If German international student Marian Rothkegel had not broken his leg while skiing, he probably would not be a senior at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh.
After Rothkegel graduated from high school he signed up for 12 years with the German military and pursued active duty. An accident while skiing caused him to break his thigh and shin, and Rothkegel was moved from active duty to the reserves.
“If it hadn’t been for the broken leg, I would not have been studying here,” he said. “All those opportunities that I’ve had here would not have opened up.”
Born in Poland, Rothkegel moved with his family to Germany when he was 3 years old. He was raised bilingual and learned German and Polish at a young age. He also can speak Russian, French and English.
Rothkegel traveled to the U.S. for the first time in 2001, when he participated in a high school exchange with Winneconne High School.
After graduating from high school, Rothkegel joined the German military for three years of active service as an officer cadet. Rothkegel went to officer cadet school and then started studying at UW Oshkosh in 2008.
Rothkegel said he chose UW Oshkosh because he was familiar with the area, had heard about the good College of Business and the University offers a scholarship for international students.
He recently returned from deployment working in the NATO headquarters as an international administrator in Pristina, Kosovo.
Returning to classes one and one-half weeks late was harder than he thought. “I am very grateful I had very helpful professors who would actually allow me to come late and make up my school work,” he said.
Rothkegel is majoring in supply chain management. “I was always interested, ever since I was little, in how things moved from A to B,” Rothkegel said. “And supply chain management is exactly that.”
Not only is Rothkegel a student at UW Oshkosh, he also is an intern at Oshkosh Corporation, working in the global procurement and the supply chain department.
Since his return from deployment, Rothkegel switched from working on North American logistics to international logistics. After earning his degree, he hopes to pursue a career in logistics.
Rothkegel also is active on campus as president of the Oshkosh chapter of the American Production and Inventory Control Society and is a member of the International Student Association.
The International Student Association welcomes all students, not just international students, to talk about their culture and what life is like in other countries.
“It’s a great opportunity to get to know people from other countries,” Rothkegel said. “I really enjoy that diversity.”
Rothkegel has traveled to more than 50 countries and is making plans to go to China for a three-week interim course for a business class.
“It’s going to be a great opportunity to actually compare what you see as a tourist to what you see as a student going over there, attending classes and visiting businesses,” he said.