Short Introduction to Martin Bölke
After my Bachelor in Aviation Management, I started working in an operational management position for a holiday carrier based in Frankfurt. The job and responsibility were extraordinary, but unfortunately the perspective for personal or professional growth was very limited. The Part-time MBA enabled me to move to a digital aviation consultancy already during the course of the programme. In my current position, I am involved in business development and act as partial project lead for two projects at an aviation OEM.
What were the key learnings from the programme and how did you apply them?
Quite honestly, I cannot point out specific key learnings: Every course, every professor and every collaboration with the classmates helped me improve myself as a person professionally and personally. Modules such as Developing Strategy, Understanding Markets and the Business Cycle or Organizational Behavior and Business Ethics offered perspectives and challenges that I did not have to face before. All of these expanded my horizon and prepared me for the daily challenges as a consultant and project manager in an aviation consultancy.
Which classes did you particularly enjoy and what topic did you decide to pursue for your thesis?
My favourite course was Organizational Behavior and Business Ethics with Prof. Klaus Rerup. What may sound like a somewhat dry lecture topic at first, turned out to perfectly address the most pressing challenges of modern leadership. Learning about innovative ways to motivate and persuade people was fascinating and Prof. Rerup´s passion for the topic was extraordinary. Subsequently, I decided to try and fill a gap in business literature by combining a relatively modern motivation and persuasion technique with today`s challenge of closedness towards the innovations of digital transformation in the professional sphere. This thought process resulted in my thesis project: “Sensemaking of new technologies: Facilitating openness as a key driver for the digital transformation”.
What impact did the programme have on your career development/trajectory?
Having specialized in aviation business through my previous degree and taking on a very operational position afterwards, my options on the job market did not match the career development I had envisioned for myself. I wanted to use my academic and professional experience to support and shape the aviation industry in its transformation process. Especially, the content of the programme and the strong reputation of Frankfurt School enabled me to develop my career at a renowned aviation consultancy in 2019. In fact, the experience and added expertise from the programme allowed me to thrive in the new position immediately. The degree of responsibility, trust and reputation achieved at the new company would not have been possible without the game-changing experience of my MBA study.
Your advice to other candidates considering an MBA?
As with any type of investment, you can only harvest what you sowed: Pursuing a part-time MBA in a top business school is challenging for one's private and professional life. Without the support from your partner and family studying while being fully employed will become really tough. It is important to discuss your personal situation and the possible challenge involved with your beloved ones first. However, once you are on the same page and have agreed to begin your MBA journey, make sure to go all in. The tuition fees are a financial investment to consider and your personal return on that investment depends entirely on how much time and effort you are willing to invest. Should you decide to follow the “go hard or go home” motto the way I did, you will certainly be able to gain the maximum value from your personal part-time MBA journey.