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Student Impact Stories

Paulina Plinke defends a dissertation about Students For Liberty

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Paulina Plinke has been the National Coordinator for Germany since 2021 and recently took up the role of the Regional Coordinator for Germany, Austria, and German-speaking Switzerland (DACH). She is part of our Prometheus Fellowship, a program offering educational, professional and academic development, and mentorship opportunities.

Most recently, she participated in the Women for Liberty retreat in Washington, D.C., which provided our most promising leaders with training in effective communication and project management, as well as an opportunity to network with other women leading the fight for liberty around the world.

Paulina is also a dual student of two full-time programs, in Psychology and in Business Administration, and a Research Fellow at the Berlin-based libertarian think tank Prometheus – Das Freiheitsinstitut. The institute also supports Paulina’s academic research through both guidance and a research stipend.

Thanks also to these resources, Paulina successfully defended her bachelor thesis in December 2022, which was centered around a case study of Students For Liberty programs.

The full topic of the dissertation was “Differences in the Big Five Personality Traits between leaders of different hierarchical levels in organizations and their implications for personnel management illustrated by the example of the NGO Students For Liberty”. 

The objective of Paulina’s thesis was to identify and explain such differences through an empirical investigation. The results of the study showed that there were clear tendencies in middle and top management of significantly above-average scores for the traits of openness to experience, conscientiousness, and agreeableness.

Based on these findings, Paulina also formulated concrete recommendations with reference to Students For Liberty, and especially for its recruitment process, which she also believes will be helpful in her further activities as the Regional Coordinator for DACH and assessing new prospective members of the team.

“My work at SFL both inspired me when choosing the topic of my thesis and on the other hand me choosing this topic really shows that my work as formerly National Coordinator for Germany and now Regional Coordinator for DACH is really a matter of heart for me,” she concludes. “I am happy I managed to connect my SFL activities with my research interest, and thus make the time invested in the thesis also a time invested into SFL at the same time.”

Paulina Plinke plans to continue her studies in 2023 with a master’s program in “Geographies of Globalization – Markets and Metropolises”, where she hopes to further connect her work at SFL with her research interests.

“I hope that my Prometheus Fellowship mentor Dr. Vera Kichanova will help me improve the quality of my research and further my academic career,” says Paulina about her plans to consult Vera, also an SFL alumna, about her future academic path. “I have a program in mind that is similar to the research she did for her PhD and hence, she can definitely offer me valuable insights in this regard.”

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This piece solely expresses the opinion of the author and not necessarily the organization as a whole. Students For Liberty is committed to facilitating a broad dialogue for liberty, representing a variety of opinions.

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