“The mix of quantitative and qualitative skills taught in the individual courses and team case studies prepared me well for consulting.”

SCM Alumnus Markus Vejvar, Sourcing Consultant with A.T. Kearney

The master’s program in Supply Chain Management has equipped me with a well-rounded qualitative understanding of operations management and transportation processes, and the quantitative skills to conduct in-depth analyses in the supply chain management sector – and creative problem-solving skills and the ability to work with large data sets are equally important to succeed in my line of work. Furthermore, the program’s focus on group work with varied tasks in different settings has also prepared me for the daily project work: Frequently switching between different clients, project teams, and industries – which makes each day a little bit different than the last.

I support our clients in procurement transformations and general sourcing projects – from strategy formation to assessment and analysis of levers, to implementation of identified initiatives. While we source all direct and indirect categories, my personal focus lies on sourcing of logistics and transportation services. As a result, I often support clients in large-scale transportation tenders, collaborative optimization projects, and major supplier negotiations. Apart from client work, I also transform my own project experiences into internal intellectual capital to support colleagues in my area of expertise – strategic sourcing of transportation and logistics services.

Thanks to the exchange program at WU Vienna, I was able to complete my third semester abroad, at the City University of Hong Kong in 2013. Apart from the opportunity to expand my knowledge on supply chain and operations management-related topics, I was able to discuss supply chains from a non-Eurocentric perspective, thus seeing them “from the other side”. Furthermore, I got to experience Hong Kong, which is not only a major logistics hub, but also a vibrant and culturally-diverse city.

After finishing my semester abroad, it became clear to me that I had to go back to Hong Kong one day. Thus, when I was offered a full PhD scholarship by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University in 2014 to do research on sustainability issues in transportation management under the supervision of Prof. Kee-hung Lai, one of the most prolific authors in maritime transportation, I did not think twice and took the offer. In my 3-year PhD program, I expanded on the quantitative skills acquired in my master’s studies by taking classes in advanced statistics, game theory and econometric methods for research applications. I also expanded my knowledge on transportation management, with a particular focus on maritime and air transportation.

In my PhD thesis, I explored how transportation companies react to external pressures for sustainability in their sustainability discourse and implementation. In several data-driven studies that were published in a variety of transportation- and sustainability-related journals, I analyzed why some major transportation companies have a strong dedication to sustainability issues, while competitors pay lip-service at best. Coming from a master’s degree with a research component was a significant advantage in my PhD studies, as the familiarity with both the academic process and research methods allowed me to get up to speed