„Fulfill both of my interests at the same time!“

2. Februar 2018
Conversation with SIBE-student Katharina Wieland – affiliated company: Merz North America, Inc. Study progamme: M.A./MBA (USA)

First degree: International Business
Course name: MAMBA05a
Year of graduation: 2019

Katharina, can you briefly start by telling in which company you currently work? When did you start there and what are your tasks?

I currently work for Merz North America, Inc. Merz is a family-owned and privately-held pharmaceutical company with its headquarters in Germany. I started working for Merz in October 2009 and was transferred to the U.S. affiliate in April 2015. I am a Senior Marketing Manager and am responsible for the management of two brands. As part of my role, I build brand strategies and create initiatives to drive customer and consumer awareness and demand, work on pipeline projects and future launches as well as support the sales force with their daily needs and inquirie

How did it happen that you decided to combine full-time work abroad with work-integrated studies?

I have always enjoyed studying and going to school and knew that I would want to enroll in a graduate program at some point. I am very fortunate where I am in my career at this point and enjoy my job a lot. I found my passion in what I do and would not want to leave work for academic courses but instead decided to fulfill both of my interests at the same time.

How important is the formation of a professional international network during your studies? How do you benefit from the MAMBA program in terms of building your network?

Personally, I am very interested in international networks and environments and see my future in a highly international field…which is why I took on a variety of different international assignments, both academically and professionally. So far, the most valuable international networks have been with the professors who are great mentors and help us to broaden our skill set and ultimately grow in our role

You´re a few months into the program now, how do you manage to organize yourself and combine your work with your study program?

I would say that I am a very structured person generally and always work off a list of to dos sorted by priorities. I typically map out my week on Sundays in order to identify time buckets that I can dedicate to school work. This is very important for me as I travel at least every two weeks and have a very busy work schedule. I typically contribute to the discussion boards before and after work. With regards to assignments, I start these during the week but finish them on the weekend when I have a bit more flexibility.

Do you have tips for people who are considering applying for the M.A./MBA program?

I live by the principle that success comes with a mixture of passion and hard work. Even though I am only a couple of months in, I would say that this applies for this program as well. If you are interested in going back to school to improve your skill set and broaden your knowledge while continuing your professional career and are willing to invest the time it takes to participate successfully, this is the right choice for you!