Sapna Handyal

Alumna 
Sapna Handyal

Position
Digital Analytics Engineer  

Company
Modix GmbH 

Graduated
2016

Faculty 
Communication and Environment

Degree
Usability Engineering (M.Sc.)  

Please tell us a little bit about your personal background and why you have decided to come to Kamp-Lintfort, Germany, to study at Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences.

I come from Bangalore, a beautiful city in the South of India known for its serene gardens and friendly people among the other nice attractions it has to offer. I lived there for over 20 years, all through my education, including the completion of my bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. After my graduation, I began my professional career as a solutions engineer with Oracle India. My key responsibilities included the development and configuration of Oracle applications to suit end-to-end business processes across different industry verticals.

While working with different applications, I noticed a significant gap between the features they provide and their usability. As work on these projects continued, my repeated encounters with poorly designed applications and websites sparked me to think more about usability. As a result, I decided to pursue a degree in Usability Engineering. The curriculum for this programme at Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences sounded quite appealing. Next to courses on usability engineering it also offered coursework focusing on industry-relevant subjects such as intercultural management, which then led me to decide on coming to Kamp-Lintfort.

You graduated in 2016 with your master’s degree in Usability Engineering. How did you experience the job hunt thereafter?

Although I graduated in November 2016, I had started hunting for jobs as early as spring 2016. My career advisor at the University inspired me to start early by saying: “It is never too early to identify the market needs and keep abreast with regard to your set of relevant skills”. I would also like to mention that the support and guidance I received from the Career Services at the University was most helpful. I was able to schedule regular appointments with them, and every session was valuable. I would definitely recommend current students to avail themselves of this service.

Along with applying for specific jobs, I visited multiple career events and fairs. In addition, I circulated my career profile on every possible career portal, I came across. In fact, the position I currently hold resulted from an invitation for an interview I received via one of these portals.

Today you are working as a Digital Analytics Engineer at Modix GmbH in Koblenz, Germany. Could you tell us more about the company and your daily tasks?

Modix develops customised digital solutions that cover the complete spectrum of car sales and marketing measures to connect the car shoppers with cars they are looking for. I am part of the company’s Digital Performance team which provides relevant insights to enable informed marketing decisions and support sales. This requires me to work with different company clients as well as external customers who introduce the organisation of their respective business to me. During these interactions, the client and I work on identifying their digital success measurement criteria and in a next step I set up appropriate data collection schema based on these criteria.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Interacting with people from different backgrounds and designations has enabled me to get to know and understand numerous business structures from multiple perspectives. This is a great learning experience which has allowed me to work harmoniously with different teams.

Moreover, the job requires me to look at the problem at hand from all possible angles and I have found that there is never one best solution. It is always about striking the optimal balance between different parameters to achieve favourable results. Being part of such an intellectually driving environment at work is something I enjoy immensely.

Which important skills for this position did you acquire because of your studies?

Studying Usability imparted me with the mind-set needed to be open to new ideas and able to place myself in the shoes of the user’s or client’s while making decisions. The ability to focus on intricate details while keeping the big picture in mind was my key take away from this degree programme. 

Which advice would you like to give our current and prospective students?

There is a job for everyone out there! All we need is a positive attitude and an open mind. As an international student, it is hard, at times, to realise that labour markets function differently in different regions. There is no ‘one’ best way to find a job. Keep all options open. You never know when or where an exciting opportunity might come knocking at your door. Be confident about your skills. Focus on your strengths. These are the qualities that make you who you are. It’s true that the language barrier might restrict your options to a small percentage, but realise that, in the end, all you need is one job! 

What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about Rhine-Waal University of Applied Sciences?

Actually, there are three things. First of all, there are the helpful Faculty and students! The Kamp-Lintfort Campus of Rhine-Waal University harbours some of the friendliest people I have ever met. Second, there’s the awesome library offering so many great books! As nerdy as it may sound, the library was a place where I spent a good time during my thesis research. And third, there’s the small yet cosy and colourful campus.