Lincoln Memorial University

Railsplitter on the Rise: Marcel Barwanietz

Marcel BarwanietzHARROGATE, Tennessee, December 2, 2019— Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) graduate Marcel Barwanietz’s advice for current students is to take the bold initiative and figure out the details along the way. 


“If you want something to happen, make it happen,” Barwanietz said. “Too many people live in the ‘get-by’ mode and hope for this great opportunity to come up or only commit to things if they seem to be a great fit. Get out of your comfort zone and get to where you want to be by just simply sorting it out. Lots of things are possible as long as you’re willing to do what it takes to achieve them.”


Barwanietz earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in marketing in 2015 and went on to complete his MBA in 2017. A native of Berlin, he now resides near Washington D.C. with his wife, Liz, and dog, Lemon.


At LMU, Barwanietz was men’s soccer team captain, men’s soccer graduate assistant, a Lincoln Ambassador, a member of the Student Government Association and the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, as well as an Enactus Project Manager.


“My fondest memory of LMU is, of course, meeting my wife,” Barwanietz said. “Harrogate and LMU will always be the place where everything started for us. My first season with the LMU soccer team was very memorable. Although we lost in a heart-breaking SAC Conference Final by conceding within the last minute, we had a tremendous season. Our roster consisted of all sorts of nationalities, so it was a great experience being part of such a diverse environment, which has helped me quite a lot within my career already.”


He also cherishes scoring two goals his senior season as a goalkeeper by taking the penalty kicks.


“Something I learned during that experience was that even though something may be uncomfortable you need to step up to get the result you are wanting,” he said. “If you do not step up to the plate, you cannot complain about the result.”


While earning his MBA, Barwaneitz was an intern at Mercedes Benz USA in Atlanta. This internship kicked-off his interest in the automotive industry. He gravitated toward the German company because it made him feel more at home and gave him a slight edge. After graduation, he accepted an analyst position in the rotational program of Volkswagen Group of America. During the first 12 months he was part of the Region Sales and Distribution Team in Dallas, Texas, supporting a network of 167 dealers from New Mexico to Minnesota. Next, he had a short assignment at the global headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, supporting the launch of the newest model in the U.S. market, the Arteon.


“I spent another 12 months with the After Sales Marketing Team and was responsible for a multitude of marketing initiatives that can be recognized through digital channels like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube, or print material that may have ended up in your mailbox or showcased at your closest VW dealership,” Barwanietz said.


After completing his final rotation, he accepted his current role within the quality department as Assistant to Executive Vice President Group Quality & NAR.


“In a nutshell, our job is to ensure that we provide a product, VW and Audi, of high quality and put counter measures in action for all sorts of issues that may arise during the entire process starting with the developmental phases, production, logistics, and final customer delivery to avoid potential recalls or customer complaints but also strategize how to handle situations that did end up in a recall or re-occurring complaint to ensure the best customer experience possible,” he said. “For this role, I will be travelling close to LMU more often as our U.S. factory is located in Chattanooga.”


One of his career goals is to go on a foreign assignment, whether back in Germany or somewhere completely different. “There is so much out there to explore that I would like to experience whether its cultures, history, locations, business practices, anything unknown,” he said.


Barwaneitz doesn’t play much anymore, but still stays up-to-date on all things soccer related, and he has taken up Crossfit for stress relief.  He enjoys spending time outdoors with Liz and Lemon, walking on mountain trails and exploring nature.


Lincoln Memorial University is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The main campus is located in Harrogate, Tennessee. For more information about the undergraduate and graduate programs available at LMU, contact the Office of Admissions at 423.869.6280 or email at [email protected].


423.869.3611 | 800.325.0900
6965 Cumberland Gap Parkway
Harrogate, TN 37752