"I really enjoy the multinational working and research environment with highly qualified and open-minded fellow students from all over the world." Behnaz Gholami, CDSB

Annabelle Söffing


Annabelle Söffing holds an interdisciplinary Bachelor’s degree in “Culture & Business” from the University of Mannheim and graduated with the consecutive Master’s program from the same university. She spent one semester abroad at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand during her Bachelor’s program and went to Jaipur, India for conducting a six-week survey as a supplement to her Master’s studies. After having worked as intern and working student in large corporations, such as Lufthansa and SAP, and having consulted nonprofit organizations (NPOs) for her master thesis, she noticed that there is still a largely unbridged gap between the corporate and nonprofit sphere. This gap is what she seeks to examine more closely from a scientific angle.

Research Interests

During Annabelle’s studies her research focus moved towards the particular research field of nonprofit management. In her master thesis she examined intersectoral partnerships between corporations and locally operating NPOs. By means of expert interviews with NPO employees, she attempted to find out what motives drive NPOs to enter partnerships with corporations and how corporate volunteering programs as a tool for maintaining corporate-nonprofit collaborations should be designed to also create a benefit for the nonprofit partner.

Why I chose the University of Mannheim and in particular the GESS

Such as my previous studies already prepared me for an interdisciplinary approach towards scientific work, I regard the GESS to be an adequate graduate school for providing me with the interdisciplinary research methods and tools I need to further investigate the research field of nonprofit management and intersectoral collaborations in particular. I am convinced that the multinational environment and cross-linking of the disciplines ‘Business’, ‘Economics’ and ‘Social and Behavioral Sciences’ at the GESS is urgently required as well as beneficial for my future research.