What comes to mind when you think about your studies at HMKW?
When I think about my studies in HMKW, the first that comes to my mind are the excellent professors who push your limits in order to become a more ‘out of the box’ thinker at work.
Why did you decide to study “M.A. International Marketing and Media Management”? And what made you choose HMKW Berlin?
As I used to work in B2B sales in a Colombian company, my job there was to take care of the relationship with the existing customers and to find and acquire new ones. By far the most difficult part of my job was to build new connections with new possible customers. This was the reason I got interested in marketing and communication strategies.
When I found the I3M program at HMKW, what caught my attention were the subjects of consumer behavior, BI, price and sales management and digital transformation, to mention a few. But my decision was set when I saw that the program is accredited with the FIBAA and that the program encourages the students to apply their knowledge in field work.
Did you get any work experiences prior to your master studies that you would like to share with us?
Yes, as I mentioned before, my work and the need of new techniques and knowledge to attract new customers drove my decision to look for a master’s program that fills this gap.
Are you working during your studies? Tell us more about it.
Yes, I started working from the beginning of my third semester in a company called Smava. There, I started as a working student in the field of marketing and analytics. In this job I was working close to the CMO and the heads of the marketing and analytics team. Although this job was 20 hours a week, it helped me to gain basic experience of how marketing decisions should be measured and how a marketing budget can be split efficiently among the different channels.
Which seminar/project did you like the most so far?
The topic I liked the most was market research, and price and sales management. These courses were so interesting because they included the possibility of developing and experimenting and then collecting the data to afterwards analyze. This work flow was very similar to how my boss was running the marketing and analytics team. So, it was interesting to compare the way the company handled its projects to the projects I was doing in these courses.
What is the topic of your master thesis? Why did you choose it?
The topic of my MA was Payment methods. To be more specific, I analyzed how the variety of payment methods affect different KPIs for new small and medium-sized e-commerce businesses. I designed an experiment to measure the effect that the number of displayed payment methods may have on the final consumer of e-commerce businesses who sell tech- and non-tech products in Colombia and in Germany. I chose this topic because I always found it fascinating how managers decide ‘how many payment methods should we offer on our check out page?’ without any relevant data. In my thesis, I want to show that this decision has an effect on the price fairness perception, trust and the purchase intention of consumers towards a certain e-commerce business.
How are you experiencing life in Berlin? Was it easy for you to settle in? Do you want to stay?
Moving to another country is never an easy thing, but the experience and learnings you gain for yourself are priceless. Settling in (finding an apartment, learning how to move around the city) was relatively easy for a big city like Berlin. But I would say that without the help of the university and the team of the ‘international office’ that helps international students to get appointments, visa extension, and career advice, the experience probably would have been different. For me, this experience was really good, and I am really enjoying the city, and the fact that I have built a life here makes me want to stay in the city at least for the next 2 years.
What are your plans for the future?
It is hard to say because of the new reality we are living in, but I can definitely say I would like to continue learning from my colleagues in the analytics team at Smava and get more relevant work experience in Germany.
What’s your advice for students who decide to come to Germany/to HMKW to study?
I came from a background with an education model where working while studying on the side or focusing on other projects than studying is really hard and not common. Therefore, my advice will be addressed to students who consider that they come from similar educational models. My advice is to try to get involved in activities that you like the most (German courses, sports etc). Also talk to the professor who is teaching your favorite subject to see if he or she has projects in which students are able to take part in. The university gives you time to get involved in different activities, so your growth should be not only on knowledge, but also personal and in other areas that you are interested in.
As a bonus, I would say that learning German is not as difficult as it looks like. It is true that you don’t really need German to live in Berlin, but it is also true that your experience in Berlin and Germany in general (working, partying, making new friends, relationships) could be richer if you start to speak German even if you don’t feel 100% secure with it.
Which characteristics should students have that want to study „International Marketing and Media Management “?
The only characteristic that I found important (leaving apart the knowledge or degree in business you should have) is time management. As I mentioned before in the previous question, Berlin and the HMKW gives you a lot of possibilities, so why just keep it at the minimum?
Organize yourself to have time for both your studies and extracurricular activities and enjoy your time in Berlin.
Thank you very much for the interview. We wish you all the best for your future and your career start.