WHU or Mannheim


A little background, I am a mechanical engineer with 2 years engineering experience and 5 years in sales. My primary objective is changing industries (preferably entertainment in Germany but I'm not one to turn down an opportunity if it presents itself) and secondary to pursue a career in business dev/marketing.

I was recently accepted in the MBA program at both WHU and Mannheim, but the deeper I research the more I realize that on average they are both well positioned and recognized schools. Can anyone give me some advice on which one to go for?

A little background, I am a mechanical engineer with 2 years engineering experience and 5 years in sales. My primary objective is changing industries (preferably entertainment in Germany but I'm not one to turn down an opportunity if it presents itself) and secondary to pursue a career in business dev/marketing.

I was recently accepted in the MBA program at both WHU and Mannheim, but the deeper I research the more I realize that on average they are both well positioned and recognized schools. Can anyone give me some advice on which one to go for?
quote
TonySnow

I’ve laid out some what I feel are important criteria for choosing an MBA program, and based on my experience which program is the better of the two.

Strength of the Alumni Network: WHU. See below about reputation. The bachelor and master students are recruited by the elite consultancies and investment banks, as well many who have founded very successful start-ups.

University Location: WHU. Studying and living in Düsseldorf beats Mannheim.

Aggregated Published MBA Rankings: Mannheim (for now). WHU will overtake Mannheim here within the next 1-2 years in all of the major rankings (Fortune, FT, Bloomberg, Economist, etc).

Brand Recognition (in Germany): WHU. Because the entire university is private many of the students who attend the bachelor and master programs come affluent families so the university has an elite reputation. But rightly so. Many German business leaders send their children to WHU for their bachelor.

Curriculum and Program Structure: Mannheim. The MBA curriculum at WHU is basically a Master of Science. The same coursework taught to them is the same that’s given to the MBA students. Mannheim has the huge advantage of being one campus. The two class intakes per year at WHU is strange and clunky and the school tries to shoehorn the structure around both classes taking field trips together to both the US and China/India. There are a lot of empty wasted months (no classes) if you start in the September cohort. They could easily insert a real summer break of 12 weeks to allow for traditional MBA internships.

Cost of Attendance: Even. Not much to expand on here.

Career Center: Mannheim (not by much though). This was the toughest one to decide. Mannheim has a dedicated weeklong MBA recruiting event which WHU does not. That’s just a huge gap in the program right now. The dedicated recruiting events at WHU are geared toward bachelor and master students in Vallendar and the MBA students are invited to attend. But because of the dedicated MBA event, I had to give the edge to Mannheim.

I did attend WHU. Full disclosure. But I would recommend WHU over Mannheim.

[Edited by TonySnow on Apr 30, 2020]

<div>I’ve laid out some what I feel are important criteria for choosing an MBA program, and based on my experience which program is the better of the two.</div><div><br></div><div><br></div>Strength of the Alumni Network: WHU. See below about reputation. The bachelor and master students are recruited by the elite consultancies and investment banks, as well many who have founded very successful start-ups.<div><br></div><div><div><br></div><div>University Location: WHU. Studying and living in Düsseldorf beats Mannheim.</div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div>Aggregated Published MBA Rankings: Mannheim (for now). WHU will overtake Mannheim here within the next 1-2 years in all of the major rankings (Fortune, FT, Bloomberg, Economist, etc).</div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div>Brand Recognition (in Germany): WHU. Because the entire university is private many of the students who attend the bachelor and master programs come affluent families so the university has an elite reputation. But rightly so. Many German business leaders send their children to WHU for their bachelor.</div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div>Curriculum and Program Structure: Mannheim. The MBA curriculum at WHU is basically a Master of Science. The same coursework taught to them is the same that’s given to the MBA students. Mannheim has the huge advantage of being one campus. The two class intakes per year at WHU is strange and clunky and the school tries to shoehorn the structure around both classes taking field trips together to both the US and China/India. There are a lot of empty wasted months (no classes) if you start in the September cohort. They could easily insert a real summer break of 12 weeks to allow for traditional MBA internships.</div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div>Cost of Attendance: Even. Not much to expand on here.</div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div>Career Center: Mannheim (not by much though). This was the toughest one to decide. Mannheim has a dedicated weeklong MBA recruiting event which WHU does not. That’s just a huge gap in the program right now. The dedicated recruiting events at WHU are geared toward bachelor and master students in Vallendar and the MBA students are invited to attend. But because of the dedicated MBA event, I had to give the edge to Mannheim.</div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div>I did attend WHU. Full disclosure. But I would recommend WHU over Mannheim.</div><div><br></div><div><br></div></div>
quote
Duncan

Career Center: Mannheim (not by much though). This was the toughest one to decide.

When the MBA career services are compared, WHU is 45th in the world and Mannheim is 91st. http://rankings.ft.com/businessschoolrankings/global-mba-ranking-2020
That summer break might seem odd to you, but not all summer internships have to be three months. I imagine that career changers, who are more likely to choose WHU, are also more likely to look for internships. 

[quote]Career Center: Mannheim (not by much though). This was the toughest one to decide. [/quote]<div><br></div><div>When the MBA career services are compared, WHU is 45th in the world and Mannheim is 91st.&nbsp;<a href="http://rankings.ft.com/businessschoolrankings/global-mba-ranking-2020">http://rankings.ft.com/businessschoolrankings/global-mba-ranking-2020</a></div><div><br></div><div>That summer break might seem odd to you, but not all summer internships have to be three months. I imagine that career changers, who are more likely to choose WHU, are also more likely to look for internships.&nbsp;</div>
quote

Thanks, Tony! I appreciate your detailed comparison. This is mostly in line with what I read online. 
WHU seems to have a slight edge in terms of recognition. However, the curriculum is indeed concerning since I've also read that it doesn't live up to the expectations of an MBA program.
I'm not sure about the career services though since most alumni rate WHU as better than Mannheim.

Also with regards to sectors that employ from these schools, according to the FT WHU has a wider range of sectors that recruit their grads (excluding consultancy where they're both the same). Any comments on this?

Thanks, Tony! I appreciate your detailed comparison. This is mostly in line with what I read online.&nbsp;<div><br></div><div>WHU seems to have a slight edge in terms of recognition. However, the curriculum is indeed concerning since I've also read that it doesn't live up to the expectations of an MBA program.</div><div><br></div><div>I'm not sure about the career services though since most alumni rate WHU as better than Mannheim.<br></div><div><br></div><div>Also with regards to sectors that employ from these schools, according to the FT WHU has a wider range of sectors that recruit their grads (excluding consultancy where they're both the same). Any comments on this?</div>
quote
TonySnow

Ibrahim,

The curriculum at WHU does leave a lot to be desired. But a lot of that is because the professors have to split their time between Vallendar and Dusseldorf. So the classes are quite crammed and don't meet for nearly the amount of time that's needed to really learn the material. But the professors are incredible, and even those professors who most everyone thought was "boring" were still very sharp. We had guest lecturers from McKinsey, EY, and some private equity firms. But the other pros of the school make up for the somewhat weaker curriculum. And you'll be hired because of the WHU name and your work experience, not the courses you took.

Maybe I was too hard on the WHU career center. The only reason I gave the edge to Mannheim is because they have a dedicated MBA recruiting event. But the career center at WHU is really good. They've really tried to increase the offerings to students in terms of soft skills and hard skills development. They've added an additional career manager to manage the larger intake sizes. They've worked hard on connecting more German companies to MBA students. The MBA still is unknown to many German hiring managers, particularly the SMEs that make up most of the German economy.. The career center managers are very connected in Germany, and Switzerland, to a lessor extent. If there's a company you're targeting in Germany or Switzerland the WHU career center managers have connections to link you with in that company.

As far as range of sectors I personally think that WHU just recruits a more diversified student class than Mannheim so the variety of roles and sectors the students move into post-MBA is greater. At WHU you'll have classmates with backgrounds in finance, consulting, non-profit, manufacturing, marketing, medicine, hospitality, etc.. I think Mannheim tries to be too cookie cutter with its intake.


[Edited by TonySnow on May 01, 2020]

<div>Ibrahim,</div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div>The curriculum at WHU does leave a lot to be desired. But a lot of that is because the professors have to split their time between Vallendar and Dusseldorf. So the classes are quite crammed and don't meet for nearly the amount of time that's needed to really learn the material. But the professors are incredible, and even those professors who most everyone thought was "boring" were still very sharp. We had guest lecturers from McKinsey, EY, and some private equity firms. But the other pros of the school make up for the somewhat weaker curriculum. And you'll be hired because of the WHU name and your work experience, not the courses you took.</div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div>Maybe I was too hard on the WHU career center. The only reason I gave the edge to Mannheim is because they have a dedicated MBA recruiting event. But the career center at WHU is really good. They've really tried to increase the offerings to students in terms of soft skills and hard skills development. They've added an additional career manager to manage the larger intake sizes. They've worked hard on connecting more German companies to MBA students. The MBA still is unknown to many German hiring managers, particularly the SMEs that make up most of the German economy.. The career center managers are very connected in Germany, and Switzerland, to a lessor extent. If there's a company you're targeting in Germany or Switzerland the WHU career center managers have connections to link you with in that company.</div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div>As far as range of sectors I personally think that WHU just recruits a more diversified student class than Mannheim so the variety of roles and sectors the students move into post-MBA is greater. At WHU you'll have classmates with backgrounds in finance, consulting, non-profit, manufacturing, marketing, medicine, hospitality, etc.. I think Mannheim tries to be too cookie cutter with its intake.</div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div><br></div>
quote
Duncan

The curriculum looks similar to me: five month core and then electives. Other than the optional term at Mannheim, and the two intakes at WHU, what is the difference? 

The curriculum looks similar to me: five month core and then electives. Other than the optional term at Mannheim, and the two intakes at WHU, what is the difference?&nbsp;
quote

The curriculum looks similar to me: five month core and then electives. Other than the optional term at Mannheim, and the two intakes at WHU, what is the difference? 

Honestly, I couldn't find much of a different myself except maybe for a couple of extra electives at Mannheim. I am basing it on a few comments I have read on the internet and just wanted to verify the quality of education at WHU.
Duncan, with your experience can you shed some light on which of these schools would be a better pick for me?
Thanks.

[Edited by Ibrahim AlShafie on May 01, 2020]

[quote]The curriculum looks similar to me: five month core and then electives. Other than the optional term at Mannheim, and the two intakes at WHU, what is the difference?&nbsp; [/quote]<div><br></div><div>Honestly, I couldn't find much of a different myself except maybe for a couple of extra electives at Mannheim. I am basing it on a few comments I have read on the internet and just wanted to verify the quality of education at WHU.</div><div><br></div><div>Duncan, with your experience can you shed some light on which of these schools would be a better pick for me?</div><div><br></div><div>Thanks.</div>
quote
Duncan

WHU is a better choice for most people, but read the other threads where these schools are compared. If you write and speak German at a high standard, Mannheim may be better for some employers. 

WHU is a better choice for most people, but read the other threads where these schools are compared. If you write and speak German at a high standard, Mannheim may be better for some employers.&nbsp;
quote
TonySnow

The curriculum at nearly every MBA will be the same - courses in finance, accounting, operations, strategy, etc. I just noted that at WHU each course, whether core or elective, only meets three times. Trying to compare quality of curriculum between the two schools is purely subjective.

I can agree with Duncan's last comment above.

Often you see the same question on these threads - "I have XX years experience and I want XX outcome. Which MBA will guarantee me that outcome?"  And that's an impossible question to answer. 



<div>The curriculum at nearly every MBA will be the same - courses in finance, accounting, operations, strategy, etc. I just noted that at WHU each course, whether core or elective, only meets three times. Trying to compare quality of curriculum between the two schools is purely subjective.</div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div>I can agree with Duncan's last comment above.</div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div>Often you see the same question on these threads - "I have XX years experience and I want XX outcome. Which MBA will guarantee me that outcome?"&nbsp; And that's an impossible question to answer.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div><br></div>
quote

Thanks a lot for your responses Tony, Duncan. Ill take a couple of days to read more on it and make up my mind.

Thanks a lot for your responses Tony, Duncan. Ill take a couple of days to read more on it and make up my mind.
quote
Duncan

At at WHU each course, whether core or elective, only meets three times.
I'm not sure what you think this means. Each course is three lectures of one hour? Sounds unlikely. Each course is three one-week meetings? That's different.
I find it hard to believe that WHU and Mannheim students have very different numbers of hours in class, since accreditation standards enforce a lot of consistency. 

[quote]At at WHU each course, whether core or elective, only meets three times.[/quote]<div>I'm not sure what you think this means. Each course is three lectures of one hour? Sounds unlikely. Each course is three one-week meetings? That's different.</div><div><br></div><div>I find it hard to believe that WHU and Mannheim students have very different numbers of hours in class, since accreditation standards enforce a lot of consistency.&nbsp;</div>
quote
TonySnow

Hey Duncan,
Clarification on that - each course meets 3x for 8 hours each. 9am - 5pm.
I graduated from the MBA program at WHU.

Ibrahim,
Given that you don't speak fluent German, and considering how successful the WHU MBA program has been placing international students into full-time roles, I'd still highly recommend WHU over Mannheim. 
I felt that way before choosing the program, and still do now. I also considered Mannheim.

[Edited by TonySnow on May 02, 2020]

<div>Hey Duncan,</div><div><br></div><div>Clarification on that - each course meets 3x for 8 hours each. 9am - 5pm.</div><div><br></div><div>I graduated from the MBA program at WHU.</div><div><br></div><div><br></div><div>Ibrahim,</div><div><br></div><div>Given that you don't speak fluent German, and considering how successful the WHU MBA program has been placing international students into full-time roles, I'd still highly recommend WHU over Mannheim.&nbsp;</div><div><br></div><div>I felt that way before choosing the program, and still do now. I also considered Mannheim.</div>
quote
Duncan

Tony: that is a hard timetable! A friend did the Manchester Global MBA which has blocks of 1.5 days of the last course and 1.5 days of the next one. That's better but still hard. 
Good side: it gives you time for networking :)

Tony: that is a hard timetable! A friend did the Manchester Global MBA which has blocks of 1.5 days of the last course and 1.5 days of the next one. That's better but still hard.&nbsp;<div><br></div><div>Good side: it gives you time for networking :)</div>
quote
Leandro

I already replied to your posts a few minutes ago, but it didn't seem to work. So, once again in a nutshell... 
As I can claim to know both institutions, I cannot share you viewpoints. WHU is a small private university, which is quite unusual in Germany. As a result, their students and alumni seem to be proud of their institution and have a high esprit de corps. But when it comes to hard facts, Mannheim scores higher in nearly all fields.
Rankings: Mannheim is among the top 10 in Europe and the number one in Germany in all international MBA rankings (The Economist, Forbes, Bloomberg, QS), except for the Financial Times. However, when you look at the hard facts like placement, value for money, or research quality, Mannheim even scores higher in this respect in the FT ranking. In national rankings, Mannheim is normally ranked number one, like in the Wirtschaftswoche a few days ago.
Placement: In past years, Mannheim had placement rates >90%. WHU's placement figures are by far lower (see FT ranking).
Value for money: Mannheim ranks higher than WHU in this category in the FT as well.
Post-MBA salary: I could only find the FT ranking and their placement reports as reliable indicators. According to these publications, both schools seem to be on the same level.
Alumni network: Mannheim  is part of a more than 100 year old public university. In addition to their MBA and EMBA network, they have by far more than 500 bachelor and master graduates per year. Mannheim graduates can be found in the boards of many large German companies.
Reputation: Because of its size and its tradition, Mannheim is perceived as the number one in the German speaking world. This is also proved by many rankings, e.g. the Wirtschaftswoche, which is based on a survey among German HR directors.
Location: This is a matter of taste, but I would prefer Mannheim in this respect as well, as it is located very closely to Frankfurt and Stuttgart and is part of a very strong economic region as well.
Faculty quality: Mannheim's faculty is the national number one in nearly all rankings. You normally do not find many WHU professors there.
Selectivity: As far as I can oversee it, Mannheim has a tough selection process, but this normally also leads to a better quality of the students.     

I already replied to your posts a few minutes ago, but it didn't seem to work. So, once again in a nutshell...&nbsp;<div><br></div><div>As I can claim to know both institutions, I cannot share you viewpoints. WHU is a small private university, which is quite unusual in Germany. As a result, their students and alumni seem to be proud of their institution and have a high esprit de corps. But when it comes to hard facts, Mannheim scores higher in nearly all fields.</div><div><br></div><div>Rankings: Mannheim is among the top 10 in Europe and the number one in Germany in all international MBA rankings (The Economist, Forbes, Bloomberg, QS), except for the Financial Times. However, when you look at the hard facts like placement, value for money, or research quality, Mannheim even scores higher in this respect in the FT ranking. In national rankings, Mannheim is normally ranked number one, like in the Wirtschaftswoche a few days ago.</div><div><br></div><div>Placement: In past years, Mannheim had placement rates &gt;90%. WHU's placement figures are by far lower (see FT ranking).</div><div><br></div><div>Value for money: Mannheim ranks higher than WHU in this category in the FT as well.</div><div><br></div><div>Post-MBA salary: I could only find the FT ranking and their placement reports as reliable indicators. According to these publications, both schools seem to be on the same level.</div><div><br></div><div>Alumni network: Mannheim&nbsp; is part of a more than 100 year old public university. In addition to their MBA and EMBA network, they have by far more than 500 bachelor and master graduates per year. Mannheim graduates can be found in the boards of many large German companies.</div><div><br></div><div>Reputation: Because of its size and its tradition, Mannheim is perceived as the number one in the German speaking world. This is also proved by many rankings, e.g. the Wirtschaftswoche, which is based on a survey among German HR directors.</div><div><br></div><div>Location: This is a matter of taste, but I would prefer Mannheim in this respect as well, as it is located very closely to Frankfurt and Stuttgart and is part of a very strong economic region as well.</div><div><br></div><div>Faculty quality: Mannheim's faculty is the national number one in nearly all rankings. You normally do not find many WHU professors there.</div><div><br></div><div>Selectivity: As far as I can oversee it, Mannheim has a tough selection process, but this normally also leads to a better quality of the students.&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;</div>
quote
Duncan

I am not sure whose viewpoint you think you are disagreeing with, Tony's or mine. I certainly agree with him: there's no best choice independent of whom the student is and what their goals are. Mannheim and WHU are well discussed on other threads.

I am not sure whose viewpoint you think you are disagreeing with, Tony's or mine. I certainly agree with him: there's no best choice independent of whom the student is and what their goals are. Mannheim and WHU are well discussed on other threads.
quote

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