MBA in Germany


jbauer81

Hi everyone,

I'm 33yo considering to do a MBA in Germany that could connect the dots of my skills and experience and open up new career opportunities in renewable energy sector in consulting/finance segment.

As a non-EU resident currently based in Singapore, I chose Germany as it's one of the strongest economy in the world and its renewable sector is developing rapidly that could lead to many exciting opportunities. I can't speak German but I will start learning it very soon, before the program commences.

With 5-year entrepreneurial experience and a pass in CFA level 3 under the belt, I'm considering the following schools:

-Mannheim
-WHU
-ESMT Berlin
-Frankfurt School of Finance & Management
-HHL Leipzig

Can I get advice from any of you which school is stronger in consulting/finance and career support?

Regards,
Jack

Hi everyone,

I'm 33yo considering to do a MBA in Germany that could connect the dots of my skills and experience and open up new career opportunities in renewable energy sector in consulting/finance segment.

As a non-EU resident currently based in Singapore, I chose Germany as it's one of the strongest economy in the world and its renewable sector is developing rapidly that could lead to many exciting opportunities. I can't speak German but I will start learning it very soon, before the program commences.

With 5-year entrepreneurial experience and a pass in CFA level 3 under the belt, I'm considering the following schools:

-Mannheim
-WHU
-ESMT Berlin
-Frankfurt School of Finance & Management
-HHL Leipzig

Can I get advice from any of you which school is stronger in consulting/finance and career support?

Regards,
Jack
quote
Duncan

The FT ranking includes a score for career services.

Consulting/finance is a big field: you can probably use salary as a proxy for that. Otherwise try: How to use LinkedIn to find the best school www.find-mba.com/board/33571

The FT ranking includes a score for career services.

Consulting/finance is a big field: you can probably use salary as a proxy for that. Otherwise try: How to use LinkedIn to find the best school www.find-mba.com/board/33571
quote
mba hipste...

You should also look critically at the level of language skills you would need to land management-level jobs in Germany, even with one of these MBA programs.
It can be tough in many industries without fluency in business-level German, which takes a good amount of study time to achieve. 
There's a very informative post from Duncan here:
https://find-mba.com/board/europe/do-you-need-to-speak-the-local-language-29546

You should also look critically at the level of language skills you would need to land management-level jobs in Germany, even with one of these MBA programs.<div><br></div><div>It can be tough in many industries without fluency in business-level German, which takes a good amount of study time to achieve.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>There's a very informative post from Duncan here:</div><div><br></div><div>https://find-mba.com/board/europe/do-you-need-to-speak-the-local-language-29546<br></div>
quote
TonySnow

Having completed my MBA at one of the schools on your list, I can tell you firsthand that, like Hipster (and Duncan), have stated; in Germany, your ability to speak German is more important than the school from which you completed an MBA. In 2020, it's a niche there.

Consulting is a customer-facing role, and you need to be able to speak to those customers in their first language. And despite your optimism, you will not become fluent in German from scratch during the length of the program. The sooner you accept that, the better your decision making should become.

Simply put: Without the ability to speak German you will not be interviewing/competing for MBA caliber roles. Look forward to no-name start-ups, begging alumni on LinkedIn, etc.

Without German fluency you will have simply paid for the right to enter the German job market.

There are always outliers, of course. 

[Edited by TonySnow on Apr 29, 2020]

<div>Having completed my MBA at one of the schools on your list, I can tell you firsthand that, like Hipster (and Duncan), have stated; in Germany, your ability to speak German is more important than the school from which you completed an MBA. In 2020, it's a niche there.</div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div>Consulting is a customer-facing role, and you need to be able to speak to those customers in their first language. And despite your optimism, you will not become fluent in German from scratch during the length of the program. The sooner you accept that, the better your decision making should become.</div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div>Simply put: Without the ability to speak German you will not be interviewing/competing for MBA caliber roles. Look forward to no-name start-ups, begging alumni on LinkedIn, etc.</div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div>Without German fluency you will have simply paid for the right to enter the German job market.</div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div>There are always outliers, of course.&nbsp;</div>
quote
Duncan

There are a small number of roles that don't require perfect German. WHU seems to be good at sniffing them out. The finance back office could be an example. 

There are a small number of roles that don't require perfect German. WHU seems to be good at sniffing them out. The finance back office could be an example.&nbsp;
quote
jbauer81

Thank you very much I have received the message that German is very important in finding consultancy jobs in Germany. I have began learning the language by myself and I would seriously consider taking German classes for 3-6 months before the program starts. If WHU has an edge over in consultancy segment maybe I would give it a try as well. 

On the other hand, would there be more opportunities in Scandinavian countries for MBA graduates who don't speak fluent local language? I'm considering the region as the development of renewable energy is in full speed there. 

Thank you very much I have received the message that German is very important in finding consultancy jobs in Germany. I have began learning the language by myself and I would seriously consider taking German classes for 3-6 months before the program starts. If WHU has an edge over in consultancy segment maybe I would give it a try as well.&nbsp;<br><br>On the other hand, would there be more opportunities in Scandinavian countries for MBA graduates who don't speak fluent local language? I'm considering the region as the development of renewable energy is in full speed there.&nbsp;
quote
Duncan

If you can get to professional German in 3 to 6 months you should open a revolutionary language school to share your method. Because a year in an English speaking campus in one of Germany's most expat cities won't make a huge difference. 
There is minimal demand for MBAs in the Nordic countries.

If you can get to professional German in 3 to 6 months you should open a revolutionary language school to share your method. Because a year in an English speaking campus in one of Germany's most expat cities won't make a huge difference.&nbsp;<div><br></div><div>There is minimal demand for MBAs in the Nordic countries.</div>
quote
jbauer81

Haha certainly I don't mean attaining native fluency in German within 3-6 months, but it should be safe to say that it would get me to B1/B2 level after the intensive learning? Or you mean my German would hardly improve by a notch or two during the MBA studies even immersing myself in German-speaking environment? 

If I am determined to work in renewable energy in consultancy/finance, with my fundamental knowledge in financial principles from CFA and business management experience, is there any MSc program in Germany you would recommend? Maybe I can work on my German for up to a year before taking on the MSc program to better prepare myself. 

Haha certainly I don't mean attaining native fluency in German within 3-6 months, but it should be safe to say that it would get me to B1/B2 level after the intensive learning? Or you mean my German would hardly improve by a notch or two during the MBA studies even immersing myself in German-speaking environment?&nbsp;<br><br>If I am determined to work in renewable energy in consultancy/finance, with my fundamental knowledge in financial principles from CFA and business management experience, is there any MSc program in Germany you would recommend? Maybe I can work on my German for up to a year before taking on the MSc program to better prepare myself.&nbsp;
quote
TonySnow

Certainly not trying to discourage you from pursuing your desired career path, or to discourage you from attending a German program. When you say consulting do you mean strategy consulting like McKinsey, Bain, and BCG (MBB) or advisory services like the Big Four?

The German B-schools have (for the most part) carved out a niche in pursuing international students, mostly non-EU, and mostly from developing countries whose primary intent is to gain EU residency via the Blue Card. The MBA is a route to do so.

If you're focused on consulting, which is a very typical post-MBA field, you should probably consider a country where you speak the primary language. And in Germany where as I mentioned earlier the MBA is still a niche degree, consulting recruiting is targeted primarily at the Bachelor and Master level students.

Again, speaking from experience less than a handful of my former classmates went to The Big Four. And zero full-time MBAs in at least the last 4 years have gone to MBB. 

[Edited by TonySnow on Apr 30, 2020]

<div>Certainly not trying to discourage you from pursuing your desired career path, or to discourage you from attending a German program. When you say consulting do you mean strategy consulting like McKinsey, Bain, and BCG (MBB) or advisory services like the Big Four?</div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div>The German B-schools have (for the most part) carved out a niche in pursuing international students, mostly non-EU, and mostly from developing countries whose primary intent is to gain EU residency via the Blue Card. The MBA is a route to do so.</div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div>If you're focused on consulting, which is a very typical post-MBA field, you should probably consider a country where you speak the primary language. And in Germany where as I mentioned earlier the MBA is still a niche degree, consulting recruiting is targeted primarily at the Bachelor and Master level students.</div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div>Again, speaking from experience less than a handful of my former classmates went to The Big Four. And zero full-time MBAs in at least the last 4 years have gone to MBB.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div><br></div>
quote
Vendor

"Certainly not trying to discourage you from pursuing your desired career path, or to discourage you from attending a German program. When you say consulting do you mean strategy consulting like McKinsey, Bain, and BCG (MBB) or advisory services like the Big Four?

The German B-schools have (for the most part) carved out a niche in pursuing international students, mostly non-EU, and mostly from developing countries whose primary intent is to gain EU residency via the Blue Card. The MBA is a route to do so."

Hi,I am a 44 years old civil engineer from non European background and I am interested in the process of possibly obtaining European residency through MBA. Mainly to offer to my children the opportunity for better education.I am starting an MBA online with a German university (IUBH).Can you please explain in what extense do you think completing the MBA can help me get a job in Germany or at least facilitate a residency card.Thanx

[Edited by Vendor on Apr 30, 2020]

[quote]<div>"Certainly not trying to discourage you from pursuing your desired career path, or to discourage you from attending a German program. When you say consulting do you mean strategy consulting like McKinsey, Bain, and BCG (MBB) or advisory services like the Big Four?</div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div>The German B-schools have (for the most part) carved out a niche in pursuing international students, mostly non-EU, and mostly from developing countries whose primary intent is to gain EU residency via the Blue Card. The MBA is a route to do so."</div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div>Hi,</div><div>I am a 44 years old civil engineer from non European background and I am interested in the process of possibly obtaining European residency through MBA. Mainly to offer to my children the opportunity for better education.</div><div>I am starting an MBA online with a German university (IUBH).</div><div>Can you please explain in what extense do you think completing the MBA can help me get a job in Germany or at least facilitate a residency card.</div><div>Thanx</div>
quote
Duncan

This (an online degree taken while you live outside Germany) will not help you very much (in moving to Germany) and, certainly, much less than a smaller investment in German language classes. You can only get a post-study work visa in Germany after studying in Germany. Only by studying in Germany do you go through the assessment needed to get a visa, and thus a residence permit which can be extended. 
If you want to work in Germany, start learning German. Find a full-time degree programme in Germany. Remember, many state universities are free, and you will find good schools for your children. 
(I added the bit in brackets.) 
Also read Best MBAs for international students' placement http://www.find-mba.com/board/41143
Do you need to speak the local language? www.find-mba.com/board/34713

[Edited by Duncan on Apr 30, 2020]

This (an online degree taken while you live outside Germany) will not help you very much (in moving to Germany) and, certainly, much less than a smaller investment in German language classes. You can only get a post-study work visa in Germany after studying in Germany. Only by studying in Germany do you go through the assessment needed to get a visa, and thus a residence permit which can be extended.&nbsp;<div><br></div><div>If you want to work in Germany, start learning German. Find a full-time degree programme in Germany. Remember, many state universities are free, and you will find good schools for your children.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>(I added the bit in brackets.)&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>Also read Best MBAs for international students' placement&nbsp;<a href="https://www.find-mba.com/board/41143" rel="nofollow" style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">http://www.find-mba.com/board/41143</a></div><br>Do you need to speak the local language?&nbsp;<a href="https://www.find-mba.com/board/34713" rel="nofollow" style="background-color: rgb(255, 255, 255);">www.find-mba.com/board/34713</a>
quote
Duncan

3-6 months .... would get me to B1/B2 level after the intensive learning? Or you mean my German would hardly improve by a notch or two during the MBA studies even immersing myself in German-speaking environment?  
I studied at a typical intensive language school serving degree applicants and academics: the DKFA (https://www.dkfa.de/). Six months of intensive study should get you to the end of B1. With B1, you cannot study in German. Therefore you would not be in a German-speaking environment: you would be speaking and working with your classmates, and then using German when buying things.... if you can find a shop in the areas where MBA students go that doesn't switch to English. Much better: go to B2 or C1 and then taken a degree taught in German.
If I am determined to work in renewable energy in consultancy/finance, with my fundamental knowledge in financial principles from CFA and business management experience, is there any MSc program in Germany you would recommend? Maybe I can work on my German for up to a year before taking on the MSc program to better prepare myself. 
The FT MiF ranking is a good guide: the Frankfurt School is a better target. 

[quote]3-6 months .... would get me to B1/B2 level after the intensive learning? Or you mean my German would hardly improve by a notch or two during the MBA studies even immersing myself in German-speaking environment?&nbsp;&nbsp; [/quote]<div>I studied at a typical intensive language school serving degree applicants and academics: the DKFA (<a href="https://www.dkfa.de/">https://www.dkfa.de/</a>). Six months of intensive study should get you to the end of B1. With B1, you cannot study in German. Therefore you would not be in a German-speaking environment: you would be speaking and working with your classmates, and then using German when buying things.... if you can find a shop in the areas where MBA students go that doesn't switch to English. Much better: go to B2 or C1 and then taken a degree taught in German.</div><div><br>[quote]If I am determined to work in renewable energy in consultancy/finance, with my fundamental knowledge in financial principles from CFA and business management experience, is there any MSc program in Germany you would recommend? Maybe I can work on my German for up to a year before taking on the MSc program to better prepare myself.&nbsp; [/quote]</div><div>The FT MiF ranking is a good guide: the Frankfurt School is a better target.&nbsp;</div>
quote
Duncan

When I think of revewable energy in Germany, I think of the regional around Frieburg. Maybe a programme like this is an option: https://rem.zee-uni-freiburg.de/mission/ 

When I think of revewable energy in Germany, I think of the regional around Frieburg. Maybe a programme like this is an option:&nbsp;<a href="https://rem.zee-uni-freiburg.de/mission/">https://rem.zee-uni-freiburg.de/mission/</a>&nbsp;
quote
jbauer81

Unfortunately the MSc at Freiburg require engineering background which I don't have, same as many other MSc, while the content of MiF might duplicate with CFA program to some extent which I have done. 

After hearing from all of you, I will consider studying German for half a year and joining a Master in 2021 instead. It could be MBA/Specialized Master from WHU, RSM, or schools in UK/Nordic countries which I have to continue to explore. I'm not targeting at top-tier consulting firms right after graduation and management consulting is not the only career direction in renewable energy sector, so there should still be plenty of opportunities ahead.

But yes, I got the message that in general local language is crucial to working in EU. I heard the language requirement is not as strict in Netherlands and Nordic countries, but I assume there's no harm to learn German for half a year and see where I'll end up and decide my future from there. I probably wouldn't give Dutch/Nordic languages a try unless you guys suggest otherwise. 

My last question is, within Europe including UK, will an MBA in one country open up new career opportunities in other countries, putting the language barrier aside?

Unfortunately the MSc at Freiburg require engineering background which I don't have, same as many other MSc, while the content of MiF might duplicate with CFA program to some extent&nbsp;which I have done.&nbsp;<br><br>After hearing from all of you, I will consider studying German for half a year and joining a Master in 2021 instead. It could be MBA/Specialized Master from WHU, RSM, or schools in UK/Nordic countries which I have to continue to explore. I'm not targeting at top-tier consulting firms right after graduation and management consulting is not the only career direction in renewable energy sector, so there should still be plenty of opportunities ahead. <br><br>But yes, I got the message that in general local language is crucial to working in EU. I heard the language requirement is not as strict in Netherlands and Nordic countries, but I assume there's no harm to learn German for half a year and see where I'll end up and decide my future from there. I probably wouldn't give Dutch/Nordic languages a try unless you guys suggest otherwise.&nbsp;<br><br>My last question is, within Europe including UK, will an MBA in one country open up new career opportunities in other countries, putting the language barrier aside?
quote
Duncan

Labour markets are really national. Insead and LBS serve an international audience, but otherwise you are looking at international mobility being limited within the Francophone, German-speaking, Lusophone and Spanish-speaking markets. Before the German/Swiss-German MBAs appeared, RSM was a top MBA for the DACHs region.
Any investment in German will help hugely with Dutch or Scandinavian languages. 

Labour markets are really national. Insead and LBS serve an international audience, but otherwise you are looking at international mobility being limited within the Francophone, German-speaking, Lusophone and Spanish-speaking markets. Before the German/Swiss-German MBAs appeared, RSM was a top MBA for the DACHs region.<div><br></div><div>Any investment in German will help hugely with Dutch or Scandinavian languages.&nbsp;</div>
quote
jbauer81

If that's the case, a MiF at LBS/HEC might be better choice to get me into investment/consultancy in energy. 

If that's the case, a MiF at LBS/HEC might be better choice to get me into investment/consultancy in energy.&nbsp;
quote
Duncan

If you are neutral on the country, yes. 

If you are neutral on the country, yes.&nbsp;
quote
jbauer81

I find UK/Germany/Denmark/Netherlands some of the countries leading in the development of renewable energy sector and I'm happy to give one of them a try. I don't like the young profile of HEC MiF while LBS MiF seems to require work experience in finance which I don't really have. Is there any other MiF from the above countries you'd recommend? 

I find UK/Germany/Denmark/Netherlands some of the countries leading in the development of renewable energy sector and I'm happy to give one of them a try. I don't like the young profile of HEC MiF while LBS MiF seems to require work experience in finance which I don't really have. Is there any other MiF from the above countries you'd recommend?&nbsp;
quote
Duncan

Honestly, your goal is specific and unusual. I would need to do some research to see whether that path is highly-viable. 

Honestly, your goal is specific and unusual. I would need to do some research to see whether that path is highly-viable.&nbsp;
quote
jbauer81

Indeed my background and goal is quite unconventional. Still struggling with the best approach to take. Not sure if it's already too late to make a move. 

Indeed my background and goal is quite unconventional. Still struggling with the best approach to take. Not sure if it's already too late to make a move.&nbsp;
quote

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