Alumni Spotlight: Nike Lorenz

In September, the University of Nottingham was named Sports University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2024 – the third time it has been given the honour since 2018. To mark the occasion, we spoke to former Sports Scholar and Germany Women's Hockey captain, Nike Lorenz (MSc Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Management, 2022).

Nike, who was shortlisted for BUCS Sportsperson of the Year during her time at the university, is currently working in Berlin as a freelancer for an ESG consultancy, while preparing for the qualifiers for the 2024 Olympics in Paris.

Nike Lorenz Hockey 2

Hi Nike! Why did you choose Nottingham as a place to study Business and play hockey?

Nottingham was first recommended to me by a friend. When I looked the University of Nottingham up and talked to the field hockey coach, everything seemed like a perfect fit.

I wanted to study in England rather than the US, I wanted to be in a smaller city than London to experience the campus life, I wanted to play good hockey and study something related to entrepreneurship and innovation… so it really just all came together perfectly in Notts.

What was it like playing in the BUCS system – how did it differ to playing for Germany?

I loved training and playing in the BUCS systems because it allows academia and sports to be so nicely aligned. In Germany, sports and academia are always two different worlds that need to be made compatible by the student-athlete themselves.

At Nottingham, I lived on campus, walked everywhere, went from class straight to the gym on campus, or the hockey pitches right next to campus. I really like how easily accessible all the facilities were, especially when living on campus and not having a car. I think David Ross Sports Village was absolute top notch! I believe organisation and infrastructure are such a big part of performance - both things can be fully embraced within the BUCS system.

Besides this, the sports community was my favourite part about the university. I loved how all the teams cheered each other on and spent time together off the pitch as well. Also, Wednesday games are just a lot of fun!

What was your favourite thing about your Masters course? What was the most important thing you learned?

My favourite part of the course was how practical it was. I learned so many great things that I can also use in my job, which really never happened before. I also enjoyed writing a business plan as my thesis, for the same reasons.

Are there any lessons you can take from playing international hockey into the world of business – or vice versa?

Definitely - I think a lot of learnings from sports are applicable in society and the world of business. One being the power of having a shared goal. Within a team, a business or society, people from different backgrounds, with different personalities, come together to work together. I think it is delusional to expect people coming together for a shared reason to always get along great with each other as well. It is important to allow diversity and difference within any team to reach its full potential. The one thing aligning all the energy is a shared and communicated goal, that all team members commit to strive after.

And finally, what would you say to someone considering studying at Nottingham University Business School, playing sports for UoN – or both?

My time at UoN was incredible. Obviously teams change and you always need to be a bit lucky with that, but the whole staff at UoN, the Business School, David Ross Sports Village and the field hockey coaches, were so supportive and friendly - I can only recommend going, sports-wise and academically.