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Conversations with Head Honchos for MBAs at ESMT

MBA students gain candid leadership insights and even a job offer at ESMT’s Masterclasses

ESMT has been inviting top figures from all areas of business for talks with their MBA students.

Past speakers at the ‘Masterclasses’ have included, Vattenfall Europe CEO Tuomo Hatakka, Pfizer Germany Head and Oncology

Europe President Dr Andreas Penk and Mckinsey & Co. Managing Partner Frank Mattern. You can find the full list of past speakers here.

Every few weeks a speaker is invited to ESMT for a 90-minute session with the current MBA class.

"The format is special because it's specifically not a lecture,” says Becky Gilbert, Head of Development at ESMT. “It's about holding a conversation about leadership with top-level corporate figures, particularly on the sorts of professional topics you can't speak about in the classroom."

"It isn't scripted and we ask speakers to come without presentations. We just want a 90-minute interactive conversation.

"There are no credits from this course - we want students to relax and ask questions out of interest.

"And anyway it's not merely a learning experience for them, as there are obvious networking opportunities."

Last year Malaysian MBA student Jimmy Low was chosen to help moderate a sessionwith Deutsche Bahn CEO Rüdiger Grube. During the discussion, Dr Grube took note of Jimmy's background in telecoms and enthusiasm for the rail industry.
"I always liked trains as a small boy, so when I found out that Deutsche Bahn had a telecoms unit I did some research and had questions ready for Dr Grube. He eventually asked 'Why don't you come and give us a try?'"

Now Jimmy is due to start work for Deutsche Bahn, supporting telecoms in their UK operations.

The last speaker was Deutsche Post CEO Dr Frank Appel, who spoke on corporate social responsibility and what the private sector could learn from NGOs.

An example he gave was his own company's partnership with Teach First Deutschland. Dr Appel has sent board members out to teach in schools to raise their consciousness of social issues.

The next speaker will be Kai Diekmann, Editor in Chief of Bild, Germany's most-read tabloid.

"I'm expecting students to be very curious about this," say Becky. “Alongside all the big questions surrounding the future of print and online media, you can imagine the sorts of ethical questions the students will ask to Kai Diekmann himself about decision-making in the media industry.”

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