Personal MBA Journey | Stefan Kefer
Name: Stefan Kefer
Company & Position: State Lower Austria
Education: M.A. in Supply Chain Management
Personal Highlight: I found my one year of high school in the U.S. in 2001 to be particularly impactful. I still benefit today from the calmness and self-confidence I gained from this in new environments.
Personal Motto: Time is what you make of it.
MBA program: MBA Mobility Transformation (Start June 2021)
MBA Journey Take-off Interview
My professional experience to date in various positions in the automotive industry in Austria and abroad has taught me above all the traditional understanding of mobility. However, forward-looking, innovative approaches to redesigning the concept of mobility remained underrepresented at my last two employers. As a result, I was affected by pandemic job cuts, which made me reorder my priorities.
I am convinced that the MBA program "Mobility Transformation", through its focus on forward-looking and shaping technologies in interaction with interconnected mobility infrastructures, represents an important step for my career and furthermore provides a sustainable contribution to the overall goal of an emission-free future.
On a meta-level, I see it as very likely that society will adapt its understanding of mobility. We are currently experiencing a radical shift in propulsion technology and e-mobility seems to be taking hold for the moment. This development, as fascinating and exciting as I find it, is not something I want to watch from the sidelines, but something I want to consciously and actively help shape. I therefore see my studies as an academic means to an end; as a tool and valuable addition to my register cabinet. Apart from that, I chose to study for an MBA because I plan to take on more leadership responsibility in the future and I consequently want to further develop my leadership personality.
I can only give a comprehensive answer with certainty after completing my studies, but so far I very much appreciate the cross-industry exchange. Generally speaking, I wanted to choose a university that is centrally located and enjoys an international reputation.
I expect this advanced degree program to provide me with new learning content that will expand my professional experience, supplement my technical know-how, and give me tools for current and future challenges in the mobility environment - especially in the areas of digitalization and connectivity. At the same time, this content supports my plan to sustainably establish myself as an expert in the field of e-mobility. I also see the leadership and strategy focus of the program as significant for a career in middle and senior management. Last but not least, the aspect of networking and making contacts is a significant benefit of this MBA for me.
I believe that one should not rest on the praises that one has just received. Pausing to take a breath is good and important, but one should not assume that learning ends with a certificate in hand. Consequently, it is important to step out of your comfort zone on a regular basis; and to objectively reflect on decisions made at periodic intervals. From my own experience, I can say that a resignation hurts, regardless of the reasons for it. Moreover, it is difficult to see a deeper meaning behind it; more than an act of arbitrariness.
With regard to my situation, I recognized the deeper meaning in my long-postponed desire for further training, coupled with a change of tasks. A realignment of my professional compass, if you will. Recognizing this took courage and honesty with myself. So if I were to pass on my experience so far, or reduce it to a short, concise sentence, it would be: "Formulate your desires and put them into action!"
Basically, I would advise everyone to seek out a nearby educational institution, if circumstances allow. Especially my experiences in my part-time Master's taught me that a distant educational institution requires additional effort and energy. Energy that was then lacking in my private life and probably also in my professional life. This was one of the reasons why I decided not to pursue a part-time degree program again. The stresses and strains were simply very great. But as is often the case, resolutions and circumstances change. But in order not to make the same mistake again, I wanted to choose an institution that was close to me and at the same time had a high reputation. Thus, my choice fell on the TU Wien.
However, a geographically opportune choice of educational institution is not the only key to success; at least as decisive is the understanding and resulting support by the relationship partner and the closest family members. After all, every course of study, whether part-time or not, carries the risk of potential stress, both for the student and for those around him or her. It is therefore crucial how openly and transparently the relationship partner in particular is involved in the finding and decision-making process in advance. This person should, although often not enthusiastically, but nevertheless benevolently face the desire for further education. Since further education usually leads to an improvement in the life circumstances, the equation is a simple one, albeit a lengthy and long-term one.
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