When it comes to new recruits, the ‘Corporate Strategy and Innovation Management’ department at MANN+HUMMEL works in close partnership with Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences. Here, students from Germany and elsewhere in the world are taking the Master of Business Administration (MBA) course in order to supplement their first degree, which is usually in a technical discipline. Considering that this is the perfect combination for MANN+HUMMEL regularly offers thesis projects, internships and work/study placements to students from Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences.

We have learned that MBA students are very much interested in working at the strategic division of a global company, since having this kind of experience on their CV can be of great value in their professional career, particularly if they have interest in working for a consulting firm in the future. However, the students are also an asset to the ‘Corporate Strategy and Innovation Management’ department at MANN+HUMMEL. We are able to delegate time-consuming research and analysis projects to them, allowing us to focus our time to tasks relevant for MANN+HUMMEL instead, i.e. drawing the right conclusions from the results of our analysis and making recommendations for action.

In order to attract the best young talent for these tasks, our ‘Corporate Strategy and Innovation Management’ department works with a variety of different universities and colleges. They have established a particularly close and beneficial working relationship with the MBA program at Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences, with the students there proving themselves capable of providing an extraordinarily high quality of work. Generally speaking, they typically have already completed one or two technically orientated degree courses and many also have some professional experience. This means that they are already familiar with standard company work practices and are also able to use the tools and methods they have learned about in their MBA program right away to address the problem in question. The partnership with Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences is based on long-standing personal contacts, the relationship with program director Professor Strotmann and of course is one built firmly on trust. This really does offer the complete package.

Students and strategy

Participation in cross-regional projects

As part of our team, the MBA students gain insight into interesting areas such as corporate development at MANN+HUMMEL or the relationship between topics including innovation strategy and portfolio management. Since there are students from a wide range of nationalities studying in the MBA program at the Pforzheim University of Applied Sciences, we like to give them the opportunity to take part in cross-regional projects as well. Their language skills are invaluable in a number of research projects because the students are far better prepared to analyse texts in their native language, such as Mandarin Chinese, Korean or one of the Indian dialects with which most Europeans would be unfamiliar. Their cultural background can also be useful to better understand the regional conditions in markets which are unfamiliar to us.

We strive to support students from the university over a relatively long period of time, ideally for one to two years, in the form of internships, work/study placements or thesis projects. Students who spend several semesters as part of our team get to know our way of working, the department environment and our business networks. This makes it easier for us to delegate tasks to them. There is also the opportunity for students to work with us for one or two days per week alongside their MBA studies. Some of them have also worked on projects for us as part of their course. This kind of collaboration has often lead us to subsequently be able to offer students a position within the company, which is ultimately the ideal scenario.