On Friday 14 May 2021, first semester students of the study program Industrial Engineering and International Management (M.Sc.) at Hochschule Fresenius in Cologne were given the opportunity to attend an interactive online session with guest speaker Emanuela Minniti, managing director of Miovision Technologies GmbH, exploring the global job possibilities of industrial engineers.
Under to the title “Career opportunities for an industrial engineer: from lean production to the digital world” Ms Minniti started off by giving the students an insight into how her training as an industrial engineer had prepared her for the broad range of positions in her career: from working as a supply chain manager for Pirelli in Italy, project manager for an NGO in Cambodia, sales management in the field of solar energy in Germany, and her current position providing smart city solutions as managing director of the traffic systems management company Miovision Technologies GmbH.
The discussion used a range of interactive tools to enable the students to be an active part of the event and talk about their own expertise and goals. A key topic was the importance of developing interdisciplinary competencies, both technical and soft skills, as the role of an industrial engineer is often one of bringing together different people and departments. This was explained using multiple examples, giving the students the opportunity to explore the settings in which they could apply their own training, as well as work ethic and mindset.
Given the wide range of opportunities for industrial engineers, an overall message from Ms Minniti was the importance for students to find out what is important to them, and use this to shape their career choices. She highlighted that for her, this is the desire to make a positive impact and have a wider purpose in her work. This was led her to lead education and development projects in East Asia, and to focus her energies in the area of sustainability and mobility. She also discussed the importance of a growth mindset, reminding students that their university education “is the beginning, not the end”, and that they must continue to develop their skills, challenging them to read literature designed to stretch their own mindset for 20 minutes a day.
The 16 industrial engineering students are also all international students, attending Hochschule Fresenius from various countries in Asia, the Middle East, Africa and South America – some are already in Germany; others have been attending the semester remotely from all over the world. Ms Minniti discussed their various backgrounds with them and could also share her own experience of moving to Germany as an adult, learning the language and dealing with a range of cultural and practical challenges when entering the job market.
The afternoon was a broad-ranging session that went from wider discussions about the professional skills industrial engineers and the importance of sustainability technologies, the technical details of Miovision’s traffic data collection solutions, and the challenges of moving to a new country and setting up a new life and career. The students could gather not only valuable advice for their careers, but also on how to develop their own mindset to be prepared for a range of challenges and decisions in life.