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From Student to Head of a Vaccination Center in Three Weeks

Liam Klages at his workplace
Picture: Marcel Laskus

It’s been four months since Liam’s life has changed from a normal student to a manager with responsibility for about 100 employees. Previously, he was studying business administration in his fifth semester at the TUM School of Management. Now at 20 years, he heads the vaccination center in Ebersberg, a Bavarian town near Munich and says, “I couldn’t think of a more awesome job right now. I’m trying to convince everyone that age doesn’t matter.”

Looking at Liam’s resume, his career choice is not surprising. At 15 years, he started working as a first responder for the emergency service and became the head of the medical service at his school. At 19, he and two other friends joined a company handling data protection and work safety. With all this experience gained over the past years it becomes clear that Liam has all the necessary skills to be the head of a vaccination center.

The Vaccination Center, Picture: Liam Klages

His workdays last ten to twelve hours. He is responsible for the security guards, the administrative staff and the medical assistants. In addition, there are about 80 doctors, four of whom are always on duty.” The knowledge I acquired during my studies at the TUM School of Management has helped me in organizing the vaccination center, which includes supervising 100 employees, doing the payroll accounting and making strategic decisions. On the other hand, I also experienced the differences between theory and practice“, says Liam. One hundred vaccinations are being injected daily, but there is capacity for up to 250 vaccinations a day. The staff is well prepared; the only thing missing is the vaccine. Deliveries arrive every Tuesday and Friday, but it doesn’t take long before all the appointments are taken. In the short term, Liam’s team has to ensure that no one has to spend more than half an hour at the vaccination centre and that everything is clean and safe. In the long term, their job is to make sure that Ebersberg gets the vaccination shot.

In November 2020, when it became clear that the first vaccines would soon be available, German municipalities started issuing a public call to tender for vaccination centers. Liam and his two colleagues were motivated to take part in the public tender. “A vaccination center is a bit like a first-time ascent of a mountain – that’s what appealed to me. But also the idea of being better than the “established” providers by being faster and more flexible” says Liam. Safety, medical care and privacy – this is what they had been working on for years anyway. So Liam and his friends sat down together in early December and made a calculation of their vaccination center, submitted their concept and ultimately won.

Over the next three weeks, Liam did everything he could to comply with his concept. He contacted booth builders, medical manufacturers, bought computers for the front desk, checked the cooling systems for the vaccine doses and recruited employees. Liam advice is to have courage and self-confidence: “Do not dismiss an opportunity thinking that big providers will win, but believe that flexibility and speed are traits of small entrepreneurs that change the bid.”

The post From Student to Head of a Vaccination Center in Three Weeks appeared first on Technical University of Munich – School of Management.

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