Tanmay Pathak, M.Sc in Global Logistics and Supply Chain Management, class of 2023, is this year’s recipient of the esteemed DAAD prize, which honors the exceptional accomplishments of foreign students studying at German universities and comes with a €1,000 endowment. Pathak’s role as a KLU student ambassador, his facilitation of cultural change, and contributions to advancing social causes, both in Hamburg and in India, make him a worthy winner of the award.
The DAAD prize honours not only academic achievements but social and intercultural engagement at KLU. What activities and projects have you been involved in at the university?
Since the start of my studies at KLU in 2021, I’ve been part of the student ambassador program and was involved in open days as well as marketing and PR programs, including the Welcome Week in 2022 and the university’s Buddy Program. I participated in events such as KLU Goes Live, sharing my experience as an international student. I was also a workshop manager, organizing consultancy and interview preparation workshops for KLU students. And I have been interacting with prospective students on social media, answering queries and making them feel part of the KLU community.
Why did you take on the role of student ambassador?
I like to communicate with people, to share my experiences and network, so during school I was on the student council, organizing sports competitions. During my undergraduate degree in my hometown, Indore, I was involved with the National Service Scheme, organizing blood donation drives and raising awareness about sexually transmitted diseases. So, I like to get involved and communicate with people.
What activities have you found particularly rewarding?
KLU open days were great as we got to meet prospective students, tell them about KLU and help them make the right decision. I remember being at the same place in my life, when you have so many options and get confused. Clarifying the doubts and questions of prospective students was a very rewarding experience. Outside of university, I would say things that involve social causes. I was recently part of a pride event, representing Hapag Lloyd, where I’m a working student in the strategic office. This was the first time I attended a pride event and showed my support for the LGBTQIA+ community, so that really feels rewarding. Apart from that, my involvement with the National Service Scheme in India. It’s very rewarding doing my part for society.
Tell us a little bit about the intercultural exchanges you've been involved in at KLU.
It’s our culture that we celebrate birthdays together in India, so here in Hamburg I try to involve all of my international friends. At our parties we make Indian food and we dance to Indian songs. I also was involved in KLU’s cultural exchange initiative last year. There was a Holi (Hindu Festival of Colors) party in Hamburg and my classmates from different nationalities, along with my friends, went and I explained to them what Holi faith is and how it how it is celebrated in India. I also took my colleagues at Hapag Lloyd out for an Indian dinner, to introduce them to my culture and also tell them about things and places in India.
What does winning the DAAD prize mean to you?
When I got the email about this prize, I was very happy that my university is acknowledging my efforts and my involvement in the activities in and outside of KLU. I like being more inclusive and being more connected to other people and cultures. This was really special because this was something I enjoy, apart from my studies, to be involved with people and being recognized for such a thing means a great deal to me.
What advice would you give to students starting KLU?
Take part in the different clubs and activities organised by KLU. These activities not only help in building different skills but also help you building a network. As well as getting to know my classmates better, I have met some wonderful colleagues through these clubs and events.
What are your plans after you've graduated?
I just started my master thesis and I’m searching for a full-time job, most probably with Hapag Lloyd. I want to stay in Hamburg because whenever I go somewhere and come back it feels like home. All of my friends in Germany are here and we are like a small family.