Assuring Material Capabilities: Ma Zhewen

08 May 2017

At TUM Asia, our Asian-European style of teaching prepares our graduates for an international career. In the recent issue of our alumni newsletter Verbinden, we catch up with Ma Zhewen, a TUM Asia alumnus, who was able to expand his knowledge and language skills through his education at TUM Asia, to prepare him to take on an international career in his home country.

Hi Zhewen, how are things for you since graduating from TUM Asia?
Zhewen: It has been challenging, yet interesting. It was tough to search, apply and wait for companies to get back to me regarding a job role. However, I was fortunate to find a suitable position within half a year. I am currently working at a German company, LEHVOSS New Material, at their new subsidiary in Kunshan, China.

That is great to hear. To help our readers, can you tell us more about your day-to-day job responsibilities?
Zhewen: As a quality control manager, my job scopes includes managing the product quality from the start to the end of the production line. Several tests are required, from checking the moisture content and density to mechanical properties like tensile strength, flexural strength, and impact strength, among others. Such tests provide a big-picture view, and I use the test results to troubleshoot issues or optimize processes with my colleagues in the production team.

Now that you have joined the workforce, how has your graduate studies prepared you for work?
Zhewen: In school, we solve problems posed by our professors. At work, we actually get to solve the problems and witness the results first-hand, which is extremely satisfying. While working in the industry, being precise and careful is important and this is expected of you. Such habits were built during my education and carried on all the way to my job.

Returning to your home country for work, how has an international education prepared you for work? 
Zhewen: Coming from China, studying in a programme that is taught in English has provided me with greater exposure to the language. The education at TUM Asia has helped me to improve my English communication skills, which is essential if you are intending to work in a multi-national enterprise. Recently, I have been picking up the German language again. During my Masters, I picked up the basic A1 level before heading to Germany for my Master thesis and internship. At my current job, good German communication skills will be beneficial as it will allow me to easily refer to the documents written in German, which are more common than the English versions. It would also allow me to communicate with the front-line workers in the German sites.

You have almost completed all of the higher education options. What is next for you and where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
Zhewen: When I first started my education at TUM Asia, I could not imagine that in two years, I would be working in the material industry. Life goes in unexpected ways at times and in the years to come, I hope that I am still driven to work hard and to be a better person. Perhaps in the future, I might consider a second Masters in Business Administration!

Ma Zhewen is a graduate from the Master of Science in Industrial Chemistry, jointly offered by Technical University of Munich (TUM) and National University of Singapore (NUS). To find out more about the programme, click here >>

Zhewen’s interview was originally featured in the Spring issue of TUM Asia’s Alumni Newsletter, Verbinden. To read the original article, please click here >>

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