and building long lasting relationships can be seen as the centre of studying at the DA. Secondly, I see the academic input I received as very valuable for my life. Furthermore, I have to mention that the experience of working under constant pressure during this intense study, helped me to build up a strong skill set in dealing with all sorts of tasks at the same time and dealing with them in a much more constructive way. 

How do you think you can contribute to changing the world after finishing your studies?

Changing the world does not only start with the wishes and thoughts of doing something, but with the first steps of actually contributing. The knowledge I have gained throughout these two years taught me various different ways how to approach problems and how to come up with effective solutions. Especially, the critical thinking about challenges serves me as an valuable tool how to do things differently. Wherever I will put time of my life into, it will be enriched by the knowledge and experience I gained during my studies.  

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

One superpower I would love to have is to be able to enhance and amplify the best potential and good of people in general. That we all contribute to this world in the best way possible and reduce suffering to a minimum. 

Who are the people you would like to meet and work with in the future?

I see so many great people out there. Active, inspiring, strong and dynamic people. People who can adapt to various situations and develop great solutions and positive change. Even if it sometimes does not seem to be the biggest change, people should stay confindent about their little impact. Even the smallest change can start a chain reaction of positive events. These are the people I want to meet and work with. 

How and in which form would you want to be involved with DA’s alumni network?

I see the DA alumni network as a very good possibility of connecting, supporting and exchanging between previous students. I am happy to actively take part within the network to support each other and enhance the individual and collective potential of everybody. 

Konstantin Oedl, a 27-year old Austrian student, who holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Vienna, answered our questionnaire. He is enrolled in the DA's 12th ETIA programme.

[March 2020]

Anja Vujaković

Introducing Anja Vujaković

ETIA 12 student and Alumni Hall of Fame Scholarship awardee 2019-20

© DA/Peter LechnerWhat brought you to the DA and why have you chosen ETIA? 

Observing and analyzing the global political landscape, I became mortified by the fact that the vast majority of global leaders were ill-equipped and did not possess the basic knowledge to efficiently address some of the most pressing issues of this century – the environmental ones. Thinking ecologically does not mean thinking like a biologist, chemist, economist or an engineer – environmental science is an integrated science. It is very complex and ETIA programme is the solution. 

What impact did the Alumni Hall of Fame Scholarship have on your second academic year? 

It brought me a sense of security during the stressful months filled with exacting seminars and exams. I could focus solely on studying and advancing academically and did not have to worry about paying the bills for a couple of months. Additionally, it contributed to my decision to adopt a cat, which is something that has brought me a lot of joy. 

What was your personal highlight of your time at the DA? 

Personally, my most cherished memories of the DA will be those of late nights in the reading room during the exam weeks, ordering fast food and being exhausted together. What is special about the DA is this shared feeling of hunger for knowledge and everyone really wanting to be there, late in the night, learning and becoming better people. On a more professional note, extraordinary career services and the rich and engaged alumni network is also something that sets the DA apart from most other Universities.

How do you think you can contribute to changing the world after finishing your studies? 

The DA and particularly the ETIA programme have given me the gift of knowledge – a kind of knowledge I did not have before I started here. I have learned so much in such a short amount of time and I believe that sharing this knowledge with others, both in my personal and professional life, is how we all can do our part in changing the world for the better. Making better decisions than the leaders before us is a responsibility we all share, and I know no better place than the DA to enable young people to do so. 

If you could have one superpower, what would it be? 

I would like to have the ability to control time – to stop it, stretch it, bend it, rewind or fast forward it. Who wouldn’t like to be able to turn back time and prevent things from happening, or do things differently, be at two places at the same time? The possibilities are infinite.

Who are the people you would like to meet and work with in the future? 

I do not have particular people in mind, but I do know that I thrive in international environments with equal opportunities. I would like to meet and work with people who are constantly learning and improving themselves and who do not seek to compete, but to cooperate instead. 

How and in which form would you want to be involved with DA’s alumni network?

These past two years at the DA have been so intense that I find it hard to imagine my life without somehow being involved with the Academy. I do not know where my career will take me, but I hope to be able to participate actively in a variety of Club DA’s events, gatherings and other activities. One day, when I am more advanced in my career and I feel like I have ripe knowledge to share, I would like to sign up as a mentor as well.

Anja Vujaković, a 26-year old Bosnian student, who majored in communication and social linguistics at the University of Vienna, answered our questionnaire. She is enrolled in the DA's 12th ETIA programme.

[March 2020]