Innovation and Sustainability with Unique Talent
An Interview with Andra Chircu, an ESMT European School of Management and Technology Graduate
Andra studied in the Full-time MBA at ESMT European School of Management and Technology, Berlin. She holds a Bachelor in Mathematics from Jacobs University Bremen and completed student internships and assistantships in Germany. Between her Bachelor’s and MBA, she returned to her native country Romania to work as a statistician. After graduating from ESMT, Andra joined E.ON In-house Consulting as a Project Consultant in Essen.
Why did you decide to pursue an MBA?
First of all, I wanted to change my career path. I wanted to move into a more strategic business and make a shift from a rather academic and research-oriented background. Second, I wanted to develop specific skills and knowledge. I wanted to acquire the leadership competencies and soft skills necessary to thrive in the business world but also to develop a solid business knowledge foundation.
What were the most important aspects you considered when choosing an MBA course?
There were four. First of all, location – I wanted an opportunity to live in a fantastic city like Berlin. Secondly, I wanted an international, intercultural environment: ESMT has a small class size with students from all over the world. The international density is high. Thirdly, I wanted job prospects post-MBA. I found that at ESMT through their excellent corporate network (founded by 25 companies). Finally, I wanted a supportive staff and community feeling. I discovered while applying to different MBA schools that ESMT gave good support and guidance throughout the programme.
What was the most difficult part in getting the MBA?
The work is intense. The whole curriculum is condensed into one year. The final months, during the consulting project and master thesis was intense due to the balancing of job applications in that period.
What was your goal and how will the MBA help you achieve it?
My goal was to start off a career in business (long-term focus on general management, but also looking to find an area of specialisation). The MBA has enabled me to achieve that, since it gave me a general overview of business areas. Furthermore, with the use of the corporate network and the consulting project, I was able to obtain a position in consulting. This is an ideal setting for me because I have the opportunity to explore various functions and roles. This has also given me top management and seniority exposure to get fantastic job opportunities.
What was your most valuable experience during the programme?
Every experience at ESMT was different and valuable in its way. One great experience was the international field seminar to California, USA, where we visited the innovation hub in Silicon Valley. Other great experiences were negotiation simulations or business simulation
contests and other team challenges. These were very exciting as they provided a great opportunity to experiment but also a lot of fun. Moreover, it was great to do that in an environment with people from very diverse backgrounds and unique talents.
How would you describe the learning environment at ESMT Business School?
The faculty is very supportive and the main driver for the good learning environment is the extremely high quality of teaching that ESMT provided. The School also has a cooperative feeling – a lot of the assignments needed to be solved in groups, thus leading to many group discussions. This was beneficial because of the chance to learn from people and with people from different backgrounds. Finally, I was able to learn from smart individuals from different backgrounds, experiences and cultures. There is a constant learning from peers and promotion of team dynamics, management and leadership in a diverse, high-performing team.