Hi, I am Julia!
Hi, I'm Julia and I'm studying Bioengineering at Loughborough University in the UK. Outside my studies I really enjoy mountain sports and travelling. I went to INSA Lyon last semester for my exchange where I was able to practice my French and enjoyed exploring the city of Lyon and neighboring Alps together with other UNITECH and Erasmus students!
Are you currently doing an internship? If yes, please share the name of the company and your role
I am currently doing my UNITECH internship at Hilti, working at the Headquarters with the Corporate Sustainability Team. The department drives the sustainability strategy for the group and the project I’ve been working on involves developing a learning platform for Hilti employees on topics such as product circularity, CO2 footprint and sustainable procurement.
What attracted you to apply to the UNITECH programme?
When I first learnt about UNITECH I felt it was just the challenge I was looking for; an opportunity to gain academic and professional experience in an international setting. I was particularly interested in studying modules that I would not be able to study at my home university and expand my network through meeting like-minded engineers. I also felt the focus on business and leadership skills through the coached modules and projects would complement my technical degree.
What did you enjoy most about your experience in the UNITECH programme, and how has the programme helped prepare you for the next steps in your career?
The highlight for me has been meeting the other students from the cohort. Coming from all over Europe and studying different disciplines of engineering and computer science, we have a lot to share and learn from each other. The start-up week in Aachen was a great introduction to the year and since then we have done many trips together, from Milan to Munich and lots of hiking and skiing in between!
The UNITECH network extends to alumni, and it has been great meeting various senior staff from the Corporate Partners. These strong ties UNITECH has with industry have helped me broaden my engineering experience. Specifically, working on the case study for Danfoss and now my internship at Hilti have given me invaluable insights into different sectors that I believe will be transferable whichever field I end up working in.
What are some of the biggest lessons you've learned in your career so far?
I would say getting out of my comfort zone has been important to my personal and professional growth. UNITECH ticks this box in so many ways: new country, new university, new language and more! Once I am out of my comfort zone, I’ve found it important to stay open-minded, listening actively and putting myself in the shoes of others has helped. Also remind yourself you don’t have to like every element out of the comfort zone but it’s a great way of finding out what you really love and where your strengths are.
What are some of the biggest trends you see in your industry, and how are you preparing for them?
The fields of bioengineering and healthcare are developing at a fast pace and much exciting innovation is coming out from this. Trends that excite me include Digital Health, Personalized Health care and using AI for diagnostics, but the most pressing one for me is Sustainable Healthcare. As part of the Green Deal, the EU is driving this topic more and more, putting pressure on academia and industry. During my exchange I picked courses to upskill myself in this area and I hope to apply the knowledge I am building when I write my Bachelor thesis next year.
What advice would you give to someone just starting out in your field?
Whether your studies are related to sustainability or not, it is highly likely the topic will touch your work in the future, just like digitalization and AI. To get ahead of the curve, I would recommend building up your sustainability literacy and find out the intersections of your field with sustainability that excite you!