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Ralf Wende

Format AreaRalf WendeArea Manager/Consultant at Town & Country Haus GmbH

BA Business Administration, 1996

What made you choose Middlesex University and apply?

I started my degree in Portugal. In the second year, I was able to do a semester in Sheffield as part of the ERASMUS programme. I was so convinced by the English University system that I decided I wanted to finish my course in England. After doing some research on several UK universities, I decided on Middlesex University, primarily because of the good reputation its Business School has but also because of its proximity to London's centre.

What aspects of your course did you enjoy most?

I really enjoyed learning from highly interesting and competent teachers, the excellent course work modules and the generally great atmosphere for learning that the university offers.

What is your fondest memory of life at Middlesex?

A midnight stroll with some good classmates through the park grounds.

What one piece of advice would you give to a prospective student interested in studying at Middlesex?

Be proactive and take advantage of all the activities and support Middlesex University offers its students – from those relating directly to your course through to the various extracurricular activities available.

How did your course and time at Middlesex help you to get where you are professionally today?

Having spent my career in Portugal and Germany, I still really value the international study experience that Middlesex University gave me. The fact I was able to achieve a very good degree has also helped and this was only possible because of all the facilities and personal advice that Middlesex offers to its students.

What made you choose the industry you work in and what are its pros and cons?

My career path has led me to different industries but each new job has related in some way to my previous position. In 1996 I started in the Real Estate industry selling houses in the sunny Algarve. After 5 years I was invited to establish a Canadian Real Estate Franchise brand in Portugal. After approximately another 5 years I was offered the opportunity to manage the retail chain of one of Portugal's biggest Health Food companies. My previous experience of supporting franchisees in the running of their operations helped me a lot in this role.

Last year I moved to Germany because I was invited to be an "Area Manager" for Germany's largest Franchise company in the construction sector. The company specialises in the building of family homes.  All my previous experience in the Real Estate and Franchise sector has enabled me to be fully engaged in this position. My experience of managing a Health Food chain has also been useful.

How did you get your foot on the career ladder post university?

I had a very good degree and I spoke quite good English so I was fortunate enough to have to only send a few copies of my CV out before I had my job.

What has been your defining career break or highlight to date?

In my position as a manager in the Health Food chain, I was able to streamline all the business processes (from suppliers to internal communication and sales) and thus maintain stable sales figures when the rest of our competition was experiencing large declines in sales.

What does the future hold for you?

In every position, I have always tried to give my best so I hope that the future for me will be good and hold some nice surprises!

What are the top three career tips you would give to current students and recent graduates?

Give your best in everything you do, always look at the positive side of everything and be innovative.

What one piece of advice would you give to the 17/18 year old you?

Focus on and go for what you really think you are good at.

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