Alumni Voices

Maxim G. Zaitsev, BSc, MBA
Medicity
Alumnus Class 2015-2017

Why did you decide to participate in this program?

While there are certainly many options in choosing a post-graduate MBA program, very few actually focus on specific challenges, trends as well as opportunities in the Automotive industry. As we move into the era of automation, IOT and cyber-human ecosystems, a deciding factor for me was to find an international program that is heavily supported and influenced by industry partners that bring practical and relevant insight from the field. This professional expertise combined with over two centuries of academic excellence at TU WIEN is what makes this program so unique and therefore an easy choice for anyone interested in this rapidly growing sector.

What did you expect from the program? Have your expectations been met?

My expectations from the program were largely centered around learning the industry and its challenges, opportunities, as well as future potential. In parallel, I also expected to learn and master critical business tools and controls such as accounting, corporate finance, as well as, strategy and human capital management to strengthen my business acumen and support my efforts to become a more resilient and effective organizational leader.
The program has exceeded my expectations, as theoretical material was relevant, interactive and engaging. Classes and business cases were taught by experienced professors, many of which have extensive experience in the subject matter and several hold senior executive positions with global Automotive corporations.

How did you benefit from the program personally? (Networking, management of relationships)

As a student of an international MBA program, you become a part of an exclusive circle of friendship that comes from different countries, cultures and often possess very different professional and educational backgrounds that all contribute to a breadth of knowledge and life experiences exchanged throughout the program. The cohort provides encouragement, support and invaluable friendship every step of the way as you move through the program.
Personally, I have had the privilege of making a number of friends for life and significantly expand my international network of colleagues and academics that have positively influenced my understanding of different cultures, life and business philosophies.

Do you have any advice for our future students?

The best advice going into the program is to keep an open mind and be curious, as the extent and the quality of your experience will largely depend on your level of participation and engagement. Keep in mind you bring so much invaluable experience to every class, so make yourself heard and share your passions, ideas and viewpoints.

What comes to your mind when you think about the program? What were the highlights?

When I think about the program, great friends and colleagues first come to mind, as well as unforgettable moments in and out of classroom are most memorable as they happen organically. From the academic perspective, hands-on activities and interactive design sessions, such as Value Stream Mapping, or Continuous Process Improvement sessions are very vivid in my memory because of the eye-opening experiences and realization as you methodically identify gaps and waste in processes, as well as design improvement measures.

How do you rate the support during and after the university program?

The program cabinet is very responsive and truly vested in your success in this program. They are responsive, organized and ready to assist or direct where needed.
My master thesis supervisor has been a great contribution to my overall success in the program and served as a mentor during the master thesis development. His industry expertise, as well as strong methodical and scientific approach to problem-solving enabled me to structure research in the most coherent way to build a comprehensive financial model to derive hypothesized outcomes.

Can you apply your knowledge on an international level? What was your experience as an international student?

As i live and work in the United States, I find the technical and business knowledge delivered through the program undoubtedly relevant on a regional as well as the international level, since the theory as well as the application of practical concepts learned in this program is universal in the industry.
As an international student, Vienna is certainly one of the most extraordinary places for studying abroad as the history, music, culture and people of this world-class city provide a fantastic exploratory environment.

Leo Höppel, MSc, MBA
Magna Powertrain AG & Co KG
Alumnus Class 2015-2017

Why I  chose the MBA program:

After my technical education I was searching for a possibility to gain more knowledge about management and economics.
The blocked program which is planned for two years in advance fits perfectly to my needs and makes it easier to arrange the study besides a busy working life.
As my professional background lies in the automotive industry, it was obvious to choose the “Professional MBA Automotive Industry”.

My impression until now:

I enjoyed all modules so far and my expectations were completely fulfilled.
Every module covered interesting topics and it was always possible to transfer the new knowledge directly into the daily working life.
Especially the great and motivating climate within our international team contributes to this great learning experience.
I’m really looking forward to the next modules!

DI Bernd Kögler, MBA
Pankl Engine Systems GmbH & Co KG
Alumnus Class 2015-2017

My motivation to participate the Professional MBA Automotive Industry

During the last few years I kept on thinking about possibilities to handle our business in a more efficient and optimized way.

Questions like:

"What could I or we improve and still keep our general enterprise principles?"
"How would other managers or company - structures enable to solve daily business in a more effective, fast and sustainable way than we currently do?"
"Compared to other companies, where is my company In respect of overall performance but also related to customer and staff satisfaction?"

came up but I was not always in the position to answer all to my full satisfaction.

As I studied the content of the MBA program I assumed that some of the above mentioned questions could be answered during the 18 month program and I could be given the necessary theoretical knowledge as well as the right tools and instruments to analyze these tasks in a more precise way. In addition I would get the chance to exchange experience with colleagues working in different companies and fields of operation facing daily challenges within the automotive industry.

My preliminary conclusion after 7 month of participation

Most of my expectations were fulfilled completely or even exceeded my expectations
First It was very easy for me to build a team with the peers during the first introduction and outdoor module. I was treated in a way I felt very comfortable by both the team of the university and the participants of the MBA class
The content of the lectures up to now is very clear and the lecturers teach in a way that the imparted knowledge is convertible from the class lessons into professional working life.
A lot of communication also takes place off the lecture between the colleagues and I therefore learn continuously from the experience, solutions and behavior others made in their working life.  

Despite the fact that one out of five weekends is completely consumed by the MBA lectures and almost every weekend is partly covered with pre- or post-processing of the lecture I enjoy the new learning experience very much and look forward to the upcoming teaching units, excursions and social team events

DI Naresh Laddha, MBA
AVL List GmbH
Alumnus Class 2015-2017

My motivation:

After competing my masters in technical studies, I worked in various Technical areas and positions in the Automotive  Industry for 22 Years.
Having seen the line management in operations of automotive industry, development of a  product,  its usage in real life, and the service related issues I wondered about following:

  • How do organizations plan their product and make profit?
  • How does the Sales work, how to forecast consumer requirements?
  • Can we avoid or at least reduce the firefighting situations in operations/ services by planning products that meet or even exceed customer expectations? Is this possible in Automotive Industry?

This lead me to shifting my career orientation from Technical to Marketing & Sales. However very quickly I could feel a need to understand this area more scientifically.
So I joined the Professional MBA Automotive Industry
Coincidentally I heard about this course from a friend and luckily I could see a source to find answers to my questions.
Most of the course contents related to Finances, Economics, Marketing/ Competition strategy, Business laws were exactly what I was looking for.
Moreover other contents like: HR Management, Social Competences, Automotive logistics were also having value addition for me.

My impression so far..

is that the decision to do this course is right one. This is simply due to following positive experiences:

  • You get excellent  friends (co-student) from different areas of Automotive Industry through whom you can learn a lot what is not in the syllabus. The team building session at the start of course is a key to this.
  • The topics related with finances provided me a different angle to view the business
  • The restart of study makes me feel hungry for learning more
  • The weekends during study with student life are awesome   

Dipl.-Ing. Christian Jursitzky, MBA
BMW Motoren GmbH
Alumnus Class 2013 - 2015

Education is a knowledge transfer from one generation to another – in the best way thus the combination of intelligence and character is promoted.

The PMBA Automotive offers both elements. Starting with the teambuilding event – a group of strangers having just in common that they want to obtain further education on the automotive sector,  is welded  into a team of fellow students, which in my case became quickly a group of friends. To work as a team is helpful since the exchange of ideas and opinions is necessary during the groupworks, lectures and in the preparation period of exams. Due to the different nations of the participants I learned how to understand and cooperate with people from different cultures  - which was very enriching.  As we are out of different areas of the automotive business or other businesses – it is interesting to see different perceptions on subjects and to learn from each other.

The lectures take place in Vienna and Bratislava  -  which is a good combination, since in Austria and Slovakia there are many automotive companies situated which will be visited during the excursions.
The lecturers are as well from different countries , all high qualified experts with a lot of experience in their field. The content of the modules allows to obtain broadbanded knowledge of the automotive business, as well as managerial skills applicable in all company fields.

DI  Peter Braun, MBA
Opel Wien GmbH
Alumnus Class 2012 - 2014

The teambuilding event conducted by Mr. Stockert was a very reasonable am effective approach to transform a group of unknown people to a team with a common target, knowing some base information about every member of the 2012-2014 MBA AI program. I liked the approach, the learnings and reflections of each exercise a lot and hope that we as a team will follow the ideas and principles we have experienced, and develop the team spirit even further. As we are an interesting mixture of members of the automotive sector, with a wide spectrum of different roles, skills and countries, I am sure that we will not only exchange a lot of experience, but also learn a lot about our cultural background.The first lectures gave a broad overview about the Automotive Industry globally and especially interesting insights in the automotive sector of Slovakia. Based on the first impressions, the participation at the MBA program is the perfect possibility to gain managerial knowledge and develop oneself further.As first cohort we started to use an IPAD instead of handouts, which was a little bit challenging at the starting phase. As it is possible to make notes within the pdf-files in different ways, we had to find out the best personal way of usage. In my opinion the IPAD is a great support for our study, but sometimes it will be necessary to print out the documents.

Thomas Vossaert, MBA
AUDI AG
Alumnus Class 2012 - 2014

Not really knowing what to expect I was very curious what my first impressions of the PMBA Automotive Industry would be like. The welcome reception was held in a very unique location in the centre of Vienna and the open-hearted welcome of the program coordinators was really motivating. The team building activity that took place at the Wienerwald was a perfect opportunity to get to know the other participants and to create the team spirit that we will need to successfully complete the program. After having established a feeling of comfort within the group we had two very interesting first modules which did not only comprise theoretical knowledge about the automotive industry but where we also started many vivid and intense discussions. To discuss the important topics in the automotive industry with experts from university, OEMs and suppliers from all over Europe was a great experience and I think this exchange of ideas and approaches will be one main benefit of the program. Being used to study with hard copy scripts I was very skeptical about the use of Ipads within the program and expected it to be more a gimmick than a helpful item. After a short introduction how to use the Ipads and provided apps I was very surprised by the user friendliness. It is very easy to make notes and marks within the presentation. Having all my documents available anytime and everywhere is very convenient. In addition to that, by using the Ipad I don´t need to print out so many pages and have to carry a lot less weight on the trips to the modules, therefore it is also an environmentally friendly approach. I am looking forward to the next modules.

DI (FH) Gregor Gratschner, MBA
Remus Innovation GmbH
Alumnus Class 2011 - 2013

I chose the MBA program in Automotive Industry for four main reasons: First, I wanted to expand my personal academic horizon by attending profoundly taught lectures (knowledge), second, improve my professional possibilities (career), third, get to know other professionals that also work in the same field like I do but in different positions (exchange) and fourth, gather impressions of other markets, such as Slovakia or Bulgaria (experience).
So far these expectations have been met nearly all of the time. What I fancy most about this MBA program is our team of participants. It is extraordinarily lively, enthusiastic and international. I would not have expected to meet participants from so many different countries taking part in that program, all the better this is the case. This ensures intercultural exchange, sharpens an understanding of other business approaches and in particular, often represents a possibility to not only appreciate each others' professional expertise, but also to become and stay friends.
The MBA program in Automotive Industry can be highly recommended. It offers good value for price, the program itself is well organised, the lecturers are all practitioners that have a good reputation in their corresponding field of activity and most of all, the benefits that are produced by the program participants themselves, who come from all different business areas that exist in this industry and thus ensure thriving discussions, will take to so far unknown levels of problem solving capability, tolerance and flexibility.

Klaus Müller, MBA
Continental Automotive Austria GmbH
Alumnus Class 2011 - 2013

Despite being a real challenge to manage it in addition to a demanding job, the Professional MBA Automotive Industry adds value in various respects:
Firstly it is fully held in English, due to a student group of 20 people from 8 different nationalities. Lectures in Vienna and Bratislava offer a broad spectrum of lecturers and their backgrounds. Basically all entrepreneurial areas of today's automotive industry are covered with learning material, presentations, new methodologies & tools and actual available data. Excursions to automotive companies and institutes as well as use cases and simulation games add practical knowledge and expertise.

The fact that the student group is very heterogeneous in background and age gives a very interesting mix of skills & talents, of experience & spontaneity.
Last but not least everybody has a different motivation for this MBA but we managed to develop a real great team-spirit in our group.

Doc. Ing. Stefan Rosina, MBA
Matador Holding, Slovakia
Alumnus Class 2011 – 2013

As my HR Director suggested me to take part in the Professional MBA Automotive Industry, it was a surprise for me, because since 1984 I have been running the business and I gathered valuable experience in many different positions in the company. After my graduation from the Slovak Technical University in Bratislava I have improved my knowledge and skills in economics, finance, HR, controlling, production, logistics and business leadership. In 1998 I finished my PhD degree at the University of Economics in Bratislava, and in 2004 I was appointed as an associated professor at the University of Mining in Ostrava in Czech Republic.
Therefore I thought that there is no necessity to continue my education with a MBA program. But this would be a huge mistake. Now I am very happy with the MBA program which gives me a lot of benefits for my professional life.
First of all the program gives me opportunities to push myself to read and analyse a lot of information, articles, and books. In the “running business life“ it would be quite impossible.
Secondly I have met a lot of very clever and interesting lecturers, members of academic and scientific institution, external lecturers from automotive industries and R&D centres. During company visits and excursions we have shared with experts from the company some experience and knowledge from the practice. I have learned, how to achieve success in this very turbulent time period. It gave me some new inspiration and ideas.
Last, but not least in our classroom I have a great opportunity to speak with excellent people from different areas of the automotive world. It helps me to keep younger and motivates me to accept new ways of thinking. In addition I could learn a lot from other participants.
Shortly speaking, this program is an excellent opportunity to get upgraded for all people, who like really to improve their level of performance and knowledge.

Ing. Zuzana Šolopová, MBA
Kongsberg Automotive
Alumna 2011 - 2013

Since I have graduated university, I never managed to finish my education. International certificates of welding and other technical and quality training programmes improved my professional background on technical level, but I was missing information and knowledge from a higher perspective to better understand the relationship between processes and people.

When I started to find a suitable training program, I was unsure of trying an MBA. I thought that it would be too general and a predominately economically oriented study. This perception was guiding my decision to find something more specific, much more practical with people experienced from industry, not just from an academy field.

I was really surprised when searching on Google and I found the Automotive MBA training program organized by Technical University from Wien with Slovak University of Technology from Bratislava. This was the first point I really appreciated International study close to home and work. The training program cost was comparable with other MBA studies even with a worse rating.

Automotive MBA study has also been one of my best decisions in my personal life as well. Basic information from finance, tasks solving under time pressure, team work and motivation - all these topics will help me to better organize my personal and professional life which is an additional value from this study that I fully recommend.

Roberto Baccaglini, MBA
McLaren Automotive Ltd.
Alumnus Class 2009 - 2011

Round up, through the Professional MBA (PMBA) Automotive Industry, my professional competencies with a broader knowledge of business subjects, so I am able to understand fully the complexity of company issues and become a fully-fledged Automotive Industry manager. PMBA, as a comprehensive course with transnational nature, is for me a “lifetime chance” to gain a formal recognition of my competencies and skills, expand my knowledge further and put into practice, on the job, what I learn here. Moreover, this will give a boost to my career and open new prospects at international level. My impression after the first module is extremely positive. The outdoor experience was very rewarding and contributed to strengthen further our team spirit and confidence. On overall, the pace and the contents of the lectures are demanding – there’s really no time to lose.

DI Christoph Baier, MBA
Continental Automotive Austria
Alumnus Class 2009 - 2011

My main motivation to participate in the Professional MBA Automotive Industry is to extend my technical know-how and managerial experience with up to date business skills presented in this program. In addition I want to learn more about the automotive value creation system. The first lectures were very compact and full of interesting details about the automotive business and future trends. The presentation of vivid examples made it easy to understand the basics. The exchange of different experiences from the participants is for me one of the most important benefits of our class. The teambuilding event gave us a perfect start as a team in this challenging journey in the next two years towards our goal to achieve the MBA.

Ing. Slavomír Hunák, MBA
AMK Arnold Müller GmbH & Co.KG
Alumnus 2009 - 2011

Thanks to the MBA studies and detailed insight into best practices of automotive industry also other industrial customers had been positively affected and many new acquired. For our international company in Germany which is having it´s origins in industrial automation was the successful expansion into automotive very big step. And very successful in terms of using existing technologic leadership from motors, drives and control technology. Getting personal contacts for some of the top managements and up-to-date information is the basis for growth and internalization of business operations, but the busines is done always between people. Gaining friends with incredible drive going the same direction in their careers is the main reason to recommend post-graduate study of Automotive MBA. 

Juan Carlos Legaspi, MEng, MBA
Chrysler de México
Alumnus Class 2009 - 2011

My expectations are high and the faculty staff of both institutions is excellent also with great enthusiasm to guide you to explore new trends in the automotive industry.
Changes in my career perspectives and personal life are the main motivators to participate in the professional MBA automotive industry program.  Due to the strong academic curriculum of the program, I will be prepared to incursion in other areas of the automotive industry different from those of my previous experience. My peers are great and provide an excellent opportunity for networking in the industry of my interest.
Diversity of experience, academic backgrounds, nationalities either from my colleagues and the faculty provide the ideal environment to learn from interesting business case discussions and to enhance our leadership and business competences. The outdoor module, in which we participate in a wonderful location in the Vienna Woods, set the conditions to promote a cohesive competitive MBA group instead of fierce competition among the MBA participants. Now, after all these first lectures and experiences, I dare to confirm that this Professional MBA automotive industry program is unique in its kind and that I am very excited about my future.

Mag. Rene Petzner, MBA
KIA Austria
Alumnus Class 2009 - 2011

As I am working at automotive distributer level, I am looking forward getting a deeper insight within the automotive industry when doing this MBA program. Already the first lectures confirmed my expectation being taught by a practical approach and on a fundamental analysis of the current situation of the automotive industry in crisis. Looking ahead to the 2 years to go I am convinced that this education will be a valuable enhancement of my personal knowledge and skills for my daily working life. Besides that I got to know a lot of interesting and will experienced class colleagues from different working levels and even could put in practice some very exciting and useful team building module at the beginning of the course.

DI (FH) Christoph Pöstinger, MBA
FH Wiener Neustadt
Alumnus Class 2009 - 2011

It is great to be part in the world's first MBA program focusing on automotive. There are very interesting students representing different players within the automotive industry and the program provides also a valuable platform for exchanging ideas. My expectations to the program are to get deep inside knowledge from numerous experts and interdisciplinary knowledge, to work on actions (theoretical and practical) regarding the current financial crisis and to build a network among students and lecturers.
My first impression is that the program offers an interesting and challenging curriculum as well organized.

Ing. Alfred Walshäusl, MBA
Continental Automotive Austria
Alumnus Class 2009 - 2011

My motivation to attend the Professional MBA Automotive Industry was to gather additional knowledge, share opinions and to participate on the experiences of my peers. Based on my work experience, I have high expectations on these elements. After the first module and the outdoor teambuilding event, I know that the application for this program was the right decision. The team spirit, the competence of lecturers and students, as well as the efficient organizational management of the program reflect the needs of people working in automotive.

Ing. Ernst Weigl, MBA
Continental Automotive Austria
Alumnus Class 2009 - 2011

By different media the MBA Automotive Industry was notified and called my attention. The program perfectly supports my intention to extend my knowledge how to manage an industrial company and to enhance my automotive knowledge. The content of the first session of the program was fully in line with my expectation while the challenging lectures are in front of us. Harsh weather conditions didn't prevent us from the outdoor module in the Wienerwald. We did a big step forward to form a perfect team of students coming from different nations with a wide range of experiences and profession. After successful completion of the MBA program I am convinced to contribute in a more professional way to the targeted results of my company while the opportunity to be promoted for a higher or extended position will increase.

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