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After 5 Years At KPMG, Here’s How An MBA Enhanced My Career

Johannes Frank entered Copenhagen Business School after strategy consulting experience with KPMG. But what can a consultant learn from studying an MBA?


Fri Nov 22 2019

Johannes Frank spent five years at KPMG before taking a year out to study an MBA at Copenhagen Business School. Now settled in the Danish capital—working in strategy and corporate development with software firm SimCorp—he’s seeing how an MBA can enhance your career in consulting. 

Entering the business world wasn’t always on the cards for Johannes. After finishing high school in Germany, he attended a full-day workshop designed to point his career in the right direction.

He was told he was clearly leaning towards law or business administration. Luckily, he opted for the latter, and hasn’t looked back since.

An undergraduate degree in business administration was followed by a consulting internship with KPMG Germany. Johannes’ plan was to follow this with a corporate internship, and then pursue a masters before working full-time.

Five years later—three spent in strategy consulting and two as an executive assistant to the CEO—he finally returned to school.

What an MBA can teach a consultant

Johannes picked Copenhagen because of the sustainability focused curriculum—many Copenhagen MBAs start careers in sustainability after graduating—and the entrepreneurial, innovative vibe he got from the school.

He also went on exchange to Oslo, Norway, during his undergraduate degree, and was attracted to the Scandinavian way of life, the economy, and the idea of working for a flat organization.

After a consulting career, he says one of the biggest values of an MBA is the leadership development aspect of the program.

“We learned about leadership as a function through many different eyes,” he says. “What it means to be a good leader, and what it means to be someone who is also good to lead.”

The Leadership Discovery Process (LDP) on the Copenhagen MBA runs throughout the course, developing students both personally and professionally through action-based learning, mentorship, and self-awareness and empathy training.

Johannes says that in his role with SimCorp he is using the principles he learned on a daily basis.

His role involves reaching out to lots of different stakeholders across the company, and he explains that the MBA taught him to engage in conversation with people from a plethora of business units.

“It helped me to work with different types of people in an industry that was new to me. I’m able to understand people better, adapt myself and the way I work to their needs and their way of working.”

The value of diversity on an MBA

How much do you learn from your peers on the MBA?

“A lot, really a lot,” Johannes says. 

What he always tells his friends when they talk about it is that when he was working for KPMG, he was there for five years, and after a while the way he and his colleagues looked at problems was the same. 

They were all consultants, all KPMG, majority German, and mostly had the same way of looking at things. When he then arrived on the MBA, Johannes explains that he was in a classroom with people from a whole array of countries and industries. 

“Discussing problems with these types of people has really opened my eyes in a way that I didn’t think was possible,” he says. 

“It’s eye opening to see how much these discussions and daily contact with people from different backgrounds really changed the way I looked at things.” 

Johannes credits this with his ability to now take a 360 degree look at leadership—being both a strong leader and a good person to lead. 

He also says the diverse environment in the MBA classroom improves your ability to better understand and connect to people. 

How the MBA enhanced my career

After graduating, Johannes landed a role with SimCorp, a company that provides investment management solutions for the world’s leading investment firms. He’s the company’s business analyst for group strategy and corporate development.

His role encompasses running strategic development and deployment. More or less all projects, he says, are cross functional and touch on more than just a few business areas.

He says that one of the great things about the MBA is that it doesn’t just prepare you to be a good manager, or a good leader within one specific business area. It provides you with the necessary tools to help you navigate an entire business.

“For me, the MBA was a good opportunity to get out of the corporate hamster wheel and get a different perspective on things.

“I’ve learned to be more open to other people’s perspectives and viewpoints, to moderate discussions in a better way, and to take more out of discussions with people who have different views to my own.” 

Student Reviews

Copenhagen Business School (CBS)




CBS: efficient international network

CBS has always been ranked among the best universities in Europe and this means that it has become a sign of professionalism and success. The academic level is great thanks to the good teachers and the atmosphere is proactive and challenging. Lots of events are planned every week and this helps you to find your own way. CBS is not only a business school, it is a great and efficient international network.




Good academic career

I did my Bachelors at CBS and their academic excellence and career opportunities led me to pursue my Masters in Accounting, Strategy and Control. I was very lucky to go on an exchange in Singapore for one semester it boosted me to get a career in a global firm. I like that it is super modern and has all the facilities for the business student in 2019. Especially, I liked the library and Bitlab where I spent most of my time studying. However, note that it is very demanding and studying here is no joke. Everything is very competitive and you are among the most excellent business students in the country. The interaction with international students helped me to see different perspectives in business and culturally and I was lucky to make friends from any part of the world. CBS is like a brand in Denmark. Every serious business company prioritizes us over any other Danish university and also it is free for European citizens. Overall, I have a very satisfying experience at CBS and I'm looking to continue my academical career even further.




CBS is one of the best!

All I have to say regarding my experience at CBS is that it is AMAZING. Having been tutored by world-class academic staff, I can definitely support that I am receiving the best of quality regarding my studies in Digital Marketing. Staff is very friendly and easy to approach. In addition, the facilities we enjoy are top class and meet any demands. Keep in mind that, EU citizens do not pay any fees. Student life might be non-existent here, but the location of the University in The very center of Copenhagen has a huge variety of choices to offer to students regarding their entertainment. Accommodation might be a problem, but early research of the market can be very useful. In addition, the University promotes diversity. In CBS University you can meet people from the whole world which is quite interesting. I definitely suggest CBS for any student who he's interested in pursuing a career in marketing or business.




The ideal business school

I have been enrolled in this university for 2 semesters. What I took from this experience is that there is nothing better out there for those looking for professional growth while being guided by some of the top-notch professors in Scandinavia. They have a really strong focus in technology and digital transformation and they are up to date to guarantee you land a job in the modern fast-evolving world. They also embrace diversity which means many students come from any part of the world and it takes the entire learning experience to another level. You simply learn from every other student cause everyone has different experiences and background which makes you open your mind and see the world from a different angle. In Denmark, even businesses prioritize people who graduate from CBS as it's commonly perceived as the most prestigious university for business graduates.

José Pedro



A Place of Personal Growth

In CBS you can expect an environment of proactive thinking and growth. The university staff is always open to help and to debate. The teaching methods balance theoretical knowledge and practical skills enabling the student with capacity and confidence to enter the job market successfully. The existence of students from all over the world stimulates discussion and promotion of different cultures, ideas and perspectives. I highly recommend this university for students in business-related areas.





The environment here is really great. Despite the well organized buildings and libraries, there are also places for students to just stay and relax also even study in the corners of each campus. The professors are mostly really nice and try to interact with students a lot. So, to sum up, the environment is really nice for studying here.




Quality education

Quality education where it emphazises the importance of academic. No finger to put on this aspect of the school. However, sometimes the administration and IT can be lacking a bit, but in general a really good choice for education!




Best Time!

Classes are challenging and conducted in a professional manner. CBS offers a wide range of possibilities to develop outside of the classes! Libraries and other facilities on the campus are very well adjusted to the student needs.




A heavily theory-based curriculum combined with an ever-stimulating environment

I am currently a Master student at CBS, but I have also completed a Bachelor's Degree in this university. I am quite satisfied with my studies and the teaching level. However, when compared to other business schools, it becomes apparent that most courses at CBS strive to find a good balance between theoretical insight and real-life examples. Compared to my exchange university, the projects that I have found myself writing at CBS have a far less practical application and also leave little room for creativity. If the teaching is heavily theoretical, on the bright side, the university arranges a number of events throughout the year to encourage students to apply their knowledge, in the form of career fairs, case competitions, and other events organized by student associations. In my experience, teachers are very easily approachable and happy to answer your questions. A foreign student like me will find a more international environment at Master level, since the number of international (or at least non-Scandinavian) students enrolled in the Bachelor programs is quite low. However, all communication (both oral and written) from teachers and the university offices is always in English. Administrative offices, student guidance services, the career center, and the international office are definitely worth a mention. All of the requests that I have had throughout the years have always been met with kindness, promptness and efficiency.

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