News | DAAD Prize

Her energy and enthusiasm are infectious

Adelya Fatykhova receives the DAAD Prize for outstanding achievements of international students 2018. The American student with Tatar roots is studying International Business Management.


“I've been very lucky”, says Adelya Fatykhova over and over again as she recounts her life story. Behind all of the 24-year-old’s achievements lie hard work, enthusiasm and the willingness and flexibility to explore new horizons and to make the most of every opportunity presented to her. The HWR Berlin is honouring these exceptional achievements and Adelya Fatykhova’s commitment to sharing her knowledge and voluntarily supporting other people by selecting the International Business Management student for this year's DAAD award, which includes prize money of 1,000 Euros. 

The Uzbeki student belongs to the Tatar ethnic group. Her family moved to Russia and eventually emigrated to the United States when Adelya Fatykhova was seven years old because they were suffering as a result of the repression of their minority ethnic group. Adelya Fatykhova’s excellent results in her high school diploma secured admission to the prestigious McGill University in Montreal, Canada, where she enrolled in Bioinformatics. Through a scholarship programme run by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), she successfully completed a three-month research internship in Biophysics at the Jülich Research Centre in Berlin. “That was a complete paradigm leap for me”, says Fatykhova enthusiastically. “I was thrilled that students in Germany have the opportunity to do research and are even given responsibility for it”. And she immediately felt at home in the German capital.

Her exam results at McGill University were excellent and so Fatykhova was successful in applying for a scholarship at the Hasso Plattner Institute in Potsdam, underwent a six-month internship at SAP in communications and marketing - and was enthused by this completely new professional field. Tuition fees and living expenses in Canada eventually turned out to be too high for her family. So the young academic with enormous scientific potential ended her studies following her third year at McGill and moved to Germany to continue studying and to find work to finance her project. “I was very fortunate to be able to rejoin SAP and even more fortunate to be able to combine my bioinformatics expertise with public relations at SAP Health”, says the student, who works in both divisions. This time she wanted to learn more about economic relationships and why products and services are successful or unsuccessful in the marketplace. Adelya Fatykhova enthuses about how “the International Business Management programme at the HWR Berlin is perfect in this respect” and about how practical the course is: “cool new topics” are covered and contact with fellow students and professors is very close because work takes place in small study groups. All of this has contributed to her above-average grade average of 1.4 in the seventh semester. She will write her bachelor thesis next semester.

Adelya Fatykhova has arrived. “I am amazed that for the first time in my life I feel really at home, feel comfortable in this culture and in this country, even though I don’t always understand everything in German”, beams the likeable young woman. “I've lived through difficult periods in my life ever since I was a child and have learned a lot from it. I want to give to others the selfless support that my family and I have experienced time and again when we’ve needed help because everything was so different”. Adelya taught Cross Cultural Communication at the Summer School for Refugees at the HWR Berlin and at the non-profit ReDI School of Digital Integration. She is also creating a website that brings together information about education provision for refugees, and is involved in projects that offer newly-arrived young people career opportunities in art and fashion.

The DAAD Prize has been awarded at the HWR Berlin since 2006 and Adelya Fatykhova is a “more than worthy winner that the university is very proud of”, stresses Prof. Andrea Rumler in her address in appreciation of the International Business Management student.