Short Introduction to Denise Fischer
I work as a merchandise planner for a fashion and lifestyle company. We have eleven department stores (mostly in the south of Germany) and a fast growing online business in Austria and Switzerland. With a background in the fashion industry, I am not the typical MBA candidate for Frankfurt’s banking environment at first sight. Within my company, I am responsible for key number development and forecasting of sales at the purchasing department. My monthly reports support our executive board’s decision making with regard to taking measures for achieving plans and reaching goals within my division. Moreover, I am also part of strategic projects to implement AI in operational processes to gain sustainable competitive advantages. I started the MBA program right after completing a one year leadership program within my company with the ambition to develop my management skills and advance in my career.
Valuable learnings from the Part-time MBA for your field of work?
Talking about the learnings from the part-time MBA, there are multiple aspects to mention. The program added a variety of valuable insights and challenges to my life that have already helped me take a step further: The MBA combines academic studies with professional insights of different industries and increaesd my understanding of the overall business landscape. Working full-time simultaneously to the programme also creates the need for prioritisation. I had to learn to focus on one thing at a time and use every minute at work and at school efficiently to gain the highest learning experience and get my tasks done. At the same time, I am developing my leadership skills, such as critical thinking and managing a diverse group of individuals during school projects. As an advantage of studying part-time, I am permanently able to directly connect these experiences to my daily business life.
Why did you choose Frankfurt School for your MBA?
The Part-time MBA at Frankfurt School offers an amazing mix of diversity, access to many industries across Germany and an international class of young professionals happy to share their business insights. When I applied, I also saw that the organization of the part-time MBA fit my life perfectly. Almost all modules are scheduled on the weekend, which makes it easy for me to combine them with my daily routine at work. Usually, I take half a day off on Fridays, so I can focus on the lectures. The campus is easy to reach either by train or by car. Additionally, I can highly recommend the networking programme, that organizes get-togethers and events such as alumni reunions. Frankfurt School puts a lot of effort into connecting people to create the business network and expertise I was looking for when selecting the perfect MBA programme for me.
Which was your favourite module and why?
The module I liked the most so far, was the Lean Start-Up Bootcamp elective. It was also the weekend with the highest workload, but definitely worth it. We worked on our own start-up idea from creating a company name to setting up a website as well as a financial model. For me, it was not only about becoming an entrepreneur, but a way to adapt to a business mind-set and to gain awareness for different factors in the decision-making processes. The lecturer has a start-up background and shared his experiences and practical examples with us. When I decided to apply for an MBA programme, this combination of theoretical knowledge and practical expertise coming from the professors’ and fellow candidates' business environment was important to me. During the bootcamp, I also found myself facing challenges of working efficiently under time pressure while developing a clear business vision.
Your advice to other women thinking about an MBA programme?
Women want to be treated equally, but are so often wondering whether they can make it or not - life keeps us busy and full of doubts. Men usually do not wonder that much before asking for more salary or a higher position. They just do it and end up being successful. For your career it is so important to develop personally, not only on an academic level. Leaders need to constantly work on self-development by growing with challenges and managing critical discussions. In order to achieve this, I certainly recommend Frankfurt School’s MBA programme to all women working in or wanting to grow into a leadership positions. The school spirit is amazing and I am very happy to represent this programme accordingly.