What makes an outstanding working student? Business administration student Max Rudolf delved into the Master’s thesis of his fellow student Tanmayee Jahagirdar, who is involved in developing a business model for smart tyres for BOSCH.
Over the course of our conversation it quickly became clear: Tanmayee is an exceptional student. She radiates enthusiasm and determination for her project. “Business administration and management excite me. There is no subject that doesn’t interest me. Marketing, business strategy and finance – the whole package – have always fascinated me. I came to Germany because trying new things excites me,” Tanmayee explains. “I was born and raised in India. I had already prepared to study business because of my father, who has his own company. The idea to go to Germany came to me because I always wanted to learn about the international business environment and the corporate world. So today, I’m studying international management and leadership in Germany.” Learning and trying out new things is something Tanmayee has been able to do at BOSCH from the very beginning.
In her Master’s thesis, Tanmayee dealt with the topic of developing an AIoT (Artificial Intelligence of Things) business model for smart tyres. Smart tyres collect data about important tyre parameters, such as tyre pressure, road condition, speed, fuel consumption, braking behaviour and other factors related to driving. The idea is to collect real-time tyre information that can be used by multiple stakeholders, such as tyre manufacturers, vehicle OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) and tyre retailers. The connectivity supported by the Internet of Things benefits multiple stakeholders simultaneously, and enables data-driven decisions.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution
The expression “The Fourth Industrial Revolution” or “Industry 4.0” has emerged to account for such phenomena. But what is meant by this term? Industry 4.0, as Tanmayee explains, is the future of business: “Industry 4.0 is about the rise of digital technologies and the way these technologies transform business processes and business models. Examples of these technologies include the Internet of Things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, and analytics. Industry 4.0 is revolutionising the way industry works. It enables companies to experiment with innovative business models that did not exist before, and helps them deliver greater value to customers.
The right mindset
“For BOSCH, the most important thing is that students have the right attitude,” says Raghavendra Kulkarni, General Manager and Business Head of Innovation Strategies. Kulkarni is Tanmayee’s supervisor at BOSCH. When asked what the right attitude is, he smiles and replies, “An attitude to grow. BOSCH makes a point of getting students involved in their respective projects as soon as possible, so that they can acquire knowledge very quickly. To be part of this growth culture, students should always be passionate and proactive. They should have a solid foundation and knowledge of the company’s operations, and be willing to learn.”
Opening the eyes
Professor Dr. Laurence Welford is the academic supervisor (at the School of Business here at SRH) for Tanmayee’s Master’s thesis and has supported her during the process. He has experience with working students, whom he often advises (supervises and coaches). As he puts it, “When students come to me and don’t have any idea yet about what they want to do later, I try to open their eyes. I show them the possibilities, which industries, which companies they should consider as options. If it helps the students, I am also happy to write a letter of recommendation. Every student’s letter I write is individual, because each and every one is carefully evaluated on what I see in him or her, based on their individual performance in my classes and exams.”
Solve the problem yourself
What, in his opinion, characterises a good working student? “The most distinctive quality that a great working student should bring to the table is the way he or she handles the issues that inevitably arise in the business environment. When students encounter a problem, the first thing is to consider whether they can solve the problem themselves. First, students should formulate their own solution, and only then they should consult their supervisor to review their own approach to solving the problem. Moreover, I often insist that they refrain from using the expression ‘I have a problem’, but say ‘I have a challenge’ instead. There’s no point in just asking the instructor or supervisor for a solution. You grow by tackling the on-the-job problems you encounter,” Welford explains. So the point is to grow and learn from each experience? “Absolutely, I stand behind that 100%!”
Tanmayee is a great example of a working student who can work independently, maintain a high level of interest and motivation, and seek out and process the available information for herself; she takes the initiative to consult with supervisors to test out and challenge her insights, conclusions and results, so that this feedback can be incorporated into her final plans. Tanmayee has demonstrated this attitude from the start, but taking this approach in real-world business environments at Bosch and a previous internship at Daimler has clearly helped her to develop even more.
And how does Tanmayee see her time at BOSCH now? “I am very sad to leave BOSCH. I definitely had the opportunity to learn new things here that I didn’t know before. What I particularly appreciate is the motivation and support I received from my superiors, and the extremely interesting and innovative topic I worked on.” When asked if she would choose this path again, she smiles, “Absolutely! I’ve learned so much and I’m grateful for every minute I’ve been able to spend at BOSCH.”