My MBA Experience at Mannheim Business School


I just graduated from Mannheim Business School. And I think it would be helpful to people who are interested in becoming a Mannheimer to know what they would expect here.

*****Job prospects after the MBA*****

Though it is not easy to find a good job due to the sagging economy, most of our classmates already secured an MBA-level job. I think a few of them are struggling a little bit, but it is just a matter a time for them to get something, and good news do come from time to time.

The major recruiters for Mannheim-MBA graduates are:

Bosch
Amazon
General Motors
Bombardier
KPMG
Monitor Deloitte
EY
SAP
Freudenberg
Merck
Other relatively unknown SMEs
A few NGOs
A few small IT consulting firms

No way or nearly impossible to get in first-tier consulting firms such as MBB. Second-tier ones such as big four and Accenture are possible but not easy. I got invitations from KPMG and NTT Data, but did not go to the interviews at that time as I already had offers from Bosch, Microsoft. I interviewed with Accenture, Deloitte Digital but they rejected me after 5 rounds of interview. I speak at least C1-level German, but still not good enough for them because their clients are mainly German SMEs located in villages in the middle of nowhere. However, those firms, including MBB, love to recruit undergraduates from the university.

A few classmates are still actively seeking for jobs and having interviews in Germany, a few went back home directly after graduation and did find a decent job out there, a few give up searching for jobs in Germany and now start to look for opportunities in their home countries or somewhere else, a few classmates are doing internships, and I think it could be a good way for them to land a job thereafter. Luckily they all have the 18 months visa. I firmly believe that they will find something eventually based on what happened to the previous batch, it is indeed just a matter of time and luck.

The career service did a decent job in terms of finding potential recruiters for the MBA students. At the beginning we complained a lot because it did not look as beautiful as it should be. But they tried really hard. I guess it is not their problem because generally speaking, German companies do not want to recruit MBA students and pay high salaries for them. I guess this situation won't get better even in 10 years. That's why we use "Mannheim" significantly more than "MBA" when we were looking for jobs because Mannheim is a brand name here. I agree that it is more of a student-driven job market instead of a recruiter-driven market. It all depends on how good you are or how you sell yourself in the interviews especially when you do not speak German.

Salary, I guess bottom line 50.000 Euros, average 70.000 to 80.000. There are a few students who get much more, for example, 10.000+ but they are rare cases.

Probably I should not mention this, but I don't really feel like working in Germany since I am still young, and I feel that I can never compete with the German in German. (I did an internship in between at a local small consulting firm, 100% German working environment, and I hated it) . Plus the life there is just so slow-paced. If you are looking for something exciting, I doubt whether Germany is right the place to stay in. So the questions comes down eventually to what do you really want.

***** Learning Experience *****

The quality of the education is decent, some professors are really great, a few of them are sadly shitty (I guess some of them can teach in German very well but not in English). But we had some visiting professors from some other top-tier b-schools, but they sometimes can be very shitty as well, so it is a case-by-case thing, nothing to do with Mannheim Business School. Sometimes I read questions in this forum such as :"is the marketing faculty good at xx business school because I want to switch to marketing after graduation". I think it does not apply here to the situation in Germany. People simply don't care about what you have learned in class. But the systematic trainings on soft skills matter much more, because these are things that could be beneficial for the rest of your life, and I think Mannheim has very rich offerings in this area.

Also at Mannheim you don't have to look for internships by yourself, because the program includes a 3-month master project in co-operation with a lot of companies. My MCT (multi-competency team, 5 students) conducted a 3-month consulting project for a German company, and we nailed it completely. This somehow also boosted our confidence, and this does look very good on our CV.

***** After-class life*****

The overall experience has been great, though people say that Mannheim is a very ugly city, second to no other German cities. Yes, it is not as beautiful as Heidelberg, which is only 15 minutes by train away. But it is a cool city with a vibrant energy. I like Mannheim and I miss my life there. I had a lot of fun. I met great people out there. What I love most about the program is that we as a class hold tight together. I am talking about life-long relationships. I heard in some European b-schools people hate each other haha.

I had took part in the Tough Mudder NRW with my classmates, learned rowing because we have to compete with another business school WHU in Germany, and took yoga classes regularly, and went jogging with my classmates from time to time, even from Mannheim to Heidelberg. I think I will keep those habits for the rest of my life.

Oh yeah, the beers. Tons of beers. Get wasted again and again. Whatever.

***** After graduation *****

The feeling of being an MBA is absolutely great. Kinda of cliche but I do feel much more confident than before simply because I graduated from a top business school in Germany. I think if I stayed at my old firm, it might take me years to reach this maturity level. I feel very comfortable to have a conversation regarding real business issues with the country heads or regional president. It would be impossible for me to do so before the MBA because I might lose my shit in front of them.

Also I think have a lot of positive energy than before as I start to believe in a lot of things again. I believe in changes. I believe that hard-working brings about great outcome. But I still need to figure out what I really want in life,
.

***** Final words *****

I will without any doubt do it again.


.

[Edited by MBA*Applicant on Mar 10, 2016]

I just graduated from Mannheim Business School. And I think it would be helpful to people who are interested in becoming a Mannheimer to know what they would expect here.

*****Job prospects after the MBA*****

Though it is not easy to find a good job due to the sagging economy, most of our classmates already secured an MBA-level job. I think a few of them are struggling a little bit, but it is just a matter a time for them to get something, and good news do come from time to time.

The major recruiters for Mannheim-MBA graduates are:

Bosch
Amazon
General Motors
Bombardier
KPMG
Monitor Deloitte
EY
SAP
Freudenberg
Merck
Other relatively unknown SMEs
A few NGOs
A few small IT consulting firms

No way or nearly impossible to get in first-tier consulting firms such as MBB. Second-tier ones such as big four and Accenture are possible but not easy. I got invitations from KPMG and NTT Data, but did not go to the interviews at that time as I already had offers from Bosch, Microsoft. I interviewed with Accenture, Deloitte Digital but they rejected me after 5 rounds of interview. I speak at least C1-level German, but still not good enough for them because their clients are mainly German SMEs located in villages in the middle of nowhere. However, those firms, including MBB, love to recruit undergraduates from the university.

A few classmates are still actively seeking for jobs and having interviews in Germany, a few went back home directly after graduation and did find a decent job out there, a few give up searching for jobs in Germany and now start to look for opportunities in their home countries or somewhere else, a few classmates are doing internships, and I think it could be a good way for them to land a job thereafter. Luckily they all have the 18 months visa. I firmly believe that they will find something eventually based on what happened to the previous batch, it is indeed just a matter of time and luck.

The career service did a decent job in terms of finding potential recruiters for the MBA students. At the beginning we complained a lot because it did not look as beautiful as it should be. But they tried really hard. I guess it is not their problem because generally speaking, German companies do not want to recruit MBA students and pay high salaries for them. I guess this situation won't get better even in 10 years. That's why we use "Mannheim" significantly more than "MBA" when we were looking for jobs because Mannheim is a brand name here. I agree that it is more of a student-driven job market instead of a recruiter-driven market. It all depends on how good you are or how you sell yourself in the interviews especially when you do not speak German.

Salary, I guess bottom line 50.000 Euros, average 70.000 to 80.000. There are a few students who get much more, for example, 10.000+ but they are rare cases.

Probably I should not mention this, but I don't really feel like working in Germany since I am still young, and I feel that I can never compete with the German in German. (I did an internship in between at a local small consulting firm, 100% German working environment, and I hated it) . Plus the life there is just so slow-paced. If you are looking for something exciting, I doubt whether Germany is right the place to stay in. So the questions comes down eventually to what do you really want.

***** Learning Experience *****

The quality of the education is decent, some professors are really great, a few of them are sadly shitty (I guess some of them can teach in German very well but not in English). But we had some visiting professors from some other top-tier b-schools, but they sometimes can be very shitty as well, so it is a case-by-case thing, nothing to do with Mannheim Business School. Sometimes I read questions in this forum such as :"is the marketing faculty good at xx business school because I want to switch to marketing after graduation". I think it does not apply here to the situation in Germany. People simply don't care about what you have learned in class. But the systematic trainings on soft skills matter much more, because these are things that could be beneficial for the rest of your life, and I think Mannheim has very rich offerings in this area.

Also at Mannheim you don't have to look for internships by yourself, because the program includes a 3-month master project in co-operation with a lot of companies. My MCT (multi-competency team, 5 students) conducted a 3-month consulting project for a German company, and we nailed it completely. This somehow also boosted our confidence, and this does look very good on our CV.

***** After-class life*****

The overall experience has been great, though people say that Mannheim is a very ugly city, second to no other German cities. Yes, it is not as beautiful as Heidelberg, which is only 15 minutes by train away. But it is a cool city with a vibrant energy. I like Mannheim and I miss my life there. I had a lot of fun. I met great people out there. What I love most about the program is that we as a class hold tight together. I am talking about life-long relationships. I heard in some European b-schools people hate each other haha.

I had took part in the Tough Mudder NRW with my classmates, learned rowing because we have to compete with another business school WHU in Germany, and took yoga classes regularly, and went jogging with my classmates from time to time, even from Mannheim to Heidelberg. I think I will keep those habits for the rest of my life.

Oh yeah, the beers. Tons of beers. Get wasted again and again. Whatever.

***** After graduation *****

The feeling of being an MBA is absolutely great. Kinda of cliche but I do feel much more confident than before simply because I graduated from a top business school in Germany. I think if I stayed at my old firm, it might take me years to reach this maturity level. I feel very comfortable to have a conversation regarding real business issues with the country heads or regional president. It would be impossible for me to do so before the MBA because I might lose my shit in front of them.

Also I think have a lot of positive energy than before as I start to believe in a lot of things again. I believe in changes. I believe that hard-working brings about great outcome. But I still need to figure out what I really want in life,
.

***** Final words *****

I will without any doubt do it again.


.
quote
Duncan

Thanks for sharing! Great post.

Thanks for sharing! Great post.
quote
laurie

Wow, fantastic summary of the experience. Really speaks to the importance of the language when looking for work. It's also interesting to me that MBB will recruit undergrads but not MBAs. I suppose that these firms' MBA employment funnels with bigger schools like Insead are more established.

Wow, fantastic summary of the experience. Really speaks to the importance of the language when looking for work. It's also interesting to me that MBB will recruit undergrads but not MBAs. I suppose that these firms' MBA employment funnels with bigger schools like Insead are more established.
quote

Hey! I'm a non-eu studying at Sciences Po, and I was actually looking to the mannheim MSC in management for my masters since I was hoping to move to germany. Is the statement about mbas not getting MBB offers also true for their Msc programmes? Are there any postgraduate programmes in germany that are targets for these firms? I speak (well, according to goethe institut) B1 level german.

Thanks! (my dream of moving to germany and living the cool life may have just been shattered)

Hey! I'm a non-eu studying at Sciences Po, and I was actually looking to the mannheim MSC in management for my masters since I was hoping to move to germany. Is the statement about mbas not getting MBB offers also true for their Msc programmes? Are there any postgraduate programmes in germany that are targets for these firms? I speak (well, according to goethe institut) B1 level german.

Thanks! (my dream of moving to germany and living the cool life may have just been shattered)
quote
Duncan

Speakers of fluent professional German in Germany tend to be Germans, so one factor that militates against MBA hiring is the language. At the MSc level the students are more German speaking, and so I'd guess there's more success. The top schools for MBB in Germany are TUM, LMU and WHU, but Mannheim and RWTH are credible paths.

PS If you want to work in Germany, I would not recommend the MMM. Instead get up to B2 or C1 in German and then do an MSc (in Munich or at WHU) taught in German. That will do much more to get your German up to scratch, get you in the right circles and could save you a lot of money.

[Edited by Duncan on Dec 05, 2015]

Speakers of fluent professional German in Germany tend to be Germans, so one factor that militates against MBA hiring is the language. At the MSc level the students are more German speaking, and so I'd guess there's more success. The top schools for MBB in Germany are TUM, LMU and WHU, but Mannheim and RWTH are credible paths.

PS If you want to work in Germany, I would not recommend the MMM. Instead get up to B2 or C1 in German and then do an MSc (in Munich or at WHU) taught in German. That will do much more to get your German up to scratch, get you in the right circles and could save you a lot of money.
quote
eduaudax

Actually MSc students are the preferred recruits for consultancies like MBB. (Perhaps one should add PhDs to the list, as I woupd expect that there are more Dr. than MBA hires, as Dr. is very reputed in Germany and many talented non-business students do a PhD/Dr. after their regular studies.)

MSc students are still "formable" meaning that they are not biased by the corporate culture/processes of a first employer. On the other hand they gained insights into several companies via internships.

Mannheim offers a mixed German/English msc program, where there are courses in German and courses in English. Note that this is the "main" MMM as this makes ca. 80% of the total programs participants. The remaining 20% pure English programme are targeted to non-German students.
WHU's master program is entirely in English.
Regarding Munich I would need to check the language, but I would imagine that they have courses in German.

I agree with Duncan that German language skills are crucial, especially for consulting. Nevertheless I would not necessarily advise to do the program in German. Accounting, tax accounting, law in German might be really difficult for you even if you reach C1.

I would advise you to do a gap year after your undergraduate at science po. Apply for some internships with multinationals in Germany, try three months for each's duration (as long as you have some big companies you can also go to a startup). Along to the internships you practice yourGerman (full scale, courses, language tandems, duolingo, whatever).
Probably you won't get consulting internships at this point in time and consulting internships are too exhaustive to learn a language in parallel.
Through the gap-year you get the basis to apply for consulting internships aftrler your first master year: German language and internships. Typically students in France do internships at the end of threir total studies (at least my french buddies did), but in Germany you do your internships along your studies (eg semester breaks).
After the gap year I would do a (english-language) master programme with a lot of group work (eg WHU, HHL, probably also at some others, do the research). This brings you closer to your class mates and resembles the actual work at the consultancies: Discussing in German slides that are in English (at least for the bigger corporate clients, and I don't think that the consultancies would send you to the smaller German Mittelstand companies). (It is important though that your German is sufficient to work in German in this group setting at the beginning! of your studies). This way you avoid the risk of failing exams due to language reasons (eg not understanding the task in German or not able to read/write quickly enough).

Actually MSc students are the preferred recruits for consultancies like MBB. (Perhaps one should add PhDs to the list, as I woupd expect that there are more Dr. than MBA hires, as Dr. is very reputed in Germany and many talented non-business students do a PhD/Dr. after their regular studies.)

MSc students are still "formable" meaning that they are not biased by the corporate culture/processes of a first employer. On the other hand they gained insights into several companies via internships.

Mannheim offers a mixed German/English msc program, where there are courses in German and courses in English. Note that this is the "main" MMM as this makes ca. 80% of the total programs participants. The remaining 20% pure English programme are targeted to non-German students.
WHU's master program is entirely in English.
Regarding Munich I would need to check the language, but I would imagine that they have courses in German.

I agree with Duncan that German language skills are crucial, especially for consulting. Nevertheless I would not necessarily advise to do the program in German. Accounting, tax accounting, law in German might be really difficult for you even if you reach C1.

I would advise you to do a gap year after your undergraduate at science po. Apply for some internships with multinationals in Germany, try three months for each's duration (as long as you have some big companies you can also go to a startup). Along to the internships you practice yourGerman (full scale, courses, language tandems, duolingo, whatever).
Probably you won't get consulting internships at this point in time and consulting internships are too exhaustive to learn a language in parallel.
Through the gap-year you get the basis to apply for consulting internships aftrler your first master year: German language and internships. Typically students in France do internships at the end of threir total studies (at least my french buddies did), but in Germany you do your internships along your studies (eg semester breaks).
After the gap year I would do a (english-language) master programme with a lot of group work (eg WHU, HHL, probably also at some others, do the research). This brings you closer to your class mates and resembles the actual work at the consultancies: Discussing in German slides that are in English (at least for the bigger corporate clients, and I don't think that the consultancies would send you to the smaller German Mittelstand companies). (It is important though that your German is sufficient to work in German in this group setting at the beginning! of your studies). This way you avoid the risk of failing exams due to language reasons (eg not understanding the task in German or not able to read/write quickly enough).
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