Today in conversation with Maxim G. Zaitsev, MBA, an alumnus of the Professional MBA Automotive Industry. He participated in the class 2015-2017 and is currently employed at aetna International in Atlanta, USA.
Why did you decide to participate in this program?
While there are certainly many options in choosing a post-graduate MBA program, very few actually focus on specific challenges, trends as well as opportunities in the Automotive industry. As we move into the era of automation, IOT and cyber-human ecosystems, a deciding factor for me was to find an international program that is heavily supported and influenced by industry partners that bring practical and relevant insight from the field. This professional expertise combined with over two centuries of academic excellence at the TU WIEN is what makes this program so unique and therefore an easy choice for anyone interested in this rapidly growing sector. This is the main reason why I decided to join the MBA program at TU Wien, even though that meant having to fly 15 times back and forth from the USA to Vienna.
What did you expect from the program? Have your expectations been met?
My expectations from the program were largely centered around learning the industry and its challenges, opportunities, as well as future potential. In parallel, I also expected to learn and master critical business tools and controls such as accounting, corporate finance, as well as, strategy and human capital management to strengthen my business acumen and support my efforts to become a more resilient and effective organizational leader.
The program has exceeded my expectations, as theoretical material was relevant, interactive and engaging. Classes and business cases were taught by experienced professors, many of which have extensive experience in the subject matter and several hold senior executive positions with global Automotive corporations.
How did you benefit from the program personally? (Networking, management of relationships)
As a student of an international MBA program, you become a part of an exclusive circle of friendship that comes from different countries, cultures and often possess very different professional and educational backgrounds that all contribute to a breadth of knowledge and life experiences exchanged throughout the program. The cohort provides encouragement, support and invaluable friendship every step of the way as you move through the program.
Personally, I have had the privilege of making a number of friends for life and significantly expand my international network of colleagues and academics that have positively influenced my understanding of different cultures, life and business philosophies.
Do you have any advice for our future students?
The best advice going into the program is to keep an open mind and be curious, as the extent and the quality of your experience will largely depend on your level of participation and engagement. Keep in mind you bring so much invaluable experience to every class, so make yourself heard and share your passions, ideas and viewpoints.
What comes to your mind when you think about the program? What were the highlights?
When I think about the program, great friends and colleagues first come to mind, as well as unforgettable moments in and out of classroom are most memorable as they happen organically. From the academic perspective, hands-on activities and interactive design sessions, such as Value Stream Mapping, or Continuous Process Improvement sessions are very vivid in my memory because of the eye-opening experiences and realization as you methodically identify gaps and waste in processes, as well as design improvement measures.
How do you rate the support during and after the university program?
The program cabinet is very responsive and truly vested in your success in this program. They are responsive, organized and ready to assist or direct where needed.
My master thesis supervisor has been a great contribution to my overall success in the program and served as a mentor during the master thesis development. His industry expertise, as well as strong methodical and scientific approach to problem-solving enabled me to structure research in the most coherent way to build a comprehensive financial model to derive hypothesized outcomes.
Can you apply your knowledge on an international level? What was your experience as an international student?
As I live and work in the United States, I find the technical and business knowledge delivered through the program undoubtedly relevant on a regional as well as the international level, since the theory as well as the application of practical concepts learned in this program is universal in the industry.
As an international student, Vienna is certainly one of the most extraordinary places for studying abroad as the history, music, culture and people of this world-class city provide a fantastic exploratory environment.