University of Gothenburg

Meet Sarah Franz

She worked seven years in the ICT industry and now she is doing research on the behaviour of Western multinational firms in Asian emerging economies. Meet Sarah Franz, one of the doctoral students at the Department of Business Administration.

Can you tell a little about yourself? 
- After obtaining my Bachelor degree studying at different universities in Germany, Spain and the UK, I started working for a Japanese IT multinational in Germany. My first job was as a manager international business, taking care of international requests for proposals, followed by five years as a sales consultant. After more than seven years in the ICT industry it was time for a change, and I decided to study a Master program at University of Gothenburg.

What is your research about and what made you interested in that topic?
- My research analyses the behaviour of Western multinational firms in Asian emerging economies, such as China and India. I am especially interested in how European firms change their business models and re-configure their value chains to succeed in the middle- and low-income segments in emerging economies. My interest in this topic grew out of some lectures during my Masters on global production networks and the shifting geography of economic activity towards Asian markets.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Gothenburg? 
- My choice for University of Gothenburg was influenced I think by the advantages of doing a PhD in Sweden, the fact that I liked the atmosphere at the School of  Business, Economics and Law during my Master studies, and of course the possibility to continue research on a topic I was interested in.

What is life like as a doctoral student?
- Life as a doctoral student is essentially a trade-off. On the one hand, you get a lot of freedom to pursue your true interest, on the other hand, the financial compensation is more limited than in the private sector. Also, it can get quite lonely at times, as you spend a lot of time with yourself and your research - so there is moments one has to remind themselves that your PhD-thesis doesn’t visit you when you are old ;-).

What are the advantages of being a doctoral student in Sweden?
- Especially, compared to the German system, I’d say that there are three main advantages: the double status as a student/staff, an attractive salary, usually 100% time to pursue your research.

What do you like about Gothenburg? Favorite places?
- The closeness to the sea. The hundreds of lunch places and cafes offering tasty food - especially for vegetarians, vegans - but also fish lovers. Slottskogen and Botaniska as the green heart of the city.

portrait Sarah Franz