Mentoring Tandem Dominik von Au and Moritz Kagerer

“We are challenging each other”

If TUM Alumni Dominik von Au and his mentee Moritz Kagerer were race drivers, they would most certainly be at the front of the field. The determination they both have with regard to their careers is remarkable. In their mentoring partnership this is mutually beneficial.

Having successfully completed his Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, followed by a Bachelor’s degree in Management and Technology (TUM-BWL), Moritz Kagerer is now on the verge of completing his Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and thus on the home straight to starting his career. When it comes to choosing a professional field he does not want to leave anything to chance. “In order to make this decision, I wanted to get as much insight as possible. In addition to internships I also wanted to get advice from a mentor with professional experience”, he says.

Coming from an entrepreneurial family and himself a co-founder of an international start-up, Moritz Kagerer was astonished when TUM managed to match him with a mentor who fit the bill perfectly. It was Dr. Dominik von Au, whose proven expertise is in advising entrepreneurial families. He says it could not have gone any better.

Mentoring with a perfect fit

Dominik von Au, also a graduate of Management and Technology (TUM-BWL), has had a targeted career at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), an international auditing and consulting firm. He has been a partner at PwC since 2016 and Managing Director of the renowned INTES Family Business Academy since 2013. For many years now, his passion and focus have been on supporting entrepreneurial families, particularly in structuring their succession planning, drafting family constitutions and consulting on owner-strategic governance issues. He regularly supports the so-called Next Generation and New Leaders of larger family businesses as a sparring partner. Accordingly, a mentee with Moritz Kagerer’s profile is more than well advised with Dominik von Au as a mentor.

An open exchange of ideas and mutual trust are basic prerequisites.

The two have been meeting regularly for a year now, either in the premises of TUM or at a cafe in Munich. If there is a need to speak at short notice, they talk on the phone. Meanwhile, they have drafted a five-year plan for Moritz Kagerer. They set personal, family and professional goals and, of course, also considered the possibility of a future role in his parents’ company. “Moritz Kagerer is an extraordinarily committed young man, reflective, ambitious and inquisitive”, Dominik von Au describes his young mentee. “I appreciate our conversations and am pleased that he is very open, looking for advice and questions previous patterns for success.”

Mutual benefit

Moritz Kagerer is thrilled about his mentor’s highly structured approach and the challenging, yet at the same time always humorous discussions when coming up with career steps and career options together. “An open exchange of ideas and mutual trust are basic prerequisites for this process”, Moritz Kagerer stresses. “We were able to build both directly from the start, for which I am truly very grateful to my mentor.”

Last but not least, Dominik von Au emphasises how he, as a TUM Mentor, also benefits from working with with young students in his personal and professional development, since the people he is dealing with at PwC are mostly prospective successors to family businesses in their mid-thirties. Since 2011, he has been passing on his experience in the framework of the TUM Mentoring Programme for Students by Alumni and still maintains close contact with all his former mentees. “Moritz Kagerer and my other mentees challenge me as much as I challenge them. That requires self-confidence”, he says. “This self-confidence is fed by the education they have gone through at TUM and by the mind-set they have acquired here. Of course, I also gain something from that.”