Guest in Classroom session #2: Katharina Jungblut, Unilever, USA
For the second in our online series of Guest in Classroom sessions, we had the honor of hosting one of our MBA 2012 program alumni, Ms. Katharina Jungblut from Unilever. Currently the Senior Regional Sourcing Manager for Unilever North America, she connected with us, all the way from Hoboken, NJ in the US!
Starting off with a personal touch, she walked the students through her life right from her childhood to her academic and professional accomplishments. Having lived and worked in many different countries throughout the years Katharina made valuable intercultural experiences. Internships and jobs with known firms and organizations like EnBw, EDF, adidas, GIZ and Danone enabled her to expand her professional portfolio and made her a great asset for her current employer Unilever. The students instantly felt connected, thanks to her jovial and youthful way of communication and presentation. Being a language enthusiast and speaking seven languages, she also amazed the Indian students with her perfect Hindi!
Being responsible for the procurement for the soft commodities portfolio (Dairy, Sugar, Cocoa & Chocolate), she gave insights about her day to day job activities. Part of Katharina´s job is to develop a sourcing strategy which is based on a continuing market analysis on a global scale. For her job, which she is very passionate about, she has to be the subject matter expert who watches the market and knows about the business needs. Talking about Unilever’s sustainability goals and how they reflect in their daily actions was very interesting for the MBA students that have been learning about sustainable supply chains last semester and sustainable development this semester.
In closing, she shared some of her personal life lessons for the students to take away such as “play hard – work harder” or “make your boss proud and your stakeholders happy”. From her own experience she assured the MBA students that “a CV doesn´t have to be a straightforward evolution”, but that you always have to “be open for new turns”. To answer some questions, she shared some tips and tricks on how to effectively network and use networking platforms such as LinkedIn for opportunity seeking. Being a working parent, she also advised on how to strike a good work life balance.
We are glad that Katharina agreed to hop onboard despite the challenging times and make this Guest in Classroom session happen for the MBA students who unfortunately missed their 3-day excursion and the included company visits this semester due to the Covid-19 crisis. We also sincerely thank Katharina for her refreshing honesty about the struggles of an MBA graduate which indeed motivated a lot of interaction and made the session very enjoyable for everyone.
Text: Surel Surve, Class of 2021
Photos: Surel Surve, MBA