Mentoring-Tandem Andreas Talg and Ángela Párraga

“In the future, learning will be virtual”

Mentee Ángela Párraga not only worked on her career planning and curriculum vitae with TUM Alumni Andreas Talg. In cooperation with the expert, she also drove forward the virtual learning offers of an international corporation.

Andreas Talg and Ángela Párraga share a common passion: learning. Eight hours a week Andreas Talg acquires new knowledge, currently on programmes for artificial intelligence and two new foreign languages. “I am a learnaholic,” he says. Ángela Párraga can’t stop learning either. The Colombian native is currently studying German. Italian or Portuguese will be next. To do so, the two enjoy using technology-based, multimedia learning environments, from apps to interactive online tutorials and podcasts.

The TUM Alumni are not only involved in the highly topical field of computer-supported teaching and learning methods in their private lives, but also professionally. “With the help of technology, we intend to make education accessible at all times and in all places,” they say. As part of their participation in the TUM Mentoring Programme for Students by Alumni, they cooperated on developing Siemens’ digital education and training offers.

Learning Experience

In order to finance his Physics studies at TUM, Andreas Talg taught at the Siemens Technik Akademie in Munich in the 1990s. “Since then, teaching and learning has had a hold of me”, he says. He now is responsible for the global learning IT platforms. “Dealing with technologies that make learning more efficient, effective and fun for my company and my colleagues is at the centre of my daily activities,” he says about his job. “Here I am able to participate in radically new approaches and smart learning strategies at company, organisational and individual levels.”

With the help of technology, we intend to make education accessible at all times and in all places.

Ángela Párraga had a true awakening in terms of learning and teaching, too. After completing her Bachelor’s degree in Bogotá, she worked for the local Colegio Fontán Capital, recognized as a world leader in educational innovation. Teachers there were referred to as analysts who offer their students personalised curricula through an online platform. “The school’s approach had fundamentally changed the way teachers, students and technology used to interact,” she says, “which made me think that education ought to not only use technology, but integrate it.”

It’s All in the Mix

Despite their enthusiasm for the digital future of education, Andreas Talg and Ángela Párraga agree that the analogue sector will continue to hold its rightful place in future learning and teaching environments. What matters is the right mix of digital possibilities and analogue elements that have been tried and tested. “In the future, we will learn virtually”, says Ángela Párraga. “But humans are and always will be social beings”. Andreas Talg adds: “It is much easier to work together in a virtual space if you have met each other in the real world before.”

In the real world, the two have known each other since mid-2018, when Ángela Párraga applied for the TUM Mentoring Programme for Students by Alumni. The fact that Andreas Talg became her mentor was an absolute stroke of luck. In order to be able to use the time spent with his mentee more efficiently, the latter brought her to the Global Learning Campus of Siemens as a working student. TUM supported this approach, as it gave Ángela Párraga the unique opportunity to deepen her knowledge in an applications-based manner, even before completing her Master’s degree, and to engage and network with experts in the field.

Andreas Talg and Ángela Párraga agree that within the framework of TUM Mentoring, mutual learning success for both sides is guaranteed. “My mentor Andreas Talg has helped me to advance in my field of expertise, but he has also helped me with drafting my CV and planning my career”, emphasises Ángela Párraga. “I can only encourage every TUM Alumni to volunteer their time”, says Andreas Talg, “because this is a good investment in all our futures”.