What kinds of ideas have MBA and EMBA graduates developed for businesses or projects? What are the current job-market trends and how might they benefit MBAs? What new features have been added to Frankfurt School’s MBA programmes? At least 200 students and graduates of all ages, from a wide variety of MBA programmes, met together in a virtual reunion on Saturday 13 March to exchange news and views on these and other areas of interest. The event was moderated by Angelika Werner, Vice President Strategic Relations.
In his opening address, Professor Nils Stieglitz, President of Frankfurt School, welcomed all participants and updated them on Frankfurt School’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. He spoke in more detail about the three key challenges facing leaders during any crisis: the need for clarity, ambition and humility. In his view, leaders must be clear about their strategies while remaining open to new concepts, approaches and methods. They must be ambitious when implementing solutions while clearly recognising and compensating for external influencing factors such as the COVID-19 pandemic.
Marcus Michel, FS alumnus and Managing Partner at Contagi PERSONAL, was the guest keynote speaker. He talked about current opportunities and trends emerging on the jobs market and invited the audience to discuss his thoughts in more detail. Among the key factors affecting the labour market worldwide, he cited the COVID-19 pandemic, geopolitical and economic risks, the implementation of the United Nations Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals, diversity, and developments for which it is effectively impossible to plan. Major trends with potentially unforeseeable consequences include remote working, digitisation, industries with good prospects such as logistics, new ways of working, and lifelong learning. How does one go about achieving professional success? Marcus Michel proposed five core principles. First, he encouraged MBA’s to “practise telling your story” by formulating their professional goals and aspirations precisely and succinctly for absolute clarity of presentation. He also urged them to become attentive listeners, and to prepare as thoroughly as possible for every meeting. Finally, he emphasised how important it is to build a strong network, and last but not least, accept the fact that one will fail – but not allow oneself to be defined by failure.
Marcus Michel has been working as an HR consultant for more than two decades, in an entrepreneurial capacity for most of that time. Today, he is one of the Managing Partners of global group Contagi PERSONAL, a specialist provider of executive search and advisory services supporting international clients from offices in Germany, Switzerland and China.
EMBA alumnus Dr Marco Lemessi then presented his recently published book, “SERVE to lead”, which focuses on five principles: Serving, Encouraging, Recognising, Valuing and Empathising. In the book, Dr Lemessi discusses his own personal experiences and encourages the reader to prioritise personal development. Finally, he lists several ideas for ways to support and help the people you care about – whether colleagues, friends or family members. On 13 April, Dr Lemessi is also scheduled to present his SERVE approach on Stay tuned to FS, and he invited reunion participants to join the subsequent discussion.
Between each presentation, everyone present at the MBA Reunion was given plenty of opportunity to interact and network with their peers. The info sessions provided more details of changes and additions to Frankfurt School’s MBA programmes, while the Startup & Business Forum gave students and alumni a chance to present their business plans and consulting projects. And the digital networking Speed Dating sessions encouraged students and alumni all over the world to chat and discuss ideas.
The next MBA Reunion will be held on 11 and 12 March 2022. Frankfurt School is hoping that by March next year, it will be possible to welcome participants on campus in person. But in any case, the reunion will take place physically and virtually, so it will still be possible to attend online.