Develop your personality

“Thanks to my mentor, I have become more confident.” Jaimie Lu, mentee

It is important to learn from one another and to make progress.
Communication skills, the ability to accept criticism and a willingness to cooperate are important prerequisites for getting along with others – not only in work-related contexts. Also, there many situations in private and professional life that require both healthy assertiveness and empathy. TUM Mentoring from Alumni for Students provides the students with feedback concerning their demeanour and their future plans. Within the tandems, they learn to set their own goals and to achieve them – which helps them to develop a better self-perception and to gain self-confidence.

Together with a fellow student, Markus Hartinger founded the IT-company jambit at the height of the dot-com era. The company, which develops sophisticated custom software solutions, now has more than 140 employees. Apart from the management tasks, the father of three young children is also responsible for the areas of personnel/HR, finance and infrastructure. Over the course of one year, he accompanied the student Jaimie Lu as a mentor. His mentee comes from the province of Jiangsu in the east the People’s Republic of China. She completed the Bachelor’s program of Communications Engineering at the University of Electric Power in Shanghai, and she obtained a Master’s degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering at TUM.

What caused you to join the mentoring program?
Hartinger: I had a good time at TUM and learned a lot. So I decided that it was time to give something back to my former university. Apart from that, I wanted to get in contact with student life again.
Lu: When I came to Germany two years ago, I didn’t know the German education system or the university structures in this country. I needed a contact person to give me orientation.
What were your expectations of each other?
Hartinger: When I read her resume, I knew that our tandem would be characterized by two different cultures. I wanted to know more about life in China, but also about the professional networks there.
Lu: At first, I imagined that Markus could teach me how to run a company. After finishing my Master’s degree, I had originally planned to go back to China to start my own business. But now I’ve changed my mind. I like Germany and want to stay here.

How was the first meeting?
Lu: We met in Garching in May 2012. I had not expected my mentor to be so young and to have had so much success with his company in such a short time. That’s quite an inspiration.
Hartinger (laughs): Thank you.

What was the best moment in mentoring?
Lu: For our second or third meeting, we met at the headquarters of Markus’ company. We sat on the rooftop of the office building for about two hours and talked about various topics. That was very nice.

What do you like about your mentee?
Hartinger: Jaimie always wants to learn and to move on. I very much appreciate that she accepts and implements suggestions – after she has taken them into consideration and believes them to make sense.

What do you like about your mentor?
Lu: Although he is very busy as a CEO, he makes time for me. He always motivates me concerning my applications. With Markus’ encouragement, I have become more confident. Chinese parents are very attentive towards their children. This results in the fact that many decisions are made on behalf of the children. Here, the young people are much more independent and confident. Two years ago, I would not have dreamed that I could decide to stay here and try to cope on my own

How would you describe the mentoring relationship?
Hartinger: Inspiring and entertaining. Jamie told me a lot about the Chinese culture and mentality – and now I would really like to travel there one day.

 

Mentor Markus Hartinger
TUM-alumnus of Computer Science, 1999
Founder and Managing Associate of jambit GmbH

Mentee Jaimie Lu
During the mentorship (2012/2013):
Master’s student of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Today, after obtaining the Master’s degree:
Electrical Engineer at IFF GmbH

Text: Dr. Evodxia Tsakiridou
Foto: Magdalena Joos