On Saturday, November 16, 2019, 111 of Frankfurt School’s Chinese students and alumni met together to explore and share information on career and recruitment opportunities in Germany. The event was the brainchild of two Frankfurt School graduates: Gongyi Huang – awarded her Master in Auditing degree in 2018 – and Master of Finance graduate Yisong Dong (Class of 2015).
The event kicked off with a panel discussion. The four Chinese panellists, all Frankfurt School alumni, are already leading professional careers in Germany. Among the many questions they tackled: What makes the German labour market tick? How do German businesses work, and how can you develop your own informal networks within them? Which industries are especially keen to welcome Chinese applicants? What skills and qualifications are they looking for? The panellists were Jingwei Chen, who completed his Master of Finance degree at Frankfurt School earlier this year and now works as a commodity trader at RWE Supply & Trading; Jun Lu, who completed his MBA at Frankfurt School in 2017 and now works as a Senior Consultant at Porsche Consulting; Liang Que, who works as a manager at Deloitte and will complete his MBA at Frankfurt School next year; and Shan Xu-Winterhager, Master of Finance Class of 2011, who has established her own German business, āmasian GmbH. To succeed on the German job market, all four stressed the importance of mastering German. German language skills are also vital for international consulting and auditing firms, as their customers generally speak German. The alumni unanimously advised the listening students to work on their relationships with German colleagues and peers – making friends is by far the easiest way to learn the language. They also advised students to make the most of Frankfurt School’s Career Services and follow career advisers’ recommendations and tips.
The panel discussion was followed by parallel breakout sessions, many of which focused on specific sectors and areas of activity (“Banking, Investment Banking, M&A”, “Management Consulting”, “The Big Four”). In addition, Shan Xu-Winterhager held a session in which she described her experiences as a business founder. Frankfurt School graduate Britt Bergen, now a personnel consultant at Spencer Stuart, joined with colleague Yanli Chen, head of the China Desk at Spencer Stuart, to lead another breakout session entitled “How to get headhunted”. Britt Bergen’s advice to participants was simple: network, network, network. Contacts and conversations are the best way to obtain the knowledge you need to find the ideal job and start building a career.
“The discussions were all very open and transparent,” said Angelika Werner, Vice President Strategic Relations at Frankfurt School. “The alumni made their experiences genuinely accessible to the students. As a result, this platform event was an enriching experience for everybody – we’ll certainly be organising more dialogue opportunities like this.”