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Felix Auboeck

Olympic Athlete and Masters of International Financial and Political Relations at Loughborough University

Judaic Studies minor, 2020

Describe your job responsibilities:

To be honest, I have not started working in the real world in a sense. I was fortunate enough to become a professional swimmer to make a living since then. I continued my student-athlete life from Michigan but on the professional stage. In addition, I am currently in my second year of my masters in International Financial and Political Relations at Loughborough University in the UK where I live and train.


What is the most rewarding part of your work?

I am able to do what I love every single day. I know especially in an athletic career there will be a point where I will have to retire and do something else in my professional life. This makes it so special because I know there is just a small time frame in my life where I will be able to perform on this level.

It sounds very cliche, but representing Austria, and also the University of Michigan in a sense, at the Olympic Games is something truly special. There is no feeling in the world that describes the nerves and excitement shortly before racing in an Olympic Final when the entire world is watching. Those are the moments which I will never forget and which make all of the hard work leading up to it worth it.


Tell us about studying at the Frankel Center:

My studies at the Frankel Center happened without me planning on it. I remember having my first class with Professor Roby and really enjoying the different perspective the class offered. I was someone who had absolutely no previous education of any kind regarding Judaic Studies. After that class, I wanted to learn more about Jewish history and culture and ended up taking one Judaic class each semester and that's how I got my minor.

There are two other classes which I will always remember. One was with Professor Levinson about the Book of Genesis and the other one was with Professor Wollenberg, the introductory class into Judaic Studies. Professor Levinson was so passionate about it and had a way to deliver things which made it so enjoyable and entertaining. Professor Wollenberg always brought different religious items or different foods for the different holidays to class. It was great for me to actually experience these holidays and how they look and not just to learn the theories about them.


What advice would you give to students who are considering studying Judaic Studies?

The great thing about it is it is so different than other departments on campus. If you are looking for smaller classes that are more conversation-based, then this is the right major or minor. In addition, you are actually able to build a good connection with your professors. The last and most important thing is that you do not have to be Jewish to study Judaic Studies. Even if you do not know anything about it, you will be able to do well and understand the material well because of the way it is taught.