From Bangalore to Los Angeles and now Munich, I am a Siemens Graduate program candidate starting my global Business Development career at Siemens.
Outgoing – personally and geographically
I completed my bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communication at the Acharya Institute of Technology in Bangalore, a city in the South of India. During this time, I have had loads of fun being involved in both curricular and extra-curricular events and to top it all, I was awarded “best outgoing student” of my college. So, if one might say that engineering schools are full of introverts, this is either a stereotype, or I am the living exception. I am a very interactive and openminded person. This is probably also why I would rather watch a documentary than read an article and after finishing my bachelor’s in India, I decided to apply for a master’s program in Germany. I started my master’s in Information and Communications Systems at the Technical University of Hamburg and coming from a foreign country with a distinctive culture was a very interesting experience – not only for me but also for my friends. For instance, living in an arranged marriage and together with my parents were a thing of fantasy and shocking truth to most of my international friends. But I am very proud of my roots and my culture is still an important part of my life. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed living in Germany and decided to complete an MBA in Technology Management at the Northern Institute of Technology Management. With this backpack of technical and management knowledge, I applied for the Siemens Graduate Program (SGP) – successfully – and joined the Siemens team.
Figure 1: Siemens Graduate Program – Leadership Training, May 2019
An international career as an SGPer
As an SGP candidate, I started my career at Siemens. The SGP is a two-year program, in which you gain and develop different skills and knowledge to build your successful career at Siemens. With three challenging assignments in different locations, one is integrated into the day-to-day business and is given the opportunity for personal growth. I started the SGP as a Sales Manager in Nuremberg Germany, where I was responsible for products and apps concerning artificial intelligence. In this context, we worked on Go-To-Market strategies and enabled the regional sales team. Fresh out of my MBA, I was able to apply the frameworks I learnt in the classroom on applications in the business context. A very special opportunity, which is a mandatory part of the SGP program, is the assignment abroad and I found myself heading off to work as a Project Manager in Product Analytics in LA, California, USA. By generating and analysing the data insights we elaborated measures to support the e-Commerce strategy. We prepared and delivered management presentations to segment head and executive teams regularly to report back on status and propose next steps. Since April, this year, I am working at Siemens Artificial Intelligence Lab in Munich. In this regard, I am responsible for leading and driving business development activities, including conceptualization and implementation of the overall process to set up a customer(lead) journey from initiation to successful implementation of the project with the AI-Lab. Given the special circumstances with Covid-19, I had an unusual start to my third assignment because having visited my family in India, I spent the first few months working from home. Based on your qualifications and your interests, the SGP sets the general direction for your career path. With each assignment, you will gain a deep insight into our business and create lasting networks. With these enriching experiences I believe one can lay a strong foundation for an international career.
Working in an international environment, I was used to being exposed to different businesses and their unique working cultures, collaborating with a diverse team, and only virtually has brought up new challenges. Within my third assignment, I was on the project team of our global Siemens Hackathon event. However, due to the pandemic and changed working modes, we had to virtualize our (AI-Lab) flagship event – “AI@Sustainability virtual hackathon 2020“. Having never met AI-Lab colleagues and being geographically distanced by at least 4.5k miles with the team comes with its pros and cons. We are a team who has a few core members, plus me joining them as an SGPer. But the actual stars of the show were our working students who pulled weight way beyond expectations. Despite numerous global participants, time zone conflicts, infrastructural challenges for collaboration, and live-streaming! We aced it all and conducted the event ever so smoothly. Intrinsic motivation to excel, fuelled with the holistic work-structure within the AI-LAB proved to be just the recipe required for such good results. Working on the business development of AI-Lab essentially means, attracting ideas to the lab and seeing them blossom to a fully-fledged project or getting clarity that idea needs further work to move forward. What I love about this work is that we help our colleagues WIN BIG or FAIL FAST. Contributing to the event that could potentially provide an AI solution to the problems we see around us excites me the most – the real impact it could have on a sustainable future. This is an exciting place to be, and I am proud to be contributing to its success.
Figure 2: AI Lab workspace, Munich
Improvise. Adapt. Overcome.
I joined the SGP in December two years ago where I have gained work experience in Germany, USA and India. However, having lived in different locations with different cultures before that, has fostered my personal development. For instance, as a student, when I first came to Germany, I did not know how to cook. Nevertheless, modern problems require modern solutions – and as a solution-oriented person, I was perfectly capable of helping myself. Today, I proudly claim to be a YouTube-taught chef. But this was not the only challenge I had to cope with. Moving from Bangalore, India to Munich, Germany is a change in the way of life, which is as different as chalk and cheese! Growing up in a country like India, where everything runs normally despite chaos and traffic, it felt like people’s lives are coming to a standstill even with small chaos here in the western world. Even within Siemens, there was a striking difference in work and culture between USA and Germany. From the all suited-up headquarters in Germany to shorts and t-shirt in California was quite a change, not only for my wardrobe but also in mindset! I learnt that sometimes it takes a while to adapt to a new environment, but I always felt comfortable in the end. International exchange is a very valuable experience to me. I also have been traveling at-least to four countries in a year since 2016, as I strongly believe that traveling broadens the perspective (forget 2020). However, I am still very connected with my home country and my culture, which I try to integrate into my life, like for example the most popular sport in India, CRICKET! I’m a huge fan of playing and watching Cricket. I have a huge passion for the game, which enabled me to take part in various leagues of German Cricket.
In short, Improvising on the given opportunities, Adapting to situations and Overcoming the challenges has been the mantra of my life so far, and I hope I can continue contributing to Siemens through these values!
Interested in joining the SGP? Join us www.siemens.com/sgp
Read more inspiring stories of our Digital Minds on https://new.siemens.com/global/en/company/jobs/digital-minds.html