Max Ostermann recently graduated from the Master in Digital Business & Innovation. He came to IE University with the intention of securing his future—but at the end of his program, gained so much more than just a résumé booster.

4 min read

The program gave him a modern, global outlook toward the world of work and helped him discover a passion for consulting. He landed a job at Accenture as a strategy analyst for their consumer goods and services team.

From hospitality management to digital strategy 

After earning his bachelor’s, pursuing a master’s degree was never really part of Max’s initial plan. However, his plan shifted when he came to the realization that in today’s world of work, a master’s degree would help him future-proof his career. Looking for a more specialized blend of business and tech, the Master in Digital Business and Innovation was the perfect program for Max’s personal goals. Plus, IE University’s innovative and modern approach to learning gave him a strong impression that this program would enhance his future.

Max comes from a background in hospitality management, which would normally lead to a position as an account manager or in sales. But due to his interactions during the program, he took a new path. “Being with a lot of people who come from those typical business backgrounds, who have very strong résumés, who’ve built their whole life around achieving a specific position at a specific firm really pushed me. It allowed me to think about a position in consulting, to see that there’s more that’s possible.”

More than a push toward a new career, the program also gave Max the confidence to hold conversations about digital marketing and other topics he didn’t originally expect to come up during an interview. “It gave me the knowledge to carry out a conversation about the topic. It can’t prepare you for everything, but it awakens an interest as well as gives you information about what’s currently happening in our world.”

Outside the classroom, Max was ready to take any opportunity. “There are a lot of clubs and Campus Life events at IE University. I came in full of energy and ambition and signed up for just about everything.” His advice for future students? “Focus on one or two things and give yourself enough time to really enjoy Madrid, I had the best year there ever. Also, take time to apply for jobs and do it as soon as you can so you can continue doing other things.”

It’s not just business as usual

Throughout the Master in Digital Business and Innovation, Max gained a deeper insight into the business world. He no longer gets stuck in the idea that he can’t implement change in companies by looking at the bigger picture. “It really forces you into doing your research and the courses move you in a direction where you learn a lot more, by yourself.” This type of autonomous learning has made quite the difference in Max’s perspective on business and developing business models.

This perspective helped Max and his classmates in their Capstone Project plan. In fact, the Capstone Project in general is one of the reasons Max chose IE University, “We didn’t have to write a thesis. I wrote one for my bachelor’s and it was helpful, but this approach was a real-life situation in the field I would later go on to work in—a combination of applying knowledge from experts and executing it, while also writing the business strategy on the side.”

His Capstone Project team was “relatively chaotic at the beginning, and a wild combination of people.” But they had a great outcome and an excellent learning experience. The team created a platform to allow tenants and landlords to connect through deposit-free renting. The idea was to help eliminate the loss of deposits, but it turned into a full-service package for digital nomads. The platform served as a space for information for tenants and landlords alike, but it also offered the option to rent certain amenities, like kitchen utensils.

The project itself helped Max realize his passion lies in the hospitality industry. “I don’t want a typical hospitality role, but I always have this recurring touchpoint with the industry because I think it’s super interesting.” Before starting the master’s, he worked for an organization that does strategy databases for hospitality businesses. 

Max sees data being a large influence on the hospitality sector in the future. From data privacy and value chain to sustainability and food waste, tech can significantly improve the market. He sees it as a big business opportunity as well, “I think it’s possible to combine business and help the Earth—I’d love to see that change.

A future full of possibility 

In the end, Max is going to go into consulting. He’s looking forward to his new opportunity as a strategy analyst at Accenture, “It’s a very modern digital company. And even in strategy, I’ll have to rely on innovative digital solutions. It will give me the best of both worlds.” His current focus is on the consumer goods industry, but he’d like to shift to the food and agriculture sector eventually. “My final goal for my career would be to start a fund for food tech or to create a franchise in the food industry.” 

Max would tell students considering this program that if they are interested in the industry, this master’s is the best option. “The program provides you with other tools that you need in order to get a job in the field. Additionally, the hands-on approach at IE University gives you the opportunity to earn a good degree and learn a lot of things without spending all your time in a library.” Max was also thrilled by the networking opportunities at hand, “The people that I’ve met that have already received these incredible job offers are people I will stay in touch with for the rest of my life.” His final piece of advice? “Make the best of it.”