In 2006 Arne Borkowski made his diploma as „diplomierter Bankbetriebswirt“ at Frankfurt School of Finance & Management. Today, he works as Senior Sales Executive at BNP Paribas in Frankfurt am Main.
How would you describe yourself in a few words?
A Hamburg boy born and bred, I now live in Hesse, about 25 kilometres (15 miles) outside Frankfurt. I’ve been living there with my wife and two sons (12 and 15 years old) since August 2007. In what spare time I have, I love riding my motorbike.
My interests are broad and range from playing chess to having philosophical and ethical discussions about everything under the sun. I always appreciate my debating partners’ views, especially if they’re backed up by solid arguments. And in fact, I really would love to know more about “… Nature’s forces That bind the world, all its seeds and sources And innermost life!”*
Have you found the answers yet?
Unfortunately, no. But driven by this thirst for knowledge, I became an autodidact at an early stage. Quite a few of the books I read still cause friends and acquaintances to shake their heads in disbelief: “Is that really what you read in your spare time?!” Because I don’t just read specialist, work-related books on maths and statistics, treasury management, corporate finance, investment banking and so on; I also read things like Goethe’s Faust, Kant’s Critiques, papers on brain research, Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time.
How did your career develop after graduation?
While I was still studying, I started working as Head of Section at the head office of Dresdner Bank AG. This meant 18 months of commuting between my home town, Hamburg, and my new workplace in Frankfurt. In 2007, I took over as head of the Sales Management team while part of Dresdner Bank’s corporate banking unit was being incorporated into Dresdner Kleinwort Investment Bank (DKIB); subsequently I also became head of Product Management in DKIB’s new Global Cash Management division. My remit included deputising for the divisional director of Global Cash Management.
Then, when Dresdner Bank merged with Commerzbank, I was appointed International Head Cash Management & International Business.
I left Commerzbank in 2010 to take on the challenge of setting up a Public Sector Sales unit for Citigroup Global Markets Germany. By the end of 2012, however, it became clear that this wasn’t going anywhere, so I moved to my current job at BNP Paribas Group in Frankfurt. I’ll be looking for another senior management position in the future.
To what extent did your academic studies at Frankfurt School prepare you for the challenges of your current position as Senior Cash Management Sales Executive? What did you find especially useful?
My studies didn’t prepare me for my current role specifically, but my professional development since taking my degree has consistently allowed me to broaden my horizons. The strategic education I received has been extremely valuable in my previous positions as a senior executive at corporate HQ and in international sales. And the holistic thinking and networked approach to decision-making are also important in my current role.
Looking back, how important was your time as a student at Frankfurt School in the greater scheme of things?
In retrospect, it was a really exciting and exceptionally instructive period. I suspect I’ve always tended to think “holistically”, but my studies helped me to fine-tune my mental equipment in terms of methodology!
What’s your favourite memory of your time at Frankfurt School?
Being able to share views with other students with very different specialist backgrounds and in some cases, extensive personal experience – that was very special. And working on joint projects in teams – which were by no means always easy to coordinate – produced some impressive results. Not least because (if I may say so) our project paper was given a very good grade
How important are alumni for a business school? What do you think alumni can do for their alma mater?
I think alumni are very valuable. They ensure that students’ many – hopefully positive – experiences and contacts are retained and passed on to others. And when alumni act as mentors, for example, they can pass on their experience – and perhaps even a few morsels of worldly wisdom – directly to new generations of students.
In your free time you are also mentoring FS students?
That’s true. I’m now enjoying my second year of mentoring at Frankfurt School. In general, in my spare time, I like to help young people – especially when they’re keen to learn – who are currently having issues at school. My own children tell me I’m less patient with their homework – although so far I haven’t found a good explanation for why that should be so.
What’s your favourite motto?
As a matter of fact, I have three:
1) Very often, the problem isn’t being unable to do something, but being unwilling to do it!
2) You never stop learning!
3) Be true to yourself!