Max Weber Fellows Alumni about their EUI and MWP Experience
For me, the Max Weber Programme has been a crucial step in my academic career.
Having been partly in France and partly in Germany for both my undergraduate and my graduate education, I was curious to see academic environments beyond these two countries in order to further widen my horizons. In hindsight, I must say that getting the Max Weber Fellowship was probably the best opportunity I could get for this.
It gave me a unique international experience in which one is not a foreigner while other colleagues are not, as at the EUI, there is “no host and no guest”.
The year in Florence gave me the challenge and joy of being in a multilingual environment, of experiencing and savouring the pleasure of discussing the same topic in more than one language, as well as the richness of different academic traditions.
Other benefits I experienced included the opportunity to teach graduate students; intense professional training, for example for job interview situations; and precious support in applications for future fellowships, both through workshops and through the possibility to use the programme’s infrastructure.
Last but not least, both the Max Weber Programme and the Institute community at large have given me the opportunity to form some of the most wonderful friendships in my life.
Christian Kühner, Max Weber Fellow 2010-2011, HEC
Once at the EUI I immediately realized that the MWP was something more than a very good post-doctoral programme. I found a fantastic research environment where everyone can express (and develop) their skills to the best, thanks to the attention, professionalism and friendship of a community of people genuinely committed to a profound cultural mission.
The MWP has been a turning point in my career: it has opened the door for me to incredible experiences and it was an amazing experience in itself.
Being part of the MWP community has been a privilege, I arrived at the EUI in a crucial moment of my professional life and working with that community and being surrounded by it has made everything easier.
It is perhaps the quality of the MWP team – expressed in enthusiasm, energy, co-operation, openness and receptivity – combined with the EUI self-evident rigorous academic framework that allows the MWP to engender such a reaction and such admiration in the academic community.
Giuseppe Martinico, Max Weber Fellow 2010-2011, LAW
A graduate education provides us with the opportunity to learn all that can be known in our particular field of inquiry, but perhaps falls short in preparing us to be members of an academic community.
The Max Weber Programme fills this void and provides the resources necessary for a seamless transition into academia.
The Programme provides expertise and training in tangible areas of resumé improvement: what makes a good presentation, what strategies should be followed when submitting research, how to write a grant proposal, how to be an effective adviser of graduate research, and so on.
Perhaps more importantly, the Programme provides a setting that brings together different ideas, and challenges us to think outside of our particular field of research. This synthesis of knowledge and catalyzation of thought is crucial as we continue maturing into scholars with ideas and policy suggestions that carry weight outside the academic sphere.
Matthew Hoelle, Max Weber Fellow 2010-2011, ECO
The Max Weber Programme is like all the good things in life: the further away they are, the more you realize how good they were.
Here are three situations that make me feel this way. First, whenever I update my webpage provided by the Max Weber Programme, which I still use. Second, whenever I meet a Fellow, even if she is from a different year - we share a few memories and I feel part of a large and growing community. And finally, whenever I recognize how much I have broadened my understanding outside my field of specialization.
In a nutshell, the Max Weber Programme gives you practical support, companionship and knowledge.
Alexander Kriwoluzky, Max Weber Fellow 2008-2009, ECO
A Max Weber Fellowship is probably one of the best things that can happen to you as a young academic.
I went to Villa La Fonte in the hope of accomplishing some post-doctoral research, but I soon realized that this year held many more opportunities: from the stimulating academic practice training, to inspiring discussions with faculty, researchers and fellows, to the unforgettable experience of living in one of the most delightful cultural and culinary contexts.
All this contributes to a highly fruitful post-doctoral programme, both intellectually as well as socially. As many of my fellows, I will keep the close and lasting friendships with a wonderful group of scholars as the most- treasured souvenir of this year.
Silja Häusermann, Max Weber Fellow 2008-2009, SPS
Describing the Max Weber Programme as an enriching experience would be an understatement. It has been so much more.
As a historian, I learned to analyse evidence carefully and use the arguments from other disciplines in the social sciences.
Before the year at the Villa la Fonte, I would never have imagined chairing a workshop on game theory and the sixteenth-century art market. Nevertheless, the interesting Max Weber Lectures, the animated discussions with the Fellows in economics and a crash course in game theory for social scientists enabled me to do so successfully.
Equally, I became skilled in adopting comparative and transnational approaches in my own research. Since then, this methodological framework has become the keystone of my postdoctoral research on sixteenth-century noblemen and their cross-border strategies between France and the Netherlands.
So as a scholar, there is the era 'before' the MWP, and the one 'after'. Still, the most rewarding part of the MWP experience consisted of making friends in one of the most beautiful places in Tuscany. The year may have passed too quickly, but fortunately those contacts stay. My (research) community has now opened up to New York, Montreal, Hong Kong, Zürich, Vienna, Amsterdam and Berlin...
Violet Soen, Max Weber Fellow 2008-2009, HEC
The MW Fellowship gave me time to work on my research. For several years afterward my professional activities and publications can be traced to research ideas and collaborations that started at that time. The MWF activities were a major source of inspiration for my work as a Lecturer at Nottingham University, as a teacher and manager of our postgraduate programme.
The year provided plenty of opportunities to meet researchers from my generation and established scholars who were based at or passed through the EUI. We all felt like becoming members of a family of young professional scholars with the EUI at its centre and it still feels so today.
Jan-Hinrik Meyer-Sahling, Max Weber Fellow 2007-2008