…what MANN+HUMMEL means to successful students.

How important work experience is

Many bloggers have described on their posts the experience of being an expatriate and the challenges that they faced during the journey. In my post, I would like to provide an overview of how an expatriate feels when he/she graduates in a different country and how important the work experience is when studying for an MBA. To get to the graduation ceremony, I should start from the beginning….

Back in 2011, I moved from our MANN+HUMMEL subsidiary in Zaragoza to MANN+HUMMEL Wolverhampton. I joined the Engineering department and I planned to move back to Zaragoza 6 months after…What I did not know was that the small town of Wolverhampton and the wet English weather would retain me in the country for more than three years – to date….It was in September 2012 when I decided to join the University and I enrolled in a part time MBA. On my first day at University It brought old memories flooding back from my childhood, in particular my first day at primary school. The emotions such as nervousness, happiness and uncertainty all combined into one.

Challenge accepted!

I looked around and I noticed that I was the only foreign student as well as the youngest, which did not make me feel very confident. In addition, when the first lecture ended I reckoned that I understood half of the content provided by the tutor. So, I remember as if it was yesterday asking the professor: “do you really think that I am going to be able to complete my studies successfully, taking into consideration my age and the language barrier?” His answer was: “Everything is possible with commitment and hard work”. Hearing that advice…. I thought….”challenge accepted”!

Being a part time student was not easy because the last thing that you want to do after a hard day at work is study. Spending 30 weekends of the year in the library while your friends/family are enjoying a barbeque or on a trip to the mountains is tough. However, I have to admit that I would not have been able to complete my studies without the knowledge acquired working at MANN+HUMMEL.

Key to success

For these particular studies, the work experience is key to success and most of my assessments were based in case studies at the company, which gave me the opportunity to apply the theory to the practise. Also some MANN+HUMMEL colleagues offered me their support and they helped me along my career in different areas. In fact, I would take this opportunity to say thank you to all the people who helped me, specially my mentor Ken Read.

Now…I arrive at the end of my story. On 4th September 2014 I graduated as an MBA with Distinction.

The graduation ceremonies in this country are very emotional and require graduates to dress with a mortar board (flat hat) and gown, which makes you feel as if you had been studying in Hogwarts. To understand this, please see this picture below:

Graduation Judith Fustero

The ceremony was sweet

My parents came to enjoy this occasion with me and even if they did not understand a word during the event, they did feel very proud of me. The ceremony was short but sweet with several speeches from faculty senior members followed by the daunting walk to collect my certificate up dreaded front stage stair case (which I have heard has claimed many embarrassing trips and falls over the years). However, when my name was called I calmly and safely navigated the stairs to collect my long awaited new status. The many hours studying in the library with dozens of cups of coffee and chocolate bars have finally paid off!

Now it is time for a pint!

Graduation 2