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Best MBA Jobs: How My MBA Got Me A Job At Beiersdorf

Find out how career development support and networking opportunities at HHL helped this international student land a role with Beiersdorf in Germany


Fri Aug 26 2022

Germany's diverse culture, large economy, and leading technology sector—not forgetting Oktoberfest—led Giang Ly to travel 6000 miles from her home in Vietnam to enroll in an MBA.

In her previous career, Giang had developed international connections, working in digital media across Southeast Asia, from a global media agency, Mindshare, part of GroupM, to WPP, the world’s leading advertising company, to a Dutch online marketing agency Pervorm, now part of Deloitte Digital Amsterdam 

While working for Mindshare in Vietnam, she decided to pursue an MBA in Germany at HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management

The program gave Giang a platform for success, allowing her to continue her career in Germany after graduation. After an intensive year spent networking and curating her application, she landed a role as global experience manager at leading skincare manufacturer Beiersdorf, in Hamburg.  

Vietnam to Germany: Before Beiersdorf

Before her MBA, Giang worked in marketing, developing digital campaigns for clients like FrieslandCampina and Suntory PepsiCo. After joining the Management Trainee Program at Mead Johnson Nutrition, a US company, she joined Pervorm, now part of Deloitte Digital Amsterdam, as a consultant for Southeast Asia.

After two years with Pervorm, her old employer approached her with a new leadership opportunity. She'd be tasked with building a team, leading client business, and working directly with clients on a macro level. Giang was eager to take on the opportunity, but felt she needed to upskill. 

"I felt like I needed more business and people management skills. That's why the idea of pursuing an MBA outside of Asian markets came to me," she explains. 

Giang decided on Germany to step outside of her comfort zone. She was attracted to the German working culture, which would provide a contrast with business in Asia. HHL was the clear option for an MBA, she says. 

"HHL appealed to me as one of the leading business schools in Germany, focusing on strategy and digital transformation with an entrepreneurial mindset."


Studying at HHL: Preparing for Beiersdorf

Giang's b-school journey began in Leipzig amid COVID-19. This meant she met peers virtually for the first six months and had classes online. While this was a challenging start, she says HHL's support helped her navigate student life. 

The HHL full-time MBA has a diverse range of courses that incorporate established business management concepts and skills for the digital age. Key modules include: Strategy, Innovation, and Transformation. 

Giang enjoyed the mix of practical and theoretical learning: "We worked on many case studies, based on the theory we learned in class, and our independent research.”

Keen to focus on her career, Giang says she started working on her career development before she even started the program. 

"Before I joined the MBA, I connected with the alumni network to understand how they navigated the MBA and how they managed to get a job in Germany or Europe. Everyone told me to start as soon as possible."

Following their advice, after two months Giang contacted Kati Dorsch at HHL's career development team to help set a clear plan to enter the German job market. 

The HHL career development support, which offers classes and tests to help students identify their strengths, is ranked eighth in Europe by the Financial Times and helps 87% of graduates land jobs in Germany. Students typically see an average salary increase of 80%. 

"Career counseling at HHL always starts with self-assessment to provide a personal compass using psychometric and intuitive methods," Kati says. "Once the student's career goal is defined, we advise them on job exploration and search methods."

HHL sets up various events to help students connect with compatible employers. Giang highlights a company speed dating night, along with targeted events based on industry sectors such as digital, finance, and startups. 

"We build bridges to companies by opening doors to a wide range of potential employers through on-campus recruiting events, alumni talks, and other networking sessions," Kati explains. 

Giang says HHL's alumni network was also an invaluable tool: there are 3200 alumni currently living and working across 70 countries. 

"HHL alumni are a strong network, and everyone is so welcoming. They shared information, supported and reviewed my CV writing; they even did mock interviews with me," she says. 


Launching a career at Beiersdorf

When considering her future career options, Giang curated a list of companies she was interested in working for. Beiersdorf was a key target, and Kati connected her with an HHL alumnus who worked there.

"He shared with me insights about the company, the division, the role and helped me with the application and interview process," Giang says. 

Giang received her offer for the role of global experience manager for Nivea Men at Beiersdorf in December 2021, six months before graduating from HHL. 

"It was a big step. Going from the mindset of a local market to a global one is a huge transition," she explains. 

Now six months into her role at Beiersdorf, Giang works on digital projects, identifying new playing fields and digital touchpoints for Nivea Men to differentiate the brand and identify holes in the market. 

She also works on a variety of digital technologies to facilitate better engagement with customers. 

The role sees Giang regularly drawing on her HHL education, using the data analytical skills she learned to build data sets and find ideas for new creations for the brand. 

"I can see the different insights from different countries and regions," she says. "That's where the knowledge I gained from the MBA program helps me navigate my new role as the global manager."

Next Reads:

Why Do An MBA In Germany? 5 Key Benefits

Student Reviews

HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management




Part time MSc Management

I decided on attending this program since it is 100% in English, the option for a Semester abroad, and it has a nicely designed curriculum. I enjoyed very much the studies at the Leipzig location (I do not live in Leipzig and was staying in Airbnb flats with other students during the course weekends). There was great enthusiasm within the students' group, the courses were challenging and we had experienced/diverse professors which added to the overall experience. HHL is focused on teamwork and is big on its network and career development which is a definite value add for students. I can recommend HHL to other students who want to sharpen their skill set to be prepared for leadership positions.




Impressive Journey

I’m doing my Master Part-time at HHL and love the Journey. The teaching is between good and outstanding. The service around the lectures is amazing. Never had to wait longer than a day for a response. The Network I was able to build and the lecture about entrepreneurship are the major takeaways which strongly influenced my future. I can strongly recommend the Master in Part-time at the HHL for a course with impact. But be prepared they will broaden your horizon and you will have to grow with it.





Horrible Experience

I am also a recent student at HHL. I would agree with your post wholeheartedly. HHL is brilliant at marketing, however, it's more like a Ponzi scheme. A lot of Indians happen to fall into this trap, including me. I joined HHL while letting ESMT go primarily because I thought Leipzig is a cheaper city to live in and the course is cheaper. Always remember if a deal looks too good it is probably a scam. The studies are extremely below average, the college has an abysmal career centre and the campus is a joke. Now let me give you some deeper insights : 1. Given that the college is located in EAST Germany- you need to understand that RACISM is a truth. The college runs MBA and MSc. (Management). MBA is a mere point of luring students as unaware students come to HHL with dreams and hopes of doing an MBA and getting placed. To break it to you softly: MSc is the FLAGSHIP program for HHL- this means 99% of the class is German, and they got offers from the likes of Mckinsey, Bain and Deutsche come to the Germans. Even the foreigners doing MSc. do not get a whiff of the opportunity- please understand- Germany is a "German" speaking country and not internationalised enough to include "English" as the business language. Nonetheless, HHL is such a weak school that it cannot do **** about anything- their placement cell always keeps on crying but they are of absolutely ZERO help. You will not get any scholarships like the Germans do here thanks to the Dean who promotes this divide between Germans and others by giving scholarships thatd more or less cover the entire tuition fees of the German students. 2. The Academic Director for MBA is definitely someone people look at and think that good there's an Indian there- he has absolutely zero value in HHL and in the research world anyways. He is only out there to lure you in to get a fatter commission-the more Indians he gets in the higher his commission and his job is SAFE. 3. The faculty is so horribly poor in their own research work and competence that you'd feel why did I come here. The only reason why some people come here: VISA and citizenship in a few years. You may also procure a job but with the HHL tag being so weak the salaries are way below AVERAGE. Free advice: So either way if you're planning to come to Germany either perfect your German or choose a different country because colleges like HHL get students from all over the world- after which they do not really give a damn whether you get placed or not- it's ALL BUSINESS TO HHL. I cannot speak about many other colleges, but, due to the sheer presence of colleges like Frankfurt business school, WHU and ESMT in bigger cities such as Frankfurt, Berlin and Dusseldorf provide better chances to network during the duration of the course. Do NOT come to HHL and waste your money. Your entire education and stay would cost 50 lacs, instead invest in BITCOIN or STOCKS. OR just do your Masters in Management from a public University in Germany which is way cheaper, has higher chances of scholarship and better placement opportunities. Hope this helps Thanks.