Christoph Gebhardt (28) comes from Berlin, and moved to Frankfurt to start training as an investment fund specialist at DekaBank. During and after his training course, the bank supported him while he also took a combined-studies Business Administration degree course at Frankfurt School. This meant that he could continue to build on his practical experience in the Strategy and Investments division while he was studying. Christoph graduated in early 2016, and has been working in the investment team at Deutsche Beteiligungs AG since 2017.
What made you decide to apply for a Bachelor degree course at Frankfurt School?
After completing my training course, I definitely wanted to study for a degree. At the same time, I’d also been offered a job with an immediate start date. Enrolling on a work-study degree programme allowed me to combine them both, and Frankfurt School is undoubtedly Germany’s leading institution for studying business and economics.
How well did your academic studies at Frankfurt School prepare you for the challenges of your current job? What did you find especially useful?
The degree course at Frankfurt School is anything but the average Business Administration programme. The strong focus on banking and finance, and on soft skills in particular, paid great dividends for me at work even while I was still a student. I continue to benefit from these skills because I’m able to quickly familiarise myself with complex, real-world corporate finance issues, and because I’m not in the least apprehensive when I’m interacting with hard-driving external business partners. The mandatory semester abroad developed me as a person, and I benefit from that experience in both my professional and private life.
Looking back, how important was your time as a student at Frankfurt School in the greater scheme of things?
The degree course equipped me with the specialist skills and knowledge I need for my current job, and for the work I did while I was studying. Equally important, it was a period in my life that gave me great joy, because I was meeting lots of new and interesting people. I’m still good friends with many of them today.
What’s your favourite memory of your time at Frankfurt School?
The many team projects, when we’d work late into the night so we didn’t miss the deadline. They weren’t just interesting from a technical or subject-specific point of view – they also did so much to bring the team together as a whole. And once we’d finished, I remember the great feeling that comes with successfully solving a problem.
What advice would you give to prospective Frankfurt School students?
Figure out what you want to achieve, set yourself some interim goals – and then go for it!