My Most Valuable Takeaway – A Feeling of a big Family

An interview with Doris Cui (China), Full-time MBA (Class of 2017)

It has been one year since Doris started her MBA studies at HHL. Now she is well prepared for her new chapter in Bonn: an internship at DHL. Doris shared her experience at HHL, as well as some tips for new students in terms of internship searching.

About study

I studied German for my Bachelor degree and worked on government relations and policy analysis for years. Before I came to HHL, I only had limited knowledge and experience in finance, accounting or business strategy etc.  The well-structured MBA program equipped me with such knowledge from scratch and helped me to build up solid skills in the business field. Furthermore, through participation in academic events, I gained a deeper understanding in my interest areas, such as negotiation. I entered the final contest of The Negotiation Challenge this year and had a great time in Columbia competing with students from international business schools and law schools. Another benefit of my MBA study is the improvement of my team working and communication skills, thanks to our continuous group works and presentations.

About my M17

I am glad to be in M17 (full-time MBA Class of 2017) and to have the chance to know my fellow MBA classmates. MBA17 is a very international class with students with diverse backgrounds. With everyone bringing in their unique working style, the way of thinking, different cultural backgrounds and skillsets, we have learned from each other constantly. Besides academic life, we organized different parties and events to celebrate important holidays together, Thanksgiving, Chinese New Year, Ramadan etc. This feeling of a big family and the close friends I made was one of my most valuable takeaways from the MBA studies.

About life in Leipzig

I would say that Leipzig is heaven for students, with its low living expenses. It’s only 40 minutes away from Berlin by train, which is very convenient to travel around. Leipzig is culturally rich and has a lot of beautiful nature. On the other hand, it is a city for young people with its alternative culture. Pubs, clubs, theatres, and art galleries provide a lot of entertainment.

I spend most of my leisure time with friends from M17; we traveled together, cooked together, and had great conversations. I can always find inspiration from their deep insights. I feel that the interpersonal relationship here is quite simple and straightforward. If you are not a social person, it is very easy to find activities to do by yourself such as go for a walk in the park or chill at the lakeside; if you want to make friends, everyone is ready to accept you. It is also easy to find common topics as globalization has brought us to watch the same films and TV series and listen to the same music.

About my internship

My role as sustainability strategy intern at DHL will focus on policy analysis and provide consultancy to B2B customers regarding green solutions. My interests towards sustainability derived from our Corporate Social Responsibility course. The case study taught by Dr. Nick Lin-Hi in which he helped a Chinese apparel factory to obtain better working conditions has convinced me that despite the unavoidable costs caused by the drive of capital, it is still valuable to make a difference in one’s own ability.

What’s more, my 6-month Student Consulting Project with Bertelsmann also focused on sustainability, which has given me a deeper understanding on this topic and equipped me with hands-on project management experience.

Tips for application

To begin with, I made a list of companies I would like to work for and checked their websites one by one for internship openings in the areas I was interested in. For each position, I would modify my CV and cover letter accordingly, to fit the job description, emphasizing my relevant experience, my passion and the understanding for the position. I think the cover letter is particularly important with German employers, as in most of the interviews I have had, the interviewer brought up details that were mentioned in my cover letter.

For new students, I suggest you use our HHL Job-teaser, and other platforms to get the latest information about career events and opportunities. The career service also helped me a lot through workshops, CV modifications, and interview coaching.

I wish you all a very fruitful time in Leipzig!


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