Top MBA Jobs: Volkswagen Product Owner

Sandeep Patil has always been passionate about the automotive industry. After an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering, he worked in the fields of mechanical design, coding and software development, thus acquainting himself with the technical aspects of the automotive industry.

But Sandeep wanted to broaden his understanding of the industry beyond the technical aspects. He wanted to understand business.

He decided to study an MBA and said that the program of HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management in Germany was obvious. Germany is positioned as the leading car manufacturer in Europe and one of the largest car markets in the world. So Sandeep knew he was well positioned to accelerate his career and land one of the best MBA jobs available in the industry.

He adds that HHL’s ties to entrepreneurship and innovation also persuaded him to pursue the MBA there.

Since graduating with the HHL MBA, he has landed a product owner position at leading car maker Volkswagen, Germany. In his job at Volkswagen, he is responsible for the WeConnectGo mobile app, where he works alongside the development team to build the product vision.

“WeConnectGo helps customers connect with their Volkswagen cars and take advantage of the features developed and published by my team,” he explains.

BusinessBecause sat down with Sandeep to learn more about what it’s like to work at Volkswagen and what qualities MBAs need to launch a career with the company.

Best Volkswagen MBA Jobs

1. Why did you want to work for Volkswagen?

To me, Volkswagen was the automotive company transforming to be the most technologically advanced automotive software company. This transformation is currently attracting a lot of talent from the market, and I was one of the aspirants in which Volkswagen saw potential.

I believe Volkswagen is striving to bring recent technologies to the car, which helps customers enjoy their driving experience. I wanted to bring my skills to this trip.

2. How did the MBA position come about?

I have always been looking for opportunities in the automotive industry. I saw the job posting on the Volkswagen Career Portal. After reading the job profile, I felt it matched my skills and ambitions. I then simply applied for the job on the VW Career Portal.

I think without my MBA it would have been difficult for me to stand out from all the other applicants. The HHL MBA gave me the assurance that I would be able to do the job well at Volkswagen and this clearly shone in my interview.

3. How did the application process go for the job at Volkswagen?

The interview process at Volkswagen assessed my interpersonal, technical and communication skills. The interview process for me was a day with multiple interviews. I had three levels of interview and the format focused on problem solving and presentation. The personal interviewer assessed my communication skills and what I learned from my previous jobs. The group discussion helped me assess my leadership abilities.

One thing to say is that I was sure the panel went through every word of my CV and cover letter!

4. What is Volkswagen looking for in its candidates?

I learned from my interview with Volkswagen that the panel was looking for my communication skills, my leadership qualities and my technical skills to carry out the tasks.

The main skills required were technical skills and the ability to learn new technologies and implement them in a project / car. They also considered how well I was able to work with my teammates and guide them to bring technology to market for Volkswagen products.

Last but not least, they assessed how my communication skills will help me in communicating with stakeholders.

The MBA covered almost all aspects of these three major skills. The HHL MBA helped me understand the means of communication, stakeholder management and how to align business goals with product vision.

5. Tell us something about working at Volkswagen that most people don’t know?

The most surprising thing for me has been the openness of my colleagues to accept failures and the way they see them as learning. The Volkswagen team understands that there is nothing wrong with making mistakes, as it provides valuable learning. The key is to use these learnings and improve the next project.

Quick questions

1. Describe the culture at Volkswagen in three words.

Integral, innovative and agile.

2. What’s the coolest thing about your job?

The ability to help over a million customers connect to their cars and realize that it’s not just about mobility.

3. What are the benefits of your job?

The opportunity to stay connected with the latest technologies available.

4. What position do you want to occupy in 10 years?

I am looking for a leadership position where my experience will guide companies in managing technology.

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About Byron G. Fazio

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