Architect Niao Wu

“Women must communicate clearly”

At TUM Niao Wu learned how important listening and clear communication is. These skills help her to manage international teams today. At our first Women of TUM event of the year, the TUM Alumna talks about her experiences.

For as long as she can remember, Niao Wu has been fascinated by art. Thanks to the training in drawing she received from her father, an art teacher, she was able to develop skills in spatial thinking at an early age. At school she also discovered her enthusiasm for the natural and engineering sciences. “Architecture seemed to me to be the right discipline to bring together my two passions,” she says.

In 2005, Niao Wu began studying Architecture at Zhejiang University in China. She liked her semester abroad at the TUM so much that she stayed in Munich for her degree. “I really enjoyed the international environment at TUM,” she says, explaining her decision, one that she made very quickly at the time. As she wanted to finance her studies herself, Niao Wu worked day and night. She spent her days in the lecture hall and as a working student in an architecture office, working nights at a computer, laser cutter and plotter in the basement of the TUM campus. “I still have a good memory of this intense period of work,” she says, emphasizing her gratitude for the flexibility of her academic environment and the helpfulness she received. “You never had to struggle on your own.“

Networking, exchange and communicating well

In 2012, Niao Wu took part in the TUM mentoring program by Alumni for students. She is now friends with her mentor Christina Jeschke, Professor of Architecture at the University of Biberach and Managing Director of JESCHKE ARCHITEKTUR&PLANUNG GMBH. Like her role model, Niao Wu wants to infect her environment with her own positive energy and never wants to lose her sense of inquisitiveness.

During her time as a student and mentee, Niao Wu gained the skills she now has of listening, communicating clearly, critically questioning her own thoughts, and keeping an open mind towards new ideas and points of view.This helps me in my current job to lead international teams with empathy and to motivate the other team members,” Niao Wu says. Since 2016, she has been working as a project manager for international construction projects in the automotive industry – and a great deal depends on her ability to communicate interculturally.

At TUM I learned to listen and to communicate clearly. That helps me today in my profession.

Niao Wu will be talking about her experiences at the first Women of TUM event of the year. As the host of the event, she would like to work towards bringing momentum into the area of equal rights. “It is important to me that we as women promote equality ourselves,” she emphasizes. The right communication is also fundamentally important in this area. “That’s why I want to motivate young women to communicate their goals and wishes clearly,” says Niao Wu. “Only then can the environment adapt accordingly. It is us who are responsible for exercising this kind of clear communication.”