Don't Be Blinded Just
by a Big Name
An interview with Michael Tolksdorf
Vice President, Berlin School of Economics
About Berlin School of Economics
Established in 1971 as the successor to “Wirtschaftsakademie Berlin”.“University of Applied Sciences”. Introduction of MBA education in 1992. Expansion to three part time and two full time MBA programs.
Presently there is an enrolment of 3.200 students, 63 full time professors and 150 part time staff.
Could you tell us more about your MBA programs?
The Berlin School of Economics offers five MBA-degree courses which award the internationally recognised degree of “Master of Business Administration” (MBA).
We have been offering MBA programmes since 1992, the MBA General Management and the MBA European Management. Therefore we are one of the first universities in Germany to offer MBA courses in co-operation with two British Universities. Due to the very positive response to these pilot programmes we have increased the number and variety of courses continually since then.
The MBA European-Asian Programme, which is solely conducted in English, has existed since 1998. This programme allows students to benefit from our strong links to Chinese schools as well as to German businesses and
other organisations in China. Another General-Management-Programme, the part-time MBA Small and Medium Enterprises benefits from the FHW's close ties to medium-sized businesses. The MBA Health Care Management first started in October 2001. The key aspect of this programme is the practically orientated training of management skills for leading management or advisory positions in public health institutions.
These MBA-Programmes provide graduates with the necessary expertise to assume management tasks in globally organised or small- and medium-sized enterprises. This includes a broad understanding of management tasks with an emphasis on the ability to solve management problems in executive positions.
What are the benefits of a partnership with South Bank University?
To have the best of two worlds: Through a successful co-operation with the South Bank University in London it is possible to study at both business schools. If the student has obtained the same number of credits from each participating institution the internationally recognised degree “MBA” will be awarded by both universities as a “joint degree”.
How is the European MBA structured?
The courses run as day-full-time day-courses with a duration of 14 months or as part-time courses over two years. We admit a maximum of 25 students to each programme. Regular attendance is required to ensure that students enrich the courses with their own input. Programmes start in October of each year.
The courses are delivered through a programme of seminars. Case studies, business games, group work and presentations ensure a practical orientation whilst enhancing the management skills of the students. By learning and working in a cross-cultural student and lecturer body students will acquire or increase intercultural communication skills.
The first part of the course focusses on main business functions and disciplines, the second part enhances the students¦ understanding of the international strategy and environment. Apart from economic basics, communication and creativity skills are also conveyed to students as leadership qualities are not only based on theoretical knowledge and professional competence but also on inner values, commitment and mental strength.
Additionally, the utilisation of the knowledge students have gained about methods and management skills helps them to strengthen their capability t o react in decisive situations and implement the decisions made.
What kind of people are drawn to your MBA?
FHW MBA students are on average 30 years old when they enter the programme. Full-time students tend to be younger and have less work experience than the part-time cohort. The full-time programmes have a higher proportion of international students (40%). There is an increasing number of non-economic degree holders entering the MBA programmes.
Do you have any advice for students looking to get an MBA?
Be interested and be curious! Try to keep your data on your professional experiences accurately. Don't be blinded by the “big names” of business schools but look carefully to the true values of the school which you want to choose!
About Michael Tolksdorf
Michael Tolksdorf is Vice President of Berlin School of Economics. Prof. Tolksdorf has graduated from London School of Economics and Princeton University. He holds PhD from Freie Universitaet Berlin. Michael is also Professor at Berlin School of Economics. He is teaching “business environment” courses in the MBA programes.