Career Steps - Interview with Fabian Voith
Why did you decide to get your master’s degree after attaining the bachelor’s?
• I have a double degree in International Management from the European School of Business in Reutlingen and a Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration from the Universidad des las Américas UDLAP, Mexico. It has been suggested to me by both professors and experienced professionals that a master’s degree is useful to get into certain management areas in the future. Also, many employment advertisements indicate that a master’s is necessary or, at least, preferred. In general, I like to learn and study, so everything worked in favor of me getting a master’s degree.
You have opted for an extra-occupational master’s program at IBM. From your point of view, what is the added value of this combination of study and professional practice?
• You can apply what you have learned directly and thus understand theoretical problems in a different context. As a global player, IBM is also a top employer, from whom I expected opportunities to collaborate in international teams on exciting and demanding projects. These expectations have been more than met.
Why did you choose KIT or the HECTOR School as a university?
• KIT is Germany's leading university for technology and internationally recognized. Because of the double degree program in my undergraduate degree, I’d already gone through a very comprehensive and even more in-depth study. It was important to me not just to repeat content, but to be introduced to new fields of study and deepen well-known topics by top lecturers. Therefore, KIT was exactly the right place.
If you think back on your studies at the HECTOR School, which elements or course content will you remember in the long term?
• The security lectures were great; the lecturer had a lot of experience and also currently provides advice to the German government. He introduced the security topic exceedingly well and laid a great cornerstone for later touch points. The lectures on legal topics were – admittedly different than expected – very exciting, as they focused on the field of digital transformation, which I had not considered from a legal perspective. In times of GDRP and co., such knowledge is certainly not only practical, but it is almost negligent not to have it.
How would you briefly summarize the content and result of your thesis, and what added value did it have for IBM?
• Even while I was a master's student at IBM, I was credited with taking on the role of an offering manager. I was therefore able to further develop this offering for DACH independently. Over time, I noticed several points that deferred even greater success in this area. For this reason, I chose the topic of "Value Co-Creation in a Commodity Remote IT Service Environment Supported by Lean Management – Development and Application of a Framework based on UML and an Extended Service Blueprint". I have developed a framework that combines knowledge from lean management and value co-creation to optimize the added value of a remote solution together with the customer. The framework is not only suitable for my own offering but can be viewed as a blueprint for remote IT services. You receive a step-by-step guide, what to consider when introducing and developing a service, how to present the solution to customers, and how to back up the structures, for example, to comply with privacy regulations. Over the years, I have been able to develop my offering so well with these findings that this has been praised even at a European level.
After successfully earning a master's degree, you were recruited by IBM. Which field do you now work in, and was the master's program a "door opener"?
• I am currently working in the high-tension area of IT security. On the one hand, my two years of experience with IBM certainly were a "door opener" – IBM is a large company where you first have to get to know and understand the processes and tools. Of course, two years of "preliminary experience" helped tremendously. My role as an offering manager was also related to security, as it was a network solution that, of course, had to be viewed from a security perspective. After all, my master's degree in Service Engineering and Management was a great help as I learned a lot about topics such as IT security, legal aspects of digitization, challenges in ever-increasing networking and much more. Incidentally, the support provided by IBM during the Master@IBM study was great. That's how I was made aware of the job I am currently doing, by my supervisor Boris Dieter – and it was a perfect fit. Many thanks!