“My studies at the University of Exeter helped me to acquire both soft and hard skills which I utilise daily at work today”

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Valerie Deiss, Daimler AG

Trainee, Daimler AG

Valerie starter her career at Daimler AG in Germany after completing her postgraduate studies in Marketing at Exeter.

Why did you choose to study here?

I decided to return to the University of Exeter for postgraduate study due to an outstanding experience of studying abroad at Exeter during my undergraduate degree. Furthermore, the 12-month program with its versatile yet focused course offer made studying here especially attractive for me. The MSc in Marketing at the University of Exeter gave me the opportunity to truly specialize in the field of marketing.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

My time at Exeter was probably the academically most satisfying. Even though the courses and coursework were demanding and on a high level putting in hard work and a lot of effort always paid off. In the end, I usually felt like my efforts were appreciated, evaluation was fair and my final grades reflected my level of dedication well.

What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?

After leaving Exeter I decided to return to my home country, Germany, to start my career with Daimler AG in Stuttgart. I joined the company as a product management trainee of “CAReer- the Top Talent Program”. During the last six months I have gotten a first insight into the product management department for Mercedes-Benz cars which I will be working in after completing the trainee program. The next 15 months of the program I will be spending in rotational projects in different areas of the company such as project management and corporate strategy not only in Germany but also abroad.

What do you enjoy most about your work? What’s a typical day like?

What makes my work especially enjoyable is the variety of tasks it comes with: not only do I get to change departments and projects every three to five months but also within one project no day is the same. For example, yesterday I was figuring out taxation issues between the German headquarter and our Chinese subsidiary, today I am preparing a workshop for a feasibility study in Japan and tomorrow I will be representing our product at a trade show. Hereby also the different occupation groups from different cultural backgrounds which I have to communicate with on a daily basis make the job not only challenging but also interesting.

How have your University of Exeter studies helped in your career?

My studies at the University of Exeter helped me to acquire both soft and hard skills which I utilize daily at work today. First of all the experiences made at the university with presentations, multicultural group work as well as time pressure and workload help me today in handling my working schedules. But also concrete content of courses have proven to be useful to what I do now. In particular classes such as Marketing Strategy provided me with a profound understanding of Marketing tools which I have to apply regularly at work now.

What are your plans for the future?

For my future, I am working towards getting an expat position with Daimler AG. I believe that international experience will help me further grow within the company.

Do you have any advice for current students wishing to pursue your career?

Anyone interested in working for a global player in a marketing related position should never just rely on university alone providing you with the necessary skillset. Practical experience is what in the end will help you the most on a daily basis. Furthermore, never settle for being an English native – working in a globalized world may mean that more people speak English but to truly leave a mark English alone will not be enough.