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Yvonne Mitschka (27) graduated from the B.Sc. in Business Administration with an emphasis on Auditing in 2013. After her completion of a M.Sc. in Economics and the CEMS Master’s in International Management at University of Cologne and Warsaw School of Economics she has started her Mercator Fellowship on International Affairs. Today Mitschka works as the EBRD as an Associate Banker for Green Economic Transition Financial Institutions.

This year-long-fellowship program provides young professionals with full funding and additional trainings to pursue an individual, self-designed project of international relevance. Yvonne is dealing with sustainable energy strategies for Central and Eastern Europe. She has chosen the think tank WiseEuropa in Warsaw to be her first out of three working placements.

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 time at Frankfurt School prepared me in many ways very well for my current job as a Mercator Fellow. First, I really got a solid toolbox in order to raise questions and find solutions in different areas of the business world – and this does not only refer to the financial industry. Here one should not underestimate the positive effect of the personal atmosphere in class and the advanced didactic capabilities of the lecturers. Both circumstances truly contributed to a sustainable learning experience that helps me remembering many things when I need them (if that is not the case, I know at least where to look and whom to ask for information). Second, I was able to get in touch with several employers quite early in my career. Internships during my studies enabled me to define my expectations regarding what I want to do in my professional life. Finally, I was able to study and work in New Zealand and Chile, respectively. Among other things it were those international experiences that have later led my way to the Mercator Fellowship on International Affairs.

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

Generally, studying at Frankfurt School has been in line with my favorite motto (see last question). I have set seeds for a working attitude that is characterized by a solution-oriented and very systematic thinking. I am a self-starter with an international and inter-disciplinary attitude and I love building and growing relations. Not least, it was at Frankfurt School where I found some of my very best friends!

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

I really enjoyed being a tutor in accounting. I loved the challenge to fill some twenty students in business information systems with enthusiasm for the question of how to include an entrepreneur’s new company car in the balance sheet on a Friday afternoon!

How important are alumni for a business school? What do you think alumni can do for their alma mater?

I consider an active alumni network to be of utmost importance for a business school. An exchange among alumni may be a great source of inspiration – not only in professional terms, but also in personal and social terms. Of course sharing experiences with current students is of the same, if not a higher importance. I believe that one-to-one conversations, in which students take the initiative and contact alumni whom they are interested in, are particularly helpful. So let the FS Alumni Directory be alive!

What’s your favourite motto?

Education is the ability to meet life’s situations.
(John G. Hibben, former president at Princeton)