Jasmina Bier - a successful competitor
Not only successful in rowing: Jacobs Alumna Jasmina Bier. Photo: Chandler Liu ,


October 18, 2018

"She has remarkable willpower," says her trainer. She says: "I enjoy competition. Competing is a great thing. I don't give up quickly." Jasmina Bier competes in rowing - and she does so very successfully. The Jacobs University graduate is Bremen's state champion in the women's single sculls, reaching the finals of the German University Championship as well as winning the Great Bremen Regatta - and she has only been rowing for three years.

Athletics was her first sport but she preferred technical disciplines. Her best shot put was an impressive 11.50 meters and she threw the discus 36.68 meters. But when she began her studies in Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Jacobs University in 2015, she was looking for a performance sport to balance her intensive academic work - and discovered rowing.

, The rowing tank at Jacobs University's Sports and Convention Center,

"Rowing is a beautiful, elegant sport. I like being outside. It is lovely to glide over the water at sunrise in the morning." Jasmina Bier, who grew up in Syke near Bremen, trains five to six times a week, and also likes to do so in the modern rowing pool of the Sports and Convention Center at Jacobs University. The two indoor pools of the facility are filled with 70,000 liters of water and the latest equipment is available. "The fact that we have the facility is a huge stroke of luck and privilege - and the training conditions are great," says the 21-year-old with appreciation.

She rows in single, quad as well as double sculls and sometimes also in eights. On weekends, the regattas take them to Amsterdam, through the whole of Germany and every now and then to the Außenalster (Outer Alster Lake) in Hamburg. This is where the traditional Hanse Boat Race takes place, competing against rowers from the HSBA Hamburg School of Business Administration. Whilst the Jacobs men’s team came mostly second recently, the Jacobs women’s team came first, including last year when Jasmina Bier was "Female Captain" of the rowers.

Just as it was by coincidence that she discovered rowing, it was coincidence that brought her to Jacobs University. She had already secured one of the rare places to study medicine when she came across the private university's booth at a study fair. "What particularly appealed to me was the opportunity to do research early on in my studies and not only for my Bachelor's thesis. ”So on Jacobs University’s registration day she got an idea of the study conditions and was offered a scholarship directly." This made the tuition fees affordable. I also received a grant from BAföG and another scholarship," she says.

, Not only successful in rowing: Jacobs Alumna Jasmina Bier. Photo: Viktoria Langwallner

From the second semester onwards, she was actively involved in research in her subject, which deals, among other things, with methods for the development of drugs. Her Bachelor’s thesis consisted of her own research project. "Because the university is so small, it is always possible to approach doctoral students or professors. They are accessible and helpful, but the studies are also very intensive." One exchange semester took her to Cornell University in the USA, where she discovered her fascination for the human brain. Another research trip took her to the Swedish Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. In the summer of 2018 she received her Bachelor's degree having achieved top marks.

"Jacobs University opens doors. Without it, I probably would not have traveled to the USA, to Sweden and now to Göttingen." At Georg-August University, she is studying neuroscience in a combined Master-Doctoral program that reminds her a lot of Jacobs University. In Bremen she had eleven fellow students from eight nations in her class, in Göttingen there are 19 from almost a dozen countries. She has resumed discus throwing. And naturally, Jasmina Bier continues to row here. Only no longer on the Weser River in Bremen or in Jacobs University’s indoor pool, but on the Fulda River in the town of Hann. Münden, where the Werra River and the Fulda River meet to form the Weser River.

This text is part of the series "Faces of Jacobs", in which Jacobs University is featuring students, alumni, professors and employees. For more stories, please have a look at www.jacobs-university.de/faces