A New Career Catapult: the "Making it in Austria" Initiative

September 13, 2021

A success story of the unique mentoring program

In less than a month, one of the WU Executive Academy’s alumni who wanted to “make it in Austria” with a new career move, landed the kind of job he was seeking. He was a participant in the new mentoring initiative called “Making it in Austria” which connected him closely with WU Executive Academy alumni. 

symbolic pic mentoring program
The mentoring program that connects students and alumni.

One of the mentoring partnerships consisted of Mae Leyrer and Tong Wu, a Global Executive MBA alumna and a current MBA Marketing & Sales student, respectively. Mae Leyrer is also president of the International Advisory Board. Tong Wu works for the Liebherr Group. He was recently promoted from Sales Manager to Regional Manager Asia Pacific while being mentored by Mae.

This is just one story of this exceptional initiative, “Making it in Austria”, which has become a career catapult for students and alumni. If you are a member of the WU Executive Club who is interested in participating, please join the corresponding group on the “WU EA Connect” platform.

Interview with Mae Leyrer, a Global Executive MBA 2012-2013 Alumna

Mae, you are not only a MBA alumna, but also the President of the International Advisory Board. With such experience, it was natural that you got involved in “Making it in Austria” to help match the community’s needs with experienced stakeholders. Does the success of the initiative surprise you at all? 

No, not really - the program was built on a need that we actually identified and then meticulously planned. Many post-graduate students return to a university in the midst of their careers with the intention of making new career moves, be it switching a company, or moving up in the existing company. This mentorship program is a home run for anyone in this target group. 

Next year, the WU Executive Academy will extend its mentoring initiatives with even more specialized options. How do you create so many programs for such a colorful community?

It is true that the community is not only international, but also very diverse. Some people want to make it in Austria, while others want to start their own business. A few seek advice on the digital transformation process and some individuals just want to express their needs in a closely-knit circle like the Female Leaders Network. Insights into a variety of companies are also an issue. The WU Executive Academy is currently developing a brand-new modular mentoring program, which adapts to all those needs.

pic of a mentoring session
Mentoring as part of the "Making it in Austria" initiative is designed to help students and graduates gain a professional foothold in Austria.

Interview with Tong Wu, a Professional MBA Marketing and Sales Student

Tong, how did you hear about the “Making it in Austria” initiative?

For me, a good mentorship program makes up an essential part of a great MBA experience. Having someone with experience share advice with me, certainly contributes to my personal development. It is also a great opportunity to expand my personal network. So, when I heard about the program from one of my peers, I signed up immediately. 

Which advice did you get from Mae?

Mae is an amazing business mentor. What I am most impressed about her is her ability to identify core issues quickly - even in the most complex circumstances. The safe mentoring environment allowed us to discuss different perspectives of several challenges; this process uncovered a lot. The advice she shared provided me with new confidence in front of challenging business decisions. I am really happy to have Mae as a mentor and sparring partner and I feel rather lucky. It has been a very rewarding experience so far. 

To learn more about the exciting offers for students and alumni in the WU Executive Club, please click here.

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