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Christine Teusen-Krapp (43) was awarded her degree in Business Administration by Frankfurt School in 2000. Following her graduation and a brief stint in the Corporate Finance division of a small investment bank, she quickly realised that she did not really fancy the idea of working in a bank for the next 40 years. Although a financial specialist to her fingertips, Christine Teusen-Krapp missed being directly involved with actual, tangible products. So in 2001, with a view to building her experience of basic finance in the real world, she started working for Deloitte in international industrial auditing. In May 2007, after an interlude spent working elsewhere, she joined Opel’s Accounting department as the Reporting team leader. Christine Teusen-Krapp has been working for Opel for nearly 10 years. For her, this was undoubtedly the best career-building step she could have taken. In very short order, she was put in charge of the Accounting function at Adam Open AG, a position that meant dealing with all kinds of general financial issues that went far beyond pure accounting.

These included the business-critical issues that in 2009, forced Opel to apply for state aid in the wake of the global financial crisis. Among other things, this involved sitting on the German Federal Government’s Guarantee Commission, alongside Opel’s CFO at the time.

Christine Teusen-Krapp regards herself more as a financial all-rounder than an accounting specialist as such. So she was keen to familiarise herself with and take responsibility for a range of other financial functions at Opel. Following a stint in European Pricing, where she was responsible for pricing in the German marketplace, she now works as Auto Finance Manager in the company’s Treasury department. Here, she is responsible for all Auto Finance activities on behalf of dealers and retail customers in Europe, and principally for the integration of the company’s captive bank, GM Financial. Christine Teusen-Krapp is married with one daughter, who is nearly four years old.

How well did your academic studies prepare you for the challenges of working life, up to and including your current job? What did you find especially useful?

My degree course at Frankfurt School gave me the business management expertise I’ve needed in all the positions I’ve held to date. But specialist knowledge is only one side of the coin. To take responsibility for more than 30 members of staff, you need additional qualifications, which I’ve been able to acquire in the course of my career. Here, I can say that the theoretical knowledge in particular, but also the practical know-how, that I gained while studying Corporate Culture & HR Management – one of the main subject areas in my degree course – have been extremely helpful. Even though I have to admit this wasn’t my favourite part of the course at the time! I’ve attended a number of management training courses organised by my employer, and every time I’ve found myself thinking: “This sounds very familiar…”

Looking back, how important was your time as a student at Frankfurt School in the greater scheme of things?

Working and studying in parallel taught me to tackle and prioritise my work in a disciplined way – and always look for solutions. I appreciated this as a major advantage over other degree courses, and the experience definitely had a very positive impact on my career. That’s why I would recommend this work-study approach to anyone who feels they can cope with the double workload.

What’s your favourite memory of your time at Frankfurt School?

I think I’d be lying if I didn’t mention the parties! But just as important was, I think, the great atmosphere among the students – as well as the friendly rapport with faculty staff. One thing that really impressed me was a chance meeting with a professor, who addressed me by name as we passed on a staircase just after I had returned from my semester abroad. And previously I’d only studied with him for one semester! Although it must be said, the business school was a lot smaller back then. I should add that a number of my fellow students are still among my closest friends.

How important are alumni for a business school?

Alumni are the business school’s representatives to the outside world, so by moving in professional circles, they can certainly help to enhance the university’s image.

Alongside my actual work, I’m also heavily involved in recruiting for the finance division. That’s why I’m trying, for example, to strengthen the collaboration between Opel and Frankfurt School. I’m hoping we’ll be able to recruit a number of Frankfurt School graduates over the next few years. Then they’ll be well-placed to further enhance Frankfurt School’s positive image in the industrial sector.

What’s your favourite motto?

Fight for the things that help you progress. Accept the things you can’t change. And let go of the things that get you down.

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