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Embark on a learning journey that will empower you to become a successful executive in a globalized and diverse business world. Apply new tools and concepts to business challenges in class and immediately start achieving better outcomes at your workplace. Grow into an impactful leader who is able to embrace change, make the right strategic decisions and drive innovation.
Immerse yourself in our up-to-date modules together with your highly international classmates and embark on a transformational experience. The excellent faculty, networks and career development teams of two of Europe’s leading business schools – ESSEC Business School in France and Mannheim Business School in Germany – will accompany you on this journey. Start it now!
Modular (one week of lectures every four to six weeks);
Mannheim and Paris in turn; study trips to Asia and the USA
(final application deadline)
#27 worldwide EMBA (FT, 2022); #2 Career Outcome (QS, 2022); #2 Diversity (QS, 2022)
18 months spread over three calendar years
Master of Business Administration double degree program with ESSEC Business School
An average increase in salary of 82.5%; 90% were in a senior leadership position one year after graduation; 95% would recommend the program to a colleague or friend
Jens Grüneklee, Corporate Development/M&A EMEA, Gates Corporation, ESSEC & MANNHEIM EMBA Class of 2019
“I had gained a lot of professional experience and knowledge throughout my career by my mid-40s. However, this was purely practical experience—sometimes also due to an element of intuition, but only marginally due to specialist knowledge. I lacked the basics, the theory, which is critical when you’re up against younger, well-trained people. Although it’s been a very intensive period, I’m hugely satisfied.”
Jens Grüneklee, now Corporate Development / M&A EMEA, Gates Corporation, was completing the ESSEC & MANNHEIM Executive MBA program at Mannheim Business School at the time of this interview. He graduated in 2019.
“2017 was my breaking point. My contract as director of a Munich-based financial services provider had come to an end. I knew I didn’t want to extend it. I had gained a lot of professional experience and knowledge throughout my career by my mid-40s. However, this was purely practical experience—sometimes also due to an element of intuition, but only marginally due to specialist knowledge. I had last studied 15 years earlier. I lacked the basics, the theory, which is critical when you’re up against younger, well-trained people.
My choice of business school wasn’t primarily based on the rankings, but rather on what suited me and my interests. The networking opportunities were also one of my priorities. Since I’ve always been a committed Francophile, I looked for a program that somehow involved France. My wife is French, and we live and work in Luxembourg. So I booked an international program at Mannheim Business School, which is delivered entirely in English, with half the courses in Mannheim and the other half in Paris. Eighteen intensive months and 46 participants, each with their own specific choices, from whom I could benefit.
Although I’m one of the older ones at 47, the age difference in the group is not so big. The majority of the us are approaching 40, which I find very congenial. I would have certainly benefited less from a younger group. As it is, we all have more life and work experience.
I find learning easy. This is partly due to the fact that the knowledge transfer is different from that at universities: less bookishness and more discussion, teamwork and case studies. Since this is a sheltered space, I never have the feeling that anyone here needs to assert their alpha status. Nobody has the attitude: ‘I’m the top dog here. I know how things work.’ We all want to learn and are consequently open to new experiences.
In the longer term, I would continue focusing on a leadership position in strategic development. I feel I am well enough prepared for this now. Although it’s been a very intensive period, I’m hugely satisfied.”
Excerpt from the article „Später, aber dafür bewusster“, Christiane Bertelsmann, Süddeutsche Zeitung, February 15, 2019
Rukayyat Kolawole, CEO and founder of PaceUP Invest, ESSEC & MANNHEIM EMBA Class of 2020
"The program has been a game changer for my professional growth, providing invaluable support in transforming my idea into a startup. Not only have I forged incredible connections with fellow participants in my cohort, I have also joined some of the MBS clubs, cultivating meaningful relationships with accomplished alumni. It has been an extraordinary journey of personal and professional development."
Getting into the program
The idea of pursuing an Executive MBA had long captivated my imagination and I had set my sights on various programs. It was my husband who told me about the outstanding reputation of Mannheim Business School (MBS) when we relocated to Germany and had to consider the practicalities of travelling to classes and having a young child.
When I first contacted the admissions manager, she identified the joint Executive MBA with ESSEC Business School as a compelling option, especially since ESSEC has a reputation for fostering entrepreneurial talent and I had already contemplated launching a startup. The program instantly resonated with me, and I applied.
I plunged headlong into the application process, determined to make my mark. As I diligently crafted my essays, I sought guidance from friends who had already embarked on their MBA journeys in the UK and the US. Their invaluable expertise became my compass, helping me ensure that my responses accurately addressed the essay requirements and showcased my true potential.
Embarking on this crazy, exhilarating ride
When I was notified that I was accepted into the program, I went through a whirlwind of emotions, a delightful cocktail of happiness, ecstasy and mild anxiety. My daughter was barely seven months old. It hit me like a ton of bricks that pursuing my Executive MBA would mean being away from her on those dreaded study trips. Yet, amidst this emotional rollercoaster, a flicker of excitement sparked within me, since the road ahead promised an exhilarating journey of knowledge and growth. Despite the tinge of separation anxiety, I couldn’t help but eagerly anticipate the adventures awaiting me. It was time to buckle up, embrace the unknown and embark on this crazy, exhilarating ride called an Executive MBA.
When I sat in class for the first time, an overwhelming sense of exhilaration washed over me, igniting an indescribable joy within. You see, I’ve forever been enamored by the art of connection, thriving on the opportunity to engage with individuals from various walks of life and soak up the rich tapestry of diverse cultures. Having had the great opportunity to work with so many people from different cultures across the globe, the prospect of embarking on an Executive MBA journey only amplified my passion for forging new relationships. And oh, what a class we were! Representing over 22 nationalities!
Family as support network
Amidst the intense training and personal growth, I faced my own unique set of challenges. As a mother, leaving my daughter behind and venturing outside of Mannheim was a heart-wrenching experience. However, I was fortunate to have an incredible support system in place. Her father and my sister, ever supportive, stepped in to lend a helping hand. My sister even made the journey from London to assist, easing the pain of separation and reminding me that I was not alone.
Their unwavering support and presence alleviated the difficulties, providing solace and reassurance during those tough moments. It reminded me that while the journey may be arduous, I had a network of loved ones cheering me on, ready to lend their support whenever needed. With their help, the experience became more bearable, allowing me to fully immerse myself in the transformative process. It reinforced the importance of a solid support system and the unwavering love that sustains us through challenging times.
Among the myriad moments etched in my memory, one personal highlight still shines brightly—the leadership and military training we underwent at Saint-Cyr in France. It was a pivotal experience, marked by challenges, exhilaration and an unwavering commitment to building our leadership skills.
In the blink of an eye, our cohort went from being mere acquaintances to a tightly knit team, thanks to the unique environment we were thrust into. Saint-Cyr demanded nothing short of our best, pushing us beyond our limits and encouraging us to rise to the occasion. It was an environment designed to forge leaders out of raw potential, and it did just that.
Through shared trials and triumphs, we not only formed lasting bonds but also discovered and embraced our distinct leadership styles. Looking back, those moments of separation served as a powerful reminder of the strength and resilience we possess as individuals. Nearly five years have passed and yet, the impact of that time remains. It serves as a constant reminder of the incredible personal and professional growth we experienced together, and the lasting bonds we formed along the way.
Founding my own company
The program has been a game changer for my professional growth, providing invaluable support in transforming my idea into a startup. Not only have I forged incredible connections with fellow participants in my cohort, I have also joined some of the MBS clubs, cultivating meaningful relationships with accomplished alumni. It has been an extraordinary journey of personal and professional development.
With MBS alumni excelling in Germany’s top industries, there’s potential for powerful business connections. We can still improve and connect even more at the business level to support each other’s career growth.
Carolin Kutzera, Managing Director at Bretz, ESSEC & MANNHEIM EMBA Class of 2018
“Since I am moving to a higher position in my company, I want to boost my business-oriented competences along with my leadership skills. 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!”
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 in October 2016. We 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.
Nadja Scherer, Managing Director at peyer graphic, ESSEC & MANNHEIM EMBA Class of 2018
“The amazing experience of an 18-month-long journey through academia, hard work, international and intercultural encounters as well as the possibility of applying what I learn immediately, at my job. The intensity of the program while being on the job in combination with my family life is a challenge. Living the moment – like going out with my class after a 10-hour class and no regrets the next day – makes me enjoy the intensity of my life even more.”
With her job as managing director of a medium-sized company and mother of two small children, Nadja is a role-model for women in our EMBA programs. She joined the (travel-intensive) ESSEC & MANNHEIM Executive MBA program in October 2016. We asked her if the program has met her expectations so far and how she manages to balance the workload of the program and the demands of family and job.
1. What is your main motivation/objective to do an EMBA program?
The amazing experience of an 18-month long journey through academia, hard work, international and intercultural encounters as well as the possibility of applying what I learn immediately “on my job”. All that combined with an explosion of my personal and professional network within literally weeks – invaluable!
2. Does it meet your expectations so far?
It does. In all possible ways. The quality of lectures, professors and speakers is outstanding. Our class is an incredible combination of highly professional and determined executives – especially my core peers have so quickly developed into being rather friends than classmates only. Workload is insane at times, even more than I expected. But so worth it.
3. How do you manage to juggle your job, the study workload - and family?
By setting priorities, taking breaks and living the moment. The intensity of the program while being on the job in combination with my family life is a challenge. Setting priorities helps me in not doing the unnecessary. Taking a regular “time out” – be it a lunch break on my own or a family weekend – recharges the batteries for the marathon still to come. Living the moment – like going out with my class after a 10 hour class and no regrets the next day – makes me enjoy the intensity of my life even more.
4. What advice would you give other women who think about doing an EMBA?
Do it. Now. Who else, if not you?
If you want to join one of our EMBA classes, we strongly encourage you to get in contact with us. New classes start in October. MBS also offers special scholarships for women in business.
Christian Gossmann, Consultant MedTech, Healthcare, ESSEC & MANNHEIM EMBA Class of 2018
“We all had different expectations and various reasons for starting. The program’s management told us up front: ‘It will be a transformational experience – you will not be the same person that started this program.’ At the core of the program is leadership. What a big and much-discussed word! For me, this is where the transformation started.”
Graduation – some reflections
I’ve graduated with Executive MBA degrees from two renowned business schools: What a great feeling!
Eighteen months ago, a group of 49 people from 24 countries and different industries and businesses started this EMBA program. We all had different expectations and various reasons for starting. The program’s management told us upfront: “It will be a transformational experience – you will not be the same person that started this program. It will be tough, as business life goes on, and most of you have families with (up to 4!!) kids. So, the key to success is optimization and effectiveness, including support from work and especially from your families.” I didn’t realize what they meant. Now I know!
At least once a month, our studies brought us together in Paris or Mannheim for four to six days, to attend the required, mandatory courses. On top of this, we had a couple of electives and international study trips to Washington and Asia, including Singapore, Seoul, and Shanghai. Since this EMBA is a high-level program, more than one pre- and post-assignment per course frequently had to be delivered. We also had to work on multiple projects such as the social class project and the strategy project. We learned a lot: from economics, accounting, and finance, to entrepreneurship and geopolitics. As this program is in general management, we did not become experts in a particular field, unless we already were before. However, we are now able to connect the dots and get the big picture.
At the core of the program is leadership. What a big and much-discussed word. For me, this is where the transformation started. I remember the first day with Prof. Kakabadse, who welcomed us with, “Most of you don’t want to be CEOs!” and the subsequent St. Cyr military leadership camp, when it became clear: These 18 months with these people will be interesting. It was an 18-month training camp, or perhaps a sandbox in which to get groups not only to work, but to deliver high-quality materials under time pressure. Almost all assignments and projects involved group work.
All the course assignments were done in a multi-competence team with five to six people. This means: Failure was not an option; somehow, these groups had to get up to speed with one another, otherwise it would have been torture. It is good we had some guidance, including creating a team charter and several coaching sessions. At the same time, the team pitched for the strategic project and kicked off the social class project. Within this setup, there is nowhere to hide. Due to the need to be effective and to face so many different personalities in such a short time, you inevitably learn a lot about yourself and others, and how to ensure the right leadership is in place to get things done. I was impressed with the open-minded, self-reflecting, professional, and friendly attitude of all these different people throughout this process. This transformation process was like a wave: Sometimes you ride it, and sometimes it rides you…
Now it’s done and dusted: We’ve delivered all assignments, the strategic projects have been judged, and our playgrounds for the world social class project have been funded. Welcome to Mannheim Palace to receive our degrees and throw our mortarboards, as tradition dictates. This feels so good!
However, it is sad that I won’t meet all these very familiar people on a regular basis anymore, and that I won’t have any more courses to prepare me for the unexpected. “It is not an end, it is a beginning,” said Prof. Wüstemann in his graduation speech. He may be right. Now, it is about putting all we have learned in context and reality.
The program has made me curious about the world, about opportunities, and especially about people. I am ready to be impressed, are you?
Fabricio Granados, Director of International Sales at Bihl+Wiedemann GmbH, ESSEC & MANNHEIM EMBA Class of 2013
"The ESSEC & MANNHEIM EMBA really boosted my career: After graduation, I was able to take on higher responsibilities in my job and increase my salary. In addition, I can now count on a great network of fellow participants – now friends – who are always willing to help!"
Holding a master’s degree in information technology, Fabricio felt a need for deeper knowledge in management and finance to help him in his day-to-day business. He also wanted to advance his career and qualify for taking on more responsibility – doing an EMBA at Mannheim Business School ticked all the boxes.
“I chose ESSEC & MANNHEIM EMBA, because it is a program with a very good reputation. Moreover, the proportion of participants with different backgrounds and nationalities is higher than in comparable programs, which made the program even more attractive to me as an engineer.”
For the 37-year-old Costa Rican, the EMBA has made a big difference – it has even changed his attitude towards work and helped him multitask better. “In general, I have developed a more efficient style of working and a more structured approach to dealing with problems.”
The solid knowledge of the financial and managerial aspects of doing business that he gained during the program have allowed Fabricio to tackle tasks at work that could not be realized before. “The EMBA has really boosted my career: After graduation, I was able to take on higher responsibilities in my job and increase my salary. In addition, I can now count on a great network of fellow participants – now friends – who are always willing to help!”
Today, Fabricio is Director of International Sales at Bihl+Wiedemann GmbH, a highly specialized engineering firm based in Mannheim. Bihl+Wiedemann is among the leading providers of safety technology and electronic components for automation technology using AS-Interface with subsidiaries in Turkey, Denmark, USA, and China as well as international sales partners around the world.
Elevate your career with a program that regularly achieves the highest career impact and satisfaction rates among our graduates
Hone your business acumen, entrepreneurial mindset and leadership style in an immersive and fully transformational learning experience
Become part of two high-caliber networks and benefit from lifelong learning resources during and after your Executive MBA
Attend one of the best Executive MBA programs in Europe and earn a double degree from two highly prestigious business schools
The world in a classroom – this is the ESSEC & MANNHEIM Executive MBA. Each group includes participants from more than 20 countries spread across the globe. Their average age is 39, they have an average of 15 years’ work experience and their professional backgrounds are in a wide range of industries.
Among them are CEOs, managing directors, supervisory board directors, founders, heads of production, business operations and international business development, portfolio directors and other executive positions. Of these, 40% are women, about half have a background in STEM and 20% hold a PhD.
Be prepared for an intensive learning journey with a truly diverse and inspiring group of people. In the course of 18 months, you will meet your classmates for modules of five to six days every four to six weeks, alternating between the ESSEC campus in Paris-La Défense in France and Mannheim in Germany, and go on study trips to the USA and Asia. Collaborative learning is central to the program: you will be assigned to a heterogenous team we call a Multi-Competence Team to complete group assignments for the core courses of the program, drawing on the diverse skills, viewpoints and knowledge of each person. The culmination of the program will be the Strategic Project, which you will pitch to your classmates and from among whom you will recruit your team for an exciting challenge.
The strong class and team spirit will also bolster your commitment to do a part-time Executive MBA on top of your professional and personal obligations. Since the program is designed to keep you learning at a steady pace and does not allow for longer breaks, being able to delegate work is a skill that you will have to develop. Yes, you will invest a lot of time and effort, but the reward will be worth it: This experience will be fundamental in shaping your professional and leadership skills, and will leave you with an open and entrepreneurial mindset and a clear vision for your own career. Your decisions will be backed by solid management knowledge and a profound sense of responsibility. And you will be able to count on a robust network and lasting friendships.
In addition, you will have access to two global alumni networks, clubs and chapters. Let the vibrant French capital and the baroque palace in Mannheim, a city right at the heart of the German economy, inspire you. Choose one of the best and most international programs of its kind in Europe and become part of the next cohort!
Explore your potential in dedicated career and leadership development sessions.Learn more
Connect the dots with the fundamentals of management and immerse yourself in the elective modules.Learn more
Enjoy lifelong learning, contacts, job offers, events and more from two vast business school networks.Learn more
The application process, deadlines, scholarships and what we look for in an EMBA candidate.Learn more
If you are wondering whether your profile matches our criteria or if you would like to visit our campus, please get in touch with our Admissions Manager Nilgün Vatansever. She will then set up a nonbinding consultation call with you for a preliminary CV check and to discuss your motivation for joining the program.