2023 MAP Alumni Round Table
The 2023 MAP Alumni Round Table Discussion, a long-standing tradition within the MAP program, has been an invaluable platform for MAP students to engage and connect with esteemed MAP alumni. We are delighted to share that this year’s MAP Alumni Round Table took place on 26 May 2023, bringing together a diverse group of participants. The event featured three accomplished MAP alumni who graciously shared insights from their current careers and experiences with their fellow students. The gathering primarily consisted of MAP students from the 2021 and 2022 batches, all eager to tap into the collective expertise of these alumni, drawing from their wealth of knowledge in both industry and academia.
The three Alumni guest speakers were Stefanie Düll (batch 2016), a Software Project Manager at Zeiss, Sandra Saad (batch 2016), a Development Engineer at Bosch, and Ziyu Liao (batch 2016), who is currently working as a Process Development Engineer at Procter & Gamble. The guests talked briefly about their professional life after graduation, then most of the event was allocated to an interactive Q&A session. Afterward, a convivial atmosphere permeated the gathering as the participants engaged in informal discussions over snacks and beverages. This allowed everyone to foster meaningful connections and exchange ideas in a relaxed and sociable setting.
Stefanie Düll specialized in the field of material science and focused on Computational Material Simulation and Nanomaterials and Technology during her studies. For her Master’s thesis, she conducted research on cellular automaton simulation in additive manufacturing. She began her professional career as a data analysis and simulation professional at Siemens Logistics until 2021. Currently, she holds the position of Software Project Manager at Zeiss Group, a company specializing in high-tech device manufacturing.
During the discussion with students, Stefanie emphasized the significance of self-discipline in studying, which is one of the many skills that the MAP program imparts to its students. Although she didn’t face any language barriers as a native speaker, she shared her personal journey of job hunting. Her top recommendation was for students to actively participate in Hiwi jobs (student assistant positions) and internships alongside their studies to gain practical experience in a professional environment. She also stressed the importance of networking, highlighting the opportunities provided by the MAP program, such as seminars and professional meetings with industry experts.
Sandra Saad, specializing in process engineering within the MAP program, selected Advanced Processes and Computational Materials Simulation as her primary areas of focus. Her thesis work involved optimizing fiber orientation prediction. After completing her MAP degree, she pursued a PhD in a BOSCH project and currently works as a development engineer at BOSCH.
As the sole guest with a PhD, Sandra extensively discussed and answered student questions related to pursuing a doctorate. She highlighted that certain renowned companies, including her own, value PhD graduates in specific fields. Sandra pointed out that the MAP program thoroughly prepares students for further academic pursuits such as a PhD She encouraged students to proactively seek opportunities as early as possible and not to hesitate when applying for positions that may initially seem slightly beyond their qualifications. She shared her own experience of facing numerous rejections before securing her first successful opportunity. Sandra motivated students to be proactive and resilient in the face of rejections, and to fully utilize the privileges granted by our Elite Master’s Program.
During her studies, Ziyu Liao focused on “Biomaterials and Bioprocessing” and “Nanomaterials and Nanotechnology” as her focal subjects. She did her thesis project on “Numerical simulation and modelization of tissue growth onto 2D geometry” which highlights the multi-disciplinary approach of the program. Ziyu is currently working as a Process Development Engineer at Procter & Gamble (P&G). Some students asked her about P&G’s recruiting process and online assessment which many find arguably challenging. Her recommendation to the students was to prepare for these assessments beforehand by taking online mock exams to familiarize themselves with the type of questions they may encounter. Ziyu also emphasized that recruiters are primarily interested in the skillset a candidate can offer rather than their academic background. Hence, she recommended securing internships or student positions at relevant companies as a crucial step towards acquiring such a skill set.
When asked about the most valuable thing MAP provided them, both Ziyu and Stefanie unanimously responded, “Friendships”. The MAP program consistently fosters connections among individuals from diverse cultures and backgrounds, allowing them to forge deep and meaningful bonds and friendships; and that’s something we cherish.
By MAP students Kanan Aliyev and Hisham Zidan (matriculation group 2022)