Andre Radomski is from Hamburg, Germany and is 26 years old. He graduated from the South Westphalia University of Applied Sciences with a degree in Business Administration before pursing the M.S. in Global Commerce (MSGC) program.
SP: Why did you decide to do the MSGC?
AR: I did a Dual Studies program in Germany, which is a pretty popular thing to do there. It means that you do an apprenticeship and study (I studied business administration) at the same time. I did an apprenticeship as a management assistant and IT assistant [IT-Systemkaufmann] with a subsidiary of the Siemens AG, Unify. Afterwards, I worked full time for Unify for three years, and during all that time I lived, studied, and worked in Germany, so I felt like I wanted to get some international experience. When I saw this program, with the chance to study and live on three continents, I immediately wanted to do it. I also felt that it might help me transition from the IT sector to strategic consulting.
SP: What’s been your favorite class so far, and why?
AR: I’d have to say Business Simulation. You can apply all the things that we’ve learned up to this point (even in undergrad) to the class. You can build up your own company, and you have to work closely together as a team. I’m the CEO, and as the CEO I have to distribute the work between the team members, since every time at the beginning of the class we get our company’s financial statements and then make a business decision within three hours. Therefore, it’s really important that everything is really structured and that there’s harmony in the team so that it works well together. Since all the companies’ decisions influence the overall simulated market, I think it seems like a really good opportunity to see how later, when you’re a real manager in the real world, you can see what type of influence your decisions have.
Also, I like the series of classes “Doing Business in the US, China, and Europe.” We got to visit companies in each country, and it was impactful to see what we were learning in-person. In the US, the Tranlin project was really interesting (we worked closely with a sustainable company and helped them to develop a new marketing strategy, and then presented it to the management team).
SP: How do you like the diversity of the program?
AR: I think it’s really cool. At every university we’ve had a lot of group work, and the professors organized the teams so that there would always be people from all parts of the world represented. We have completely different opinions and ways of thinking, which really enriches the teamwork. If you come across a problem, you see how people from different continents tackle it in very different ways. It’s interesting to see how people from backgrounds work; it also helps you broaden your horizon, and later, if you’re a manager, be able to lead an international team. That’s really important nowadays, because many companies are global.
SP: What has been your favorite country to be in culturally, and why?
AR: Before the start of the program, I had only traveled in Europe, so my perspective was pretty limited in terms of non-European cultures. I would say that China was really interesting, because it’s so different from Europe and the US, and it was great to discover a new culture. Also, during term 2, I traveled with two classmates to the Philippines, and we spent two days in the capital Manila, and that was really eye-opening for me to see. There were people in such poverty, but at the same time, they were super friendly. That really impressed me- how happy they were, and how they enjoyed their life, with next to no material goods. It really influenced my thinking and view of the world. As a future manager, it’s really important for me to have these experiences and remember their impact. So, as a whole, Asia was really cool and completely different.
SP: What do you like doing with your friends in the program?
AR: Definitely traveling. When you have the opportunity to study on three different continents, I think it’s important to travel around. Through travel, you see different things and get in touch with the culture of other countries, and thus you really understand how people in this culture think and behave in different situations.
SP: What’s the most unique situation you’ve found yourself in abroad during this program?
AR: Our Chinese friends organized an event for the rest of the class, so that we could discover the Chinese food culture (especially things that weren’t common in Europe or the US), and so we went to a restaurant that served all dishes made of pigeon. It was really interesting to see that they eat every part of the pigeon. It was also weird, but in the end, it didn’t taste too bad! When you got used to it, it was really delicious. The weirdest part was that we could eat the brain of the pigeon… and it tasted like tofu.
What are you going to miss most about the program?
AR: I will miss the people. We are such a diverse program, and we have people with completely different backgrounds- culturally and work-wise. In the first few days though, we got to know each other so well that when McIntire faculty gave us “get to know each other” activities, they realized that it already seemed like we had known each other for months. I’ll be traveling more often in the next years, in order to visit as many people from the program as possible.
-Interview by Sierra Prochna, M.S. in Global Commerce 2017