There’s a world of opportunity for those that are willing to extend themselves beyond their comfort zones. From Germany to Korea, and now Australia, Matthias Knebel has set his sights on a global career.
Matthias Knebel completed his undergraduate studies at one of Germany’s best technical colleges. He graduated with a business degree, specialising in mechanical engineering. Following his graduation an internship with Mercedes Benz led to an international opportunity in Korea, and a passion for working in Business Development.
“I was working with Mercedes on a project in Germany, then they asked me if I would like to implement the project in Seoul. I ended up living and working in Korea for seven months. It was an incredibly dynamic experience, nothing was fixed, the way it was in Germany, you could do anything. I found that there was a real attraction to working in Asia for me, so I said to myself, ‘alright, you’re interested in business development, so how do I improve my skills? What are the next steps to making this happen?’”
Matthias began looking into post-graduate study options that would allow him to look at business development and maintain his international focus. Another requirement was that the course needed to be taught in English, so he could continue to develop his language skills. After investigating universities in the US, the UK, South Africa and Singapore, it was the University of Melbourne that finally caught his eye.
“When I discovered the Master of International Business and found out you could focus your studies on the Asia-Pacific, I knew it was the one. Studying in Australia has allowed me to become familiar with another part of the region.”
The Master of International Business offers a different learning model from Matthias’s previous experience, which includes more of a focus on soft-skills.
“I’ve been enjoying my studies a lot. At first, it was quite challenging, because my business degree in Germany was closely tied to mechanical engineering, so it was a lot of maths, and always just one solution. Here, there’s a greater focus on those soft-skills, things like negotiation and understanding different view-points,” he says. “It’s also a different teaching style. In Germany, you have just one assignment, and then one big exam at the end. Here, it’s a lot more fun. There’s much more interaction with the other students and your teachers. You’re exposed to different viewpoints, from all around the world. It’s been valuable for me, because it’s given me a chance to be exposed to these different cultures, to understand different approaches, and find what works best in any given situation.”
The Master of International Business at Melbourne Business School equips students with the management skills they need to succeed in business around the world, with courses in corporate governance in a global context, strategic management, cross-cultural impacts and marketing in an international space.
As he considers his future, Matthias remains drawn to Asia, and the opportunities that come with experiencing this new part of the world.
“I think eventually I would like to learn another language, perhaps Chinese, but after I finish my degree. I like the systematic approach. I start one thing, and then I finish it before moving on to the next. Now that I’m in this part of the world, I want to experience it and make the most of the opportunities they have here before returning to Europe.