How to become a feel good manager

Andreas Müller got to know the job profile of a feel good manager already during his studies of media and business psychology. And he knew: "That's what I'd like to become one day." In the meantime, he has been working for Kaufland Dienstleistung GmbH as a person of trust in employee retention and is taking up the challenge of making the employees' everyday work as pleasant as possible.

Andreas Müller works for Kaufland Dienstleistung GmbH as a person of trust in employee retention.

Andreas Müller works for Kaufland Dienstleistung GmbH as a person of trust in employee retention.

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

The great time during the studies at the HMKW, the likeable fellow students and lecturers. It was a very exciting time. As students we had the chance to play a decisive role in the success and the external image of HMKW. We moved from Hannoversche Straße to Ackerstraße, where we started with one floor and slowly saw how the "campus" was growing and how the university was picking up speed.

You acquired a Bachelor of Arts in Media and Business Psychology at HMKW Berlin. What is your current job position?

I am responsible for the central region at Kaufland Dienstleistung GmbH as a person of trust for employee retention. This job title may not mean that much to you. That is why I also introduce myself from time to time as a specialist in employee retention.

I heard this job for the first time in a lecture by Prof. Dr. Freytag. He introduced us to the profile of the Feel-Good-Manager. I found the job so exciting that I said to myself that if I ever got the chance to hold such a position, I would do everything I could to get it.

Did you get any further work experiences prior to your current position that you would like to share with us?

Sure. I worked for the DRK in Doberlug-Kirchhain right after my studies. In this job I looked after up to 1100 refugees with my 14-member team, as team leader of the home care. Care is also to be understood here in its entirety. It starts with the basic needs of bed, food and clothing and goes on to psychological problems, social education work and help with applications.

I also worked as a job coach for a short time and looked after 20 long-term unemployed people and tried to motivate them to participate in the first labour market again. The whole thing I did unfortunately with little effect, but with much commitment and stress. So I decided to change this job as soon as possible and to look for a job where my commitment, my knowledge and my competences are appreciated and used.

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

As already mentioned, Prof. Dr. Freytag put this flea in my ear. I read the job description of Kaufland at that time and thought to myself, man – that’s the job I really want.

In my case the internship did not play a great role, because I studied high school diploma, but with vocational training and 8 years of work experience. At that time, according to the study regulations an internship was not necessary, as I had already worked several prior to my studies. Nevertheless, I did an internship because I did not want to sit at home all the time. I worked full-time at ZAG. The company was one of the 7 largest personnel service providers in Germany at that time. However, the idea of my bachelor thesis was born through the internship.

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

I found the combination of business topics and media aspects exciting. In addition, I have always been interested in psychology and when choosing a course of study, I deliberately looked for courses in business psychology in Berlin. After having finished my entrance test I decided to study at HMKW. Since the conversation with Prof. Dr. Freytag captivated and fascinated me so much, I did not look for alternative universities and simply trusted that I could convince him of me just as much as he had managed to make HMKW exciting to me.


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

I benefit a lot from my studies. Nearly every subject flows into my work at some point. Whether it be the psychological topics in employee discussions, dialogues with superiors or in mediation situations. Business and media-related topics are also part of my daily work: giving presentations, preparing seminars, evaluating figures and statistics, etc.

What are your plans for the future?

For the time being, I would like to stay in this job to develop myself further here and see how I can make the new challenges in retail as pleasant as possible for the employees.

In addition, we are expecting our second child in September and I think that the plans are already pre-programmed then.

What do you like most about your current job position? What is your biggest challenge?

I appreciate the free work of my profession. There are few rules or guidelines that I have to follow. Every new problem that is brought to my attention is of course challenging, as I am naturally trying to change or improve the situation for everyone involved.

Could you tell us more about the application phase after your graduation?

When looking for a job, I spent a lot of time on online platforms and looked around to see what was currently available and what was being sought. Afterwards I personalized and sent my application documents for the respective company.

I had to send out many applications before I was invited for interviews. This was not because my application documents were bad or I was unsuitable. Many of those I spoke to told me that it wasn't me or the documents, they could hardly imagine that I would fit the job in question with my studies.

Whenever I was invited for interviews, I was always able to convince my counterpart. In short, if I managed the hurdle of being invited to an interview, the job confirmation came after the interview. I have a success rate of 100%.

What would you tell fellow students that study at HMKW?

Take your studies seriously, get on your knees and use the chance to study at university with such a friendly and familiar atmosphere. Also, don't forget to have fun. The years of study are over much too quickly and no one gives you back the time. We still meet with my former fellow students and reminisce and dream of the good old days.

Which characteristics should students have that want to study „B.A. Media and Business Psychology“?

An open manner paired with eloquence. Being ambitious is one of the most important points I would say. To be open-minded and have the “gift of the gab”. It also helps if you don't take yourself too seriously and can laugh about yourself sometimes. You should definitely enjoy projects, because the project weeks were absolutely amazing. Networking, networking, networking - that was my motto, every project phase new. It didn't matter whether it was with other students from other courses and years of study or with the companies: getting into conversation and exchanging ideas with each other was always a wonderful experience.

Mr. Müller, thank you very much for the interesting conversation and the exciting insights into the everyday work of a "feel good manager". We wish you all the best for your professional and private future.