Why did you decide to do an MBA? Why did you choose the Mannheim Part-Time MBA?
In doing an MBA, my goal was to gain new insights and learn new skills. With my background in engineering, I needed to complement my management expertise in order to accelerate my career. Moreover, I wanted to extend my network. I chose a part-time program because I wanted to continue with my career and also prove to myself that I can manage to both work and study at the same time.
The decision to study at Mannheim Business School was an easy one for me: Apart from the proximity to my home and my workplace, there are many good reasons in favor of Mannheim. As confirmed by the major international rankings, MBS is the best business school in Germany. Its Triple Crown accreditation is further proof of its international acceptance as a leading institution for management education. I also think that the course schedule, with two study trips and compact modules every two months rather than fragmented lectures every weekend, is the best concept for a part-time MBA program.
What difference has the Mannheim MBA made to your career?
For one thing, the MBA led to the next stage in my career just a few months after graduation. There are also many personal changes I have noticed: I built my stamina throughout the program and I can now overcome stubborn obstacles; the program increased my self-confidence by taking me out of my comfort zone and making me master tasks I was not very comfortable with before (for example, from being afraid of presentations to having fun doing them); I achieved a more rounded personal profile, which earned me a recommendation for an internal personal and professional development program over one year; and the MBA gave me a clearer vision of what is really important to me in my job and what I want to achieve in future with regard to my hierarchical level and leadership, for example, I am now striving for more and more strategic elements in my job.
How do the tools and expertise you obtained help you in your daily work?
Plenty of tools have already been of great use, for example, the Strategy Canvas and the Scenario Funnel as inputs for a SWOT Analysis to identify the potential of a new strategic project within our company. Moreover, I became more confident in talking to the management board: No question marks appear in my head when the impacts of KPIs like DSO or Cash Flow are discussed during a meeting. I also adopted many tips and tricks from my fellow students with a consultancy background to improve my slide decks, with the result that I have received much more positive feedback since.
What were some significant experiences that you took away with you from the program?
I would say there are two main things I took away from the program. First, ideas get bigger and better in a team: If you discuss your idea within a team, so many valuable and interesting new aspects come together. And second, giving huge projects a logical structure and splitting them into digestible parts right at the beginning is key to the overall success and keeping everybody on board throughout the project.
What was your personal highlight?
One of my highlights during the program was the module abroad at Goizueta Business School in Atlanta, US: Great lectures and facilities, awesome organization, and a great mix of studying and excursions. Everything was just right and almost felt like a class trip from my childhood.
I also learned to shoulder the workload and enjoy it: No matter how tough and tight one’s work, study, and private calendars are, there is always a way to integrate good fun and enjoy the journey.
During the program, I loved listening to guest lectures held by entrepreneurs – the way they burn for their dream and their passion in their work were incredible and demonstrated that this is really what it takes to start your own business.
I am still in touch with some fellow students: We see each other at private and MBS-organized events, and sometimes our WhatsApp group still goes crazy with new messages. I am impressed with how passionate MBS is about keeping the network alive and together – there are so many great opportunities to be part of it as an Alumnus. I am happy that I can now recommend the program to potential “Mannheimers” and that one of my closest friends has joined the next Part-Time cohort. And finally, I am proud that I was invited to contribute to a newspaper article about studying at Mannheim Business School, published in the “Rheinpfalz” in December 2017.
The Mannheim Part-Time MBA program has been a great experience I can only recommend!