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Evi Zielinski knows Frankfurt School from multiple perspectives. As a student, she took part in various occupational training programmes. Then she completed a degree course. Today, she heads Frankfurt School’s Education Management department, where she manages a team of nearly 50 people and helps trainees forge successful careers.

After training as a bank clerk, Evi Zielinski’s first career move was into retail banking at Nassauische Sparkasse. At Frankfurt School, she completed the traditional “triad” of occupational training courses (Banking Specialist, Bank Administrator and Management Studies), preparing herself for a managerial role by steadily developing her specialist knowledge and personal capabilities. Then, in 2002, she moved to a new job as Relationship Manager at Frankfurt School.

To further enhance her skills, Evi Zielinski decided to study for a Bachelor of Finance and Management for Professionals degree. After graduating in 2007, she made her next career move, taking charge of Frankfurt School’s Education Management department in the same year. Together with her team, she successfully guides trainees through the theoretical part of their training. More than 3,500 trainees in Germany benefit from their help every year, from course enrolment right through to exam preparation. The Education Management department also provides course instructors with the methodological and teaching skills they need in a series of workshops.

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?

The Bachelor of Finance and Management degree course prepared me very well for my current role as Head of Azubimanagement at Frankfurt School (Education Management). The advantage of the work/study format is that I was able to transfer what I had just learned from theory directly into practice, and apply it to my everyday work. That’s an exceptionally motivating experience! I also found that lectures by specialists and executives working in the field were really helpful in making complex theories more transparent and meaningful.

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

One of the key lessons of my work/study degree course was acquiring the ability to structure my activities and preparations. Alongside my technical knowledge, that’s precisely what I need for my daily work here – for somebody in charge of lots of large projects, it’s an indispensable skill. Of course I was also lucky enough to meet many new colleagues and make many new friends during my studies, and they continue to help me today with their professional thoughts and advice.

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

While I was studying, I got to know many fellow students, and in the projects we did together, we learned a lot and overcame various hurdles, but also had plenty of fun and laughs together. And that’s because we were in a great learning environment. That’s what sets a really successful course apart: it doesn’t just prioritise the dry-as-dust theory.

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

When alumni support a business school, they add significant value. Former students can continue to network with each other, but also provide valuable support to current students. If they’re available as mentors, they can help students bridge the gap between theory and practice. This results in a huge, shared network that creates very close links between the university and the world of business.

What’s your favourite motto?

Things don’t have to stay the way they are just because that’s the way they’ve always been.