Interview with Li Jin, HHL MBA alumnus
Current employer: Huawei Technologies Deutschland GmbH | Undergraduate major: Refrigeration Equipment and Cryogenic Technology | Work experience before MBA: Thermal Energy and Power Engineering, Electronic Signature (11.5 years)
Please tell us about your job.
I work for Huawei Technologies Deutschland GmbH, based in Munich. My title is Project Supply Chain Manager, responsible for project – based supply chain management. The working language is English and Chinese. The job is based in Germany but the content is closely related to China.
How did you get to know the vacancy at Huawei?
I learned about this opportunity through our HHL alumni.
How was the job application process?
My experience was actually quite simple and smooth. I submitted my CV, then I was invited for an interview and finally received the job offer shortly after.
Which qualities, do you think, have made you stand out among other applicants?
My MBA studies at HHL have prepared me with solid theoretical knowledge about supply chain. My past work experience, though not directly related to supply chain, has equipped me with the appropriate professionalism and sense of responsibility which was an important prerequisite for working in the supply chain industry.
How do you feel about working in Germany? Have you noticed any difference in the working culture compared to working in China?
In Huawei Germany most of my colleagues come from Germany and China, as well as other European and Asian countries. The corporate culture here is thus very different compared with local German enterprises or Chinese enterprises. One has to put some effort in order to adapt to and integrate into such an international working environment.
However, our core purpose at Huawei is to work together, get things done, and face challenges together as a team. Integration happens naturally during collaboration.
Culture is a big topic that is not easy to elaborate in only a few words. Simply put, I don’t see inherent culture shackles in an international workplace. However, employees are expected to understand and respect different cultures and traditions and to avoid internal friction.
Do you have any advice for Chinese students on how to develop a career in Germany?
For Chinese job seekers in Germany, the first and most important thing is to make up your mind about what you want, and what you are good at, and then combine the two together when searching for jobs. If you want to enter a certain industry but lack the corresponding qualifications and personality, you will come to a dead end eventually. If you can do something well but don’t really enjoy it, even if you get the job, it won’t make you happy. As for which channels to use in job search, I suggest you try every possible means to acquire information and access opportunities. I benefited greatly from HHL’s Career Service, which has given me a lot of professional guidance.
What do employers value in an MBA student? Is a German internship experience very important?
It depends. If the job description requires MBA qualification, skills and knowledge, an MBA program is very valuable. If you want to work in the same industry that you used to work in, the relevant work experience is more important. The same holds true for an internship. Employers will look for the corresponding qualifications and experience in a candidate according to the job requirements; this is the main criterion.
As a Chinese student, what are the advantages and disadvantages when working in Germany?
Our Chinese background and language can be both an advantage and a disadvantage. When the job deals with Chinese industries and customers, we surely have an advantage over European job seekers. On the contrary, if you want to work for local European or German companies, being a Chinese might undermine your competitiveness comparing to local candidates.
Which role did HHL’s career service and alumni network play in your job searching?
As mentioned earlier, HHL’s career service has given me a lot of professional guidance, such as insights into the German job market, cultivation of my self-confidence, as well as first hand information about employment opportunities. Our alumni network provided more direct job opportunities and support.
Get to know HHL, Germany’s leading business school and find out how you can accelerate your career with our top MBA and Master programs!
HHL comes to Shanghai, China, for an exclusive HHL event with HHL staff and alumni on September 5, 2017, and you are cordially invited to participate.
李同学，HHL MBA alumnus
就职单位：华为技术德国有限公司(Huawei Technologies Deutschland GmbH) | 本科专业：制冷设备与低温技术 | 工作行业背景：电厂热能工程与煤燃烧技术，电子签名与数字证书系统 | MBA前工作年限：11.5年
华为德国，坐标慕尼黑，职位是project supply chain manager，基于项目的供应链管理。我的工作语言主要是英语与中文，工作内容在德国实施，但与中国相关。
- 能分享一下德国的职场体验么？这里的Business culture与国内有什么异同？
- 你觉得雇主更看重MBA学生的哪些素质? 在德国的实习经历重要么？
It depends. 如果目标行业以MBA项目的内容为基础，那么在MBA的学习就很重要。如果目标行业与过去的工作经历一脉相承，那么工作背景就更重要。实习也是同样的道理，若与目标行业一致，就很重要。雇主会以相应的职业素养和对本行业的认识为主要考查方向。