With HHL MBA to Steigenberger Hotels

Yan Lie, full-time MBA alumna, about finding a job after graduation.

Could you tell us about your current job

I’m working at Steigenberger Hotels and Resorts in Düsseldorf. My responsibility is sales and marketing, with a focus on the Asian market, such as China, Japan, and Singapore. The working language here is English and German.

From which channel did you find this position

Thanks to the referral of an HHL alumna, I knew about this opportunity and got an interview soon after I submitted my CV. The managers at Steigenberger left me with a very good impression from the interview; I could see that they attach great importance to the Chinese market. One month after the interview, while I was studying in the library, I got a phone call saying that I was offered the job.

What made you standout among other candidates?

I have worked for 3 years in Dubai before studying the MBA program at HHL, in hospitality and tourism industry, which was closely related to my current role. What’s more, the career service center has played an important role in equipping me for the challenges. My mock interviews with Kati (career coach) made me well prepared and confident in the actual interview.

What’s your experience with a German workplace?

Around 98% of my colleagues are Germans. They like to sit together at lunch and talk in German, football is a preferred topic. I think if one wants to integrate into the German working environment, language is the key, together with a good understanding of the culture. These will enable you to build up deeper communication with your colleagues.

Do you have any suggestions for Chinese students regarding job application

It is not difficult for HHLers to find a job, I think.


Nowadays, a growing number of German enterprises are developing business in the Chinese market. When it comes to the question of language, there are many positions requiring only English as the working language. However, good command of German will always give you an advantage. In DACH region, Xing is a popular career-networking platform; I would encourage students to use Xing to network and search for jobs. I have been approached by HR managers from the website and invited to interviews.

What are the advantages and disadvantages Chinese students have when applying for jobs?

Our understanding of the Chinese market is naturally one of the main advantages. However, some of us tend to be shy, and are not good at expressing or promoting themselves. In contrast, my fellow students from the U.S. and Europe are very expressive and confident. The job market prefers confident and people. And…don’t forget to learn German.

How HHL empowers you to manage your career

Full-time MBA at HHL

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