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Alumnus Guillermo on his career at RWTH Aachen University

Guillermo Dorantes is an alumnus from Mexico and tells us about his career. How did he decide to study at RWTH Aachen and what does he do now? Find out in this interview what advice he has for financing a stay in Germany and how the PhD exchange program with our partners at the Tecnológico de Monterrey came about.

Guillermo first came to Germany when he did an exchange semester in Karlsruhe. After his Master's Degree Program M.Sc. Management and Engineering in Production Systems he is now doing his PhD at the institute PEM – Chair of Production Engineering of E-Mobility Components. Melanie Ostfeld, director of our Academy Mexico Office, visited Guillermo at the institute and talked about his career path.

The original interview is in Spanish and has been translated to English subtitles.

How is it that you decided to come here, to RWTH Aachen, to study your Master's Degree?

Well, the time I was in Karlsruhe was only going to be for two semesters. Yet, I stayed an extra semester that I took as a sabbatical, because I really liked it a lot. I liked the country, I really liked the culture, the people, the food, the lifestyle. So after that long experience I said yes, I want to go back to Germany, even if it's only for a master's degree. In the best case, to live there. And that was when I started looking for programs and I found the one at RWTH.

The Master’s Degree you chose was Management and Engineering in Production Systems. Why did you choose this path?

Well, when I finished the semester, the two semesters in Karlsruhe, I graduated in Mexico, I worked a little bit in Mexico and worked in the production area. And there I realized that I lacked a little bit of tools to manage better projects, to plan the production we were doing, the processes we had, the machinery, to control budgets, etc. And that was when I said OK, I know what I want to learn in my master's degree.

What did you value about this program?

Most of the projects, the programs that I was finding, were either too technical or they were just like an MBA. And I thought ok, yes, I would like something more, let's say, in the industrial area. To have technology, but also management. Those tools that enable you to plan better, to manage a budget, which was very important while I was working…and I saw that I only found all that in this dual program at RWTH.

Lots of our applicants are worrying about financial issues: How do they get to Germany, pay for their master's degree, pay for their living expenses? Guillermo was fortunate to find a scholarship from CONACYT and DAAD, which covered his studies and some other expenses.

In addition, he was working like many students in Aachen during his master's degree in a so called "Hiwi"-position, which is like an assistant in a research center of an university or company. This work experience is not only important to finance the stay, but also to make valuable contacts for the future.

How did your path continue after your master's degree?

When I graduated, I started looking for a job and interestingly enough, at the institute where I did my master's thesis they were looking for people. And not only were they looking for people, but we received two very big projects with Mexican companies in Monterrey. And they were looking for someone who either spoke Spanish or had some experience with Mexico.

It coincided perfectly because one of the people who was involved in those projects was my thesis advisor. And then... hey, do you remember me? So I started working in 2017 here at PEM.

PEM – Chair of Production Engineering of E-Mobility Components

The chair "Production Engineering of E-Mobility Components" (PEM) at RWTH Aachen University stands for forward-looking research and innovation in the field of electromobility. The PEM team decisively develops the production processes of electric vehicles and their individual components. An equally large focus falls on recycling as well as the development and safety of batteries. In all areas, application-oriented research projects are complemented by numerous industrial cooperations.

So, at PEM, what kind of projects do you have?

The types of projects we manage are super varied. We can go from having the whole production line for a battery that is going to be, for example, in an Audi, or we can also go to something as specific as for a certain electric motor. The winding, how are we going to do it? How do we want to bend the material that goes inside? And everything that might be in between.

And the interesting thing about that is that we extract learning material from that! We are also a research institute of the university, which is why we also give classes.

So from all this we also get the material that we are teaching to the students. We have several students here who are helping us in our projects, who are doing their theses in our projects. And from their theses they can also do papers that are published, and they appear as authors. That is what is very interesting about how we work.

Watch the full interview with Guillermo

Check out the full interview with our alumnus and get all his first-hand insights in detail. Also, thank you so much Guillermo, for taking the time to share your experiences!

Language Spanish / Subtitles English