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The fourth annual Industry Evening, organized by the Career Center at WHU, provided Bachelor and Master students with the opportunity to gain insights from alumni about the diversity of career paths at various industry companies.
This year’s event featured Mukul Agrawal (BSc Class of 2012) from BASF, Sabine Röhl (BSc Class of 2010, MSc Class of 2013) from Mattel and Amelie Schrader (BSc Class of 2012) from Merck. Before the evening started, we spoke with Amelie to hear about her journey from Bachelor degree at WHU to a successful career in the pharmaceutical industry.
Why did you originally choose to study at WHU?
I was pretty set on studying in the UK until I went to the assessment center day at WHU. What sold me on WHU in the end was the style of teaching, it’s very unique. Most business degrees tend to be similar in terms of content, but I think the style of teaching differentiates WHU from other schools.
Where did you go for your internships?
I took Mandarin, and wanted to go to China to continue learning the language, so I went to Shanghai and worked at AstraZeneca, which first sparked my interest in what I do now. For my second internship while at WHU, I worked in consulting at Accenture.
What have you done since graduation?
After WHU, I studied a Masters in International Health Policy at the London School of Economics (LSE) in the UK. Originally, I planned to complete a Business masters, but I took some time to reflect and felt like I wanted to pick up something new. This took me in a very different direction to everyone else! I joined the Market Access Future Leaders trainee program at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), and now I’m at the Merck Group working in a strategy team in the biopharma division.
Can you elaborate on your current role further?
My team is part of the CEO office so we cover a range of projects. It can be project management-based tasks, sometimes strategic - it’s very diverse, both in terms of job content and people. The range of topics is exciting because it gives me an overview of the potential fields that I could go into and being at the start of my career, that’s important.
How did you get into the healthcare field?
My dad is in the pharmaceutical industry, which contributed, and I really enjoyed my first internship. During my gap year, I interned at Allianz SE’s health and life insurance division and the IMS Consulting Group’s Market Access & Pricing practice, and experienced different sides of the industry.
Was your direction after graduation different to your peers?
My choice of Master program definitely surprised people. During my exchange semester I went to Copenhagen – Vallendar is unique because everyone studies Business, and this was the first time I saw other subjects. At that point, I decided to take a gap year and see what else is out there, do some internships, take a step back.
How did your time at WHU prepare you for the workplace?
WHU supported me massively on a soft skills level. We did a lot of case studies and presentations, and the way of teaching is very close to the reality of the working environment. Another thing that is unique about WHU is that it is competitive, which prepares you well for the job market. When you leave, you’re aware that other people out there are just as good and that helped us brand ourselves. Everyone leaves with a strong CV, a strong image, and carries themselves with their head held high.
How often have you been back to campus?
Last year for this exact event was the first time I’d been back in a while. I also came back to join the assessment day as an examiner, which was fun. I actually met the person that assessed me originally, so it was nice to complete the circle. Vallendar has changed a lot, even in just 5 years – there is something new here every time, and I think the atmosphere has become even more international in recent years.