Dominik Vinke

How the Master of International Business is preparing this Fulbright Scholar for a career with a global focus

Dominik Vinke (MIB ’21) is set to complete his Master of International Business this summer. The Germany-native came to the University of Florida as a Fulbright Scholar. Read more about Dominik and how the Master of International Business (MIB) program is preparing him for a career with a global focus.

Dominik Vinke

Q: Please tell us about your background.

Vinke: “I am German, 24 years old, and speak German, English, and Spanish fluently, with some basic Chinese, which I learned for about two years and put into practice during an internship with SAIC Volkswagen in Shanghai, China. I am a first-generation student and got my undergrad degree from the Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences, which has a partnership with UF.”

Q: Why did you join the MIB program?

Vinke: “I was working together with UF throughout my entire undergrad degree. My university offers a summer program, which used to be hosted on the UF-side by Dr. James (“Jim”) Leary (now retired). I was working as a tutor/organizer for the UF-students in Germany, who I went on trips with and showed them around Osnabrück (which is my hometown). Through this work, I got to know various UF students, heard more about the university itself, and even visited Gainesville/UF myself in 2018, two years prior to starting my master’s degree here. Hence, I had a good impression of what awaits me here and was excited to come here. When I got nominated for a Fulbright scholarship in December of 2019, I only applied to one university in the U.S. – UF – and got accepted.”

Dominik Vinke poses for a photo by the ocean

Q: What did you enjoy the most in the MIB program?

Vinke: “I enjoyed the short, fast-paced classes, that always have a practical focus. They are not research-heavy, which is just what I was looking for in a degree. Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, my experience here has been much different than it would have been under normal times. Luckily, I was able to take part in one in-person class, and it was so fascinating to be able to study in-person, in a classroom with professor again, to be able to fully focus on the class for the two-hour time.

Furthermore, I like that the MIB program allows students to tailor their schedule to their needs and interests, as 16 credits are electives. That way, I was able to take MBA and MSF classes that I was really interested in, but normally would not have been a part of my curriculum. Thanks to [MIB Program Associate Director] Andrea Kim, as she always ensured that everyone could get into the classes they wanted to. In addition, I really appreciate all the different events that Business Career Services was hosting. Through some of them I even made professional connections with people in my desired field of work in Germany.”

Q: What was your experience as a Fulbright Scholar?

Dominik Vinke poses for a photo on a bridge in a city in Europe. Vinke: “I am deeply honored to have been nominated for such a prestigious scholarship and to have had the chance to study in the United States. However, for a long time, it was uncertain if I could even take advantage of the scholarship. I got nominated for the scholarship back in December 2019, shortly after the pandemic hit, and up until mid-July 2020 the U.S. embassy in Germany was closed, which would have made coming to the U.S. impossible. Up until then, it was a mix of gratitude for having received the scholarship and great uncertainty if I was even able to make use of it.

Luckily, at last minute, the embassy reopened, and I was able to commence my graduate degree. Here in Florida, all Fulbright activities from the Northeast Florida Chapter Fulbright Association were cancelled during COVID-19 and still are. This made it a lot harder to get to know other Fulbrighters. Fulbright did organize various online events, but in these events Fulbrighters participated from all across the U.S., which was cool to see, but few were actually studying in Florida. During my stay, I got to know a few Fulbrighters through UF-wide Fulbright groups on WhatsApp. In the end of May, I then ended up travelling with other Fulbrighters from around the world, most of whom were studying in New York, to the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, which was a really fun trip.”

Q: What internships did you do as an undergraduate student?

Dominik Vinke takes a selfie on a lookout with a city in the background. Vinke: “I did various internships around the world during my undergrad. My first internship was in Auckland, New Zealand, the second one in Guadalajara, Mexico, the third in Shanghai, China, and then I did two more back in Germany. Both in Shanghai and in Germany I did an internship with Volkswagen. I am really interested in the field of new mobility and hope to find a job in management consulting, where I can work on projects around this topic.”

Q: Where do you see yourself 5 years from today?

Vinke: “In five years’ time, I see myself living and working in Berlin or Hamburg. My girlfriend, who is from Colombia, and I want to move there together. Professionally, I want to be working in Management Consulting, somewhere with a great team, as the right people can transform every job into a good time.”

Q: Tell us 3 cool things about you.  

Vinke: “I love travelling, so much that I have been on every continent and to 40+ countries and counting.

I am about to go on a cross-country road trip from Florida to California.

Back in Germany, in my free time, I ride my own motorbike or go scuba diving.”