Daniel Sander qualified as a Bank Administrator (Bankbetriebswirt) at Frankfurt School of Finance & Management in 2013, and finished the Management programme in October 2014. Born and raised in Lower Saxony, Sander lived in Bremen for 5 years, where he has been Regional Director of the Mobile Sales division since January 2014 for Deutsche Bank, having previously been in charge of retail banking. Nowadays, Sander is Director of Customers & Investment at Swiss Life Select Germany in Hanover.
To what extent did your course at Frankfurt School prepare you for the challenges of your current job?
While I was studying for my Bank Administrator qualification, it was extremely useful to find out more about the theoretical principles behind many of the practical issues I had already encountered at work. The module focusing on leadership skills – which included interviews with executives involved in audit management – was definitely one of the highlights of the course.
What influence did Frankfurt School have on you as a person?
During my Management course in particular, I was able to further develop my skills in structured, solution-driven working, thanks to the collaborative study methods we used while we were writing our dissertations, for example. I found this joint commitment, plus the group work based on the personal strengths of individual team members, really inspiring – especially for my future career.
What’s your favourite memory of your time at Frankfurt School?
I attended quite a few lectures that, despite their challenging academic content, weren’t short on humour! I also really enjoyed the teamwork and experiences we all shared in the study groups. The atmosphere was very collaborative and I formed some valuable friendships.
What was your biggest challenge while studying?
Working in a team generates synergies and incalculable added value. Even so, you still need plenty of discipline and sensitive cooperation. Each individual must contribute aspects of his or her personality and working methods to the end-result. So turning the final product into an outstanding dissertation is a real challenge, especially if you’re also holding down a full-time job. But the hard work definitely pays off.
What kind of ongoing connection do you feel you have with Frankfurt School?
I feel such a close connection to the business school that I’ve decided to enrol on the Executive MBA programme, as a private student. Of course I did plenty of market research beforehand, but Frankfurt School comes out top in so many areas – such as quality, flexibility and reputation, for example. In any case, the business school gained my trust a long time ago!
Thinking back over your time as a student, what advice would you give to people studying at Frankfurt School today?
I would advise them to check out as many subjects as possible, paying close attention to all of them while always keeping an open mind. Even if you’re on a work-study course, it’s important to build up your confidence and be allowed to try out different things. And at this stage, there’s no shame in making the occasional mistake – a luxury you won’t necessarily be able to afford later on in your professional life.
What are you expecting from Frankfurt School’s alumni activities?
I think it’s really important to keep the alumni network alive and flourishing. With this in mind, the business school should provide suitable networking opportunities in the form of events and programmes. But ultimately, it’s up to graduates to take advantage of these platforms and turn them into a vibrant community. Potentially, ongoing interaction between alumni and students represents significant added value – and I don’t just mean for the students, but for graduates as well.