Christian Wiethuechter An industrial engineer, Christian W. Wiethuechter is President and Member of the Board of Hauni Richmond, Inc., part of Koerber AG, a global leader in tobacco machinery and equipment, and a 2015 LLM in International Business Law graduate.

Where are you from originally and where do you live now?
I was born in Bolivia to German parents. I’ve lived in Germany, Bolivia and Mexico, and now I live in Richmond, Virginia, USA.

What do you do?
In Virginia, my company sells to and services the North American market. We are also a manufacturing centre for customised machine solutions with the focus on customers in the Americas. I manage the company affairs together with my management team.

Why did you choose to study online for this degree with the University of Liverpool?
I have a very busy work schedule, and the online option gave me the possibility to work and learn while I am not occupied with job-related tasks. I chose the University of Liverpool because of its reputation and the fact that the Law programme covers common law, the basis for US law, and has a balanced focus on European law, which is relevant for me today and in the future.

How did you fit online study into your life?
I quickly found out that accommodating an extra 20 or more hours per week on top of a busy work schedule and family life is a huge challenge. I worked out an acceptable work routine for everyone in my family which included work sessions after dinner three times a week and my entire Saturday, cancelling my routine round of golf that day. If I had to work more, which did not happen often, I woke up at 5am in the morning and did what I had to do.

I studied a lot while on worldwide travels, which worked very well since with an online programme you are not limited in terms of place or time. I even got to study in a Las Vegas casino while my wife was playing blackjack!

What did you enjoy most about studying online with the University of Liverpool?
I enjoyed being able to set my own pace and focus on the topics I was truly interested in within the given subject matter framework. That was very motivating and it gave me the possibility to tailor what I was learning towards the day-to-day challenges I faced as a company president. The online system is extremely well structured and the exchange with students from around the world in all kind of jobs made it very interesting.

What was your experience of interacting with other international students?
Interacting with international students was the aspect of this online degree that I benefited most from. People from around the globe have very different perspectives on the same subject matter. We also discussed a lot about the different legal systems, something I took up in my thesis by comparing director’s duty law in the UK with the law in Germany and the US State of Delaware.

What did it mean to you to finally graduate in Liverpool?
I now have more time for my family and to pick up my favourite sport again: golf (I went from a single handicap to a 23 in three years, which will be very hard to work down again).

Has your online degree helped you professionally?
The degree has already increased my efficiency in my current job as it gives me a very good legal perspective when negotiating international contracts, when filing or challenging technology patents, and when conducting board meetings in situations in which Corporate Governance topics are relevant. And our legal fees are going down.

I am very confident that having this additional qualification, which rounds up my technical and administrative knowledge with a very good legal perspective on international business, will help me to progress in my career.

What three words sum-up your experience with the University of Liverpool?
Exceeding my expectations!

I would recommend the University of Liverpool because…
… its online programmes are the best way to achieve a reputable degree while working hard in your daily job without sacrificing your family life.

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