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It is a remarkable success story: More than 800 exceptional leaders and business professionals have completed the three Executive MBA programs of Mannheim Business School in the last 10 years. Their career paths are impressive. What unites them all is an experience that has strongly and lastingly shaped their professional and leadership skills as well as their personalities. This is why many companies of all sizes and industries develop their top performers with one of our Executive MBA programs.
Executive MBA programs are considered as career boosters and the ideal springboard for a career in top management. But who is the ideal candidate for these programs? And what makes them so special? Nilgün Vatansever, Admissions Manager for the Executive MBA programs at Mannheim Business School, explains.
Ms. Vatansever, who is the ideal candidate for an Executive MBA program?
Executive MBA programs are suitable for experienced professionals and executives with considerable work experience and a first academic degree. At Mannheim Business School, we require at least eight years’ professional experience. However, the current class average is significantly higher. Thus, these programs are the ideal choice both for professionals wanting or having to move into general management and for executives already having personnel and/or budget responsibility and wanting to develop themselves professionally and personally.
Why this distinction from normal MBA programs? Couldn’t it be inspirational for experienced executives and young managers to exchange views?
Of course, and good business schools also offer this opportunity to exchange views, but at extracurricular events. Although the basic content of an MBA and an Executive MBA (EMBA) may be similar in many parts, the methods of knowledge transfer are different. The quality and the intensity of learning with and, above all, from each other in EMBA programs may be completely different from that in programs aimed at a younger audience. Thus, we strongly encourage participants to contribute their own knowledge and experience in the classes. Therefore, it is not uncommon that a Latin American engineer responsible for major international projects, a German humanist working in journalism and a North American geologist working in the oil industry, for instance, have to jointly find a solution to an innovative problem and, hence, contend with completely new ways of thinking and working.
This certainly places specific demands on the teaching staff, doesn’t it?
Definitely! Plain classroom teaching makes no sense in EMBA programs because basic terms and concepts are generally already familiar due to the many years of professional experience or learned through self-study. Teachers are increasingly taking on the role of moderators by leading and steering expert discussions, accurately contributing their own expertise and ultimately ensuring that the learning objectives are achieved.
What is your advice to prospective candidates? Ultimately, one hardly decides on an Executive MBA program overnight...
You should obtain accurate and comprehensive information, since not all MBA and EMBA programs offered in Germany comply with international standards. Nor is every program with “executive” in its name actually an EMBA. Therefore, you should seek to speak with the business school offering the desired program and obtain the required information, preferably in person or by talking to current participants and alumni, possibly with a similar career. Open days, like those held biannually at Mannheim Business School, are ideal. Last but not least, you should also pay attention to application deadlines and apply early to benefit from early bird discounts or scholarships.
Benefit from a flexible and convenient curriculum tailored to the needs of busy executives
Get a degree from Germany’s leading university in business
Gain up-to-date knowledge in all relevant management disciplines
Benefit from a world-class faculty who combine real business know-how with cutting edge insights from research
Grow as a leader and boost your personal development
Gain a truly cross-cultural business perspective and benefit from highly diverse classes
Extend your EMBA experience and attend Personal Development Days up to three years after graduation
Be inspired by the valuable and lasting high-calibre MBS network of business partners, participants, and alumni
Refine your professional profile and increase your versatility and value to your employer
Get an excellent value for money
You are an internationally experienced executive? You combine an ambitious and entrepreneurial mindset with a strong sense of responsibility? You want to expand your business knowledge, hone your management skills and grow as a person? Then you are exactly the kind of person we are looking for. The ideal candidate fulfils the following requirements:
More than 60% of our Executive MBA alumni changed jobs (within or outside their company) during the program
Among the Top 10 (MANNHEIM & TONGJI EMBA)/Top 20 (ESSEC & MANNHEIM EMBA) worldwide in the category “career progress” in the Financial Times EMBA ranking
Among the Top 25 worldwide in the category “aims achieved” (MANNHEIM & TONGJI EMBA) in the Financial Times EMBA ranking
Salary increase of more than 45% three years after graduation for the alumni of our EMBA programs according to the Financial Times EMBA ranking
Christian Gossmann, ESSEC & MANNHEIM EMBA Class of 2018
“What could be a better place in central Europe to dive into entrepreneurial thinking than La Défense, the commercial center of France, in these times? And what better way of immersing yourself in entrepreneurship from a variety of perspectives than to spend five days with a diverse, open-minded, and ambitious EMBA class, with colleagues constantly looking for new opportunities and openings to advance their business lives? Lucky we – we had this opportunity during our advanced immersion module on entrepreneurial thinking of our ESSEC & MANNHEIM EMBA Program!”
Advanced Immersion Module at ESSEC La Défense: Entrepreneurial Thinking
Entrepreneurship is an often-discussed topic. But what does it mean? What makes a person an entrepreneur? And what is it about? Succeeding? As always, the answer seems to be, it depends…
Jan Lepoutre made it clear to us pretty soon that entrepreneurship is not only about having nice and innovative ideas and trying to bring them to market. It is about the process of looking for possible needs by observing possible customers, analyzing them, and finding the product market fit. Thus, he introduced multiple frameworks and concepts to work consistently on the desired strategy. But mostly, strategy that is not in the managerial context, because entrepreneurship involves uncertainty. Therefore, effective thinking and failure management are major factors of success.
The good news is that nobody is born an entrepreneur. And it is not about who you are, what title you have earned, or what you accomplished in the past. It is about what you are doing and how you are doing it. But, like actors, musicians, or athletes, it has to be learned and practiced. So prepare for failure – learn from it and change.
Another important finding is that you will never succeed alone. Whatever the stage of your start-ups, you will need a network: From finding the idea, developing the strategy, and getting funding, to driving the long road to success you need to work with the right people who are doing the right things. And please, never ever forget your customers! Consider their feedback a major part of your journey. Therefore, it is not all about the means – it is about a passion for inventing, establishing, and developing.
This appears to be trickier within a corporation: The context, framework, and direction are already in place. But even here, an ‘intrapreneurial’ mindset and way of thinking is very much needed, as all corporations have to exploit and explore at the same time. We discussed in detail when a company is a “chump” or a “champ”. Mostly, all corporate classmates agreed that the chump probability seems quite high. Do you remember slack and absorption?
Have you ever pitched for an investor? Every entrepreneur starting their own endeavor most probably has to go through the process of obtaining the necessary financials to get the project started. We spent one day with Francois Feige on attracting possible investors. He gave us a sense of what pitching is about, including tips and trick, dos and especially don’ts, from his real-life experience. How do you approach an investor? How do you structure your pitch? On what should you focus? I think even the more experienced people in our class were impressed by his clear statements on the directions we should choose.
And we return to the means and the people. Of course, the homework of strategy and financials has to be done. But, in the end, the people and the belief that these people will execute the proposed agenda will tip the scales if you receive your funding.
To complete the picture, Anne-Claire Pache introduced us to the world of social entrepreneurship. She was able to capture all of our energy to develop social projects through a structured process. The pitches were as different as the projects: from cocoa production, to socializing children with autism, to integrating refugees into our community. For me it was clear: We really should use our expertise to create benefits for our communities and the world around us!
Thanks to this module, I feel very refreshed and have a good idea of how to paint my future life. I would like to sincerely thank all three professors for leading us to entrepreneurial thinking and acting. The main takeaway for me is that entrepreneurship is very down to earth about what you are doing today – of course, with a visionary mind, the will to change things, and optimism…
Find out more about the different modules and entrepreneurial elements of the ESSEC & MANNHEIM EMBA here.
Attila Huttera, ESSEC & MANNHEIM EMBA Class of 2018
“Our recent Advanced Immersion Module on Risk Management marked the final stage of our 18-month EMBA journey. Corporate Social Responsibility works hand in hand with Risk Management to combat the causes and effects of unforeseen events. We gained a comprehensive overview of how relational stakeholder governance, involving NGOs, government, communities, media, and industry associations, in addition to supplier and customer relations help reduce risks arising from uncertainty and insufficient contract coverage.”
A new start in the last EMBA module
Our recent Advanced Immersion Module on Risk Management marked the final stage of our 18-month EMBA journey. This last get-together of our class before graduation was in the brand-new Conference Center of Mannheim Business School beneath the chambers of the splendid Mannheim Palace.
A lesson on the impact of a vision: I remember Prof. Wüstemann, president of Mannheim Business School, envisioning and presenting an innovative study center that was about to be built. This was two years ago, during an EMBA Open Day event I attended. The site has now been completed, replacing the previous concepts and layouts with a ready-to-enter realm.
The course week was complemented with two networking events for participants from several MBS courses. On the first day, a joint lunch with our successors, the ESSEC & Mannheim EMBA class of 2019, gave us the opportunity to exchange experiences and discuss the next steps to take during and after the study program. The event was augmented with presentations by the Honorary Consul of France in Mannheim and the Head of Cultural Urban Development encompassing projects for start-up centers, co-working spaces, and intercultural meeting points in Mannheim. During one of the evenings we were invited to Drinks & Drums, a networking event organized at Mannheim Palace for participants of the EMBA, MBA, and Taxation programs. While enjoying finger food, drinks, and conversation, a professional drumming team prompted us to swing our hips and show our own interpretation of rhythm.
But of course, the main purpose of the study week was to attend and benefit from the Risk Management lecture, which has been newly integrated into the EMBA program. In the first part, Prof. Ebert from the Frankfurt School of Finance & Management introduced contemporary concepts of financial risk assessment and corresponding hedging strategies. Since even experts and executives are prone to behavioral biases in financial decision-making, Prof. Ebert’s audiences typically comprise business schools alongside executive boards of big corporates like Deutsche Bank.
In the second part of the course, we elaborated with Prof. Bode how process and product complexity elicit supply chain risks, which impact operational fulfillment and reputation. Corporate Social Responsibility works hand in hand with Risk Management to combat the causes and effects of unforeseen events. We gained a comprehensive overview of how relational stakeholder governance, involving NGOs, government, communities, media, and industry associations, in addition to supplier and customer relations help reduce risks arising from uncertainty and insufficient contract coverage.
As our EMBA comes to an end, we have also taken the opportunity to draw conclusions on our joint effort, the Social Class project. Our “all hands on deck” philosophy engaged all members and leveraged our diversity. Our various academic, cultural, and personal backgrounds helped generate a huge range of ideas and initiatives for charitable events and fund raising, which we can be proud of in retrospect.
All said and done, we are now approaching the final countdown to the jury presentation of our entrepreneurial and intrapreneurial strategic projects, before being entitled to throw our hats in the air at the graduation ceremony.
(Group photo by Andrew Auseichyk)
Carolina Astorga, ESSEC & MANNHEIM EMBA Class of 2018
“An entire complex learning process, both as individuals and as a group, took place. We had good days and bad. By working together, we overcame difficulties, celebrated success, and experimented with failure. It happened to us; it happened to every single MCT. It is a normal journey that provides you with priceless experience and gives you war-room training in the daily challenges of both professional and private life. We are expected to learn how to adjust and perform in different group configurations that we are part of. We should try to make the best of it. If we manage to have fun during the time together, all the better. If we become friends, a gift.”
During a promising job interview not long ago, I was challenged when saying that I am a team player. “What exactly do you mean by team player?” the interviewer asked me. “Being a team player, you know, means something different to everyone.”
“Team”, as many other powerful concepts, has become somewhat hackneyed. I knew what he meant and somehow agreed. To cut a long story short, I managed to answer the question. In the end, his intervention was very fruitful and enriching: not only was it the subject of a lengthy reflection in my leadership journal, it also triggered the desire to share these thoughts with you.
ESSEC & MANNHEIM Executive MBA has much to contribute on this subject. Furthermore, we as participants play an active role and get tons of first-hand experiences. At the heart of the program’s philosophy is the Multi-Competence Team, internally known as MCT. Now, what exactly is an MCT? An MCT is a group of colleagues, namely classmates, with complementary and diverse backgrounds in terms of experience, culture, and areas of expertise. Raison d’être? The MCT is meant to deliver high-level assignments and to spend countless hours of hard work and intensive camaraderie throughout the 18 months of the master program. MCTs are established by the program staff before the program even starts and you are informed about them from the very beginning. They take this setup process very seriously with every MBA class. They consider all possible dimensions during their attempt to find the best group fit. What to expect from such team-based work? Tons of insights and emotions: namely being happy, angry, excited, tired, anxious, hopeful, criticized, supported, loved, and even hated occasionally.
For our class, this journey started back in October 2016. The first challenge was communication. Reaching the right level of communication takes time and involves trust – trust in terms of believing each other and being transparent and respectful at the same time. Challenges kept emerging. We were lacking the most basic emotional attachment in all human relationships: the sense of belonging. But our brand-new team did not have its own identity at that point in time! An entire complex learning process, both as individuals and as a group, took place. We had good days and bad. By working together, we overcame difficulties, celebrated success, and experimented with failure. It happened to us; it happened to every single MCT. It is a normal journey that provides you with priceless experience and gives you war-room training in the daily challenges of both professional and private life. We are humans: we need to coordinate, communicate, and collaborate with others all the time. Terms that might sound familiar to us but at the same time mean something different for everyone. We are expected to learn how to adjust and perform in different group configurations that we are part of. We should try to make the best of it. If we manage to have fun during the time together, all the better. If we become friends, a gift.
Encourage yourself and come aboard! Although there are no recipes for success for working within MCTs, being open-minded, listening to others, challenging outcomes, transparency, pragmatism, value synergies, all along with the right amount of respect, will contribute to your MCT journey.
It has been a great honor for me to work with my MCT. A rewarding experience that enlightens the way, which in turn brings hope to improve as a professional and grow as a human being. I have also found five new friends to count on for a lifetime.
All my best,
Marina Safont Sempere, ESSEC & MANNHEIM EMBA Class of 2018
“Go ahead! It is fun; it is enriching; it takes you out of your comfort zone. You get to know great people and experience a very intense team spirit that is otherwise difficult to find. You will come out better prepared for your working life – and everything else too. In the program, with my classmates, there is no discrimination of any type: we are people who manage to have fun whatever our cultural background, religion or gender may be. We live and experience diversity at its best!”
What is your main motivation for an EMBA program?
I am a scientist and I have been working in science for a very long time (six years on the job and four years on my Ph.D.). When I started working after my Ph.D., I realized that my ability to make decisions in a corporate environment was limited due to my lack of business know-how. The question that repeatedly comes up whenever there is a new invention is: Is it economically viable? I realized that great technology without a good business plan, good marketing, the right customer orientation, and the right contacts cannot be successful.
For me as a scientist, the MBA program was a great opportunity to broaden my skillset and get a broad overview of all the important aspects of business and the most relevant issues in leadership management. I wanted to achieve a better understanding of all that is required to make a company work, and to differentiate myself from the many people around me by enhancing my profile in this direction.
Has it met your expectations so far? Has it already had an impact on your daily work and career?
So far, I have found the program to be very enriching. I am really quickly getting an overview of many important aspects of business and leadership that I can directly apply in my working environment. I wanted to prepare myself for the next step in my career: to move into a more business-oriented position. In fact, during my MBA I had the opportunity to change from R & D to product management and new business development in the inorganics division within BASF, and the MBA was a clear enabler for me to be able to take this step and take advantage of this exciting opportunity.
Now I really enjoy my new job, getting to experience what I learn in class and being able to add some value to my unit by applying what I am learning. My new job is fun and I feel really fulfilled being able to contribute with my new skills. It is also exciting to learn and live what daily business means, the contact with customers, and marketing in the various regions. Without the MBA, I probably would not have got this position so fast. It has so far already proven to be worth it.
How do you manage to juggle your job, the study workload, and private life?
I have no kids, so one of things that motivate me is to see my colleagues with kids and high-responsibility jobs, and realize how well they manage. They are an inspiration to me. I guess everyone getting into such a program is ready to sacrifice their free time and put in a lot of effort to progress. It is hard to spend weekends and evenings after work reading, preparing assignments, and making calls to coordinate the different tasks with your team. But it is also gratifying to see how things progress and that we deliver good work in our teams.
The most difficult part for me is being able to disconnect: I ALWAYS have something to do – work, class, social life! So my stress level sometimes goes through the roof. But this is also part of learning, being able to multitask, deliver and be efficient, and being able to have fun between one thing and another.
What advice would you give other women thinking of doing an EMBA?
Go ahead! It is fun; it is enriching; it takes you out of your comfort zone. You get to know great people and experience a very intense team spirit that is otherwise difficult to find. You will come out better prepared for your working life – and everything else too. I guess I would say the same to a guy if he were to ask me. In the program, with my classmates, there is no discrimination of any type: we are people who manage to have fun whatever our cultural background, religion or gender may be. We live and experience diversity at its best!
Shuang Han, MANNHEIM & TONGJI Executive MBA, Class of 2016
“Just like the final miles of a marathon, my final thesis will be the greatest challenge. However, all the training - the accumulated knowledge and skills - throughout the program, will now produce results. I look forward to celebrating my graduation in summer 2018!”
The journey is coming to an end
The operations module is my last module of the MANNHEIM & TONGJI Executive MBA program and the final study trip to Shanghai, China.
Before this module, I had already completed the marketing, strategy and finance modules, among others. All these business areas are dependent on and involved in daily operations. Therefore, the MANNHEIM & TONGJI EMBA program establishes this unique operations module as a basis and critical element of the program for executives to understand how to run and improve the execution of their daily business. The operations module includes: corporate governance by Prof. Kenneth Kim, a leading subject expert worldwide; strategic performance management by Prof. Chris Chan, Ivey Business School, with more than 19 years’ consulting and executive education experience; operations and supply chain management by Prof. Manpreet Hora, US, with diverse industrial operations experiences; and information systems by Prof. Carol Hsu, Tongji University.
Information systems class, operations and supply chain class
Corporate governance class
Again, this is a quite intensive module with a large volume of assigned reading, group work and pre- and post-assignments. However, I found it is very helpful to get an overview of the key principles, concepts, best practices, etc. in various aspects of daily operations. All professors are experts in their research areas, with very diverse industrial backgrounds and educational experiences. For instance, Prof. Kim is one of the top researchers in corporate governance, now the leading expert worldwide and co-author of a best-selling book on corporate governance. His lectures cover the broad perspectives of corporate governance including that of accountants, auditors, executive incentives, boards, investors, shareholders, etc. with many real industrial cases. Due to the unique Sino-German business focus of the MANNHEIM & TONGJI EMBA program, Prof. Kim also spent half a day discussing the details of corporate governance in China and sharing his experience of it over the last 10 years.
Group work preparation
Prof. Hsu introduced an innovative app called “POP – Prototyping on Pager”, used for developing new digital prototype designs, in her information systems class. This app simply and quickly transfers a business idea from paper into a working demo with an interactive user interface. Program participants used this app in the group assignment and developed their ideas into an application within a few clicks. After presenting core business ideas in a working demo application, each group could collect feedback immediately. The app allows each group to quickly modify their applications based on this feedback. After several iterations, the business idea and related features were dramatically improved to be closer to customer and market requirements.
An example presented in POP
The company visits are always my favorite part of each study module. This time we visited the SAIC Volkswagen production plant, the Shanghai Motor Vehicle Inspection Center and the Intelligent Connected Vehicle Innovation Center in Anting, Shanghai. Company representatives presented the history of SAIC Volkswagen, a site plan, its current status, future challenges, etc. We then also visited the production line of several car models produced by SAIC Volkswagen. Finally, we sat together with program alumni, well-known industrial scholars and Anting government officials in an open forum and were inspired by speeches about alumni start-ups and entrepreneurship, Anting’s current position and long-term innovation plan, and automotive industry trends.
SAIC Volkswagen visit
An EMBA is definitely not only about hard work, but also a lot of fun. Shanghai is the most developed economic center of China. It has a huge variety of restaurants, bars and cafes. After a day of lectures, group work and assignments, it is very important to be able to relax in the city.
Shanghai, China, after class
Between September 2016 and September 2017, a total of six modules, more than 60 days’ study leave, more than 70 presentations, assignments and group-work activities, meetings with more than 60 executives with diverse industry backgrounds, etc. were split between Mannheim, Germany, and Shanghai, China. During the same period, a few classmates encouraged me to start running. In total, over more than 330 hours I ran close to 3,500 km and lost 20 kg. All of these were great experiences I had in the last 12 months that I could never have imagined before. All stem from my initial decision to start the MBS MANNHEIM & TONGJI EMBA program. I enjoyed this journey immensely!
Just like the final miles of a marathon, my final thesis will be the greatest challenge. However, all the training - the accumulated knowledge and skills - throughout the program, will now produce results. I look forward to celebrating my graduation in summer 2018!
Daniela Krämer-Keck, Mannheim EMBA Class of 2017
"Do not hesitate. Trust in your capabilities and go for this unique opportunity in your career. The EMBA can help you boost your management skills and bring you to the next level of leadership capabilities. It lasts only 18 months but is an experience that will change your life."
With her job as European Project Director at a global player and mother of a small child, Daniela is a role-model for women in our EMBA programs. We have asked her about her experiences and what advice she would give to other women thinking of doing an EMBA.
What is your main motivation to do an EMBA program?
My motivation to participate in the Mannheim EMBA comes from the wish to broaden my horizons to a more global management and leadership perspective. Being someone who enjoys speaking foreign languages and has lived and worked in several countries, there is nothing more inspiring than extending my international network with management peers from other continents and companies that work with the same ambition and passion in their field of activities as I do.
The high percentage of international participants and the three global study trips to France, the USA and China clearly differentiate the Mannheim EMBA from other programs. Furthermore, the special combination of this EMBA program with international best-in-class teaching accompanied by high-level managerial discussions in groups, individual coaching and pragmatic “down-to-earth” cases from all industry sectors is perfect for me to question my established problem-solving methods and ways of thinking up till now.
Does it meet your expectations so far?
I feel like I’m having one of the best times of my life. It is stressful, yes, but in a very positive sense. Every EMBA week brings with it new food for thought. I will mention but a few of the program highlights for me. Firstly, the international study trips to Georgetown University in the US and Tongji University in China were unforgettable in many different ways – both trips were truly enriching intercultural experiences and opportunities for great academic knowledge transfer in the fields of international economics and politics, and international institutions.
Secondly, I am really happy to have met all these very different management peers in my class – we were a truly exotic and very mixed group in our “multi-competence team”. Looking back, I will probably never in my whole career have such a diverse and international team again, so the group work with all the opportunities and challenges was a great group management experiment for me.
Thirdly, I have learned a lot about myself. Having all the different workshops and leadership sessions (including the military leadership class at St. Cyr) to reflect on my own behavior and observe and influence other student’s behavior was very helpful to me, and I can definitely say that I have learned more about my “unknown unknowns” in terms of my personality, which will subsequently make me a better leader.
How do you manage to juggle your job, study workload, and private life?
Doing the EMBA studies now, at the age of 36, while being a mother of a small child and working at a global player as European Project Director with full responsibility for international pricing and organizational development projects, I am in a very intense, exciting and special situation. A lot of people around me asked me if I was sure I could combine all these things, and some of them did not understand the choices I made. And consequently I too was not even sure whether I could master the triple workload before the EMBA started. But now, it feels like I’m having one of the best times of my life and I have no regrets.
I clearly need to say that I am very happy to have had enough faith in my capabilities and ambitions to go for the program – despite others’ doubts. Yes, the triple workload is sometimes stressful, but most of the time it gives me back much more energy than it takes: the unique opportunity to constantly learn new things, adapt myself to new environments, and experience new projects, people and ideas turned out to be a precious source of energy.
I will not hide the fact that the EMBA requires a huge amount of self-discipline and also excellent self-organization. Doing the EMBA on top of my current workload taught me to stay as concentrated and focused as possible in my previously set time limits, regardless of whether this involved reading the preparation material, writing an individual assignment, or preparing the group work. Indeed, my time management has developed even more throughout the EMBA program, as I was forced to set myself clear “frames” within which I had to work for all the activities during the week. Since the results both of my studies and at work are very positive, I am happy with this personal improvement in setting priorities.
In addition, there are two important aspects that I could luckily rely on during the studies: first, the full commitment and support of my husband – he took care of our daughter while I studied and took over even more tasks in our daily “family jobs”; and secondly, my boss and work environment also fully supported my studies and acknowledged my bigger workload and requirement for more days out of the office in my project schedule. Both gave me the possibility to make the most of the EMBA program and to fully concentrate on my studies.
What advice would you give other women thinking of doing an EMBA?
Do not hesitate. Trust in your capabilities and go for this unique opportunity in your career. The EMBA can help you boost your management skills and bring you to the next level of leadership capabilities. It lasts only 18 months but is an experience that will change your life – showing your true ambition and motivation in your business environment is one of the strongest signals that you can send out (especially as a business woman).
Once the application decision has been made and you have been admitted to the program, do everything you can to organize and manage your support beforehand, and to make sure that your “inner circle” (friends, spouse, parents, work colleagues, and boss) helps you to integrate the program schedule with your other duties at work and at home.
Carolin Kutzera, ESSEC & MANNHEIM EMBA Class of 2018
“Now that almost half the program is over, I can say that I will leave with more than just a toolbox for my business. The professors are excellent at giving insights that are applicable to real life. Every time a module ends I am energetic rather than exhausted, as I am super keen to apply what I have just learnt to my job.”
With her job as creative director of a medium-sized business, Carolin is a role-model for women in our EMBA programs. She joined the ESSEC & MANNHEIM Executive MBA program last October. We have asked her if the program has met her expectations so far and how she manages to balance the workload of the program, the demands of her job and her private life.
1. What is your main motivation for an EMBA program?
As creative director, my background is rather artistic. Currently, since I am moving to a higher position in my company, I want to boost my business-oriented competences along with my leadership skills.
2. Does it meet your expectations so far?
It absolutely does. Now that almost half the program is over, I can say that I will leave with more than just a toolbox for my business. The professors are excellent at giving insights that are applicable to real life. Many assignments actually involve your own company. My study peers from the various industries help me consider things from a different perspective. There is a lot of mutual respect and exchange, and real team spirit!
3. How do you manage to juggle your job, the study workload, and private life?
Well, it is tough but possible. Some decisions at work need to happen much faster. The study part is actually a very positive additional workload. Every time a module ends I am energetic rather than exhausted, as I am super keen to apply what I have just learnt to my job. To charge my batteries, I give myself short but clear breaks where I literally go offline. This helps me free my mind and get back on track very fast.
4. What advice would you give other women thinking of doing an EMBA?
Do not find excuses to postpone your dream. Just go for it and challenge yourself. It is a great, intense journey together with a truly diverse and inspiring group of people willing to grow with you. You will not regret it!
If you want to join one of our EMBA classes, we strongly encourage you to get in contact with us. MBS also offers special scholarships for women in business. Find out more about them here.
Nadja Scherer, ESSEC & MANNHEIM EMBA Class of 2018
"It turned out to be a fantastic study trip. Dr. Sam Potolicchio, named 'one of the Best Professors in America' by the Princeton Review and 'the Future Leader of American Higher Education' by the Association of Colleges and Universities, had designed an intense week of lectures and interdisciplinary group work, invited several tremendous speakers and planned exciting visits for us."
Twenty-first-century Leadership: Lessons from Washington at McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown University
Excited. This best describes how we felt when Program Management announced that our ESSEC & MANNHEIM EMBA 2018 residency in the US would take place at McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown University.
Visiting Washington D.C. only a few months after the election of Donald Trump, following eight years of Obama’s presidency, sounded like a very promising study trip.
And it turned out to be a fantastic trip. Dr. Sam Potolicchio, named “one of the Best Professors in America” by the Princeton Review and “the Future Leader of American Higher Education” by the Association of Colleges and Universities, had designed an intense week of lectures and interdisciplinary group work, invited several tremendous speakers and planned exciting visits for us.
With his stunning vita, Sam is certainly one of the most “diverse” lecturers we have experienced so far. Although we are the most international class ever in the ESSEC & MANNHEIM EMBA program with 24 nationalities represented, Sam has still taught and worked in more countries.
His teaching style is so different from that of all the other professors and speakers we had experienced so far – we will certainly never forget certain videos and their significance for presidential election campaigns in US history. His imitation of Bill Clinton’s, “I got you, baby,” is priceless.
Dr. James Vreeland from Georgetown University on “The Academy Institutions & Global Finance” was only the starting point of a series of first-class lectures, followed by Bruce Mehlmann, one of Washington’s top lobbyists: an interesting insight into American politics from a perspective that is hardly possible in Europe.
Our visits to Brookings, potentially the world’s most influential think tank, and the World Bank were clearly among the highlights of our trip. What invaluable insights into two major organizations that shape politics not only in the US but also on a global scale!
Senator Spencer Abraham, former Secretary of Energy in the Bush (43rd) Administration, very openly shared his own personal views on life in American politics, before and after Trump, including his guiding principle that so-called failures sometimes turn into one’s biggest successes. Quite an alternative view with regard to typical career paths.
The unplanned visit of the cultural attaché of the German Embassy in the US, Holger Mahnicke, gave us insights into the collaboration between the German embassy and the new Trump administration – or rather, the first draft of the Trump administration, since literally thousands of positions are yet to be filled and Obama’s team is still doing lots of the current work. Given his responsibility for the several communication channels of the German embassy, we briefly evaluated the importance of twitter as increasingly important … at least as long as Trump is on the job.
Wonderful conversations on and off topic, a spectacular walking tour of The Mall and a variety of visits to museums, restaurants, bars, etc. have made this trip unforgettable. The pleasure of learning and working with such a gifted group of classmates – now friends – is my most cherished memory of this week. I can’t wait to see you all again soon!
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