Interview with Marcus Fienhold
Marcus Fienhold successfully completed his Master Course of Study in Information Systems at the TU München and has been working at the accounting and consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers AG since the end of 2006 as a Senior Consultant in the field of Enterprise Architecture and IT Effectiveness.
Mr. Fienhold, why had you applied to this particular course of study and what had you previously studied?
I had already been a working student and entrepreneur during my school days and had worked in the IT branch during the Internet boom at the turn of the millennium where I gathered various work and managerial experience. In the year 2001 I nevertheless decided to put my practical experience on a theortical base and began an Informatics course of study at the TU München. I was already done after five semesters and was looking for ways to augment my skill set . The Information Systems Master course of study was perfect for me at that time expecially due to the economic aspects. It was an additional incentive that the duration for this course of study was only 3 semesters and that it was well organized.
How does the selection process work? Do you have any tips for interested e-fellows?
The application for the Master course of study is very comprehensive and requires a certain preparatory phase. Firstly, interested students should be certain about their reasons for wanting to obtain this Master degree. It is also important to know what your personal strengths and weaknesses are. In the written application these interests will be mentioned but will be discussed in depth during the final interviews. Professors will delve more deeply in the interview so you need to be certain about your reasons. Due to the fact that this course of study is very practically-oriented and reviews concrete cases, previous work expereince is an advantage.
How would you describe the atmosphere at the Faculty of Informatics?
Other than the cliché suggest, students do not sit in front of glimmering monitors in dark rooms all day. A vivid exchange of knowledge prevails and students work together in teams. In this way an optimal learning environment is created. There is always someone who is knowledgeable on a certain topic, one always finds someone who one can ask. I found this supportive for my learning success.
How did you experience the practical orientation – does it prepare you for your career?
Due to the fact that the organisers of the Master course of study put much weight on the practical orientation, it prepares you well for the working world. The career-specific focus is reflected in the intensive contact with companies and witht the fact that many professors are business professionals. Practical cases are regularly discussed. I' really enjoyed two specific lectures. One of them was "Challenges for the CIO", where a representative gave a precise description of his/her profession, described actual cases and gave details about the daily job aspects. This is how one learned how IT departments and companies really work.
I also enjoyed Professor Bichler's lecture on consulting in which cases and Benchmarks were discussed. This course personally brought me a lot because it prepared me for my start at PWC. All in all the professors have portrayed job perspectives that provided good assistance for later job selection.
Were there also things that you didn't like so much?
When I began studying my course of study had just been created and many organisational aspects were not yet perfectly developed. To call this a disadvantage would be exaggerated because it simulaneously allowed us much flexibility and freedom in development of our course of study.
How is the communication between students and professors?
The communication was excellent. Probably due to the small number of students - at the beginning there were only two students, in the meantime there are 30 per year. We had close contact with our professors who were always available to us for any advice or suggestion.
Who would you recommend this Master's Programme to?
The student body is mixed, but all students share the fact that they were able to gain practical experience during their undergraduate years. I could recommend the Master's programme to students as a further form of studies to give their practial experience a wider theoretical intensity. It is not suitable as a basic course of study.