A Sound Basis for Your Success
The Mannheim Full-Time MBA is a one-year, full-time program. It is an overarching, professional program that focuses on all aspects of general management, from strategy and marketing to finance and corporate social responsibility, enabling you to speak the language of accountants, HR, operations, etc.
The curriculum builds on a comprehensive range of relevant business and management theories that are firmly linked to the practical world of management, and includes a mix of case studies and inductive and deductive learning. In the course of your MBA journey, you will become a management generalist and thus be able to advance your career according to your academic, professional and personal experience, regardless of your background, be it business, engineering, IT, etc.
Nhu-An Christian Tieu FT MBA Content, Global Business Operations Expert at SAP, Mannheim MBA Class of 2016
“The material and tools I learned during the program serve as an anchor to which I can relate in my daily work, and have helped me become a well-rounded professional. My personal highlight was the phase at the end of the MBA: creating a business plan with my Multi-Competence Team, which meant spending days in ideation, going out interviewing people to validate thoughts and simulating how it would be to start our own business.”
After working as an engineer for three years, I wanted to take on more responsibility and understand more about business and how companies operate in general. To achieve a change in industry and role, I saw the MBA as the best platform to achieve my goals within a very short period of time.
The Mannheim Full-Time MBA was an easy decision for me as it fit my three most important criteria:
- a short, one-year program so that I could return to the professional world as soon as possible;
- a top school accredited by international institutions; and
- a school with something special: in the case of MBS it was the international track and the Social Sustainability Project.
I was lucky enough to change my career completely, as I landed in a post-MBA leadership program that specifically recruited from Mannheim Business School. The material and tools I learned during the program serve as an anchor to which I can relate in my daily work, and have helped me become a well-rounded professional. But most importantly, I have developed personally and, thanks to our diverse class, learned how to work with colleagues from many different cultures.
The program was a fun experience. I have lived in Germany for most of my life, but studying in Germany in a class of more than 50 international professionals with diverse backgrounds made it feel like living abroad. Some of the most significant experiences were the many social and sport activities, a great study term abroad in Singapore, and a network of former classmates whom I meet at alumni events and beyond.
My personal highlight was the phase at the end of the MBA: creating a business plan with my Multi-Competence Team, which meant spending days in ideation, going out interviewing people to validate thoughts and simulating how it would be to start our own business.
Bharati Malar Periasamy, Salesforce Consultant at NTT Global Data Centers EMEA, Mannheim MBA Class of 2016
“The Social Sustainability Project and Business Master Project were the most significant experiences for me. The satisfaction of seeing the final outcome is immense, especially knowing that everything started off with hasty scribbles on flipcharts and whiteboards, unstructured and messy, but never lacking in enthusiasm or absolute confidence! The journey of refinement, trial and error, group dynamics and simply learning together was what made my MBA experience worth it.”
I had been working in market research for five and a half years when I realized that I wanted to be more involved in the “next stages” of what I was doing, i.e., marketing. Research showed that marketing is highly competitive and experience is practically a prerequisite, but, as I did not want to start from scratch and lose more than five years’ work experience, I decided to do an MBA.
I had already learned German years ago and figured that doing an MBA and working in Germany could be a possible option for me. The bonus was that I could keep in touch with the language – I was rapidly losing fluency in it without the opportunity for practice.
I began to research business schools in Germany and MBS was top of all the lists in rankings. Then I found a personal contact who was an MBS alumnus and picked his brain. Once satisfied with my research, I never looked back. In fact, I waited an extra year, just so I could go to MBS.
Before joining, I was a little apprehensive of the master thesis being a group project. I can say with certainty now that it makes complete sense. All that group work throughout the year equips you for work in the real world, where one very rarely works individually. Being dependent on others for an important goal pushes one to motivate and bolster the team, and not to work in silos, because, at the end of the day, their work also reflects on you.
While I certainly do not apply all the numerous tools, models, and case-study lessons on a daily basis at work (that is not how they are meant to be applied anyway), it is always a nice moment when I can draw the link between a topic being discussed at work and an MBA tool that applies to the situation. It usually brings a different perspective to the table.
The Social Sustainability Project and Business Master Project were the most significant experiences for me. The satisfaction of seeing the final outcome is immense, especially knowing that everything started off with hasty scribbles on flipcharts and whiteboards, unstructured and messy, but never lacking in enthusiasm or absolute confidence! The journey of refinement, trial and error, group dynamics and simply learning together was what made my MBA experience worth it.
In my opinion, the best thing the MBA equipped me for was working with different cultures and nationalities. For someone who did not have much global experience, it was at first unnerving to be thrust into a multinational team and to gauge how to best proceed to ensure we got to our goal and best utilized our strengths. With each assigned team, it was a different process of finding the right balance. That is something that can only be experienced, and I cannot think of any other opportunity I could have had in my life where I could interact intensely with that many different nationalities.
Cassie Radford, Chief of Staff | Office of the Chief Operating Officer, Asia Pacific Japan at SAP, Mannheim Full-Time MBA, Class of 2018
“Business Negotiations is perhaps the best course I have ever taken. It reflects the changing nature of business and the skills that successful leaders need in order to be relevant now and in the future. As participants, we were really pushed to the limit to empathize with others and drive win–win solutions. Despite working internationally with diverse workforces prior to the MBA, the Cross-cultural Awareness as well as the Ethics and CSR courses also had a profound impact on me. I now work in a large multinational, multigenerational business and I find that I am drawing on the learnings of these courses on a daily basis.”
I decided to do an MBA following 10 years of experience in the aviation industry. Prior to the program, I had a reasonable amount of direct people leadership responsibility and operational accountability in my roles. However, I wanted to broaden my future opportunities by building on my commercial and business acumen. I specifically chose the 12-month full-time program as it allowed me to step out of the working environment for a short period of time to focus solely on my own professional development.
In terms of choosing Mannheim Business School, I was aware prior to making this selection that their teaching faculty is world-class and that the dedication the Program Management and Career Development teams have toward helping each student succeed is second to none. I certainly experienced this first-hand throughout the program, and my professional achievements since the program are due in large part to the support they each provided to me.
When I joined the MBA, I had no intention of leaving the aviation industry. However, the program gave me insight into other industries and the ways in which my skillset could apply outside of aviation. Having a dedicated career advisor offered immense value to me throughout the program. I have made the triple jump of country, function and industry. This certainly would not have been possible without the support I received throughout the MBA program and, specifically, the Career Development team.
In terms of career development, I had a single point of contact throughout the MBA – having a dedicated career advisor offered immense value to me throughout the program. The career advisors tailor their approach to each MBA participant and support a variety of scenarios, including participants who want to progress within their current industry or company, and participants who want to seek out new opportunities.
The Career Development team provided one-on-one coaching to participants, professional development workshops, simulated team and individual interviews, and networking opportunities through company presentations and site visits. These regular cadences helped me personally to develop some best practices around continuous personal and professional development, which will serve me well now and in my future career.
Business Negotiations is perhaps the best course I have ever taken. It reflects the changing nature of business and the skills that successful leaders need in order to be relevant now and in the future. As participants, we were really pushed to the limit to empathize with others and drive win–win solutions. Despite working internationally with diverse workforces prior to the MBA, the Cross-cultural Awareness as well as the Ethics and CSR courses also had a profound impact on me. I now work in a large multinational, multigenerational business and I find that I am drawing on the learnings of these courses on a daily basis.
Finally, a personal highlight was the end-to-end approach that Mannheim Business School takes in creating gender equality: through the admissions process, scholarship opportunities, dedicated topical workshops and the formation of the Women in Business Club following the completion of the program.
Jean-Christophe Irigoyen, Vice President M&A - Project Manager at Emporion GmbH, Mannheim MBA Class of 2013
“My daily schedule comprised German lessons after classes, rushing back to finish up project work with my group through the night, revising as we go along before Friday’s exam and attending company networking events. I also had to juggle between applications to graduate programs and business plan competitions. And oh, not to forget waking up at 5.30 am every other weekday to make it to the rowing club in the cold.”
"So tell me, why did you want to pursue an MBA?"
It is one of the most common questions I have been asked in several interviews. And I must confess this is probably the most important. Yes, really. Why did I apply for an MBA? What did I want to achieve, to change in my career and my life? It is actually quite hard to say. Of course, as everyone, I probably wanted to move to the next career step: an MBA is a perfect way to do so. Though if I try to get deeper than this, there are probably other motivations. I think it has to do with my previous job: it was also my first position; I learnt a lot within the almost 5 years I spent in my former company, an advertising agency, but at the same time, it made me realise I had potential for more. My until then academic formation, a master in history, was nevertheless limiting me and after several talks with work partners, I decided to apply and make a move. Deriving from this first thought, I was then expecting the best from the studies I was to undergo. This is why I decided to apply at Mannheim Business School: it is the best MBA offer in the leading European economy. The choice was easy. I believe it is a question each candidate should try to answer honestly before even starting the application process. One needs to know what one wants to achieve to be able to measure afterwards success.
I believe I needed to get ready on different levels; of course a full-time MBA is a serious investment in money and time, but also a bet on the future: as did most of the students of the batch, I left a stable work and left professional life away for a whole year, and the registration doesn't come with a guarantee to find a new job, so I really needed to believe in me and in the program. This is a calculated risk, but still a risk. I find it adds some fun to the whole experience. For the rest, the application process was pretty straight-forward. GMAT, case study, a couple of interviews. I don't say it was easy, but I believe if you prepare well on this, it will be feasible. One element I actually didn't expect was the multicultural aspect of the batch. I knew there would be several nationalities, I didn't know there would be 24! This is one of the most beautiful aspects of this MBA, to be able to exchange on a daily basis with people from literally the five continents. If you are applying for an MBA or are thinking of doing so, I would recommend you to keep this in mind and to prepare yourself to others. Be open, let other points of view, other approaches blow your mind. You'll come out of the experience way richer than when you entered.
The Program Management seriously tried and provided us a smooth start in the MBA. Those who wanted it could apply for a pre-course of financial accounting (a proper survival kit for people like me who never had anything to do with this before) and we also went through a week of integration, to get to know each other. This week was full of team-building activities (I cannot recall half of them to be honest) and was pretty lean-back. If I had known, I would have enjoyed it more. After this, we were done with being relaxed for the rest of the year. But one good thing lasted for the whole year, namely the group feeling. There is competition, sure, but it is a fair and healthy one. Joining your MBA batch, joining MBS, people actually join a family. This feeling is reinforced during the whole year through regular group activities, such as group assignments (and there is a new group in each class, so at the end everyone worked at least once with each colleague), but also and mostly through extra-curricular activities. I ended up doing more sport than ever during this year, starting with the preparation for the rowing competition. This meant waking up very early in the morning twice or three times a week (yes, they did not stop the classes for us, so we had to train before), but this exceptional experience strengthened us as a group. By the way, we won the cup against WHU Business School. This feeling of belonging together is finally maintained via all the networking events that the Program Management and the Career Services Team organise regularly with alumni from different companies or via regular get-togethers. I came to work with other students, I think I found friends. Once I entered MBS, I became a true Mannheimer, and the feeling will last.
Second and Third Term
The second and third term consisted of mainly one week courses – shorter, but more intense. My daily schedule comprised German lessons after classes, rushing back to finish up project work with my group through the night, revising as we go along before Friday’s exam and attending company networking events. I also had to juggle between applications to graduate programs and business plan competitions. And oh, not to forget waking up at 5.30 am every other weekday to make it to the rowing club in the cold! Term 2 and 3 really took a lot of time planning.
Yet, one has to really find time to relax. I remembered on two occasions, actually finishing exams on Friday and rushing off with luggage from the ECD to join my classmates on ski trips! We even had a bachelor party in Amsterdam for two of our classmates, all squeezed between our elective courses!
Some IT schools describe the first months of studies as "the swimming pool", either you swim or you sink. Well, the first term at MBS is maybe not that cruel - people here, starting with your colleagues, will not let you sink, but you definitely need to learn to swim. And you need to learn fast. Once the real classes began, we were put directly in front of reality. There is enough theory, don't misunderstand me, but from the very beginning we were confronted with practical exercises and, even more stressful for everyone, with grades. We had one year only, and we all wanted not only to graduate, but also to be good at it. Each grade counts in this regard, so we understood very fast that we needed a full commitment if we wanted to make the most of this year. I talked earlier of believing in me as well as in the program. This couple (individual/program) is for me the core of the MBA: we got the chance to be offered a top-notch education, but it was only as useful as the efforts we wanted to put in it. It is my MBA, because it is what I made of it. I believe that each MBA experience is unique. Each one of us had his or her own one and each of us bears the responsibility of making it or not a great time.
Once I got used to the rhythm, I must say that I started enjoying the rest. It is not that it got simpler: I still had to learn tons of new things, work on complex projects, hold presentations, work at the weekends, but at one point I just got the pace and this complexity became part of the daily life. I just didn't think that much about it anymore. In this sense, if term 1 was the somehow rough adaptation term, the following terms 2&3 improved me in that they made me (and the other students) more able to deal professionally with complex issues in a short time. I was able to test the reality of this improvement in the last sprint: term 4 and the Business Master Project. My group and I had the chance to have a very challenging project at adidas. Two months to deal with new issues, assess problems and provide proposals for improvement. The company itself is great and the team in which we worked was very helping and committed, but it was for the four of us a real challenge. Furthermore, it was the first time we were pretty much on our own: we had to define everything ourselves and find the resources to overcome difficulties and work as a team. I think we managed this well.
On the other side, MBS requires the different groups to conceive and realise a mandatory social project during the year. The idea behind the project is that, having the chance to do an MBA that promises us to a great professional future, we need to give back something to society and help people with less luck. I like this mentality and MBS is completely honest in this regard, this is not a mere PR measure to look more human. We were lucky and were able to do our project with an association working with kids from less favoured backgrounds. Those kids had passions they could express within the association: sports, art, music. We thought of giving them on the one hand the opportunity to express themselves towards a broader audience and also, why not, to gain new skills that would be of use in their future. This is why we worked together with them and helped them create a blog about their association and their activities. I think we did well, the kids showed commitment and I believe they enjoyed the project. From my point of view though, I enjoyed this project probably as much as they did, I really liked to see their passion in it. These are probably the elements I didn't expect from the MBA. In this sense, it exceeded my expectations.
Getting done with it
This is definitely the hardest part of the year. After building not only relationships, but also true friendship with some of the colleagues, I realised it was already over. Yes, I was happy to graduate, I was happy to have it finally behind me, to be able to take some rest. Finally. But at the same time, I'd be lying if I would say that this satisfaction was not slightly flavoured with sadness. I achieved each of my initial goals with this MBA, but this year also brought me way more than what I was expecting. I am a different, better person on a professional point of view: this year revealed some aspects of me. I also think it made me think about myself and also change for something better. MBS is now a part of the definition I would give of myself, it reshaped me somehow. I am done with my MBA, I am definitely not done with Mannheim Business School.
Pablo Gálvez, Vice President & BoM, Europe, South America, Middle East - Head of Sourcing, Supply Chain & Supplier Quality at PKC Group, Mannheim MBA Class of 2011
"The Business Master Project turned out to be a consulting project. For two months, we worked hand in hand with a leading company (market leaders such as: Deutsche Bank, A.T. Kerney, TRUMPF, SAP, BASF, Heraeus, BOSCH, BMW, etc.) developing a Lead Indicator Management System to anticipate market movements and therefore enable them to steer the company more effectively. The CEO came to the intermediate presentation (8,000 employees worldwide) and the Board of Management attended the final presentation. Management in the UK took a flight to Germany for the presentation that day, so yeah, the project was taken very seriously."
The Survival Kit
The decision was made and before I came to Mannheim, all important organizational issues were taken care of, requiring just a little cooperation from my side. The MBS Program Management Team stands for quality and responsiveness. I have rarely experienced dealing with such an effective, diligent and friendly team. Financial aid: MBS gave me the option to get a loan from a financial institution in cooperation with the school. Of course there was some paperwork to do, but I was continuously supported by MBS. The conditions were fair. Residence Permit: As a European I didn't require a residence permit but this was something which MBS helped my colleagues with. It is always a hassle to go through bureaucracy, just like anywhere else. Apartment: In advance, I was provided with the guidelines for student apartments including pictures, prices and services. Within only one week, I had the contract for my apartment. For 390€ per month, everything was included: water, heat, electricity, high speed internet and cable TV access. Of course, this was not a 5 star hotel but to me it was Mannhamas! It was really warm in the winter when it was snowing outside and - thanks to good isolation- pretty chilly during summertime. The apartment was full of light, with a large window and a door window leading to a shared balcony. The Rhine river was located only a couple of meters away. The internet connection was totally reliable through the entire year. Videoconferences via skype or watching the Champions League via streaming was not an issue - perfect quality. Besides, I had a little kitchen with simply everything, a private bathroom, and cable TV. MBS was only a 15-minute walk away. Food: Food in Germany, especially in Mannheim, is very cheap if you come from any other Western European country or North America. During the week, I typically had lunch at the University dining hall (Mensa) for 2,50€ (soup, salad and main dish), but sometimes I got a bit more fancy and ordered a menu at a restaurant (German, Indian, Japanese, Thai, Italian...) for only a couple of Euros more! It only took me a couple of minutes in order to walk to all these lovely restaurants. There were a lot of supermarkets, too, which were quite cheap and offered good quality!
First Days, First Week
I arrived at Mannheim a couple of days before the program started. I had spoken with several students (the MBS Program Management provided me with contact details of current MBA students and everyone was immediately available for me with answers about the program, living in Mannheim, etc.) and I knew I would be fine. During those days,I decided to go for a run by the Rhine river and walked through a lovely park. It was just beautiful to go running, biking, and rollerblade skating. Soon I was sitting in the MBS Lecture Hall attending classes. The first week was an introductory one: We gained access to iConn (interface platform for students, program management, and professors) and access to wireless internet across the entire University of Mannheim. We got our student ID card in order to be able to access MBS buildings and libraries, we took professional pictures for the profile book, had a kick-off dinner with the entire class, worked on business case studies, attended workshops, and were divided into Multi Competence Teams. There were some fun ice-breakers and a cross-cultural training with interesting personalities from all over the wolrd: China, India, Russia, USA, Germany, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Belgium, Great Britain, Turkey, Pakistan, Spain - wow!
Second Week, Buckle Up
The intensity of the program varied each week. There were really tough days, on which I had to catch up with lectures and case studies during the week as well as long nights of little sleep, during which I studied, prepared a case study or a presentation. On average, I had classes from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm (lectures) plus several hours of group work almost every day. But in the end, this was a worthwhile investment. There were also fun times: Lots of jokes, laughing, coffee breaks, or having pizza for dinner with my team mates. Classes officially started at the beginning of the second week with a lecture about Decision Analysis.
The first semester seemed to be less intense than the rest. However, we had to get used to the system, the new people and dynamics first of all. Furthermore, we had to dedicate much time in order to really dig into fundamental subjects such as Financial Accounting, Marketing, Managerial Accounting, Corporate Finance, or Macroeconomics. I enjoyed these subjects very much with very insightful and down-to-earth lectures that gave me a solid ground for the upcoming ones. Company presentations and business forums already started in the first semester. Leading international companies visited us during the whole year, it was a great chance to start networking. Other highlights were: A big party in November after our first exams, Glühwein to warm up in December, delicious chocolate crêpes to get some sugar after the demanding semester, dinner together with all colleagues to say goodbye to 2010 and the end of our first semester.
The good thing about the second semester was that the intensity did not vary anymore, it was intense the whole time! Lectures from 9.00 am to 6.00 pm every single day plus daily group work (case studies one after another including presentations every week until the end of June) as the subjects are running weekly at full capacity. However, in this semester I had Strategy, Information Systems, Organizational Behavior & Change Management, Ethics & CSR, Innovation Management, Company Valuation, Consumer Behavior - subjects that were easier for me to grasp. Even though each week was an intense one, we had a couple of weeks off since I had not taken certain elective subjects. This gave me the opportunity to rest a bit, finish late assignments and prepare for te upcoming weeks. The best thing was the number of guest speakers (business professionals - executives) that professors invited for lectures. They gave excellent speeches and presentations. I will never forget one evening during Consumer Behavior in March, it was still cold outside, when I was listening to an executive from Saatchi & Saatchi speaking about their Lovemarks Model, of how products, services or organizations that build relationships with their consumers cannot be explained rationally, but create loyalty beyond reason. The whole class was completely in silence and absorbed. We had many lectures like this one: a turn-around case in the toy industry in the midst of the financial crisis (Strategy); the dilemma of expatriates when sent abroad for several years (Change Management); how the executive board of a multinational made decisions during the crisis literally throwing business plans to the garbage to focus on their liquidity (cash position, or blood as it is said); the ethical dilemmas that a Top Manager faces when having tremendous power (Ethics & CSR) - oh how I loved doing the MBA! Having decided on what to do as our Social Project, it was already time to start working seriously on this issue. We were going to help an NGO by providing them with plans to be more efficient in reaching out people and help them execute on it.
This semester was still very intense. On the one hand, we had subjects such as HR Management, Corporate Mergers & Restructuring, Global Information Management, International Marketing, Production Operations, Strategy Global Corporations, and Taxation - with exams, presentations, and case studies. Again, all of them were incredibly interesting topics with open discussions in class, in addition with guest speakers almost every week during lectures. On the other hand, it was time for all MCTs to do the Company Project as well as the Social Project. Attending presentations and preparing well for the Company Project was important as we knew we would be intensively working with the companies for two months. By this time, if not even earlier, many of us were working on our CVs and preparing for job interviews. We were attending MBA fairs, job fairs, company presentations, and optional company visits to Porsche, BASF, or Amazon. In this semester I finally started seeing the finish line. Time was moving fast and I knew that this great year would be over soon. Until then, I celebrated it at the Biergarten, enjoying the good weather and drinking some beer with my class mates!
Company Project & Master Thesis
I thought I would be able to slow down and work on my applications for the time after my MBA - but no! After attending school for 10 to 12 hours a day and then switching to the Company Project and the Master Thesis, my MCT and I thought we would have all the time in the world. Yes indeed, we had all the time in the world working on the project and the thesis. It was tough and demanding. The Business Master Project turned out to be a consulting project. For two months, we worked hand in hand with a leading company (market leaders such as: Deutsche Bank, A.T. Kerney, TRUMPF, SAP, BASF, Heraeus, BOSCH, BMW, etc.) developing a Lead Indicator Management System to anticipate market movements and therefore enable them to steer the company more effectively. The CEO came to the intermediate presentation (8,000 employees worldwide) and the Board of Management attended the final presentation. Management in the UK took a flight to Germany for the presentation that day, so yeah, the project was taken very seriously.
Everything is within reach at Mannheim Business School. We attended classes in two different MBS buildings: The MBS Lecture Hall at Mannheim Palace (Schloss Mannheim) and one at Dalbergplatz (Education Center Dalbergplatz), right at the heart of Mannheim downtown. With our ID cards we had access to University libraries and multiple quiet places to study, but we could also study at MBS facilities.
Time for Everything
Whether you want to play soccer, go swimming, go to the gym (free for students), play tennis or basketball, play cricket or go skiing - there is time for everything if you get yourself organized. We did most of the sport and leisure activities as a group. We managed to play indoor soccer almost every week and participated in a fun soccer tournament in Leipzig against other business schools and companies across Europe. Some colleagues trained several months, starting in spring time, for a rowing contest in Cologne that took place in July; they loaded a whole bus of MBA Mannheimers to cheer them up that day. Thirty of us, including the program management, participated in the Mannheim marathon, which takes place every year. Going out for a beer with your best buddies fortunately did not require any planning nor training.
How difficult is to find a job in Germany without speaking German?
I distinguish between finding a job and already having a job/working. Finding a job in Germany with absolutely no German skills is, of course, difficult. I would say that it is as difficult as it is in any other country where you do not speak the language. The good news is that finding a job in Germany with intermediate German skills is relatively easy if you meet the background and experience requirements (and of course you are genuinely motivated to continue improving). Once a German company offers you a job, chances are good that you will stay in that company - if you want to. Working in Germany, however, is easier compared to other countries, because German companies are very open, very international and they all pretty much speak English. Still, speaking German is a must. I took advantage of the German courses offered for free by MBS and attended two different levels for 9 months. This required some energy, but in the end, you do not only have an MBA degree, but also German skills. Take it seriously!
Why do you do an MBA?
"To learn" you may say. Good! To learn, not to be taught. Although the lecture standards are pretty high, the diversity at MBS in terms of nationalities, backgrounds and experience is huge and needs to be balanced. My advice: You are in the driver seat and should be responsible for your learning experience. The professors will teach you something, but the learning process itself takes place within you. Go the extra mile, deepen your knowledge, ask tons of questions, research for pure pleasure even if something is not part of the exam but simply interests you personally. Start sending out CVs soon enough (March-April). I have been there and it takes time; an MBA is not the Master of the Universe. Be disciplined when it comes to learning German, this will be the the factor of differentiation. Discipline weighs ounces, regrets weigh tons. Be aware that Germans are very respectful and will switch to English for you at any time, but this does not help you. Broaden your horizon!
Sample Schedule of a Typical Week in Our MBA
Pivotal Elements of Your MBA Experience
Business Master Project
The Business Master Project gives you the unique opportunity to develop a solution for a complex business issue in your Multi-Competence Team, a diverse team of your classmates, by applying all your experience and newly gained knowledge and methodologies. You can either slip into the role of consultants and work on a business challenge being faced by a sponsoring company or develop a business plan for a completely new entrepreneurial idea. In the past, the projects involved topics such as business development and innovation, business strategy, market intelligence and change management, and industries such as consulting, consumer products, financial services and banking, technology and telecommunications, energy and utilities, automotive, and pharmaceuticals and diagnostics.
Sustainability in Action
The Social Class Project is an integral part of the Mannheim MBA curriculum. You will develop, plan, organize and execute your project over the first three terms of the program, working together with your class toward a common goal. Irrespective of the nature of the project, which may be humanitarian, social, educational or ecological, you will need to directly apply your management skills. Previous classes have planted trees to combat climate change, worked with socially disadvantaged children and developed ways to reduce food waste. One class even wrote and designed a children’s book to raise children’s awareness of diversity and social cohesion.
The program includes a study trip to a business school located at an international business hub where you will attend a mandatory course. You will be exposed to the corporate world and the cultural richness of the respective area through guest speakers and company visits, as well as cultural activities and social events.
Flexibility: Optional Fifth Term
Participants of the Mannheim Full-Time MBA have the option to complete the program in 12 months or prolong their MBA experience by three months. During this period, they can also lay the foundation for their own company, take courses at one of our renowned partner institutions abroad, complete an internship or improve their language skills.
Quality, substance, an international perspective and a practical orientation are integral elements of all Mannheim MBA courses. The core courses cover all important management disciplines, whereas the electives give you the opportunity to deepen your knowledge in areas of particular interest to you. Sustainability is at the heart of our curriculum, making up 20% of the course content in any discipline, for example via lectures, readings, cases, and in-class discussions.
Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods
Qualitative and Quantitative Research Methods is designed to introduce participants to the key concepts and methods of empirical business research. Companies and managers can rely on various sources of “small” and “big” data, and methods to obtain a better empirical basis for their decision-making or even for the automation of key business processes. Participants will acquire a profound knowledge of how to evaluate the overall quality of empirical studies conducted by internal or external experts (e.g., market research companies, business intelligence departments, etc.). Participants will also critically discuss these issues in the light of “big” data. They will learn how to design an empirical study that best addresses a particular research problem. This course will discuss key qualitative and quantitative methods that can be used to analyze market, company or customer data from multiple sources, as well as the strengths and weaknesses of these methods and sources of data. Participants will apply this knowledge and address specific business research problems on their own.
Fundamentals of Financial Accounting
Knowledge of financial accounting is essential in understanding a company’s communication with its stakeholders (e.g., capital market investors, private lenders, regulators, etc.). However, presenting a company’s accounting information is often complex and understanding it requires some basic skills. The focus of the course is on these fundamental accounting concepts and principles, particularly how managers have to report the company’s most important economic transactions in financial statements. It will also address managerial flexibility in applying these accounting rules and ethical issues that may arise as a result of this flexibility.
Marketing Fundamentals is designed to introduce participants to the key concepts, tools and practices of contemporary marketing. Effective implementation of marketing concepts requires knowledge of key relationships between internal (company) and external (competitors and customers) environments, and how they are impacted by marketing management. This course will specifically address issues pertaining to marketing strategy, innovation management, branding, pricing, sales management, CRM and communication decisions.
Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility
This course provides participants with an overview of the concepts and theories related to corporate social responsibility (CSR) and managerial discretion at an individual level. Competing positions will be juxtaposed and discussed in an interactive course format. Participants will form groups to work on real-world managerial problems pertaining to CSR and subsequently present their findings.
Fundamentals of Corporate Finance
The purpose of this course is to provide participants with an introduction to the major financial decisions companies are faced with and the methods and tools they use to solve these problems. The topics covered include capital budgeting, financial statement analysis, valuation of securities, working capital management as well as financing and capital structure decisions.
Fundamentals of Strategic Management
How companies manage to gain a competitive advantage and thus superior financial performance relative to the industry is the issue at the heart of strategic management research. The course discusses the various building blocks that may help a company generate a competitive advantage, such as the company’s competitive positioning, resource and capability base, etc. The course also familiarizes you with various tools, concepts and analytical frameworks that are meant to enhance your ability to define and analyze strategic problems and identify sources of competitive advantage from both an industry and a company perspective.
The main objective of this course is to acquaint students with the challenges of economic globalization. Applying basic economic theories, it will demonstrate that, on average, an increase in international economic integration will lead to an overall increase in economic welfare, although not everyone stands to gain from this. The analysis will also show that with a country’s increased openness, its national economic policies become less efficient. Consequently, international economic policy coordination is the appropriate answer to economic globalization.
Operations management develops management, analytics and engineering approaches for the effective planning of resources and activities from the strategic level down to the control level. It focuses on systematic capacity planning and operations planning of supply chain activities and production processes in manufacturing and service systems to match supply and demand.
Organizational Behavior and Change Management
Organizational Behavior and Change Management is designed to familiarize MBA participants with the behavioral aspects of business administration. Issues related to behavior in organizations will be addressed to help MBA participants reflect upon their own work experiences and analyze them using applied psychological and sociological frameworks. The course will first focus on individual processes in organizations, particularly on personality, motivation and achievement orientation. It will then proceed to group dynamics and team performance, and finally end with an examination of organizational issues, focusing on organizational culture. Leadership issues including how to lead a team and how to lead in a larger unit such as a department. Common leadership mistakes that should be avoided will be also highlighted. The last part of this course will focus on change management, discussing a step-by-step process for introducing change, communicating change and finally, dealing with resistance to change.
An organization’s long-term competitive success is critically dependent on the availability and efficient use of information about its products, services, processes, organizational units, suppliers and customers. Managerial accounting includes the concepts, models and systems that provide the information and use the gained insights for internal control. The course will familiarize participants with the terminology and basic concepts of managerial accounting, touching on topics ranging from development and use of cost information for decision-making, all the way to performance measurement and financial planning. The design and use of internal reporting systems varies substantially across different companies and industries. To shed light on the various practices, the course integrates a number of real-world cases accompanied by interviews with managers. Applications include both the manufacturing and the service sectors.
Choose from a number of elective courses that will complement your skill set. Current courses include the following.
Data Science for Business
In this course, participants will acquire key data literacy competences and learn innovative methods for data-driven decision-making, and develop quantitative, analytical and statistical skills to derive insights from data in order to answer and solve business problems. The overall objective of this course is for participants to gain the ability to transform data into a powerful and predictive strategic asset, and to monetize companies’ data.
This course is designed to develop participants’ skills in creating, implementing and evaluating marketing strategies and programs in an international context. The basis of a successful international marketing program is a sound understanding of the principles of marketing. This course will build on this understanding and seek to broaden the participant’s skill set by emphasizing its application in an international environment. It focuses on the role of emerging markets in shaping the global competitive landscape.
Systematic Creativity in Business
This course is designed to teach students a number of systematic creative problem-solving methods that complement other managerial tools acquired in undergraduate and graduate programs. These methodologies come into play when a decision has been made to search for a creative solution. Participants learn how to solve problems, identify opportunities and come up with those elusive ideas that could generate value for organizations with just a small investment. The course will focus on new product ideation and creative marketing actions, and also touch upon communication and dilemma resolution.
Responsible Business Negotiation
We all negotiate on a daily basis. But what about doing it responsibly? Faced with projects, contracts, conflicts or crises, and coping with the various dilemmas of how to deal with people, problems and processes, how can negotiators nudge their reflections and actions in the right direction? How can they optimize the outcome for themselves and others while upholding strong values and keeping the long-term interests of the community in mind? This course presents concepts, observations and suggestions to improve analytical and operational negotiation skills, and also addresses the essentials of negotiation, namely how to do the first things first and make the right moves at the right time in order to reach the right decisions and achieve successful implementation.
Global Corporate Strategy
Global strategy is about formulating a link between a company’s vision, mission, objectives and actions, and implementing the actions to gain a competitive advantage over its competitors. When this happens between HQ and the subsidiaries of global companies, it becomes a complex exercise for corporates. Thus, the corporation needs to assess the global and domestic environments in which it operates, take the industry dynamics into consideration, find the resources it needs and develop its competences. Some of these competences can then be converted into winning capabilities that will not only focus on customer needs but also evaluate competition and make choices. Any choice involves risk, especially in constantly changing national and international environments.
To mitigate the risks associated with global business, the discussion about global strategy includes any problem or opportunity that arises in the areas of finance, production, marketing, information technology and human resource management. The course draws on the external and internal environment, the company’s macro- and microeconomics, and the exogenous and endogenous variables that are the drivers of the strategy-making process. Consequently, this course is both interdisciplinary and integrative.
New Perspectives in Entrepreneurship
Both the creation and the development of new companies are crucial economic issues that involve multiple challenges for entrepreneurs. The survival rate of new companies after five years remains relatively low, even though it varies according to sector. A reason for this could be the impact of digital technology on accelerating transformation by radically lowering barriers to entry in many industries, by providing new tools for managing knowledge creation and sharing, and by enabling new forms of continuous learning. It is therefore necessary to gain a better understanding of the characteristics of entrepreneurship that delivers economic, social and environmental benefits alongside with valuable products and services. This course aims to make participants aware of the entrepreneurial mindset and the flexible methods and tools that are transforming the way work is done in organizations and thus impacting management practices.
Mergers and Acquisitions
For decades, mergers and acquisitions have consistently been the primary vehicle for reshaping companies’ business portfolios. However, both the rationale and the economic outcomes of mergers and acquisitions have remained a source of controversy in academia and business practice. The purpose of this course is to unpack which of the “received wisdom” on mergers and acquisitions really holds up to rigorous scrutiny and which does not. To serve this purpose, the key determinants of acquisitions and the deal-making process will be systematically reviewed and the economic outcomes of acquisitions coupled with the key contingencies influencing acquisition outcomes discussed. Moreover, some of the key tools for analyzing and completing acquisitions will be discussed and applied.
Supply Chain Management
Supply chain management (SCM) is responsible for designing and operating globally dispersed operations with highly interrelated processes in procurement, manufacturing and logistics. SCM has a substantial impact on companies’ profitability in terms of costs and revenues, and is crucial in securing companies’ long-term sustainability. Managerial decisions in SCM concern a company’s global footprint in procurement, manufacturing and distribution, the implementation of appropriate organizational structures and processes, and the use of information systems and technology.
The course is structured around these important managerial tasks. It will not only introduce participants to state-of-the-art concepts and technologies for implementing highly effective global supply chains, but will also provide insights into how recent technological developments (e.g. in SCM software and machine learning) may shape the future of SCM. It will focus mainly on three interrelated topics: global supply chain design and strategy, the impact of new technologies and tools, and the (re)design of the supply chain organization.
Capital Markets and Investment Strategies
This course gives participants an overview of the most important aspects of modern financial markets, a good understanding of how they work and insight into the basics of investing. It will cover issues including the risk–return tradeoff, diversification, optimal portfolio strategies and behavioral biases many investors are subject to, and review classical and, time permitting, some of the most recent investment approaches. Part of it will also be devoted to sustainable investing. The course will mainly focus on stock market investing, but will also touch upon other types of investment. It will provide practical hands-on experience based on case studies and real-world applications, and enable students to make competent and successful investments on stock markets.
Global Digital Technology Management
The objective of this course is to provide MBA students with a substantial overview of key topics in global digital technology management (GTDM) with a focus more on strategic and tactical issues than on operational and technological ones. Subsequently, participants should be able to initiate and lead strategic digital initiatives, evaluate the role of technology in digital transformation, understand the relevance and responsibilities of the Chief Digital Officer and the Chief Information Officer, and incorporate external sources of digital technology. They should also be able to independently prepare, analyze and decide on digital initiatives in all these areas.
Applied Corporate Finance
This course is designed to provide students with an opportunity to apply and extend the concepts and tools they have learned in other courses, e.g. Fundamentals of Financial Accounting, Corporate Finance, etc. It will focus on the creation of shareholder value and cover topics including financial analysis, company valuation, the cost of capital, mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, capital structure decisions and initial equity offerings.
AI and Machine Learning Fundamentals
The rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning is disrupting how companies do business. This introductory course will provide the essentials of a broad spectrum of machine learning methods and insights into diverse real-world applications as well as ethical considerations of AI applications. In addition, it will cover recent trends in AI leveraging unstructured data such as images, text, voice and video.