Graduates of Hof University of Applied Sciences are highly regarded by employers and have enormous expertise. “Campuls-digital” therefore introduces, in loose order, some members of the Hof alumni network who have since made a career for themselves nationally or internationally, but who still feel a strong connection to Hof University. Now we have met Volker Albrecht, CEO of Siemens Digital Logistics GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Siemens Group.
Mr. Albrecht, you now live with your family and two children in your home region of Bamberg. Professionally, you are active worldwide. How would you define your current professional role?
As Managing Director or CEO of a globally active software company of Siemens AG, we operate directly in the heart of international logistics chains. Of course, this also means that we are currently experiencing all the effects of the pandemic and escalations very directly – just think of the supply bottlenecks in many areas, for example. Each of us knows examples where planned delivery dates could not be met. The “Resilient Supply Chain” is therefore currently one of our main topics. Basically, we are working on software solutions for supply chain optimization and transparency for customers worldwide. Siemens Digital Logistics GmbH has a total of over 300 employees, works in various countries and has its headquarters in Frankenthal near Heidelberg. All of our customers have challenging CO2 targets, we help to achieve the targets with our software and thus support the idea of sustainability.
You graduated from Hof University in 2002 with a degree in business informatics. When you think of Hof today, what comes to mind first?
I think we benefited enormously at that time from the advantages of Hof University, some of which are still valid today. There was very close contact between students and the professors. I remember many conversations with Prof. Dr. Ronald Hechtfischer or Prof. Dr. Thomas Meuche, with whom I completed my diploma thesis. The atmosphere among the students was also excellent. It was so good, in fact, that we launched the legendary BOOM party, of which I am one of the founders. I very much hope that the BOOM party will continue after Corona. In addition, at that time I was also very involved with the student council and as a student representative on the university council.
What has been the biggest challenge in your professional career so far?
It was certainly when I moved from the traditional Siemens Group of Siemens AG to the Software Group, which is managed from the US, more than six years ago. That was a challenge in terms of content, but also in terms of the different cultures of the team members. At the beginning, I was responsible for teams in eight countries and had to integrate and unite many different approaches accordingly. Many mentalities also differed. Just think of the contrasts between India and the U.S., for example. But Italian colleagues also sometimes think very differently from us Germans.
To what extent did your studies in Hof provide you with added value for practical work?
The combination of understanding business processes on the one hand and understanding the underlying IT, which has to map the processes, on the other, is an absolute added value. My business informatics studies prepared me well for this.
What advice would you give to young students?
Being broadly positioned is the be-all and end-all. If you want to be in my career field, you should always try to understand the combination of business and computer science. Incidentally, Hof University was the only university in my day that offered lectures in both fields in parallel. That’s exactly why I chose Hof at that time. In addition, you should always do something useful with your time besides university. Ideally, you should try things that bring you closer to practice at an early stage. By the way: careers via the second educational path also have many good arguments on their side!
What mistake would you like to have avoided?
Everyone makes mistakes and no one is infallible. Most of us even make many mistakes. The only thing that matters is that you learn from your mistakes and, if possible, don’t make the same one twice, because then it becomes unpleasant at some point. If you want to achieve something, you also have to take risks sometimes, but you should always be able to reflect on your own behavior and act accordingly
How do you benefit from the Alumni Network at Hof University and would you recommend it?
I am still a convinced member of the Hof Alumni Network and have attended various events in recent years. When there is not a pandemic, the network offers a wonderful opportunity to stay in touch with one’s university, but also with lecturers. The exchange across generations of students can also be very profitable. I can therefore only recommend this to every graduate.
What personal goal would you still like to achieve?
The most important goal is always that my family and I stay healthy. In the professional spectrum, I would like to use my work to help support the idea of sustainability with software solutions and bring it forward. We want to help our customers to reduce the Co2 values in their business. After all, climate concerns us all.
Thank you for the interview.
About alumni hochschule hof e.V
The alumni network of Hof University of Applied Sciences was founded in 2005 on the initiative of graduates and professors. Today, it comprises about 450 members (professors and staff, alumni, students) and is thus the largest association that has emerged from Hof University of Applied Sciences.
Benefits of membership:
– Opportunity to refresh old contacts and make new ones
– Exchange of experiences and practical knowledge
– Information about the latest developments at Hof University of Applied Sciences and its affiliated institutes
– Attendance at homecoming and other events
– Support for subsequent generations of students through awards, scholarships, sponsorship of study projects and events, etc.
More info and registration: