Name, first name: Bluemner, Michael
Nationality: German, Seychelles
City, Country: Glacis, Mahé, Seychelles
Course of Study/Degree: HWI/Dipl.-Ing. oec. (Wirtschaftsing.)
Year of graduation: 1988
You live in the seychelles, what brought you there?
I have lived in the Seychelles for over 10 years. My wife is from here, so it was a question of time that we will end up here at some point.
What was your career like after you left TUHH?
As an industrial engineer, one is predestined for a career in management consulting. Although it is extremely challenging work, you learn a lot more in a very short time compared to other careers and work with the management of the companies from the very beginning. However, you are on the road a lot and often for extended periods of time, especially with global consulting firms, like Price Waterhouse. I liked to have a “permanent home”, so I left Price Waterhouse in Hamburg for SAP in Walldorf. Within SAP, I did different tasks and roles in consulting, sales and management. Now here it was not the project work that sends you around the world, but the regional or global role itself. So I lived in Dubai for several years, as SAP’s Managing Director for the Middle East. Then I moved to Bahrain for almost two years in charge as Vice President for SAP. In that role, I also spent a lot of time in Palo Alto and Philadelphia. My wife and I then left SAP and Germany in 2009, and moved to London for six months, and from there migrated to the Seychelles. There we built a house, adopted 6 dogs, started an NGO that supports a local rehab clinic and hospice, and furthered our education in Financial Services at the University of Seychelles. As self-employed business consultants, we are now here in Financial Services and serve as “fit-and-proper” directors for several investment companies (my wife is an economist). By chance, I met the Namibian Ambassador for SADC countries at an event, which resulted in me being appointed Honorary Consul for Namibia in Seychelles in 2018. In this capacity, you meet many public servants, up to the President of the Republic. He then appointed me to the board of directors of the largest bank in Seychelles, in which the Seychelles government is the main shareholder. Let’s see what the future holds… So much for a quiet retirement.
What is the best thing about your current job?
I meet interesting people and can make a lot of things happen that are economically and ecologically relevant for both Seychelles and Namibia. As a freelance management consultant, essentially as a fit-and-proper director for several investment companies, you learn a lot about asset management, financial products, and business ethics, and of course you get to supplement your pension because living in Seychelles is quite expensive. As a member of the bank’s supervisory board, I can use my experience as a consultant in the financial services industry to help establish processes to reduce, for example, the anticipated risks of the Covid-19 crisis. This is an enriching and fulfilling task.
What was your motivation to choose this field of study and this profession?
As an industrial engineer, you are prepared for economic, legal as well as technical tasks. This seemed more interesting to me than thinking only in one particular direction, such as law, economics, business administration or engineering. However, it was also a very challenging course of study, but through which you get a good multidisciplinary education for a career in management consulting, as mentioned above. If you come from a top international management consulting firm, you can transfer almost anywhere. My recommendation: Also for an engineering student at TUHH, based on my current experience, I would recommend to attend parallel lectures in Finance at the University of Hamburg, or to get an international Master in Finance, Economics or Business Administration following a TUHH Bachelor degree, absolutely in English. Alternatively, if you want to go the purely technical route and have a successful career, I would not leave TUHH without a PhD. This is almost a requirement for global high-tech companies. Here, semesters abroad at partner universities as part of the doctoral studies would be advantageous.
What did you take away from your studies at the TUHH beyond your technical knowledge?
At the time, I took my exam in automation with Professor Cremer (RIP) from TUHH. During my studies, I worked at his institute and led the lab experiments (Technical System Simulation, Robotics) there. I also held “tutoring lectures” in mathematics for my fellow students. I learned that the best way to understand a subject is to teach it yourself. This experience has been with me all my life and has often given me the necessary courage to raise my hand when it came to finding someone who could quickly and thoroughly familiarize himself with complex new topics in order to pass on what he had learned to colleagues/peers and, of course, to coach employees.
What do you use from your studies for your job?
As an industrial engineer, you can solve interdisciplinary tasks well, so you are well prepared to manage companies from diverse services and industries, including consulting firms. As a consul, I help negotiate a double taxation treaty and various technical cooperation agreements, as well as validate bilateral investments. So even for a diplomatic career, the Wi-Ing degree provides a good foundation.
Where did you like to spend your time in Hamburg/Harburg besides your studies?
I lived in Winterhude, so I could often be found in the Stadtpark and at the observatory. But I also liked the Eppendorf scene, the light shows in Planten un Blomen, the banks of the Alster in the summer after university, Pöseldorf pubs, taking the ferry to Blankenese, and of course the arcades on Jungfernstieg. I have visited many cities and lived in many, but Hamburg is still by far the most beautiful and livable city in the world.
What would you ask an omniscient researcher from the future?
How did we solve the scientific challenges of warp drive and nuclear fusion and explain the Big Bang.
If you were president of TUHH…. I would try to become part of an inter-university industrial engineering program again!