After completing his bachelor’s in industrial engineering, Maximilian, who is originally from the southwest German state Baden-Württemberg, made his way north. “I really like it in Hamburg. There are a lot of nice parts of town, and there are quite a few green spaces.” Maximilian had worked on logistics planning in the aircraft spare parts department at Airbus for two years when he decided it was time to continue his professional development by enrolling in the master’s program at KLU. “I’m amazed by the variety of complex tasks my chosen field is presented with. A company’s success will often hinge on vital decisions made in our department.” Currently, Maximilian is in his second semester in the MSc in Global Logistics and Supply Chain Management at KLU. He is one of the first four students to come to the private university via the new cooperation between Airbus and KLU.
Win-Win for All Involved
More than 10,000 external suppliers work with Airbus in Germany. This makes the company an ideal location to witness the planning and managing of logistics processes first hand. The cooperation with KLU brings many advantages to both the company and the students: Airbus provides its junior employees with opportunities for further professional development and for obtaining a master’s degree. The students in turn bring their newly acquired specialist knowledge back to the company.
A mentor from Airbus has been advising Maximilian on his master’s thesis and has been available to answer many other questions during his time at KLU. Together they often discuss the practicality of the latest industry trends in logistics. What is more, the mentor has also counseled him on picking out his coursework. All in all, what Maximilian has found to be the largest contributing factor to his success at KLU is the financial assistance he has received through the cooperation with Airbus. Time management, however, would also have been an issue in balancing out his work and class schedules. “I would have had to stop working at Airbus.” This way he has a job waiting for him after graduation.
Putting Theory into Practice
Before Maximilian starts writing his thesis in his fourth semester, he will have the opportunity to complete an internship and spend a semester abroad. Core requirements are covered in the program’s first semester, including general logistics, business logistics and supply chain management. In the second semester, students are able to hone in on their areas of specialization by selecting from a number of course electives. “In Data Science, we learn how to analyze big data and research what spare parts we’ll need in the future.” Another class that Maximilian has found useful is Negotiations, in which students develop professional techniques for negotiating and streamlining work processes.
Maximilian enjoys KLU’s interactive teaching model. Students are encouraged to work on and solve a variety of case studies. “We get a lot of visitors from the industry that introduce new topics and present us with a lot of useful examples.” He also appreciates how transparent the experts are regarding their business strategies, confirming for him that what they are working on will indeed be relevant later on in his career. “One good example of direct application of what we’re learning here is in the class Demand Planning. If you’re working on an optimization project, it’s crucial to have an understanding of the planning going on behind the scenes in spare parts.”
From HafenCity to Argentina
Maximilian has already confirmed his plans for his semester abroad. He is going to attend the IAE Business School in Argentina where he hopes to meet a lot of MBA students. The university is well-known for offering courses that cater to those with previous work experience. “Of course, I’m also planning on improving my Spanish while I’m there.”
The fact that the language of tuition at KLU is English is an added bonus for Maximilian concerning his everyday life at work with Airbus. So far, he has been able to improve his knowledge of industry-specific vocabulary and apply it in his coursework. At Airbus, Maximilian communicates with many international colleagues, so it is important for him to stay up to speed.
Students Stick Together
At KLU English is the obvious choice to hold classes and seminars in since many students come from abroad – not just Europe, but from all over the world. The ties and friendships formed among these students are exceptionally strong. One time, when Maximilian was sick and not able to attend class for two weeks, his classmates helped him cover what he missed. He has become close friends with many of his peers. “They all come from different backgrounds, many coming from business administration. A lot of them have work experience, but others don’t. What’s great are the different perspectives we all bring to the table.”
Return to Airbus
Maximilian is now half way through with his studies, and soon he will be deciding on a subject for his master’s thesis. As far as his plans for after graduation are concerned, one thing is clear: “I definitely want to head back to Airbus, to the same department!”