Interview with Stefanie Will - Mannheim Full-time MBA Admissions Manager

Stephanie Will MannheimF1GMAT: Mannheim Full-time MBA’s One-Program 5-tracks look interesting. Tell us a little bit more about this.

Stefanie Will (Mannheim MBA): At Mannheim Business School (MBS), we offer participants five different routes to reach the MBA degree. This way, they have the unique opportunity to tailor their MBA to their interests and to qualify for the regions and markets in which they wish to work in the future. Participants can either complete the entire program in Mannheim or include stays at renowned partner business schools in their schedule.

During the

• German Track

Participants will study all four terms in Mannheim, which enables them to gain deep insight into the German economy and the local corporate world,

• Eurasian Track

Participants will spend three terms in Mannheim and one at one of our Asian Partner Business Schools,

• Transatlantic Track

Participants will study at one of our North American Partner Business Schools for one term and spend the rest of the time in Mannheim,

• European Track

Participants will study abroad for one or two terms at one or two different European partner business schools and study the remaining terms in Mannheim,

• Global Track

Participants will also spend two terms abroad: one at a European and the other at an Asian or Transatlantic Partner Business School.

Part-Time Option

Beginning in September of 2013, we will also offer a part-time option of our Mannheim MBA. The newly introduced program will last 24 months and enables participants to pursue an MBA degree without leaving their job.  

F1GMAT: Mannheim has given equal importance to theory and practice. How is the case-based learning incorporated in the curriculum? Is the cases selected according to the track?

Stefanie Will (Mannheim MBA): Our participants have the opportunity to learn from an outstanding faculty as renowned professors from around the world share their expertise with them. This theoretical knowledge is complemented with practical input such as case studies from global companies and other small projects. Team work and team spirit are key elements of all programs at Mannheim Business School.

Additionally, there are two major projects during which participants get to apply their theoretical knowledge to real life business challenges: the Social Sustainability Project and the Business Master Project. Last but not least, participants will receive practical impulses and on-the-spot insights during company visits and conferences.

The program is structured in Core and Elective Courses and especially in the second half of the program the electives offer specific international business settings (e.g. International Marketing, Business and Corporate Taxation in Europe, Corporate Mergers & Restructuring in the US and Europe, European Business Law, Cross-Cultural Management). The detailed course conceptualization, including case selection, is determined by each professor. Selection criteria are among others currentness and international context. Overall, the program is designed to reflect internationality in content, faculty and student body.

The course offer at our partner schools in the different tracks is aligned with the Mannheim course offer in the core part. The electives at our partner schools constitute a valuable complement of topics offered in the Mannheim curriculum. The host institutions decide autonomously on the detailed course planning and design.

F1GMAT: How is the student life at Mannheim Business School? Also, do share a little about Mannheim – the City.

Stefanie Will (Mannheim MBA): What is most important about Mannheim as a city is definitely its location: Mannheim is a multicultural and cosmopolitan city in the Southwest of Germany. Mannheim is located in the heart of the German and European economy: 50% of Germany’s most important companies as well as significant global players are located within 250 kilometers of Mannheim and business hubs such as Frankfurt and Stuttgart can be reached within less than an hour. The greater Mannheim area is also known for its strong and innovative corporate community: Multinational corporations like BASF and SAP are in the direct vicinity of Mannheim.

Mannheim Business School is part of the University of Mannheim which is located in the second largest baroque palace worldwide and offers a vivid student life. Team spirit is a key element of our programs but it’s not restricted to the classroom. There are countless opportunities to get involved, such as sports activities, student clubs and other social events like karaoke nights, wine-tastings or a monthly get-together with students and alumni from all programs. The city offers numerous possibilities to spend leisure time: you can cycle or go for a walk on the banks of the two rivers, stroll through the shopping streets or visit museums, the theatre or the like.

F1GMAT:  What do the international partners like EADA (Spain), ESSEC (France), Warwick (UK), Queen's (Canada), Thunderbird (USA), Stern (USA), IIMB (India), IITM (Chennai, India), Chinese University of Hong Kong (China) and National University of Singapore add to the Mannheim MBA learning experience?

Stefanie Will (Mannheim MBA):  The participants opting for an international track go on exchange for a period of at least 3 months within the one-year program. This gives them the opportunity to get authentic insights into the respective culture and economy.

Participants are able to decide on the extent of internationality of their study program up to the three-country option in the European or Global track. Through these exchanges, participants gain a genuine intercultural learning experience and of course new perspectives. Additionally, participants are able to lay the foundation for a global network.

F1GMAT:  What are some of the unique courses and activities offered in the MBA program?

Stefanie Will (Mannheim MBA): A major part of the studies consists of case-based and interactive learning in multicultural teams. Two of our most outstanding elements are the Social Sustainability Project and the Business Master Project that put an emphasis on team spirit and applying theoretical knowledge to reality.

At the beginning of their studies, participants are assigned to heterogeneous teams, so called Multi-Competence Teams (MCT). These teams stay together for the entire year and work together on the Business Master Project. During the final term of their MBA program, participants will put into practice everything they have learned in class and act as consultants for an international company or develop their own business plan together with their MCT.

During the Social Sustainability Project the entire class works together to create a project that makes a positive contribution to society. It is up to each class to define the scope as well as the organizational structure of the respective project.

Successful projects

In 2012, four participants triumphed at the "European Business Plan of the Year" competition in London with their "SPOTTED" application concept based on social media platforms, which connects people with others in their direct vicinity who share the same interests. The competition annually awards the best business plan for an entrepreneurial idea. In the final of this competition, Mannheim MBA participants beat 14 teams from renowned business schools from ten nations, including Great Britain, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Sweden. The four now-Alumni are currently in the process of putting their concept into practice.

F1GMAT: What are some of the post-MBA opportunities available for MBA graduates? Is knowledge of German mandatory for post-MBA interview invites?

Stefanie Will (Mannheim MBA):  Most Mannheim MBA graduates are placed in the fields of Consulting, Industrial Products and Services, Automotive or Manufacturing, including the chemical industry. Our Career Services Team with a comprehensive Career Services & Development Program supports the participants in achieving their career goals.

Mannheim Business School has an extensive corporate network that includes companies of all industries and sizes. These companies are often global leaders in their specific business sectors and represent interesting employers for international graduates. Additionally, Germany offers a sound labor market that provides great opportunities for well-educated, international employees.  

For participants seeking employment in Germany, we strongly recommend to acquire a decent knowledge of the German language in order to increase their chances of finding a job here. Therefore, MBS also offers German language courses.

F1GMAT:  Can you give our readers a snapshot of the latest class?

Our Full-Time Class of 2012 consisted of 54 highly-motivated participants from 23 different countries. Please find the class statistics below:

 Highest Degree Mannheim MBA

Mannheim Work Experience

 Mannheim Undergraduate

Mannheim Gender

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

Stefanie Will (Mannheim MBA):  We are looking for young professionals who have shown academic excellence as well as career progression and who possess exceptional communication and team-work skills.

They should have a minimum of 3 years of postgraduate work experience and excellent analytical and English language skills. We recommend a GMAT score of at least 600 and a TOEFL score of at least 100. Candidates must also have an internationally recognized academic degree in any discipline. Successful candidates typically possess a minimum B+ average (approx. 75%) in their undergraduate degree.

F1GMAT:  What makes Mannheim Business School different from other top Business Schools in Germany?

Stefanie Will (Mannheim MBA): Mannheim Business School is the first and only German business school to have achieved the triple accreditation by AACSB, EQUIS and AMBA. Additionally, MBS is consistently ranked the best German business school in national and international rankings. According to employers, the University of Mannheim offers the best management education in Germany.

In an annual survey of more than 500 HR directors conducted by the Handelsblatt Publishing Group (Wirtschaftswoche), the University of Mannheim's Business School takes number one position for the eleventh time in a row.

Moreover, our location is a key element for success: Mannheim is located in the heart of the German economy: 50% of Germany’s most important companies as well as significant global players are located within 250 kilometers of Mannheim and business hubs such as Frankfurt and Stuttgart can be reached easily.

Stephanie Will MannheimAbout Stefanie Will

Stefanie Will is Admissions Manager Full-Time MBA at Mannheim Business School. Before joining MBS, Stefanie worked as a Client Relationship Manager for a financial planning firm in New York City. Prior to that, she managed a non-profit organization dedicated to providing financial education for women, also in New York City.

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