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M.A. Project Management

Joé Oberweis

"It was really nice to organise my studies the way I wanted to and decide how and when to proceed. I could start with the courses that I wanted, whenever I wanted!"

My name is Joé Oberweis. I come from Luxembourg, and I have lived and studied in Munich for 5 years (Bachelor and Master). I currently work as an Advisor at KPMG Luxembourg in the CIPS department (Corporate Industry and Public Sector). After I finished my Bachelor, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do. The only thing I knew was that I wanted to stay in Munich. I did not know what and where I wanted to work, so I decided to look for different MA options.

Finding the right study programme

In my Bachelor’s thesis, I wrote about digitalisation strategies in the confectionery business, and I saw that there were some difficulties and conflicts during a specific project in the business run by my family.

That’s when I decided I wanted to learn the basics of project management and looked out for possibilities in Munich. Since I was late for the semester application period, and didn’t really find the right studies, I looked for a more remote possibility.

That was the first time I encountered IU and the Project Management Master’s programme. The details of the study programme and the way the university worked (online courses, possibility to write tests remotely, etc.) were what convinced me to study at IU.

So, I started the Project Management 120 ECTS credits MA programme, which I studied full-time. I didn’t have a job at the time, so I wanted to have a full-time study programme.

What did I like most about the study programme? It was really nice to organise my studies the way I wanted to and decide how and when to proceed. I could start with the courses that I wanted, whenever I wanted!

What was nice about the Project Management programme was that I got a very complete overview of the different methods and procedures in the field.

My IU experience

Since this was a 100% remote study programme, I expected some troubles along the road. But I was mistaken. There was only ever one problem with scheduling an exam. That was due to a problem with an external provider, and IU arranged a new date without any problems. Sometimes communication could be a bit slow, but nevertheless, I always got a reply from IU.

It is obviously different from a more classic study approach in terms of human contact. I was part of 2 WhatsApp study groups and also talked to some fellow students directly, but there were no real-life interactions. Because I stayed in Munich and still had the contacts I had made during my Bachelor years this was not a problem for me, but I still have to say that I missed the everyday encounters with other students.

Working for KPMG

This is my first job after graduating. I have worked before as part of student jobs or internships.

I started working at KPMG Luxembourg in September 2021, so I’ve only been here for about half a year. I currently work as an advisor in the sector of Corporate Industry and Public Sector. I mainly have analyst functions in the projects I am working in. Even thought I am still a junior, I have responsibilities for certain tasks in the projects I work on.

I am currently very happy with where I work. I have already learned so much and my team is super friendly and open.

For the moment, I want to continue working at KPMG and have no concrete future plans. On the other hand, my family has a confectionery business in Luxembourg which could still be a possibility for me in the future.

Impact on my career

In my Bachelor’s I studied economics and at IU project management, and now I am working at KPMG Luxembourg as an advisor, so I think I can say that my studies certainly had an impact on my career path. The fact that I had to organise my studies myself, and have the discipline to finish the programme in the expected time, certainly helped me improve personally.

As for project management: I can see that some techniques that I studied are also used at KPMG, so it is easier for me to understand certain steps. Also, in some projects I had the experience of seeing methods and definitions related to PM which I also encountered during my studies at IU.

My advice to potential students

I would recommend anyone who wants to study online to have a job at the same time. Everyone I was in contact with at IU worked in a company where project management was applied, and they used their studies as further training. They were able to use what they had learned immediately, in an operational way.

This was not possible for me, so I only saw the theory. That's why I would recommend everyone to do a part-time degree (or full-time if you want a challenge) on the condition that you have a job.