Master student in Heilbronn shares her intercultural journey

Karen Verhelst

Karen Verhelst, Master in Management & Innovation TUM Track Student (Class of 2024)

“A unique intercultural learning environment” – Karen Verhelst

Karen is currently earning a Master’s in Management & Innovation at TUM Heilbronn. A trained Colombian biomedical engineer, Karen has several years of experience working in the healthcare industry in Latin America, where she was involved in regulations for medical devices and obtaining sanitary licenses. Beyond that, Karen contributed to engineering design projects. She’s passionate about health innovation projects and their respective social and technological impact.

What goal did you want to accomplish when you entered the Master’s program?

After gaining significant work experience, I wanted to advance my professional career and challenge myself to step out of my comfort zone. In addition to my background in biomedical engineering, I wanted to acquire general management skills: my career goal is to serve as a liaison between end users and engineering teams. This would be all about translating the needs of end users into innovative solutions that have a significant impact in the healthcare industry.

My goal was to get a Master’s degree abroad – I was looking for an enriching experience that would expose me to different cultures and worldviews. The Master’s program in Management & Innovation was the perfect platform to achieve this objective, as it offers a unique intercultural learning environment.

The program’s curriculum offers a range of opportunities to engage with German companies, which aligns perfectly with my interests. I’m getting familiar with the German business culture and am learning what it takes to succeed in this context. My ultimate goal would be to establish a business that positively impacts vulnerable communities – and to achieve this, it is crucial to get insights into new cultures and business practices.

What are the biggest advantages of a full-time program at TUM Campus Heilbronn?

Although the modular structure of the program is intense, you also get a chance to explore the city and its surroundings. Heilbronn is a rapidly growing city, and evidence of its progress can be seen on every corner – and especially on the Bildungscampus.

Moreover, the international atmosphere is highly enriching. The Master’s in Management & Innovation offers you a chance to interact and collaborate with people from many different cultural backgrounds. You benefit from enhancing your teamwork skills amidst cultural differences. This experience undoubtedly prepares us to succeed in a globalized world where intercultural competencies are key.

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