(FPJ's My Space column gives a platform to Indian and international students abroad to relay their experience which can be helpful for many other students wishing to study overseas. Stay tuned for more!)
Originally, from an Engineering background with a bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering, I wanted to pursue my career in the automotive industry. This led to my move to Germany for a master’s in Automotive Engineering.
I also had the opportunity to work as a Project Manager at TECOSIM GmbH in Germany, which helped me consult different automotive customers for engineering and R&D projects. Eventually, I also completed my MBA at Mannheim Business School, before joining as a management consultant at EY-Parthenon, advising various clients on complex business problems and the equity industry.
The journey from an Engineer to a Management Consultant was exciting. My project manager role limited my ability to engage in business-related topics, as I am keen to combine technical skills with the know-how of business. It led to my decision to pursue an MBA. My positive experience of working and living in Germany convinced me to continue living in the country following my MBA and further develop my professional career.
My research, coupled with interactions with current students and alumni, who did a similar transition through MBA, convinced me that Mannheim Business School would be a perfect fit for me to achieve my goals. Additionally, the Mannheim MBA offers an interactive study environment with a small and diverse cohort of future business leaders in the classroom, providing an opportunity to learn from experienced classmates while at the same time building lifelong professional and personal friendships and a valuable alumni network.
The German Experience
Having spent almost seven years as a student and a professional in Germany, I am fascinated by German society and its work culture. I am trying to integrate myself by learning the German language, making new friends, and travelling across Europe. In the last few years, Germany has attracted many international people, and big cities, such as Munich, Berlin, Frankfurt, etc., are becoming popular with more and more internationals over time.
Key points about studying in Germany
Do your research and be clear about what you want to achieve with an MBA. It's okay if you don't have a specific industry or function, but at least make a list of your favourites.
Plan to talk to alumni who have taken a similar path through your desired school. Alumni may have a busy schedule, so be specific with your questions. Ask only those questions for which there is no information on the school's website. This will help you decide on your target school.
Plan early as much as you can. That could allow you access to an early bird discount and additional scholarships.
Prioritise student housing offered by a school, if available. Student housing is cheaper than private housing, and it's fun to live in the same building as your fellow students.
How to find a job in Germany
If about halfway through (5-6 months for a one-year MBA) your MBA your goals are clear, that is the time to apply for jobs. The application process (from application to offer letter) can take 3 to 12 weeks, depending on the firm.
Case study interviews are becoming an integral part of the interview process at many companies. Start preparing case studies and keep practising until you get an interview.
Learning German will give you more job options, especially in management consulting, but there are many English-speaking jobs in the market. 90% of my cohort was English-speaking, and they are employed with renowned firms.
Use the alumni network as much as you can. Try to find an alumnus who is currently working at your target firm. A good connection may lead to an interview or reference.
Many firms (most consulting ones) organise different student workshops. It is a great way for them to get to know interested candidates and for you to know about projects and culture. Check the company’s website regularly and apply if you are interested.
The author is an MBA graduate from Mannheim Business School.
(The Free Press Journal publishes articles by study abroad consultants, Consulates, foreign universities, international students, and much more every Saturday to give its readers a glimpse of the world of overseas education.)