Interview with Christina Schüttler, MLB Graduate Bucerius Law School
Christina Schüttler, MLB 2015, wrote her master thesis in the purchasing department of ZWILLING J. A. Henckels in Solingen. In January 2019, she was promoted to Global Head of Logistics of ZWILLING Beauty Group, leading the German warehouse and customs team of 20 people.
Please introduce yourself. What’s your name and where are you from?
My name is Christina Schüttler and I am from Germany and currently living in Düsseldorf. In my Bachelors, I studied business administration with a specialization in Aviation Management at EBS Business School. This was part of a dual study program with Deutsche Lufthansa AG. After my studies, I stayed with Lufthansa for 4 years in the flight operations area and I worked on projects increasing the fuel efficiency and as a manager assisting the SVP Operations / Accountable Manager.
What made you decide to apply especially for the MLB at Bucerius Law School?
Two things were especially important to me when deciding upon a masters program.
Firstly, I wanted to study in an international environment. Given this, I was at first a bit hesitant towards a program in my home country. However, with only two Germans in my class, I think I made more international friends than I would have done in another master program abroad!
Secondly, my goal for a masters degree was to not only specialize in a certain business area, but to learn a completely new field, in this case law. What I like about the MLB program is the concept of combining the legal and business perspectives of the same topic. It is very valuable to see the same issue in different contexts and use your background knowledge in one of the two areas to facilitate understanding the other perspective.
What was the greatest benefit of the Program?
From the professional side, I gained a better understanding of legal issues. I profited most from the negotiation and contract drafting classes. I apply a lot of what I learned in class to my professional practice. Personally, I met a lot of interesting people in the program and made some very close friends who I am still in touch with.
What would you say is the unique selling point of the MLB at Bucerius? Why should business people go to Bucerius Law School?
I think the program gives a profound understanding of legal issues. Of course, if you have a business background, you cannot replace a lawyer! However, you can understand the situations in which you need to contact one. Moreover, once you are given legal advice, it is much easier to understand it and use it to make a sound business decision.
Also, I like the informal atmosphere at Bucerius Law School. It is a small university and anyone who is interested can get to know a lot of students studying there. The classes are small so that you can easily approach the professors too. The MLB program has its own staff who know every student and support wherever they can, be it with typical university issues or other issues even after you have finished the program.
What have you been doing since graduation? What position/s did you hold and what are your main responsibilities?
During the MLB program, I decided to do my internship and write my master thesis in the purchasing department of ZWILLING J. A. Henckels in Solingen. After working for a DAX 30 company for 7 years, I was curious to change to a mid-sized company.
Throughout my career, I have always worked in operational departments, because I enjoy the pragmatic hands-on attitude there. I also like combining operational and strategic topics. When I started at ZWILLING, the company was about to separate its kitchen and beauty divisions and build two independently operating entities. In this project, I had the chance to build the concept for the new logistics department, implementing a make-or-buy decision process, renting and furnishing a new warehouse, building a new team, etc. I continued working as Head of Logistics in the ZWILLING Beauty Group, leading the German warehouse and customs team of 20 people.
In January 2019, I was promoted to Global Head of Logistics. In this role, in addition to my previous responsibilities, I also co-ordinate global logistics projects of all the group companies in Germany, China and the USA. Furthermore, I represent the logistics department in the group’s leadership team.
How do the knowledge and skills you acquired in the MLB program make you more successful in your job?
In the course of the business divisions’ separation, we had to decide whether existing contracts with business partners needed to be adapted. In addition, we were renting a new warehouse, buying new equipment, etc. During this phase especially, the expertise I learned in the negotiations and contract drafting lectures helped me a lot. As my department is also responsible for customs matters, a good legal understanding is crucial.