Students' thesis featured in scientific magazine

Alicia Hänsel finished her Bachelors’ degree in Media and Business Psychology at HMKW in Frankfurt with an outstanding evaluation. The topic of her thesis is interesting enough for the abstract to be featured in a scientific magazine. She gained experience as a working student in a coaching company and is planning on improving her skills in a Masters’ program in Business Psychology next semester.

Your thesis was rated “very good” and your abstract was published in a nutritional magazine. What was the topic and what made you choose it regarding your course of studies?

The topic was „the mutual influence of personality structure, selective use of instagram and orthorexia nervosa (= obsessive focus on healthy eating)". I was very intrigued by the field of personality from the beginning of my studies, so it was clear to me pretty soon that this was going to be part of my thesis as well. “Instagram” is a very interesting component especially in our time because there are no studies in that field yet even though we use the app daily. “Orthorexia Nervosa” I did not really know before writing my thesis. I talked a lot about diets with my supervisor, so we came to the idea of including that relatively unknown phenomenon in my thesis.

How did your research and the writing process go and how was the abstract of your thesis being published?

The research was pretty time-consuming but also very important to make the writing easier. I decided on a specific part of personality psychology very quickly in order to not get overrun by too much information. There is very little material to orthorexia nervosa which helped me concentrate on the significant facts of the subject. I think especially the exclusivity of my work was the main reason for the publication. The topic is specific because it includes three unattached elements (personality, instagram, orthorexia nervosa) and also because orthorexia nervosa is still very unknown.

You were an intern at Liebherr, one of the biggest construction equipment manufacturers. How was your time there and what were your biggest learnings?

At Liebherr I worked in personnel marketing and was instructed with a communication concept to help improve the companies’ reputation. I realized that in a business that big it can be challenging to get the approval from above in order to get forward with a project. My biggest realization was that working in a traditional company is not suitable for me personally and that realizing my true potential is very important to me.

Right now, you are working in a coaching company. What are your responsibilities there and how are your studies connected to that?

I mainly create workshops with my boss about topics like “teams, leadership, communication, personality, stress management, conflict management…” and attend those as well. Other than the thematic overlap from my studies I benefit from important know-how I learned as a student, for example presentation skills, the ability to work precisely or to communicate in a working environment. 

What are your plans for the future and what are your tips for students of your field who want to gain as much experience as you?

After finishing my Masters’ degree in business psychology, I want to gain more experience in coaching as well as personnel development so I can then find an optimal path for me. In my studies I learned that you can only be truly happy if your work makes you happy. That exactly is my goal. My tip for everyone who is studying is that a high attendance rate in classroom sessions is important. You can not only catch everything that is relevant during the lecture but a lot of times there are discussions and talks happening which can be very valuable.