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What does a board member of MTP do? Interview with Julika Wiens

If you want to be successful at what you do, you have to start early – which is why it is particularly important for a successful career start to gain practical experience during your studies. But it doesn’t always have to be a part-time job. Student initiatives also offer the opportunity to network early on.

Probably the best known of these student initiatives in the field of marketing is “MTP“. It operates throughout Germany in university cities.

Julika Wiens is a 4th semester Brand Management student and newly elected board member at MTP Hamburg. In the interview she tells us what she is passionate about in her voluntary work.

Brand University: Hi Julika! A new semester has started – also for the members of MTP. Tell me, what does the association do?

Julika Wiens: MTP – that stands for marketing between theory and practice. As Germany’s largest marketing-oriented student initiative we want to give interested and committed students an insight into practical marketing work. We offer the opportunity to network with around 3,500 members in 18 cities at events, to exchange ideas on marketing topics and to make friends in the process.
In Hamburg, we have the advantage of having a particularly large number of sponsoring companies at our side. These include big names such as Unilever and Edeka, but also agencies like Serviceplan or Pilot. Every semester, we organize lectures and workshops with them, in which the companies talk about special campaigns, for example, but also actively engage in recruiting. In addition to the contact with the companies, we also organize activities just for us students, where things are a bit more relaxed.

BU: You are a member of the board at MTP Hamburg. What is your task as head of Human Resources?

JW: As the name suggests, my tasks are all about people. My most important resource are our members and interested students. That’s why I take care of the administration of the data and the elections. But the part I enjoy most is the direct communication with the members. I send out invitations to events, provide updates and like to chat with individuals about what’s going on with them. I always have an open ear and am the bridge between the members and the board.

BU: As the person responsible for HR, you probably know your members best. Who do you meet at MTP?

JW: You meet students from different fields of business. Especially for the students of the BU it is interesting to exchange with students of the University of Hamburg. The association is completely run by students, so you never meet anybody you couldn’t talk to at eye level.
We are all committed and motivated to make a difference in addition to our studies and jobs and to get a “head start” for our future career. But this does not mean that we are all terribly stiff and boring. With MTP you can also celebrate pretty great parties.

BU: You are studying Brand Management, so you are already dealing with the topic marketing a lot during your studies. What do you gain at MTP that you don’t learn during your studies?

JW: At the BU we are lucky to be able to enjoy a very practical study. But MTP also offers me the opportunity to network with representatives of well-known companies and to make friends outside the BU. I personally think that you can never get too many practical insights.
My special role on the board of directors gives me valuable learning in the areas of self and time management, teamwork, responsibility and association work. Although we all do this on a voluntary basis, the work still involves effort and guidelines.
For me, MTP is simply a chance to gain a career advantage already during my studies.

BU: The new semester is in an exceptional state thanks to the Corona crisis. What does your work look like at the moment?

JW: As a newly elected managing board, the crisis hit us quite cold, of course. So far we have all been doing our weekly meetings online, which makes it difficult to get together as a team.
The biggest challenge is to attract new interested parties. Normally we would go to lectures, hand out goodies and attract people with pizza and beer. Now, none of that works.
Our weekly events are also proving difficult, as the situation is just as unfamiliar for our sponsors. But we do our best to create an exciting event for everyone every week. Most recently we had a presentation from British American Tobacco on Microsoft Teams.
But the situation also has an advantage: we can now attend the lectures of the other branches.

BU: What do you do at MTP when it’s not about networking?

JW: Of course we are always about having fun. We are all volunteers and we all want to meet nice people and have a good time together.
Furthermore, everyone at MTP can develop themselves further. No matter what topic you are interested in – IT, Finance, Social Media, Events… – you can make your own thing out of it. Many people like to call MTP a big playground where everyone can play around.

We thank Julika Wiens for the exciting insight into the work of MTP!