National Scholarship for MBA student

Interview with Peter Kawuma – National Scholarship Fellow with IDT Biologika

IDT Biologika, an international leader in the field of biotechnology, sponsors Peter Kawuma´s National Scholarship (Deutschlandstipendium) since September 2018. Peter Kawuma, 29, a mechanical engineer from Uganda, is currently enrolled in the Full-time MBA at HHL. He started his career working for Schlumberger Oilfield Services in Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania before he realized he wanted to reinvent himself in business management and administration. Thanks to family crowdfunding and the HHL Africa Scholarship Program, his dream came true to study at HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management, his first choice in business schools. While studying, he successfully applied for the highly competitive National Scholarship Program.

“IDT Biologika relies on highly qualified staff, state-of-the-art production technologies and high research & development investments in the production of vaccines and pharmaceuticals. This 95-year old tradition is both an incentive and an obligation to continue to make an effective contribution to the health of humans and animals in the future. For a sustainable management, IDT Biologika recognizes their duty for social commitment by promoting future professionals with the National Scholarship.”
(Kristine Eden, Expert Global Human Resources, IDT Biologika)

 

What do you like most about the National Scholarship Program?
Peter Kawuma: “I am really impressed by the company’s willingness to invest in young talent. The level of commitment they show through supporting somebody they hardly know is unique; it fascinates me. It also highlights the fact that there is a lot of generosity in Germany. This has allowed me to study much more comfortably.
Along with unfathomable gratitude, I feel very welcomed by IDT Biologika. The company has invited me for a tour through their facilities, which will allow me to learn about what they do, and see their workplace. Maybe this could be a first step towards landing on a fantastic career opportunity.”

What are your future plans and goals for your career?
“My career goal is to become a reputable manager in logistics and supply-chain management. This includes positions in raw material control, exporting, production planning and forecasting, warehousing and transportation. After completing my MBA, I would like to establish my managerial career in Europe, and work in the region for at least 10 to 15 years. Depending on how my career will unfold, I might stay, relocate to another country or go back to Uganda thereafter.
I am looking for a multi-cultural work environment, which intrigued me while I was working for Schlumberger. After my contract ended, I went back to Uganda and couldn´t find a similar experience in other companies. Besides, there are not so many international companies there. I really missed it, and that is why I will aim for a management career specifically in an international company in the future.”

Which projects or internships are you recently involved in, next to your studies?
“I am about to finish an internship in logistics with a startup in Halle. The company packages and supplies fresh cut fruit assortments within Munich, Berlin and Leipzig. My task has been to see how customers can receive the product as fresh as possible.
Another project that I applied for, and am optimistic to become a part of, is organized by an entrepreneurship organization in Tanzania. They will soon be exporting quality agricultural products from Tanzania to Europe, but require accurate information and expertize on how to package their products, sell them and on the legal restrictions of how to export them. They need somebody to do the research and possibly be on-site to oversee the development process. I am in contact with them and very excited about the project. That aside, I have enjoyed a student consulting project at BASF GmbH and short term work contracts at Leesys GmbH and Amazon GmbH.”

What is your story coming to HHL?
“I am born in Uganda, and it is really exciting for me to be the first Ugandan studying at HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management. Sadly, there are very few African students in private universities abroad. Often it is the financial challenge that hinders them from pursuing their dream of a cross-continental education.
However, I was very fortunate that my family decided to pool together savings for future investments. My father is a teacher, my mother a geologist, my younger brothers are budding entrepreneurs and my sister an audit associate with PwC. Together with my aunt; we all put money forward in order to help each other out regarding major invest-ments that a family member may present. As the oldest of four children, I was the first to benefit from the pooled savings to pay for my MBA tuition.”

How did you decide to study at HHL?
I was very impressed by the reputation and quality of HHL Leipzig Graduate school of Management. The status of HHL versus the cost for tuition, considering it is a top business management school, makes it an attractive investment.
Looking at the terms in the UK, Germany and the US, Germany is the biggest winner for me because of its friendly visa conditions during and after my studies. Following graduation I will have time to find a job and if I can earn an employment contract then I receive a resident permit, which is an exceptional opportunity.
After seeing these policies during my research, I contacted the HHL marketing department and sent them my application. 30 minutes later, I received an answer, and I could tell it wasn´t an automated reply! It was a person that had reviewed my entire application, and was willing to help me. I thought:

This is it! – And it was really worth it”
(Peter Kawuma)

 

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Photo by Iona Dutz (c) HHL