Tag Archives: Mannheim

Why Mannheim?

30 Oct

A dream come true….Africa is called to Germany

Born on African soil with descendants originating from India, I grew up in South Africa, a diverse nation, rich with minerals and wildlife. In a country where we fought against apartheid, the system that restricted some of our educational opportunities, having the chance to study internationally, is luxury that every African wishes to have, yet for most unreachable.

Pursuing my MBA has always been in my heart. A burning desire for a skill set that would grow my leadership skills, sharpen my business acumen, strategically position me for an executive role one day, the opportunity to influence those around me and my hungry country.

Where would I find an MBA programme that could offer me this? A programme that is recognised, track record of excellence, course schedule in subjects that I am interested in such as International marketing, located in a healthy economy and has a sensitivity for social responsibility?

I had been working for Anglo American Platinum for the last 12 years in a mining environment as a Process Chemist and then later as a Market analyst. There was never enough time as my career progressed, my desire to do this MBA continued to grow. Having a science degree was not enough. What would give me the springboard to the next level?

Where could I find a one-year MBA that fulfilled all my wishes?

Being a passionate Rotarian, busy with social projects in my home country on a daily basis, how would I give this up whilst doing an MBA? I was searching for a school that would match my values.

Located in Germany, epitome of excellence, beholding the strongest economy in Europe, offering a one-year MBA programme, rated highly internationally, recognised for best practices in Finance, Economics and Marketing, strategically positioned with Germany’s top companies and finally the Social Sustainability project in the schedule. Mannheim Business School had answered my heart’s desire.

World class education is a luxury that most Africans can only dream of, far unreachable.

Today I find myself in the beautiful Castle, beholding the beauty of Mannheim Business School, and a proud participant of the Full-Time MBA programme. It’s a gift that every African princess can wish for.. studying in a Castle.

– Evelyn Archery –

Mannheim MBA Class of 2014


The beginning…

5 Nov

It’s all about you. I was a little nervous, yet excited, when I reached Mannheim in early September this year. After all, coming to Mannheim is one my most important decisions and of course a big investment.

It’s just been a little more than a month and there is so much to learn. I just need to keep my mind open. The knowledge simply flows in. I was talking to one of my classmates during kickoff week for about 20 minutes and I already learned a concept in Finance. That makes me wonder how much I will learn in an entire year.

The company presentations are great. I especially liked when a CFO of a company explained how his company survived a bankruptcy situation and what they learned from it. He was so confident that his company would never face that situation again. The post-MBA options that are offered by some companies are useful and many companies encourage us to take part in their competitive challenges. The industry experts explaining how they overcame the near crisis market situation was encouraging.

Weekends have never been so much fun. Every week someone organizes something. We already had a BBQ party, football matches and trips. Working in Multi-Competence Teams (MCT) and looking for information for our social project has been exciting, too.

Working in groups is essential here in Mannheim and helps us a lot to learn quickly, especially when working on real financial and marketing projects. I didn’t know that learning could be so easy.

Looking at Rhine River every morning from my window is so refreshing. Walking down the lane towards the Business School makes me feel good. People in the class are so helpful. We all have a different background, yet we have a common goal – to learn from each other. Some people in my class say “Sky is the limit”. It truly is.

And this is just the beginning ….

-Bikram Shrestha-
Mannheim MBA 2013

The Alumni homecoming weekend, windy Mannheim and other things

7 Dec

So, the weekend of 26th November was the weekend of the Alumni homecoming and was it grand!

Its just super-amazing to have a party in the castle; a hanker-back to the good ol’ times. As I walked up the steps of the grand castle to the ‘Knights Hall’, I felt rather grand and the welcoming sounds reminded me of a Christmas Market; only this one was in formals. Honestly, I barely made it beyond the initial entrance of the foyer, since all my friends from class were clustered right there! It was really great to hear about all that we had been up to, the vacation, the job-search, the job, the new city, etc. ; although  in today’s online world, most of us are regularly in touch but nothing can beat a hug and good ol’ face-to-face conversation now, can it? The evening was amazing; the champagne reception, the Welcome and Keynote speeches, the food, the music, the dancing, the people! Sigh! I really do wish I had had more time to talk with the alumni from other classes too, so here’s some lobbying for an Alumni weekend event 😀

Besides, for me, its also been a month of interviewing, attending career fairs, chasing those good leads and getting a clearer picture of the process of finding that dream job. Here’s looking forward to living the dream! Also, friends have been moving to new cities and countries; its all kinda bitter-sweet, coz  although they are happy celebrations, they are also farewells and I am not the best when it comes to dealing with this. So yea, like a friend from class says, ‘I won’t say goodbye, just see you later!’.

Its also been amazing to meet several of the students from the Class of 2012; they are well-settled by now am sure, what with Term1 almost ending! Amazing how time flies; just feels like yesterday that our Term1 was ending!  In other news, Mannheim has been ridiculously foggy/ windy/ rainy for a large portion of November and the same continues into December. Usually, I can see the Rhine flowing lazily most days and it does have an amazing effect in both good times and not-so-good times. The fog, however throws this blanket of mystery over everything and it makes me want to go by the river and get spooked. Now today its ridiculously windy and rainy and the wind is howling away like no one’s business! Last year, this time, it was already snowing and everything was sooo pretty. So here’s sending the weather-Gods a quick prayer to send the sun and/or snow and soon!

Till later,


2 days to February!

30 Jan

It’s been one of the busiest months ever. We have now completed 3 subjects of Term2- Strategic Management, Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility and The Fundamentals of Information Systems. We also had our social event for the month- ‘ A Taste of the MBA’- an International Food Festival where we sampled Asian, European, American and South American delicacies.

Tomorrow, we begin with the last core-subject for this term ‘Organizational Behavior and Change Management’. After which, the elective subjects will begin. I have chosen ‘Negotiation’, ‘Consumer Behavior’ and ‘Supply Chain and Operations’ as my electives since they would complement my experience in Retail and my interest in all things consumer/ people. European Business Law and Company Valuation were the other choices along with Innovation, which I really, really wanted to take. Perhaps I could  take it up at a later ‘Open-session’.

Term2 is a lot more challenging in several ways; for one, every course lasts for just a week, which makes it imperative to come prepared to class. Then there is group-work, which needs to be analyzed, worked upon and submitted within less than 2 days, and yes, it usually is graded. To top it, German classes need a lot more attention since the Christmas break seems to have made my German rather rusty. By the end of the week, I am exhausted but in a good way, especially since the weekend is exclusively free; well, almost.

This term is also great to meet several exchange students from our partner schools;  Warwick, EADA and Queen’s among other schools. What is particularly interesting this term is how differently my brain seems wired. The subjects in Term1 were rather hard-skill subjects and focused on the basics of Financial Accounting, Marketing, Corporate Finance, etc. This term is a lot more application-oriented, in that, the subjects until now are those with which I relate to a lot more directly, since I can now recall several moments in my career so far, when these lectures would have helped me approach matters differently. The Ethics and CSR class, in particular was one that left quite an impression; long after it got over. One of the oft-discussed matters in-class was the ‘Global Financial Crisis’ and it is rather shocking how the world let it happen. ‘Think it through’ and ‘Always think about the consequences of your actions’ were the 2 key messages that we took away.

And now, I really should get back to reading the material for class tomorrow. I hope to update the blog more often too.

Have a great start into the week!