94 % of our graduates find a job within the first three months of graduating
And, after two years, an average of 80 percent have management responsibilities. On top of that, 97% of our students would recommend studying with IU International University of Applied Sciences. This information was reported by Alumni who took part in our 2020 Service Evaluation. These excellent results are based on the fact that, in addition to teaching professional expertise, IU International University of Applied Sciences focuses on training social and intercultural competence. IU is proud of its graduates and the impressive careers they have built.
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At IU International University of Applied Sciences, our programmes are designed to best prepare you for your professional future. Because your success is our success. Find out how studying at IU helped our graduates build a successful career and develop important professional skills.
B A Financial Management
“The interaction I had with my tutors at IU gave me food for thought that helped me in my everyday working life.”
Using his apprenticeship and a Bachelor’s degree, Tim Michel was promoted to Advisor and Project Manager Payments & Deposits at Commerzbank.
After my apprenticeship as a banker and banking specialist (IHK), one thing was clear: I wanted to consolidate the content from the apprenticeship academically. Back then, I was already working at Commerzbank and so I decided to do an online business management study programme that focused on financial management. The flexible time models at IU International University of Applied Sciences meant that I was able to combine work and study ideally. I am by nature the kind of person who likes structure, so I blocked off fixed learning periods throughout the week.
One company, multiple opportunities
At the time, I was working at Commerzbank in the management and employee participation division. This was an exciting experience for me because instead of dealing with private clients, as I had previously, I now dealt primarily with company clients and got to know whole new aspects of the banking business. This was also my first position at head office, which follows its own particular rules. After one and a half years, I felt ready for a new challenge – and moved to the product management investment fund division. A golden opportunity: During the successful product launches I was involved in, I worked a lot with my current boss, who was running the securities division at the time. When he moved to the payment & deposits division and asked me if I also wanted to move to this area as an advisor and project manager, I didn’t hesitate for long – and moved to my current role.
Helpful interaction and communication with the tutors
My online learning at IU International University of Applied Sciences was very useful for my professional development. Not just because of the theoretical knowledge I gained; it was mostly because of the constant interaction and communication with my tutors: in my everyday working life, I was always being confronted by issues, which I was then able to discuss at the university. The food for thought my tutors gave me proved to be a great help in practice. That is exactly why I would also recommend the study programme at IU: the friendly and direct interaction with fellow students, tutors and professors is indispensable to any student who wants to make rapid progress.
B.A. Financial Management
“Online learning at IU offers, in my opinion, exactly the flexibility working people need to be able to learn effectively.”
IU alumnus Dennis Laucke combines the two different subject areas of finance and IT. After his Bachelor’s degree in financial management he has been working as a technical project manager at GOD GmbH.
Right from the outset, when I was planning my future career, I focused my attention on forward-looking industries, such as finance and IT. That was why I opted to study financial management. While I was studying for my degree, an acquaintance of mine told me about GOD GmbH – it’s actually where he works. As the job of a technical project manager is a mix of IT and my previous knowledge, it wasn’t hard for me to make the decision and I took the plunge and joined them. I was also encouraged by the fact that GOD takes on people from other subject fields so that they can maintain a broad position with a wide range of content.
Firewalls, project management and international collaboration
As a technical project manager, I now look after IT infrastructure projects and technical subprojects at Volkswagen. My world revolves around servers, firewalls, databases, webSEALs and many other IT infrastructure components. This task is comparable with those of a classic builder: I am responsible for the implementation of what an IT architect plans and so I move between the project phases involving order clarification, product ordering, delivery and commissioning of the infrastructure. The projects can also be international; we currently have two projects running in English.
I can use the project and financial management skills from the degree directly in my job
Even though my degree and my current job vary in terms of their subject matter, there are always overlaps – mostly in relation to project management skills, which I learnt during my studies. I plan the project phases, milestones and schedules for the technical subprojects myself. On top of that, there are touch points with classic financial management, such as cost analyses, cost controlling and risk management.
The freedom you get with an online study programme made it possible to learn and work effectively
What was - and is to date - the most useful thing for me personally, by far, is the general schedule of the online study programme. During this time, I learnt so much in terms of how to organise myself, and how to coordinate and plan a project. That’s exactly what enabled me to work efficiently, even when I suddenly had five different projects pending all at the same time. Online learning at IU offers, in my opinion, exactly the flexibility people need to be able to learn effectively. You are not limited to one medium. Everyone can learn in the way that suits them best. Even when taking exams, as a student you have freedom in terms of the time and the place. For me, this flexibility was a big plus point and, as has now been shown, was also great preparation for my future career.
B.A. Business Administration
“My broad-based business administration degree helped me to think outside the box.”
With a Bachelor’s degree in business administration, “Edel”, as she is called in her colleague and friendship circle, switched from the tourism industry to HR at Microsoft Germany
The end of my apprenticeship as a travel agent was also a starting point for me – because it was soon clear that I wanted to continue studying. So I successfully completed my business administration certificate alongside my job in a DER travel agency in Schweinfurt and thus qualified for university studies. Online learning was ideal for me, as I really wanted to stay in the job. The programme at IU International University of Applied Sciences gave me the flexibility I needed. During the degree, this became even more important, because I was promoted to office manager at my travel agency and I had to accommodate a responsible job – often with a 6-day week – plus studies, partner, family and friends.
If you are really motivated you are halfway there
In stressful times, my own wanderlust, as well as regularly going jogging, was great motivation for me. When I was planning my next holiday trip, I always had this in mind and I would say to myself, now is the time to put in some hard work – the next holiday is just around the corner! However, my success in my degree is also down to the network I formed at IU. Soon after starting my degree, I was lucky enough to get to know seven fantastic fellow students at an IU weekend in Bad Honnef. We have motivated and supported each other – we were once just “fellow students” but have now become really good friends.
From the tourism industry to Microsoft
At the end of my study programme, in November 2017, I felt ready for a new challenge – and found it at MSC Cruises, where I worked as the sales manager there, looking after the sales partners of the company in the south-west of Germany. I came across my current job at Microsoft on a visit to a careers fair in 2018. I was immediately excited by the company and decided to apply. And was successful! After three selection rounds, I was given the job.
My motto: don’t stand still!
At Microsoft, I am now mainly responsibly for onboarding the new employees in Germany – in other words, I have the honour of inspiring new “Microsofties” from day one with our wonderful corporate values and culture. I have also my business administration degree to thank for the fact that I was able to move from the tourism industry to HR: Using comprehensive theoretical knowledge, I can easily deal with activities in a range of different areas and can think outside of the box of my subject. This has helped me stay true to my personal goal: to pass on my knowledge and never stand still.
B.A. Business Administration
"The study programme suited my needs and my schedule"
From air traffic officer to controller of a Swiss airport – with good work, high motivation and a Bachelor’s degree, IU International University of Applied Sciences alumnus Anthony rose through the ranks and is now looking after major projects at Flughafen Zürich AG.
I started my career doing an apprenticeship as an air traffic officer. After that, I worked for different companies in the air traffic industry and so, right from the outset, I was highly specialised in this sector. To get an insight into a range of other industries and methods, I started online studies in business administration at IU. At this time, I was working as a senior analyst at Flughafen Zürich AG.
With a degree from Senior Analyst to Major Projects Controller
I didn’t have to wait long for my degree to bear fruit: While studying for the degree, the position of Major Projects Controller at Flughafen Zürich AG was advertised, which required a university degree. Thanks to my previous good work, my personal motivation and the prospect that I would soon be graduating, I got the job.
As Controller, I now support all major projects at Flughafen Zürich AG with an implementation sum of at least 50 million Swiss francs and can devote myself to my passion and fondness for figures. The most exciting projects currently include the project to construct a new, small district in a projected called The Circle and expanding the central baggage sorting system at the airport. Within this framework, I also support subprojects for the purposes of credit management. I calculate the business cases for them and create reports and analyses for the decision-makers. It’s easy for me to draw on the assessment methods for the business cases I learnt in my degree because I was able to develop a deeper understanding of them through my studies.
Promotion, family and studies: IU’s flexible learning model makes it possible
The fact that I managed to study alongside my full-time job and also change to a new job with more responsibility was only possible due to IU’s flexible time model: A typical day for me comprised office time, time with the family and then only when my children had gone to bed did I have time to study. Fixed classroom appointments for lectures would not have been possible for me – especially while I was in the process of changing jobs. In short: the degree suited my needs and schedule perfectly, not the other way around.
B.A. Business Information Systems
“Companies are looking for people with a degree and professional experience – with online learning, you get both!”
Already during her apprenticeship, IU alumna Lara Bergen discovered her passion for computer science and studied business information systems in an online learning programme at IU alongside her full-time job. Today, she works as Head of Consulting at BE terna Industry Solutions GmbH.
After graduating as an industrial clerk specialising in information technology, I initially decided to stay loyal to my training company: As I had developed a bit of a “magic touch” with the software we had at the time and I understood the day-to-day business processes really well, I was able to use my knowledge for group software changes and get involved in project implementation as a project assistant. I initially only worked for the German subsidiary. But after just a short time I got the opportunity to look after a multi-year project in London.
Work abroad, study at IU International University of Applied Sciences
It was while I was there that I decided to do an online study programme in business information systems at IU: I had always wanted to study. But after I completed my Abitur (German general secondary school diploma), I didn’t really know what I wanted to study. It was only when I managed the software project in London that it became clear that computer science was my future. To enhance my practical experience, a degree in business information systems seemed to me to be very useful and sensible. As I wanted to do a degree that would also be recognised in Germany, only an online study programme in Germany was worth considering. This is how I discovered IU International University of Applied Sciences.
From a time perspective it was very hard to balance my job and online learning. The job of a software advisor requires a high willingness to travel and above-average commitment. I used the evenings in hotels to read the lecture notes for the degree. The weekends were mainly filled with online tests, hours of study and exams. There wasn’t much time for a private life. From a geographical perspective, the wide distribution of exam centres in Germany and Europe is ideal, as I was not always working in one place. I was also able to take the exams in Leipzig or London – without having to reduce the amount of time spent on client projects.
Balancing studies and client appointments
Once the project in Great Britain was complete, I moved back to my home country. Given that over the past few years I had specialised in Microsoft Software, I applied to my current employer, BE-terna Industry Solutions GmbH, a large software company and Microsoft Gold partner – and was immediately taken on. I joined as a junior consultant, but as a result of the experience I had gained abroad and from the project, I was quickly able to prove myself and continuously work my way up. The management team recognised my potential and allowed me to work independently so that I could balance my studies with my client meetings.
I was offered the team leader position in the middle of last year. My commitment to the team and also the acceptance of my clients and colleagues gave me the confidence I needed to make the change. I still spend some of my time out on the road as a consultant. I currently coordinate the consultant team in the DACH region. I lead staff meetings, do the holiday planning and search for new employees. For our clients, I am their escalation contact for when something doesn’t quite go to plan. I also participate in management meetings with the holding company, report the monthly and quarterly key figures to senior management and always try to make the life of my team members easier by using technical tools, such as time tracking or a project management tool.
Plus point for irregular working hours: virtual lecture rooms and digital lecture notes
My degree at IU gave me a comprehensive overview of the business administration side of things. So now I know that it’s not just about understanding processes; I also know what it means to complete a high quality IT project on time and in budget. Through virtual lecture rooms and digital lecture notes, online learning at IU is particularly suitable if you work irregular hours or at different locations. You should, of course, be aware that full-time study alongside a full-time job is really tough. But it is worth it. I would do it again any time! Who knows what they want to study straight after finishing school? Companies are looking for people with a degree and professional experience – with an online study programme, you get both!
MA General Management
"Studying at IU gave me valuable knowledge that I can draw upon in my job."
Practical experience to boost your career: Maren Sellmann, Consultant at MHP – A Porsche Company, completed her dual Bachelor’s degree in International Management at IU and then went on to do a Master’s in General Management online, also at IU International University of Applied Sciences.
I’ve been working as a consultant for MHP Management- und IT Beratung GmbH – A Porsche Company for over a year and so far have not regretted that decision. I found out about the company through an acquaintance, who is now my colleague. I have always been interested in cars and anything to do with cars, so the automotive and manufacturing industry fitted in perfectly with my own personal interests. For my employer, the fact that right from the start, as part of my dual degree, I completed my studies at the same time as doing my job, and therefore had lots of practical experience, certainly played a key role in the decision to take me on.
At the moment, I am involved in a project at a large car manufacturer, which concerns their compliance with legal requirements and the establishment of governance structures. Most of my work involves looking after the overall project management which, for me, includes project controlling and supporting my project management with administrative activities, drafting documents for committees and coordinating directly with project management at the client site. We are also planning the future focus of the project and advising the client in terms of transitioning the project organisation into line management, i.e. integrating it into everyday working life.
Flexibility in your studies = get more practical experience
The best thing about my job is that it is really varied and diverse; above all I find the mix of operational activities and strategic consulting exciting, particularly as I am out and about on site with clients a lot of the time. Every day I meet new, interesting people – and for me, the most important thing is that there is always something new to learn.
Even after my dual Bachelor’s degree in International Management at IU International University of Applied Sciences, I was fuelled by the desire to know more. It was important to me to be broadly positioned and to continue my education because life-long learning is vital these days. So, I made the decision to do an online Master’s in General Management at IU, which enabled me to continue my education whilst staying on the ball professionally: I was able to gain practical experience, broaden my specialist knowledge and have lots of flexibility to organise my study time myself. Fortunately, I never had a problem learning independently and preparing myself for the exams.
Studying and working – the perfect match
Balancing study and work during the online learning programme worked brilliantly for me. Admittedly, the time was also associated with sacrifice. The biggest challenge for me was finding out when the best time to learn was: initially, I studied in the evenings after work, but this didn’t really work for me. Instead, I got used to blocking out study time at the weekends. This meant I had free time in the week to do sport and other activities and I studied at the weekends during the day.
Again and again, I notice how much of the knowledge I gained in my studies I can use in my current job: Purely in terms of content, the specialisation topics that have been really helpful to me were management consulting and management of IT projects, which I could choose independently. But most of the other subjects have given me valuable knowledge for my current professional life, which I have constant access to now, for example via the lecture notes.
M.A. General Management
"The IU online study programme fitted perfectly into my everyday working life."
Travel sustainably and individually – this is the top priority for IU alumna Jenny Strumpf. Today, she runs her own company based on this concept.
During my study programme, I had already had the idea of setting up a special travel agency for trips to Africa . While working for various different travel agents and tour operators, I found myself alone on my first trip through South Africa and it was love at first sight: The amazing countryside and hospitality of its people simply captivated me and I was really caught by the Africa bug. Lots more trips followed to southern and eastern Africa, which were all fascinating. Even then, authentic trips, cultural encounters on an equal footing away from the show villages and very personal, straightforward contact with my clients are all things that are very important to me. In order to be able to implement this, I decided to take my happiness into my own hands and set up Go’n joy africa .
Useful knowledge from the study programme
At the time, I was already studying for my Master’s in General Management at IU. A big advantage for me was that I could work on the marketing and tourism management module while I was setting it up, so was able to directly use my knowledge in these areas. I also really benefited from the monthly examinations because there was less time pressure. With the online study material, I learned a lot whilst out on the road and didn’t have to go to any in-person classes. I was able to integrate my online learning at IU perfectly into my everyday working life.
Individual and sustainable travel
My daily tasks are quite varied. Roughly summarised, there are two seasons for selling trips to Africa. I spend most of my time in the high season, which runs from around September to May, putting together individual, customised Africa trips for customers. We put everything together that the client wants together with the respective partner agency on site, whether that’s self-drive holidays through South Africa, Namibia and Botswana, privately-managed individual tours in Morocco or selected holidays for small groups in Tanzania. To guarantee sustainable travel, we are always careful to support small family-run accommodation and transport companies and are on the road in small groups comprising a maximum of 12 people. As part of the vegan adventure holiday, we often visit animal rescue stations or a penguin rescue station in Cape Town and regularly provide information about sustainable projects – the latest one is Zanrec, a waste initiative on Zanzibar, which teaches the local population about recycling.
In the low season, my days are largely spent putting together new and interesting travel products away from the well-trodden tourist trail for my website www.gonjoy-africa.com.
Milestones to date include the development of vegan holidays in small groups through South Africa, which are expected to start from February 2019. Or the TourCert Check, a certification of sustainability and corporate responsibility in tourism, which paves the way for more sustainability in our travel products. The biggest highlight for me personally is every time I get positive feedback from my clients and stay in contact with them. This shows my work is bearing fruit.
Mobile travel advice as a future project
I’m now not just living out my passion for authentic travel on my own. Together with a friend from my student days, I am now endeavouring to implement the same concept under the brand “Go’n joy Erlebnisreisen” (Go’n Joy adventure holidays) for holidays to Latin America. Together, we want to incorporate the topic of sustainability even more and develop a more personal form of mobile travel advice away from fixed office hours.
M.A. General Management
“Combined with practical work experience, the study programme at IU was the right choice for me.”
Thanks to her online learning programme at IU, IU alumna Britta Gabriel joined gastronovi GMBH as a project manager and rose through the ranks to become a partner manager.
When I joined gastronovi GmbH, a software solutions provider for the restaurant industry, I had just completed my Master of Arts General Management with IU’s online study programme. I was able to use the study content directly in practice. In addition to the management skills I gained from my studies, my independent working methods also help me in my job. This strength has become even more pronounced through online learning.
Organise your online learning to suit your own needs
The flexibility of the online learning programme at IU ensured that I could easily combine work and study. At the time, I was working part-time in customer service and was able to organise my work time flexibly right from the start of my studies. Around the end of my studies, I took a job with a more regular working day. That enabled me to do a combination of three things: to deepen my practical skills in customer service, apply my knowledge from my first degree and also acquire more theoretical, specialist knowledge in online studies. Combined with practical work experience, studying at IU was the right choice for me: I could set the learning pace myself, depending on how busy I was at work or in my private life. The fact that I could take my examinations in Bremen and arrange a lot things online, was also of great benefit. If anything was still unclear, I could always go to my contact partner for help.
From project management to partnering
After finishing my online learning programme, I joined gastronovi GmbH initially as a project manager in after-sales. In this role, I looked after our new customers and supported the software system process up to going live with the customers. Alongside that, my tasks as a project manager included solving support cases as they arose, and preparing and implementing different trade fair appearances.
As a partner manager, I am now the first contact person responsible for business partners if they have any questions about using gastronovi’s software. I am also responsible for training the specialist retailers of our software and developing a training and certification process. This allows me to significantly help shape our business relationships with retailers and their development and training concepts. My area of responsibility is really varied; no two days are alike. It’s great that I have so many opportunities to get involved in the company and contribute my ideas. As we are currently growing, there’s a lot going on, and it is exciting to see which processes are changing.
M.A. General Management
"In an IU online learning programme, everyone can specialise in the way they want."
From an administrator to management – IU International University of Applied Sciences alumnus Philipp Kleingrothe was promoted to team leader while he was studying for his Master’s in General Management online. Right at the end of his studies, he was promoted to Head of Overseas Transport of Seacon / ICT GmbH at the Duisburg site.
When I started my degree at IU, I was taken on by the logistics company Seacon / ICT GmbH as a normal administrator – specialising in sea freight export, instalment procurement and India business development. During my studies, I finally settled into the newly created “International Business Affairs” business unit and took over the leadership of the team there while I was studying.
Move up the career ladder after the Master’s
The next career move then came almost straight after I finished my Master’s degree: I was promoted to Head of Overseas Transport at our site in Duisburg and am now responsible for six members of staff. My current area of responsibility includes developing international relationships, but also developing the business areas and managing the specialist areas of import sea freight and export & import air freight.
What’s fantastic about this role for me is that for the first time in my professional career, I am responsible for several areas at once and have extra responsibility for personnel. The biggest challenges are keeping track of the activities and developments in all my areas of responsibility and proving myself to older employees and getting their respect.
Rising the ranks through self-motivation, specialist knowledge and loyalty
Of course, I owe this career firstly to my own motivation but also to the knowledge I gained in my Master’s degree in General Management. In my view, the flexibility makes a compelling case for learning online at IU. The wide range of elective modules to choose from also won me over. It means you can specialise in what you really want to do. In addition to classic business administration knowledge, the study programme also gave me some important skills such as time management and self-discipline.
M.A. General Management
"Online learning at IU is ideal for working people."
From the start-up environment to management in the automotive industry: After holding a variety of different positions working in the Berlin start-up scene, IU International University of Applied Sciences alumnus Robert Kotok is responsible for project, process and portfolio management at AMAG Import AG in Switzerland and is responsible there for “supporting and developing” entrepreneurship.
I am now Head of Project, Process and Portfolio Management at AMAG Import AG, a car importer for the Volkswagen Group’s brands in Switzerland. My main task is to “support and develop entrepreneurship” – an activity that involves a great variety of issues and a high degree of creative freedom. I can go from one meeting about optimising highly standardised, generic processes straight into another about working out the value-maximising aspects of a project or investment. The thing I like most about my job: within the AMAG Group, promising ideas can be implemented and become reality very quickly.
Ingredients for a career: Professional experience, positive attitude and luck
My previous career benefitted significantly from three key aspects: the first was my many years of professional experience in finance and IT, coupled with a range of different types of project. Secondly, my ultra-positive attitude to constant change, which I got from the eight years I spent in start-up scene in Berlin. It helps me today with numerous decisions of a strategic but also of an operative nature. The last, but most important ingredient is luck! I was lucky enough to have (without exception) top managers, from whom I was able to learn so much, such as dealing with issues, crisis situations, personnel management at different levels, but also dealing with failure.
Knowledge from the degree is a must
I learned so much about strategic management, corporate finance and corporate governance from my degree. I benefit from it when dealing with strategic issues, for example in the context of corporate investment management. Learning content such as success-oriented controlling and international accounting are really a must for me because I have to quantify promises linked to projects, measure and embed financial constructs resulting from investments using standards in accounting.
Learning material from online learning suitable for every learning style
I can therefore really recommend online learning at IU International University of Applied Sciences. Firstly due to the flexibility because I was able to set both the order of the exams and the pace of the study programme myself, which makes it ideal for working people, of course. Furthermore, the material provided is designed to suit every “learning style”: The content can be learnt using podcasts, video tutorials, presentations, lecture notes, online tests or in further reading. Thanks to the many practical examples, you can quickly get a feel for the respective topic areas.
M.A. Marketing Management
"I was won over primarily by the flexibility of the degree and the numerous specialisation opportunities at IU."
After her dual degree in Hotel and Tourism Management, Lana Malinovska specialised in the field of marketing in an online Master’s study programme at IU International University of Applied Sciences. Today, she works as a Junior Online Marketing Manager at Career Partner GmbH.
During my dual study programme in Hotel and Tourism Management, I had the opportunity to get to know all the divisions in my training company – and discovered my great passion for marketing. When I started my first full-time job with a travel agency, I quickly noticed that although I enjoyed the tasks, my job prospects were somewhat limited. So I came up with the idea of starting an online study programme in marketing management alongside my job. Many of my former colleagues had studied at IU International University of Applied Sciences and had been very happy with it. I was won over primarily by the flexibility of the degree and the numerous specialisation possibilities compared to other universities.
The flexible degree made it possible to gain professional experience in three cities
At the start of my online studies, I continued to work 40 hours a week in tourism. That sounds like a lot but the extra effort is definitely manageable with discipline and self-motivation. The constant availability of tutors, who supported me whenever I had any questions, quickly took away the worry that online learning would mean I’d have to fend for myself. After a few months, I left the tourism industry and started to work in marketing as a working student – initially at a large out-of-home advertising company and at the end of my degree in another company in social media marketing. The flexibility of the online studies enabled me to gain professional experience in three cities, which I felt was a great opportunity. I took my exams at the sites or also online at home, depending on what worked best. Each job is different, and every person learns at their own pace – that was also one of the main reasons why I chose IU. Because the study programme fitted in well with my jobs and not the other way around.
From tourism to higher education
After successfully completing my Master’s, not only was I very happy with my degree from IU International University of Applied Sciences, I also knew the product and believed in it due to my own experience of it. I saw this as a fantastic opportunity to apply to Career Partner, the holding company of IU. Today, I work there as a junior online marketing manager and use what I learnt in my degree in practice every day. The specialisations I chose gave me sound theoretical knowledge in the area of online marketing. This knowledge was necessary to keep up with competition in this face-paced industry – and combined with the professional experience I had gained, it qualified me for my current role at Career Partner. To sum it up, my online studies helped me develop both personally and professionally and gave me the opportunity to get my foot outside “my” industry and change career. I was more than won over by the online learning model – or, as you might say in marketing: I went from being a consumer to a brand fan.
M.Sc. Artificial Intelligence
“For engineers working in the very leading edge of technologies, it’s essential to keep up to date with developments. I’m convinced this programme will keep my knowledge current or even create a new trajectory for my career.”
Riku Luostari, Chief Technology Officer, Nokia New Zealand
Finland born Riku, moved to New Zealand 20 years ago to forward his successful career in telecommunications. Hungry to expand his horizons and keen to learn the latest in data science, Riku recently decided to take on a Master’s in Artificial Intelligence—but needed studies that suited his schedule.
So, Riku, give us a short introduction to you and your career so far.
I’m Riku, born in Finland but living in New Zealand for nearly 20 years now. I graduated with a B.Sc. Electrical Engineering in Finland 1997 and have worked in telecommunications since. Currently, I work as a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) for Nokia New Zealand—we employ about 200 engineers and technical salespeople here.
What do you enjoy about your daily activities as a CTO?
Part of my work involves statistical analysis of very large data sets. I also have access to interesting data and always enjoy working with it. I find data science is an interesting area of science where lots of things have not yet been discovered and development moves fast. That’s also why I chose to join the M.Sc. Artificial Intelligence programme which I am currently studying at IU (formerly known as IUBH).
Why did you decide to study online with IU (formerly known as IUBH)?
For many years I’ve had a dream of continuing my studies, but not many programmes allowed the flexibility required to carry on my busy work and family life (in my spare time I go running and weekends are often spent by taking my daughter and horses around to competitions). All other programmes I found either required physical attendance during the day or at least had fixed start/end times. I was very glad to find IU (formerly known as IUBH) and quickly abandoned the other options I had—without regret.
What aspects or benefits of studying at IU (formerly known as IUBH) do you appreciate?
Prior to joining IU (formerly known as IUBH), I had done courses around statistics and machine learning. However, even if many of those courses were great, I did not feel I really understood the big picture. I needed direction and help in finding the materials and books that are worth reading. The programme, tutors, and professors at IU (formerly known as IUBH) are really accessible and have provided me with exactly that.
For the engineers working in the very leading edge of technologies, it is essential to keep up to date with developments. I am convinced this programme will help keep my knowledge current or even create a new trajectory for my career.
Do you have a few words of advice for students taking a distance learning degree?
I can see that online studies require self-discipline, interest, and willingness to work. Read the suggested books and don’t just go with the bear minimum.
M.A. International Management
"The degree programme at IU is an excellent preparation for a career as an investment banker”
As an investment banker, IU (formerly known as IUBH) alumnus Benjamin Mehran was involved in developing the Investment Bank N+1 Deutschland GmbH (now Alantra Deutschland GmbH), which was founded in 2013. After almost 5 years he left Alantra and today works as Investment Manager - Private Equity at the stock exchange listed company Aves One AG.
Scored in the job interview with knowledge from university studies
My decision to go to IU (formerly known as IUBH) was worth it: During my job interview at N+1 Deutschland GmbH – (now the Frankfurt based investment bank under the name Alantra Deutschland GmbH and leading provider of Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) services in the global mid-market) - I was able to discuss many of the topics raised because they were covered during my studies. The selection process was very exhausting and included a large number of tests. On the first day of the selection process, I spent almost eleven hours on site. Today, I myself am interviewing many applicants from different universities and private business universities and have to say, the degree programme at IU (formerly known as IUBH) is an excellent preparation for students seeking a career as an investment banker.
From start-up to established market player
My professional career in investment banking originally started with an internship with Uwe Danzinger, formerly Head of Infrastructure at various investment banks and securities trading companies, who had started a business with his own portfolio of investment funds. I sold three assets with him, i.e. capital investments. I then went to the US investment bank C.W. Downer, where I received my first real M&A training. A colleague then drew my attention to N+1: N+1 was looking for analysts in Germany for a spin-off of the M&A team of the private bank Sal. Oppenheim and Hauck & Auffhäuser. One of Germany's leading M&A specialists, Wolfram Schmerl, led the team there. The opportunity to help build and shape a new company with such an experienced and successful person appealed to me. Within five years, N+1 (now Alantra) has developed from a start-up into an established market player
From investment banking to investment management
Fortunately, in the business world one enjoys an excellent reputation as a former investment banker. A solid education, expertise in many business areas, a confident manner - acquired through numerous client meetings - and a work mentality that meets the special demands of investment banking are a good door opener for switching to the "other side", i.e. to investment management. So, it was easy for me to join Aves One AG as an investment manager and get to know more about new areas of responsibility. My current responsibilities range from buying and selling assets and companies to integrating these assets, developing tax and corporate governance structures as well as operational issues such as reporting, monitoring and portfolio management. However, I spend 80 percent of my time with investments and financing, which allows me to pursue my passion for investment management.
M.A. International Management
"The university teaching at IU is characterised by a high degree of practical relevance."
From Bolivia and Germany to Doha: IU (formerly known as IUBH) alumna Diana Valdez ventured abroad to study and discover a new culture. She now works in Doha as Pricing Analyst at Qatar Airways.
Three birds with one stone: high-quality academics, internationality and a well-established network
This decision has paid off for me in every respect: not only because of the opportunity to discover a new culture and thus further realise my potentials, but also because of the high-quality academics and internationality at IU (formerly known as IUBH). The teaching is characterised by a high degree of practical relevance. The main focus is on finding solutions to cases and on critical analysis of the development of new approaches. Students are encouraged to be creative and to directly apply what is taught. Additionally, the students as well as a large proportion of the professors and lecturers come from different parts of the world, which generates an international exchange of different ideas and work methods. At the same time, the IU (formerly known as IUBH) network gave me the opportunity to make contact with students, professors and professionals in the field of aviation. The network I was able to establish there made studying far away from home easier for me: on the one hand, the support of friends from all over the world, whom I met during my studies, and on the other hand, of course, the support of the university staff, who were always very helpful.
International Career: Joining Qatar Airways
To acquire practical experience in aviation, I completed internships at Menzies Aviation in London and at Lufthansa Consulting GmbH in Frankfurt. The selection process for both internships was quite long, but thanks to the high-quality academic background, I did well in the selection process and was accepted. After finishing my degree, I found out that Qatar Airways was recruiting new graduates on the IU (formerly known as IUBH) campus and applied there. Despite the large number of applicants, I prevailed and now work as Pricing Analyst at Qatar Airways in Doha. I am currently responsible for setting QR Cargo pricing guidelines for the regions of origin and managing the sales organisation to maximise network margins.
Looking back, I can only recommend this to students and prospective students: Be curious, think outside the box and be open to other cultures!
B.A. Int. Marketing Management
"Invaluable experience both for my present and future"
Mai Duc Nguyen is from Vietnam. He has written 5 books with 14,000 copies and more than 500 online articles, many of which are published on VnExpress.net – the world’s most-read Vietnamese newspaper. He is the founder of a personal YouTube channel – MaiDuc Media with more than 12,000 total views and a website – IELTS With Mr Duc (https://www.ieltswithmrduc.com/) with more than 37,000 followers on Facebook. Mai Duc is a fan of gym & fitness, football, badminton, swimming, reading books, playing the guitar and travelling. He wishes to become a professor in the future.
Quality Education at the Heart of Europe
When it came time for expanding my horizons, I was determined to study in Germany. It’s a nation whose famous standards in engineering and manufacturing are matched by the quality of its educational institutions and, located as it is in the heart of Europe, it provides access to a strong network of national economies and international companies. I was also excited to get to know more about the culture, society and people of Germany.
Art and Science, Creativity and Analysis
I was drawn to IU (formerly known as IUBH) specifically thanks to its excellent record of alumni success, world-class teaching and research. Hand-in-hand with the university’s academic standards was its international nature – which I knew would help me further develop my intercultural communication skills – as well as the close relationship with business and industry facilitated by the many companies IU (formerly known as IUBH) counts as corporate partners. I entered the B.A. in International Marketing Management in 2017. As a study field, Marketing is unique in the way it combines art with science, creativity with data analytics skills, and the programme certainly re-confirmed my fascination with the subject. My studies really helped me improve the social media marketing for my blog (https://www.ieltswithmrduc.com/), which provides readers with tips and materials for the IELTS exam. Learning how the personalised nature of social media marketing tools can allow a business to choose their own target audiences and develop their own advertising messages was an important lesson for me.
Invaluable Experience for an Exciting New Challenge
I’m now excited to embark on a new challenge with Facebook. I chose to work at Facebook because of the huge, positive impact the position will allow me to make on the lives of over 2.4 billion users worldwide, every day. Safe to say, my studies at IU (formerly known as IUBH) were a major factor in my securing this new role. The study programme with its international, practice-oriented outlook provided me with so many useful academic and professional skills and knowledge. And, on top of what I learned in the classroom, the talks and career events organised by IU (formerly known as IUBH) provided me with many opportunities to network with industry leaders – invaluable experience both for my present and my future!
MBA International Business (Finance & Accounting)
"For me, IU's extensive network was the key to success."
After working in finance in London and Dubai, Sandip Modha came to Berlin to pursue a Master of Business (MBA) at IU (formerly known as IUBH). At a university event, he made contact with the international financial services provider Leondrino Exchange – where he now works successfully as a finance specialist.
From London and Dubai to Berlin
After finishing my studies and working as a management accountant for the fashion retailer Pomodoro Clothing, I moved to the United Arab Emirates. Dubai was the perfect place for me in terms of its strong economic growth, sunny weather and proximity to my home country of India. There I started working in retail at New Bellbird Apparel. I knew it was a challenging industry - and that was exactly what excited me. Five intensive years later, I came up with the idea of pursuing a Master of Business Administration (MBA). An MBA is one of the most prestigious qualifications and opens up career opportunities worldwide. In my search to find the right university, IU (formerly known as IUBH) Berlin met all the criteria that were important to me. I also liked the fact that Berlin is a very international city and is currently evolving into being the hub of Europe's start-up scene.
IU (formerly known as IUBH) network leads to a new employer
As part of my studies at IU (formerly known as IUBH), I participated in a blockchain seminar on campus, during which I was able to make numerous business contacts. This network and a personal recommendation led me to my current employer, the financial services provider Leondrino Exchange. In collaboration with the company, I wrote my thesis and was subsequently rewarded with a full-time position. My job is to manage day-to-day financial operations and to raise capital for the company's continued growth. What I learned during my studies at IU (formerly known as IUBH) helps me a lot: Thanks to its international orientation, I became familiar with many cultures and this is very useful in my daily work. However, the most important advantage for me is that you can participate in IU (formerly known as IUBH) events and establish an excellent network. My career proves it: networking is the key to success!
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