The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Global explorations turn into international business aspirations for WSU senior

German Club founder has loved time as a Coug
Anika Wottreng plans to pursue international business with the desire to one day work and live in Germany.

For 22-year-old Anika Wottreng, WSU international business and management information systems double major, home has been a revolving door.

Born in Japan, she spent four years there before spending five years in Germany, one year in Michigan, three years in California and most of the last nine years in the greater Seattle area, and studying abroad in France during the spring 2023 semester.

While the place she rests her head at night fluctuates, Germany is the center point of her story. With a German father who is also in the field of international business, Wottreng spent her formative years in Germany.

After spending her final high school years in Seattle, Wottreng chose to continue her studies at WSU for one major reason: community.

“Number one reason is the community, the community feel and the supportive surroundings and networking opportunities. [WSU] just has that academic and community support,” she said.

WSU gave Wottreng the confidence that she would be supported in her academics and be able to find the right community for her. Pullman was not too big, but not small, either: perfect for her. Pullman also stood out in another way, especially as someone who grew up outside of the country.

“I looked around and was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m at an American college.’ Like, this is the typical American college you see in movies, and I was like, ‘That’s what I want. I want the typical American experience,’” Wottreng said.

Once arriving on campus, it was important to Wottreng that she remain connected to her roots in Germany while studying. But without the time available in her class schedule to take German as a class, she said she had to look for alternative methods to stay connected.

German Club founders Hana Reinhardt (left) and Anika Wottreng (right) posing together at an event.

She said she heard of the German Club on campus, only to find out it was no longer active. But, while she led the German Conversation Table, she met Hana Reinhardt, senior wildlife ecology and conservation sciences major, who spent time studying abroad in Germany. Reinhardt and Wottreng quickly hit it off, deciding they would lead the charge in bringing back the club.

Soon after meeting in 2021, Reinhardt said the two began to organize the re-founding of the German Club. Eventually, they got the club off the ground and have led it together for the last three seasons. Their friendship blossomed to the point where they have been roommates for the past year and a half.

“Anika is the most genuine and kind person I have ever met. She immediately welcomed me in and we soon became great friends,” Reinhardt said. “We would Zoom and play online video games or just hang out after the Stammtisch [German Conversation Table]. We really bonded over our love for Germany and the experiences we both had when we lived there.”

Over their three years leading the club, the two have put together multiple events and grown their friendship to even greater heights. Reinhardt said that Anika welcomes everyone in with the kindest smile and most enthusiastic welcome. From her perspective, she genuinely makes everyone feel like they matter because to her, they do.

The duo’s friendship has blossomed from their work together on the club, something German Club advisor Joshua Benzo has seen firsthand. Benzo said the two’s dedication to the club has grown it from 15–20 attendees at the early meetings to near triple digits, a testament to their hard work in finding new ways to engage their members.

“Anika is energetic and not afraid to dream big or to look for ways to fund bigger events. Furthermore, she was completely comfortable making the club her own responsibility,” Benzo said. “She never asked for any ‘hand-holding,’ even at the start.”

Wottreng said restarting the German Club has been by far her favorite memory of her time in Pullman. A self-described intentional person, she said she is proud of the work she and Reinhardt have accomplished. Both hope to see the club continue to thrive long after they both graduate.

With experiences ranging from being a project coordinator intern with the Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories to a WSU Boeing Scholar team project manager, Wottreng said she is casting a wide net as she looks for a job post-graduation. Still, her goal is to one day get back to Germany and work there full-time, a goal she may realize easily since she holds dual citizenship in the United States and Germany.

“I would love to move to Germany because that’s always been like a life goal of mine, to go back to Germany,” she said.

Studying international business and having already lived in several countries has taught Wottreng one thing about herself: she is adaptable.

“I’ve not just traveled, I’ve moved. One thing I’ve come to learn is that I’m really adaptable as long as I keep an adaptable mind,” she said. “I’ve gotten used to staying rational, even when I’m stressed in a foreign situation and that is something that has really helped me a lot.”

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About the Contributor
BRANDON WILLMAN, Multimedia editor
Brandon Willman is a junior multimedia journalism student from Vancouver, Washington. He started working as a sportswriter for the Daily Evergreen in Fall 2022 and worked as copy editor in spring 2023. Brandon was elected to be the Editor-in-chief starting in summer 2023 and served in the position from May 2023 to February 2024 before transitioning to the role of multimedia editor. He enjoys watching sports, backpacking, and watching horror movies.