Vanessa Schell: Global Classroom And A Global Career

04 November 2015

What opportunities are there for a fresh graduate from one of the top universities in Germany? We speak with one of our graduates to find out about life after university, as a staff member in one of the world’s biggest postal companies, Deutsche Post DHL. 

Vanessa Schell is German by nationality but she chose an unusual route – choosing a German degree in Asia when pursuing her Master degree. Vanessa graduated with a Master of Science in Transport & Logistics, awarded by the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM).


Q: Hi Vanessa, we know that you were not born and raised in Singapore. What made you decide to do your Masters here?

A: Yes, I am German by birth. But my parents lived abroad in their twenties, thus, I was actually born in Brazil. I grew up in West Germany and was always curious of other countries and cultures. During my undergraduate business studies, I was fascinated with Asia. I went to China on a four month internship that turned into two and a half years of internships, thesis research and Chinese studies. After that, I was determined to pursue a specialized Masters programme in the logistics field in Asia. I came across TUM Asia’s Transport and Logistics programme – which was exactly what I was looking for and it is a German degree. I recall arriving in Singapore’s Chinatown in the summer of 2012 with two big suitcases ready to start my new life!

Q: What has it been like studying with TUM Asia?

A: The part I enjoyed the most was the international experience. My classmates came from seven different countries and cultures, yet we became good friends. We bonded over beer, sports and a variety of life experiences and opinions regarding our studies. The learning atmosphere was more intimate and it was easy to get to know students of other courses. I could directly approach professors and staff, which was a very welcoming experience. Singapore was great! The people are warm-hearted, open and polite.


Q: You recently graduated from TUM Asia, how has it been like being out in the workforce?

A: I was actually looking forward to starting work and getting my hands on what I had studied. With Bonn as my home town and home to the headquarters of one of the world’s leading logistics service providers, Deutsche Post DHL (DPDHL), I applied for their corporate trainee programme and was accepted. The programme is tailored for graduates and prepares you for a specialised or executive career within the company. I had the opportunity to work in the department dedicated to the global procurement of DPDHL’s ground fleet. With my previous experience in automotive purchasing, it was the perfect fit for my professional and scientific background.

Q: What has it been like working in a major global company like Deutsch Post DHL?

A: Being part of a company with logistics as its core competency is fascinating, particularly, in the purchasing function as it is directly related to the business fields of DHL Express or DHL Supply Chain. The diversity of businesses and the global footprint of DPDHL are strongly noticeable. Dealing with vehicles as a purchasing object feels exciting as vans and trucks are both technically complex and simple, tangible objects that everyone can identify with. Since I started with DPDHL, barely a van or truck passes my way without being inspected.

Q: As a recent graduate, how has your Masters degree benefited you?

A: It has certainly prepared me well for the logistics business. Just a few weeks ago I was standing in front of the sorting machines of the DHL Express hub and I recalled the sorting techniques and videos from our material handling classes. I was looking at the exact same machines I had seen on a screen in the classroom in Singapore. The knowledge I had learnt was relevant to my job and that was astonishing to me.

This article was originally published in the Jan-Mar 2015 Issue of the TUM Asia DIGEST Newsletter.
>> View the full article here

Vanessa studied at TUM Asia to obtain her Master of Science in Transport and Logistics, conferred by TUM.
>> Find out more about the 18-month Masters and other programmes here


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