Choices: HHL Leipzig, EBS, Pforzheim and ESB Reutlingen


Hello everyone,

I'm from India and am currently looking for a change in careers. At present I work as a Marketing Manager for a Korean Food Import firm and prior to this I have had experience in the not-for-profit Sports sector. Before this I have obtained a Masters in Physics. Throughout I have been involved with our family business in a Managerial capacity. I would ideally like to be a Strategy Consultant at the end of the MBA in Germany. I know French (Born and brought up in a French colony in India, certified to a B2 level but I can easily get a C1 with a little effort.). I chose Germany for the MBA because of better opportunities, a more affordable experience than France and last but not the least: my boyfriend just got done with his Masters there and got a PhD position.

My goal is to become a Strategy Consultant in Germany while earning enough to pay back the investment at the soonest. I have begun learning German but have read across the board that becoming fluent enough for consultancy will be a challenge and it is advisable to do a pure language course. But I am ready to be immersed in it, and with the foreign languages I am currently familiar with (French, Italian, Korean), I am hopeful that I will catch on quickly. Also, I'm 29, so I wouldn't want to do the Pure German + MSc path. Also I find that as I have an atypical education, it makes me ineligible for almost all specialised MScs.

I have a GMAT score of 650 and am currently speaking to 4 universities: HHL Leipzig, EBS, Pforzheim and ESB Reutlingen. I should be hearing back from then soon and am aiming for September 2019. In the event that I get an offer from all, I am wondering how to choose given that the upfront investment is a huge hurdle.

Would appreciate your comments on the choice of course, university, career path. Looking forward to interesting discussions.

Thank you!
Hello everyone,

I'm from India and am currently looking for a change in careers. At present I work as a Marketing Manager for a Korean Food Import firm and prior to this I have had experience in the not-for-profit Sports sector. Before this I have obtained a Masters in Physics. Throughout I have been involved with our family business in a Managerial capacity. I would ideally like to be a Strategy Consultant at the end of the MBA in Germany. I know French (Born and brought up in a French colony in India, certified to a B2 level but I can easily get a C1 with a little effort.). I chose Germany for the MBA because of better opportunities, a more affordable experience than France and last but not the least: my boyfriend just got done with his Masters there and got a PhD position.

My goal is to become a Strategy Consultant in Germany while earning enough to pay back the investment at the soonest. I have begun learning German but have read across the board that becoming fluent enough for consultancy will be a challenge and it is advisable to do a pure language course. But I am ready to be immersed in it, and with the foreign languages I am currently familiar with (French, Italian, Korean), I am hopeful that I will catch on quickly. Also, I'm 29, so I wouldn't want to do the Pure German + MSc path. Also I find that as I have an atypical education, it makes me ineligible for almost all specialised MScs.

I have a GMAT score of 650 and am currently speaking to 4 universities: HHL Leipzig, EBS, Pforzheim and ESB Reutlingen. I should be hearing back from then soon and am aiming for September 2019. In the event that I get an offer from all, I am wondering how to choose given that the upfront investment is a huge hurdle.

Would appreciate your comments on the choice of course, university, career path. Looking forward to interesting discussions.

Thank you!
quote
Duncan
If you start an MBA in September you will not be fluent in business German (by the end of the programme) and thus will not be hired as a strategy consultant in Germany.

[Edited by Duncan on Jun 21, 2019]

If you start an MBA in September you will not be fluent in business German (by the end of the programme) and thus will not be hired as a strategy consultant in Germany.
quote
If you start an MBA in September you will not be fluent in business German (by the end of the programme) and thus will not be hired as a strategy consultant in Germany.


Dear Duncan,

Thank you for your response!

True... But instead of spending time before the programme, if I spent time after and in another relevant job (possibly not as a consultant), I could still earn a bit and then go on to become a consultant? Also, in other posts you mention learning German is better at HHL Leipzig (Full time long track MBA) and EBS as opposed to some other English taught programmes. So amongst these 4 options, given that I'm at a disadvantage on the language front right now and other things considered, which is the most secure option? Else what is the best workaround?

Thank you once again,

Nidhi
[quote]If you start an MBA in September you will not be fluent in business German (by the end of the programme) and thus will not be hired as a strategy consultant in Germany. [/quote]

Dear Duncan,

Thank you for your response!

True... But instead of spending time before the programme, if I spent time after and in another relevant job (possibly not as a consultant), I could still earn a bit and then go on to become a consultant? Also, in other posts you mention learning German is better at HHL Leipzig (Full time long track MBA) and EBS as opposed to some other English taught programmes. So amongst these 4 options, given that I'm at a disadvantage on the language front right now and other things considered, which is the most secure option? Else what is the best workaround?

Thank you once again,

Nidhi
quote
Duncan
You won't learn fluent business German by working or studying in an English-language setting. IT and finance back offices all over mainland Europe are full of people who can't rent a bike even after years in the country. Indeed, you could get a different job, but how does that lead you to the absolute fluency needed to operate as a strategy consultant. You couldn't do that work in France, even after all your time learning French. I think your best option is to refocus on
- Where employer might want you (rather than what jobs you want): what roles you could realistically do.
- Language skills. Does your boyfriend's university have an intensive DSH preparation programme or is it affiliated with one?
- Your relative competitive advantages over local talent.
You won't learn fluent business German by working or studying in an English-language setting. IT and finance back offices all over mainland Europe are full of people who can't rent a bike even after years in the country. Indeed, you could get a different job, but how does that lead you to the absolute fluency needed to operate as a strategy consultant. You couldn't do that work in France, even after all your time learning French. I think your best option is to refocus on
- Where employer might want you (rather than what jobs you want): what roles you could realistically do.
- Language skills. Does your boyfriend's university have an intensive DSH preparation programme or is it affiliated with one?
- Your relative competitive advantages over local talent.
quote
Yes, his university does have a DSH preparation programme with two intakes a year. What if I learnt German here in India and applied next year for a shorter than 2 years MBA though? Is the expense saved not worth the loss of a conducive environment? I'm not eligible for specialised Masters courses hence I'm still aiming for an MBA after the DSH.

Also, ideally I would like to become a strategy consultant, but I'm open to other opportunities. The tricky part for me right now is that I have an atypical education and work experience in several fields. I am looking to be in a position to have a solid work opportunity in Germany at the end of the MBA, which is also my motivation to do this degree.
Yes, his university does have a DSH preparation programme with two intakes a year. What if I learnt German here in India and applied next year for a shorter than 2 years MBA though? Is the expense saved not worth the loss of a conducive environment? I'm not eligible for specialised Masters courses hence I'm still aiming for an MBA after the DSH.

Also, ideally I would like to become a strategy consultant, but I'm open to other opportunities. The tricky part for me right now is that I have an atypical education and work experience in several fields. I am looking to be in a position to have a solid work opportunity in Germany at the end of the MBA, which is also my motivation to do this degree.
quote
Duncan
I don't have to tell you that if you learnt German in India you would not learn it to the same level as in a German-speaking city. When you are trying to present yourself to employers you want to take very opportunity ti show you can connect with Germans, not just with their language. That's why I recommend the path of DSH plus a German-language MSc because you then learn functional vocabulary and idiom that you just won't learn in India without a much greater expense.

I'm not sure why you think you are not eligible for a specialised masters. Perhaps you think that because you are not elibible for a consecutive masters in management aimed at BWL students that there are no MSc degrees open to you? Your local DAAD office can advise you.
I don't have to tell you that if you learnt German in India you would not learn it to the same level as in a German-speaking city. When you are trying to present yourself to employers you want to take very opportunity ti show you can connect with Germans, not just with their language. That's why I recommend the path of DSH plus a German-language MSc because you then learn functional vocabulary and idiom that you just won't learn in India without a much greater expense.

I'm not sure why you think you are not eligible for a specialised masters. Perhaps you think that because you are not elibible for a consecutive masters in management aimed at BWL students that there are no MSc degrees open to you? Your local DAAD office can advise you.
quote
Duncan
There will always be pathways to your goal, but the goal has to fit both market demand and your strengths and capacities. Focus on finding and testing a goal that is specific and realistic. Right now, I find it hard to seriously recommend any specific academic degree to you because, if you seriously thought strategy consulting in Germany could be an option, I think you need to spend more time researching the German labour market and the sort of roles that might be open.

Take a look at the roles that Indians have in the region around where your boyfriend is. At least initially, if they don't have several years experience in Germany they are in back-office roles in research, finance, IT etc.

Just taking a few profiles at random:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/chintandesai1987/ This guy was at B1 by the time he finished his MBA, got a role helping a German business that wanted to open up in India.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-shivaji-dasgupta-2072092/ This person did a PhD at a top German university
https://www.linkedin.com/in/hemanth-kumar-a7018035/ This person used a German MSc in computer aid design to move into the automotive industry

[Edited by Duncan on Jun 22, 2019]

There will always be pathways to your goal, but the goal has to fit both market demand and your strengths and capacities. Focus on finding and testing a goal that is specific and realistic. Right now, I find it hard to seriously recommend any specific academic degree to you because, if you seriously thought strategy consulting in Germany could be an option, I think you need to spend more time researching the German labour market and the sort of roles that might be open.

Take a look at the roles that Indians have in the region around where your boyfriend is. At least initially, if they don't have several years experience in Germany they are in back-office roles in research, finance, IT etc.

Just taking a few profiles at random:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/chintandesai1987/ This guy was at B1 by the time he finished his MBA, got a role helping a German business that wanted to open up in India.
https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-shivaji-dasgupta-2072092/ This person did a PhD at a top German university
https://www.linkedin.com/in/hemanth-kumar-a7018035/ This person used a German MSc in computer aid design to move into the automotive industry
quote
George Pat...
Maybe it would be more realistic for you to look for an easier role in Germany, to be able to support yourself until your knowledge of the language, and of what is required for strategy consultant roles in Germany, is better?
Maybe it would be more realistic for you to look for an easier role in Germany, to be able to support yourself until your knowledge of the language, and of what is required for strategy consultant roles in Germany, is better?
quote
mba hipste...
That's a great idea. A year or two of living full-time in Germany (and taking language classes) will go far in terms of your hireabilty.
That's a great idea. A year or two of living full-time in Germany (and taking language classes) will go far in terms of your hireabilty.
quote

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