Making an Impact as a Pioneer on Campus

Meet Vivek Modi, who recently graduated as one of the first students of our Master in Management program at TUM Campus Heilbronn.

Vivek Modi had already been to many countries before he chose to start his master’s program in Germany. Having completed his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in India, where he is originally from, Vivek began working in Africa as a project analyst. He travelled a lot, visited the United States and Europe, where he got to know the European culture and decided to attend a business school there. Now, Vivek is one of the pioneering batch of students graduating from TUM Campus Heilbronn. During his time there, he not only developed his engineering skills and gained management experience, but also learned a lot about German culture and traditions.

While working as a project analyst, a role that consisted of both engineering and business parts, Vivek realized he wanted to develop further in the business direction without completely leaving his engineering skills behind. As TUM provides a Master in Management program that is especially designed for engineers and also conveys technical expertise, the course seemed to fit his needs perfectly. “With my master’s degree, I wanted to bridge the gap between technology and business professionally and as a unique selling point. I wanted to be someone who understands both fields. And I think this is what TUM provided for me – an advantage I gained by studying at TUM,” says Vivek.

At first, Vivek was unsure about studying at a newly built campus. “I knew that TUM Campus Heilbronn was a work in progress. And to be honest, I was a bit sceptical at first. After all, every new beginning – whether it’s a start-up, an organization or a university – usually takes time until everything runs smoothly. Then I did some research and went through the whole TUM website, where they provided quite a lot of information. And what I read there reassured me,” says the graduate. The modern classroom technology and campus infrastructure, the small class sizes and the lower cost of living compared to Munich finally convinced Vivek to apply for the program in Heilbronn. Now, having experienced studying at campus Heilbronn, Vivek sums up: “It makes you feel like studying at a very expensive private university.”

In fact, he reiterated that the small class size made the experience truly special for him. “I think the fact that we were so few combined with the very modern, recently built, technological infrastructure of TUM Campus Heilbronn really added value to the program,” he states. Because of the small classes, Vivek also got to know all of his fellow students – people from different backgrounds, all across the world. Together with them, he enjoyed hanging out on campus. One of his favourite areas was the small garden in front of the library, and the library itself. “All those people studying and focussing on their work – I just like the vibe of the place,” Vivek explains. “It’s hard to put into words, but if you experience it yourself or just see the pictures online, you know what I am talking about. You just feel like being there. There is a very positive, cool, youthful vibe.”

Vivek cites the dragon boat race that takes place every summer on the Neckar River as one of his fondest memories. “We participated as a team from TUM and we had practiced quite a lot before we entered the race. Prof. Krcmar also joined in, he was playing the drum and we paddled. Unfortunately, we did not win – we were terrible. Still, it was so much fun and a great activity to socialize, learn about the local culture, and be part of a Heilbronn tradition,” he recalls.

Vivek enjoyed living in the city of Heilbronn and the opportunities it offers as well as to discover the region and its culture. “I lived in a shared apartment with only German roommates – that experience was very interesting. I learned a lot about German traditions, Spätzle and about all thousand types of German beers,” says Vivek. Furthermore, the Heilbronn region with its vineyards, hiking destinations and proximity to the nearby cities Stuttgart, Heidelberg and Mannheim provided a lot of new impressions for the student.

Another memorable experience Vivek had took place on the day of the inauguration ceremony of the new campus. Being part of the ceremony felt like an honour to Vivek and his fellow students, he says: “We really felt like we were the pioneers of the whole TUM journey in Heilbronn.”

Having completed his studies, Vivek Modi is now working at Ernst & Young. In the long term, he also has his eyes fixed on another goal: “I want to build something on my own. Some start-up, some service or product that can contribute bringing positive change in the world.”

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