"I want to change large organizations in the spirit of the age"

The combination of studies in psychology, media and business brought alumnus Benedikt Hüsch (B.Sc. Media and Business Psychology) to HMKW in Cologne. After his studies, he joined the management consultancy Ernst&Young - in addition to his freelance work as a systemic coach. In this interview, he tells us more about his career and his goals for the future.

What comes to mind when you think about your studies at HMKW?

When I think of HMKW, I get a positive feeling. I had the opportunity to meet many inspiring people - from fellow students to professors to the cafeteria staff. First and foremost, however, I have to think of the statistics lectures by Prof. Dr. habil. Beckenkamp, which had a lasting influence on me. His way of thinking and imparting knowledge was unique.

You studied the B.Sc. Media and Business Psychology program. What is your current job position?

I am currently working as a Change Management, Communications & Learning Consultant at EY (Ernst&Young).

Did you get any other work experiences that you would like to share with us?

After my internship at Vodafone Germany, I worked in logistics consulting. During my training as a systemic coach, I advised people on overcoming professional and personal obstacles.

When did you figure out your preferred career path? How much was your choice influenced by the compulsory internship?

It was more a steady process than an exact point in time that brought me to my career goal. That I like to work on different projects and solve complex problems, I knew already in the 2nd semester in the module Statistics. In addition, I have enjoyed conceptualizing and giving presentations since the beginning of my studies. Looking back, it was clear to me that I wanted to go into consulting, but the stringent "leitmotif" seems to be an illusion of the future.

Through my internship at Vodafone in the Learning & Development department, I realized that it is possible to change a large organization with narratives, good storytelling, and a lot of communication. I wanted to change organizations but didn't yet know how, so I had to find out. I was looking for a role with different projects in "change" and started my professional journey.

Why did you decide to study “Media and Business Psychology”? And what made you choose HMKW?

I was 17 when I held my A-levels certificate in my hand and didn't know what I wanted to do. I first tried being an intern at Sony Music Entertainment in Vienna, began to study business studies at the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main, and realized that economics alone didn't appeal to me. Psychology was my passion at the time. I often read the German APA spin-off "Gehirn und Geist" at home to better understand how my psyche actually worked. I was fascinated by concepts of motivation, learning, conditioning, and self-fulfilling prophecies, which drew me deeper into the field. Then I saw the study program offered by HMKW. The combination of psychology, media and business appealed to me and was only offered at HMKW. Jackpot!

Which contents of your studies are part of your current job? How do your studies help you in your work routine?

In particular, I can rely on the learned knowledge of statistics in my work. Data are everywhere. Analyzing them and quickly gaining deep insights into new facts is essential for my work. Methodology was also helpful to work methodically clean, to trace results back to their origin and to be able to explain them.

Game theory and gamification from the digital gaming and learning module were also exciting. Many change management measures require the use of playful elements to motivate employees and encourage participation.

Could you tell us more about the application phase?

After I completed my M.Sc. in Business Psychology at BSP Berlin, I met my current Director at EY through a good friend and fellow student, to whom I introduced myself and sent my application. In the same month, I had two more interviews with other senior managers and was finally part of the company.

What are your plans for the future?

I want to learn how large organizations work in practice, how they are structured and how I can change them in line with the spirit of the age. To do this, I want to experience a changed working world first hand, more agile companies, more collaborative, more playful. I want to write more books, on topics that interest me, with a touch of philosophy.

What would you tell fellow students that study at HMKW?

Actively look for peers who expect the same from studying and themselves as you do. Just through one of my best friends I met during my studies, I was able to learn a lot about collaboration, discipline, and friendship. Swarm intelligence should not be underestimated.

Your buddy is already waiting for you, so approach your fellow students and go through your studies together with them.

Thank you very much for the interview!

We also thank you for the inspiring interview and wish you all the best for your professional life!