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FAQ

Erfahrungsbericht

„I applied for this program because I wanted to expand my horizons – both in terms of knowledge and future opportunities“

SIBE-alumnus Đorđe Milovanović talks about his experience during the studies at SIBE

After studying Business Administration and several years of work experience Đorđe Milovanović decided to start the M.A./MBA (USA) program at SIBE in 2019.

Dear Đorđe, can you briefly start by telling in which company you worked during your studies? When did you start there and what were your tasks?

During my studies, I worked at the automotive manufacturer Mercedes-Benz. My primary place of work was the company’s R&D location in Immendingen. I started there in September 2019. My main task (my master project) was to implement an Energy Management System (EnMS) in line with best practice, such as the ISO 50001 norm. Furthermore, I had a side-project in which I coordinated the development and roll-out of a Business Intelligence (BI) application. Its purpose was to collate various data generated at the TTC in a live dashboard, which would facilitate management reporting and enable to the identification of opportunities. I also had the chance to work on other interesting tasks, such as co-developing a strategic Balanced Scorecard (BSC) of KPIs for the site.

Can you tell us about your project? What made it exciting for you to work on the study project for Mercedes-Benz AG?

My master project involved researching and defining a set of processes, tools and templates, which the organization could use to consistently identify and utilize opportunities to increase energy-efficiency of the site in Immendingen. The deliverable was a handbook incl. supporting documentation describing to the operational colleagues which activities shall be executed in the course of the iterative Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle of continuous improvement and when / how this needs to be done. After working for several SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises), it was exciting for me – and a big learning experience – to see how corporations of this magnitude think and operate. Getting insight into automotive development & testing, and building up my knowledge and competencies in this new setting was invaluable for me.

Why did you decide to start a job-integrated study program? What do you think about the combination of studying and working at the same time in the framework of SIBE’s Master Program?

I applied for this program because I wanted to expand my horizons – both in terms of knowledge and future opportunities. I had worked full-time for a number of years after my Bachelor in the energy / construction sector, and I decided that it was the right moment to apply my skills in a new context and add an overall management perspective to my profile. I am a great fan of the work-and-study structure offered by SIBE. It gives people like me the chance to get further education without stopping working (which was not an option for me). It is also beneficial for recent graduates to learn how the industry works at an early stage. The course enabled us all to apply and test the theoretical concepts very quickly in reality. It should be noted that the dual-program is demanding and requires very good time management.

How important is the formation of a professional international network during your studies? How do you benefit from the M.A./MBA (USA) program in terms of building your network?

I am fortunate to have met lots of high-potential individuals through this course. This includes both my fellow students and colleagues, as well as established and knowledgeable professors. These all have ties to the various sectors of the industry, which may be very beneficial for me in the future. For now, the main advantage of my networking has been that interacting with such people has motivated me to challenge myself further and set greater expectations of myself and my future.

You´re now graduated, how did you manage to organize yourself and combine your work with your study program?

As mentioned, the work-and-study program is time-consuming and requires good organization. Most weeks throughout the M.A./MBA course are planned out – in terms of content and deliverables – from the start. Unlike “classic” degree programs, which have fluctuations in terms of stress and workload, the obligations in this case are steadily present. I managed them by doing at least some work (almost) every day – during the evenings on working days and flexibly during the weekend. The first weekdays would be dedicated to engaging on discussion boards and in the second half of the week, I would gradually shift from the discussion boards towards the weekly assignments or writing transfer papers.

What did you like most about your project? Where were the challenges?

In my case, the aspects that I liked the most and those that were the most challenging go hand-in-hand. I enjoyed the fact that, to design an energy management system that serves the organization, I needed to work closely with other colleagues – both the experts from other parts of the company, as well as those local colleagues that will be executing the system in the future. I liked this variety and the interpersonal nature of the project. At the same time, making arrangements when there are many stakeholders from different departments is challenging. Some cases resulted in delays and complications, which hindered the progress of the project. Other than that, I greatly enjoyed the seamless interplay and synergy between learning theoretical principles and practical application.

In which ways would you say your studies at SIBE benefit you the most? To whom would you recommend this program?

The studies benefited me in a number of ways, but I would highlight two. Firstly, thinking about the wider context of my work and considering the interconnections in the organization much more actively than before. This has enabled me to think more critically, identify possible improvements in current processes and take initiative more often. Secondly, I feel that the degree, coupled with my work experience at Mercedes-Benz, made my profile much more attractive and has opened doors for the future. I can warmly recommend the program to young professionals of various ages and backgrounds.

Do you have tips for people who are considering applying for the SIBE program?

I would encourage anyone who is considering whether to apply, to take a “leap of faith” and simply go for it. This is a worthy investment in the future, whose benefits might not be easy to quantify in advance, but which will certainly manifest themselves in the next phases of one’s career. Along with these words of encouragement, I would also like to point out that you need to have sufficient time and energy to do such a program.