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:
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]