I am working for an international company, which is well known as a world leader in gases, technologies and services for industry and health. The company operates in 80 countries and has 67,000 employees worldwide. Within the company project portfolio, my responsibilities focus on capital investment risk management, where the impact on the expected investment return is simulated to support stakeholders when making decisions. In this context, I lead the risk management process and manage the global community of practice.
The programme started with the Global Economy and Competitive Strategies module, which provided me with a better overview of economic links between investment and political implications influencing business decisions when foreign capital is involved. My company invests in 80 countries and the programme has helped me understand how governmental decisions might impact business development. Through the Managerial Data Science module, I expanded my statistical and analytical knowledge, which I use for modelling the impact on investment to support decision makers with data. Organizational Behaviour and Organizational Design modules confirmed the rationale of the company structure and emphasized pros and cons for ongoing adjustments in the organization to meet the objectives. Also, it showcased why management of personnel is crucial to achieve sustainable efficiencies and be resilient in a changing environment. Finally, the Shaping Ideas skills course provided me with valuable insights on how to implement new solutions. The knowledge I have gained from that class has been very helpful when reviewing my risk management process.
Finding a good work-study-life balance is tricky but manageable. Thanks to the opportunity of talking to friends, colleagues and other MBA candidates, I could prepare myself in advance to a certain degree. All of my “advisors” told me that an MBA is a great experience, but that you need to organize yourself, be resolute and to not be on the run all the time - they were right. There were times when I needed to choose between my leisure time and study time, but that was ok because I was prepared for that. I need to praise Frankfurt School for providing the programme schedule very early as well my company, which was open and flexible to agree on the working schedule for my personal MBA challenge in advance. Of course, I cherish every “free” evening or weekend, but I also learned to value every hour of the day and that even 30 minutes matter. I discovered how much can be done under time pressure. Work-study-life balance can work as long as a plan is established in advance and followed without many deviations.
To be honest, I had a few favourite modules, but if I really have to narrow it down to only one, I would choose Lean Start-up Bootcamp with Carsten Lebtig. It was mind blowing and an eye opener for start-ups. Within two and a half days, I learned and experienced how to build a start-up from an idea created within an hour! It was solid learning by doing with all factors reflecting reality and the great feature of being able to apply the learnings right away. I remain impressed by that class until today. With the professional support from an experienced entrepreneur, I learned how to think about start-up ideas. I realized how often we complicate things because we “don't know”, or are overwhelmed by concerns and excuses like “I don't have money to start something”. The paradox of that module was that I selected it as an option and it turned out to be the best choice I could have ever made. I recommend it to everyone as a “must do”, independently of whether one is interested in building their own start-up.
If you have reached the moment in your career, where you feel you are mature in a certain field and you would like to move forward expanding your areas of expertise, don't wait and wonder “is it for me?” or “can I do it?”. Simply start researching MBA programmes, read student blogs about their experience, ask your network about their MBA experiences and what it brought to their business and life. Then consider your personal situation and ask yourself “why would I like to do it?”. Write it down and make it visible. After that, you can decide how and where you would like to do it. The selection of the right school for you is a crucial part of this process. My advice is to do it right, no shortcuts and no half way: visit the campus, see how you feel there and gain a bit of experience by attending a class - for me, the class visit was confirmation of the decision. The atmosphere during that lecutre, the professor and amazing students made me decide to stay the whole day - even though I had originally planned to only stay until the first break. Thank you Part-time MBA class of 2020 for your warm welcome!