Interview with Raluca Modoiu - Student Recruitment, HHL International Full-time MBA

HHL MBA Admission Team InterviewF1GMAT: HHL MBA has put emphasis on balancing theory with practical experience in its curriculum. Tell us how the curriculum is designed to help MBA Students.

Raluca Modoiu(HHL Full-time MBA):
At HHL we try to structure our program in the way that would best prepare our MBA students to the real world practices. Because our class is very diverse and not all students have the same background and practical experience, our practice-oriented courses and projects allow them to apply their knowledge to real business scenarios even before they leave HHL and thus prepare them for their professional career after the studies. This includes company visits as part of some program where students get a chance to analyze real cases using the skills and knowledge acquired during the course.

Another special feature of the MBA curriculum is a practical consulting project offered as one of the electives and run together with one of the chosen partners in the industry. During the student-consulting project, students are engaged in the development and implementation of a company project solving real problems.
It is also worth mentioning that HHL is deeply intertwined with the private sector and invites business leaders from various industries to seminars, workshops and other events that give our students the opportunity to discuss their ideas and receive feedback from successful managers with large and diverse experience. These seminars and events lay the foundation of the students’ future business network.  

F1GMAT: How successful is such a combination of theoretical knowledge and practical application in your curriculum?

Raluca Modoiu(HHL Full-time MBA): Let the numbers speak for themselves. Over the past 15 years, HHL students and alumni founded over 160 companies and won many awards and recognitions in both Germany and abroad making us one of the leading institutions for future entrepreneurs. In addition to the strong entrepreneurial focus, our graduates find employment in many prominent companies with over 95% of the students getting employed within the first 3 months upon graduation.

F1GMAT: What is the biggest misconception about HHL Full-time MBA program?

Raluca Modoiu (HHL Full-time MBA): I think some may hesitate applying to HHL’s MBA program because we are a small business school with boutique classes and around 2,000 alumni in our network. Our MBA class starts once per year in September, and annually we select 40 to 45 students to take part in the program - a small number compared to other business schools. But this is actually one of our competitive advantages and a great opportunity for our students, as it makes their education truly exclusive. Our experience shows that employers acknowledge the quality of HHL’s education and are eager to offer good positions to our graduates. Moreover, our small classes give the students more opportunities to share their experiences and to engage in discussions with their fellow students.

We are certain that our class size makes our program more competitive as it allows us to offer each student the attention he or she needs. Individual approach and close contacts to faculty members are not only popular tag words but the core of our educational concept.

Thanks to our small community, we are happy to have continuous support from our alumni who often act as advisors to the potential students, participate in mentoring programs, and return to HHL to share their experience as lecturers or to recruit other HHL student for internships or full-time jobs.

F1GMAT:  What are some of the networking opportunities provided by HHL?

Raluca Modoiu (HHL Full-time MBA): HHL is proud to have an extensive network of partners in various business sectors. Aside from bringing their experience to the classroom, HHL organizes various out-of-class networking events for the students. Among them are on-campus recruitment events, career fairs, regular meetings of our full-time and part-time classes, or our annual Ivy League Soccer tournaments attended by sponsors, companies, alumni, and students. In addition to this, HHL organizes events specific to a particular industry. One example is the HHL Energy Conference organized by HHL’s Energy Club. Another great networking opportunity our students have is the Negotiation Case Challenge, the first negotiation competition in Europe and one of the few in the world. Organized by the HHL students, the Negotiation Challenge competition attracts students from business schools around the world.

F1GMAT:  How is the student life in Leipzig Graduate School of Management?

Raluca Modoiu (HHL Full-time MBA):
Thanks to our close community, the student life at HHL is vibrant and very diverse. The range of the student initiatives includes sports, society, business and cultural activities, many of which integrate professors and staff members as well.  Some of the student initiatives grew to become one the HHL trademarks, such as our Ivy League soccer tournament or the Negotiation Challenge competition attracting students from many business schools in Germany and abroad. HHL students also started Accelerate@HHL - the initiative founded in 2000 and aimed to foster entrepreneurial thinking at HHL. Activities of this group included hosting of a yearly conference with start-ups and venture capital companies, guest lectures, and company visits.

HHL’s location in Leipzig makes the studies even more pleasant. With numerous theatres, concert halls, jazz clubs, discos, restaurants, bars, parks and other attractions, there is always something to do in this beautiful and lively city.

F1GMAT:  Every school promotes its MBA program based on its Accreditations, ROI, Job prospects and Unique learning methodologies. What makes HHL MBA stand out from the competition?

Raluca Modoiu (HHL Full-time MBA): Put in one concept, I would say that our individual approach and our aspiration to make the time at HHL as valuable to our students as possible make us different. Like other schools, we view accreditations, innovative curriculum, and development as highly important and wouldn’t be able to move forward as a Business School without these fundamental principles. But one thing that gives us the best reputation is the satisfaction of our students. This is the reason why according to the trendence Student Survey conducted in Germany; HHL students have been named the most satisfied students in Germany for many years in a row.

Among the factors such as the positive image of the school and the high quality of education, students cited our excellent contact with companies and a high level of school support for the favorable rating. The Database of our Career Development Department where students can directly contact employers was specifically mentioned in the survey. Access makes a great difference when applying for jobs.

Also, the availability and dedication of the professors, the administrative staff, and the Career Development Department were mentioned by the students as a distinctive feature of our MBA program. The HHL community, whether it is the professor, a member of the HHL administration or a graduate, they are always there for the students from the beginning of the program until the time the students become Alumni and starts supporting the incoming class themselves. At HHL, no student is just a face in the crowd, but an active member of our community, shaping the student life at HHL day by day.

F1GMAT:  Can you give our readers a demographic snapshot of the HHL Full-time MBA program (latest class)?

Raluca Modoiu (HHL Full-time MBA): Our MBA class, even though small, is highly diverse and international. With 45 students from 20 different countries, and many different professional and academic backgrounds, our class is the perfect example of a melting pot. Our students are on average 29 years old, ranging from 25 to 38, with an average of five years of work experience, with the lowest pre-MBA experience at three years and the highest at 13 years.

F1GMAT:  What are the entry criteria in terms of the number of years of experience/GMAT/GPA for HHL Full-time MBA program?

Raluca Modoiu (HHL Full-time MBA): Every application to the MBA program is evaluated individually and in combination with the supporting documents. We want to make sure that all admitted students are prepared for the program and create a positive and stimulating learning environment for their classmates as well. Candidates who have a working experience of 3 and more years with a good GMAT score have a high chance to be accepted into the program. Regarding the scores, we recommend a score higher than 550 for a successful admission, while the average GMAT at HHL is 630.

F1GMAT: What are the post-MBA opportunities available for HHL MBA Grads?

Raluca Modoiu (HHL Full-time MBA):  MBA students at HHL have very different backgrounds and professional qualifications; therefore, there is no one standard career path for the typical HHL graduate. While a few of our graduates return to their employers to pursue careers that offer them greatly expanded opportunities and responsibilities, the majority find new employment with internationally prominent firms. A few examples of these companies are Accenture, Adidas, Allianz, BASF, BCG, BMW, Continental, Daimler, Deutsche Bank, DZ Bank, Google, Henkel, PWC, Robert Bosch, Roland Berger Strategy Consultants GmbH, RWE, Siemens, Telekom, ZS Associates and many more. Around 80% of our international students decide to stay in Germany after graduation, as the German job market is very dynamic and the German immigration law very flexible, allowing them to stay in the country 18 months after graduation to search for a job.

Apart from that, some of the MBA graduates chose to start their own business, often influenced by their previous education and experience.

Another possible opportunity for the MBA graduates who wish to continue their research is to pursue a Ph.D. at  HHL, as the school with the status of a university, offers its own Doctoral Program and invites internal as well as external applicants.

F1GMAT:  Apart from the Full-time MBA program, what are some of the other MBA programs offered by Leipzig Graduate School of Management?

Raluca Modoiu (HHL Full-time MBA): HHL also offers the part-time MBA program for candidates who wish to get an MBA while keeping their full-time employment. The program is designed for two years, and the classes take place once a month, in Leipzig or Cologne, that include two residential weeks in Leipzig and a one week Global Immersion Seminar in Boston. The program starts each year in March.

Another available program is our Global Executive MBA, a modular program designed for candidates in senior positions and at least five years of work experience. The program is developed in cooperation with EADA, a renowned business school in Barcelona, and the program is split into 8 residential weeks within a period of 21 months, with courses taking place in five different locations: Leipzig, Barcelona, India, China, and Brazil.

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About Raluca Modoiu

HHL MBA AdmissionTeam

Raluca Modoiu is responsible for recruiting students for the international full-time MBA program at Germany’s HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management.

Before working in the Marketing and Recruitment Department, she started her career at HHL in the Student Affairs and Admissions Department, being responsible for the admission process and the student management for two other of HHL’s programs: the part-time Master in Management and the Doctoral Program.

Previously, she used to study and then work at the Global and European Studies Institute of the University of Leipzig, also being involved in the coordination of the Master programs offered by the institute. 

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