AluMBS – Alumni Success Stories

The graduates of Munich Business School take on very different career paths: they contribute their knowledge to international corporations, start their own businesses, take over the family company, or work in specialized, medium-sized companies.

What exactly does Keller Sports do?

Our e-commerce platform kellersports.com specializes in tennis and running, distributing more than 100,000 brand-name items in four languages all across Europe. Consulting services for the web activities of international sports brands are another area of business we have grown into.

How did end up in this sector?

Even as a young boy, I really liked sports and I always enjoyed earning a little extra cash. I first advised customers in a sports store and then in a high-quality boutique. When I was 15, I started stringing tennis rackets for others. My brother Jakob had the same interests, so we started managing our small stringing service together. As customers of tennis suppliers we realized in 2005 that the sports sector was not really taking advantage of the potential of e-commerce. We then took our first small steps with a simple online shop – first on the side during our studies and then full-time. In line with our family name (Keller = basement), everything really did start in our basement until the single room became too small for the goods, and the daily load of packages did not fit into our car any longer.

What did you do today?

Meetings with some employees, then a talk with our online marketing director on the further planning for our latest country Spain, then lunch break with a Currywurst (curried sausage), then a strategic phone call with Nike on TV advertising, two job interviews in our office and a few emails in between.

Do you enjoy your job?

I love my job! What I enjoy the most is realizing myself and my ideas as an entrepreneur. I‘m incredibly lucky to have been able to do this for more than six years together with my brother. We complement each other perfectly. Although we often criticize each other, in the end we always find a common basis for our decisions.

What is your greatest challenge?

Being an entrepreneur means pure adrenaline. In a positive sense, like when your first TV spot is on or you have your first €1 million turnover, but also in a negative sense, like when you have to go from one bank to the next in the beginning and make bold and financially risky decisions every day.

In what way are you benefitting from what you learned at MBS?

From the above-average practical relevance of most lectures and the international orientation of MBS, which in my view is an essential foundation for every career today (be it as an entrepreneur or an employee). In our company, more than half of the employees are not German native speakers, so almost all meetings are held in English.

In your opinion, what is the best feature of studying at MBS?

Apart from the aspects I have mentioned, I think that the integrated semester abroad at great partner universities in cool cities is a real advantage.

3 things that come to mind when you think of MBS?

Many great fellow-students, really busy exam phases and a fantastic semester abroad in Italy at Bocconi.

What was the transition from studying to working like?

It was very liberating, because finally I did not only have time to work for and on Keller Sports in the evenings, but 24 hours a day.

Who do you think would be suitable for a job in your sector?

We combine both the sports and the e-commerce sectors. Both are very innovative and international, but also dynamic and therefore demanding. Everyone who feels motivated by these characteristics should take a closer look. If you’d like, also at Keller Sports!

Do you have tips for applying for a job after studying?

If you really want a job, get that across in a friendly but assertive way. And really try to find out what you want to do every day for at least 8 hours. This is the only way of achieving great things and making yourself and others happy.

Looking back, what advice can you give to students?

Gain as much practical experience as you can while studying – and learn languages.

“In Every Larger City, there Should Be a Bierothek”

How MBS Alumnus Christian Klemenz Became Germany’s First “Beerpreneur”

In the course of his Bachelor studies at Munich Business School (MBS), Christian Klemenz discovered within himself a strong entrepreneurial spirit. The passion for beer is anyway an inborn character trait of Christian, who was born in Upper Franconia: The region has the world’s greatest density of breweries.

“So why not connect both elements?” Christian asked himself. With his proprietary, export-focused beer brand, an ever growing network of beer shops and the vision of enhancing awareness and appreciation for the product beer, Christian emerged as Germany’s first “Beerpreneur” within a few years. And as if that were not enough, Christian has been passing on his knowledge as a business founder and entrepreneur to other MBS students as well as supporting young startups with help and advice. But let’s start at the very beginning...

When Christian started his Bachelor International Business studies at MBS in 2006, he did not have any clear vision of his career yet. “But during my studies, it turned out very quickly that the mindset of entrepreneurship and business founding fascinated me; this also applies to and includes all the processes that come along with setting up a business: innovation, business plans, raising capital, things like that,“ recalls Christian the beginning of his academic career. “Later during my studies, I did an internship at Holtzbrinck Ventures, a large venture capitalist. At this point at the latest, my passion for the adventure of founding a business had awakened.“

From then on, things got really busy: Christian founded MBS Innovate (presently: MBS Entrepreneurship Society), a student association for prospective business founders. As a next step, working together with the MBS university management, he launched the Munich Venture Summit, the biggest startup congress in Munich. By now, the event has taken place six times – and ever since was enthusiastically perceived by the Munich startup scene with renowned guest speakers such as, for example, Oliver Samwer or Anil Gupta.

From Theory to Practice

After obtaining his Bachelor degree and doing an internship in the U.S. (in Silicon Valley, where else?), while preparing for his Master’s degree, the bright idea came to Christian: “In 2010, I spent a semester abroad in India. It struck me that the national market there did not offer one single dominating export beer. That was how the idea of an export-oriented beer brand ‘made in Germany’ emerged, and St. ERHARD was born,“ reports Christian about his company’s beginnings. It did not even take one year before the first Kellerbier bottles left for India from the filling lines in Hallerndorf, a small town near Bamberg/Franconia.

Five Years of St. ERHARD

But back to the present: Just recently, Christian celebrated the five-year anniversary of his beer brand. With an output of approximately 1,000 hectoliters per year, St. ERHARD today is one of the biggest craft beer producers in Germany: “By now, we are exporting our beer to 12 countries on four continents. In addition to our first export market in India, St. ERHARD is now also available in New Zealand, Japan, Hong Kong and Mexico, amongst others,“ says the “Beerpreneur”, as Christian calls himself.

“We Aim to Dominate the Beer Specialty Business“

Christian’s second business, too, has been blessed with ongoing growth – and is of course also connected to beer: In 2014, the congenial Upper Franconian opened his first Bierothek (Beerotheque) store – a vinotheque for the beer drinker, a “boutique for special beers”.

There, beer lovers not only find Christian’s own brand, but also a huge assortment of beers from countries all over the world, altogether more than 300 types. The Beerpreneur also sells these external brands internationally, exactly like the St. ERHARD beers, and the Bierothek serves as a sales platform.

In addition to an online shop, there are already six Bierothek stores within the region of Franconia (Bamberg, Erlangen, Nuremberg, Fürth), and also in Frankfurt and in Erfurt, with a staff of altogether 30 people. “The Bierothek is more than a store for beer specialties. We want to be the first address for everything that is connected to beer. We offer beer consultation, and we offer beer and brewing workshops,” Christian explains the concept of his bricks and mortar business. “It is our goal to enhance the prestige and the image of beer.”

Today, Christian and his Bierothek stores already lead the market of German beer specialty shops. And he wants to take this successful concept even further: “Presently, we are planning four more Bierothek stores. In addition, we have a few franchise inquiries, also from abroad,” explains Christian his future plans. His ambitious goal: “We want to become the No. 1 in the beer specialty business. One day, there should be a Bierothek in every larger city!”

Return to the Alma Mater

Until just a few years ago, Christian was himself an inquisitive and ambitious young student with the keen intention of starting his own business. In the meantime, he is passing on his impressive knowledge to the next generation: Christian holds lectures on starting a business at trade fairs and various universities. At his own alma mater, MBS, he works as a lecturer in the MBA programs, focusing on “Management in Emerging Markets – India”.

“A university such as Munich Business School offers the perfect framework for becoming a business founder. The professional advice of my professors and the networks from the time I studied were the basis for my first own enterprise,” is Christian’s advice to prospective business founders. “For me, it was the right decision to start my own business while still being a student.”

In addition, Christian supports ambitious business founders with his investment company, Brand Passion Ventures, which he founded in 2013: “My passion not only belongs to Franconian beer, but also to entrepreneurship and start-ups.” This is how it’s meant to be for Germany’s first and only Beerpreneur.

What does your company, yavalu, actually do?

With yavalu we give private investors a new access point to the topics of financing and investment. It is an online platform enabling every person to manage his or her financial investments independently and time efficiently. There is no comparable service in Germany.

What does your „normal“ work day look like?

Very varied, exciting and always with new challenges. We want to improve our  product every day. So we analyze our customer feedback and improve or adapt our services accordingly. One example: Many of our customers wanted to use our services for small saving amounts. This was a clear signal for us and so we worked hard over the last weeks to make this possible.

Do you like your job?

You bet I do! Now I can finally implement the things that have been annoying me about the finance industry for years, and offer a fair and transparent solution to investors.

How did you end up in this area?

During my studies and in the years thereafter I was working for a large Swiss bank and after that for a private bank in Munich. In my opinion, the market for innovative online financial services is dramatically undersupplied. In contrast, the business of investment consultants and asset management is booming, but those guys mostly deliver poor results and earn way too much. Therefore, a new concept like yavalu was long overdue. With yavalu we will outsmart the industry and finally offer a fair financial investment solution to all investors.

How do you benefit today from your studies at MBS?

Most of all by the yavalu team because I met most of them at MBS: Adi Hadzimuratovic, Michael Wieser and Martina Lutz.

What sums up studying at MBS?

The people: students, professors, the MBS team. Also the opportunity to look at different topics from multiple angles and perspectives.

3 things that come to mind when you hear the word MBS?

Exam preparations (!), the graduation gala and, of course, MBS Invest. This student group has been a part of my life even after I left MBS and I still follow its development with great interest.

How did you experience the transition from student to employee?

It was pretty much a gradual transition since I worked quite a lot during the final period of my studies already. Therefore, getting used to “regular working hours” wasn’t much of a change.

To whom would you recommend a job in your industry?

To anyone who is committed and motivated and wants to play a role in changing the financial industry.

Any tips for job applicants?

Do something you are interested in, something you feel like doing. The rest usually falls into place.

What advice can you give MBS students for their time at university?

Enoy it! It isn’t for nothing that people say studying is the best time of your life.

Were you a good student?

I think I was (laughs).

Maultaschen to go – a Crazy Idea in the Fast Lane

It all started with a classic crazy idea on a trip around Canada after doing alternative civilian  service. After a three-week diet of fast food and what felt like 3,000 hotdogs, they were longing for their local Swabian cuisine and thought to themselves: “A Maultasche to go would be nice now.” The Swabian speciality is a pasta square filled with meat or spinach, and the idea remained in the heads of Frédéric Bierbrauer and Florian Romer, founders of Erna & Co., throughout their subsequent studies in business administration. Upon graduating with their degrees many a practical and theoretical experience richer, they set about working on a business plan. The outcome was the successful concept of Erna & Co.: Home-made Swabian specialities fast, tasty and to go. The general idea behind it: “Why can’t you also get Swabian cuisine in convenient, fresh packaging, without having to go to the butcher’s shop or a restaurant with high service overheads?” After many months of work, the idea became reality. In 2011, the company started delivering freshly prepared, ready-to-eat Maultaschen, lentils and other regional specialities from a truck along the lines of the American food truck model.  

The location of the truck is updated daily on the website of their mobile “fast food” stand: “Erna & Co. is today at …” A vital piece of information considering the high level of popularity enjoyed by the regional specialities in the greater Stuttgart region. It is particularly the local character and association with home-made cuisine that make the products popular among customers – as well as of course the very good quality of the food and possibility to buy and consume the specialities on the go.

Shaped by the Family History

The plan to go into business for himself right after his studies was no coincidence in the case of Frédéric Bierbrauer. He comes from a typical family of entrepreneurs and therefore had it “in his genes”; after all, both of his grandfathers also had their own businesses. According to Bierbrauer, the career that one ultimately chooses depends on the actual person and has less to do with the education itself. “However, the choice of university does influence your later life. It can set you on the right track, for example, through contacts to the start-up scene, and ultimately guide your later career in a certain direction.” Bierbrauer himself has so far been unable to imagine joining a company and only rarely ever envies other MBS alumni for their regular 9 to 5 jobs, for example, when his customers again all decide to come at the same time and he and his partner are left to bear all the responsibility alone. However, he is an entrepreneur by conviction and ready to do whatever it takes to develop the Erna & Co. brand. 

Enabled by the Munich Business School

A university degree alone does not suffice to successfully launch something like Erna & Co. “It takes a lot more than one semester to be a successful entrepreneur, there are many things that you only learn by actually doing them,” reveals Bierbrauer. “That was why I considered it extremely important to enrol in a very practice-oriented course of study like the one at the Munich Business School (MBS). I opted for the Bachelor of International Business programme and feel today that I got a lot out of it. One thing that helped me, for example, was the development of a business plan that we had to do during two semesters and then present at MBS. It taught me a lot about how such a plan should be structured and what it should contain.” In addition, he was also helped a lot by the regular presentations that he had to submit during the seminars and after his internships. The actual content was almost secondary. The focus was far more on “being able to present yourself and learning to sell yourself and your product.” The many integrated internships that have to be completed by the students within the framework of an international degree programme were also very helpful. Bierbrauer completed three: He worked in Stuttgart for three months, Bangkok for four months and Friedrichshafen for a year – all the time gathering experience and insights to fields like management consulting, marketing support and distribution at renowned companies such as Mercedes and fish & more. “Looking back, I think it was a major advantage that the internships were a mandatory component of the course.”

The Ideal Start to Working Life with Discipline and Endurance

It was however not only the strong practical orientation of the programme at the Munich Business School that helped Frédéric Bierbrauer when it came to founding Erna & Co., but above all the rigid structure of the Bachelor of International Business programme that prepared him perfectly for his later working life. “It taught me what it meant to get things done and abide by deadlines. I never even had the chance to slack off on any of my courses or postpone exams. You really had to do something from beginning to end and that still helps me to get things done today.” What may not have seemed like it at the time turned out to be a true blessing, because a start-up that is founded on discipline has a much better chance of success. The fruits of this learning process are more than respectable. Erna & Co. has not only recorded double to triple digit annual growth since its founding, but has also been constantly expanding in terms of personnel so that the founders Bierbrauer and Romer now only spend one day a week in the truck themselves. Bierbrauer also has a clear vision when it comes to the future: “Our medium to long-term goal is to transfer our concept to fixed outlets and establish Swabian cuisine as a high quality, fast food.”

In the case of Bierbrauer, the Business Administration programme at the Munich Business School was definitely the right choice: “The relatively small size of the university, personal contact with the professors and lecturers, and the feeling of being more than just another number, but rather a real part of it all,” meant that he always felt comfortable at his university and he has a lot to show for it with the success story of Erna & Co.

Constant development is one of the most important principles of Niklas Goetzen, founder of the niche specialist portal Aumedo. Prior to embarking on his studies, the young entrepreneur was already involved at his father’s ophthalmologist’s practice in the development, and later marketing, of the regional practice and doctors‘ network in Düsseldorf. Soon, he became more involved in the company; however, the studies at Munich Business School (MBS) inspired his entrepreneurial side and so it became clear to Goetzen that the further development of such a network was the only way forward – new markets and target groups had to be developed. He founded the online platform Aumedo, which today is the largest online portal for customers and patients for all things concerning optics and ophthalmology. “Aumedo was the obvious next step because it offered a superior platform, intended for Germany, Austria and Switzerland, where every patient can find an ophthalmologist as well as any information required,” explains Goetzen. Equipped with his Bachelor in International Business from MBS and his experience with the regional portal, the young entrepreneur set about developing the optics and ophthalmology portal Aumedo into the first point of call for customers and patients. After coming up with the idea in mid-2013, almost nine months passed with developing and refining the concept, before the completed portal went live in January 2014 – with contributions from eye clinics, ophthalmologists and opticians, as well as its own magazine and encyclopaedia.

The website offers customers and patients the opportunity to find information on ophthalmology and optics using search criteria such as keywords, doctors or postal codes. The corresponding entries are backed up by certificates and facts from industry customers, and verified by Goetzen and his team. What makes the niche portal so special is that it provides specific and precise entries from the field of ophthalmology in the German-speaking countries and is not based on subjective patient and customer reviews. “We want to offer ophthalmologists and opticians the opportunity to present themselves objectively,” explains Goetzen. “That way we can ensure that the entries are as transparent as possible.”The offer for the users is rounded off by an encyclopaedia with 280 to 300 contributions from experts, for instance, on diseases and diagnostics, the anatomy of the eye or visual aids, and a blog-like magazine on current issues.

The road to entrepreneurship

His plan to become an entrepreneur after studying did not come to Goetzen immediately; he first gained some experience as a business manager at the practice and doctors‘ network inthe greater Düsseldorf region and then spent two years working at an advertising agency after having done an internship at the company’s subsidiary in London. Only then did the entrepreneur in him awake, as he sought to realize his ideas. “No longer having to answer to others and being responsible for my own actions – both in the case of successes and failures. That was what made me want to go into business for myself; after all, being an entrepreneur is also a more hands-on approach to work,” smiles Goetzen. However, based on his experience he is convinced that the road to entrepreneurship is a choice that everyone must make for themselves, adding that it is not a path that he would recommend for all. “One has to be aware of the challenges that lie in wait, there is no such thing as entrepreneurship for dummies, you get nothing for free. Everyone should decide for themselves whether they really want to be on the job 24/7; after all, not everyone is cut out for this sort of thing, and many prefer the security that comes with a regular job,” reveals Goetzen, offering some food for thought.

MBS wakes entrepreneurial spirit

Setting up a specialist portal requires more than a theoretical background; a sound knowledge of the market and a wide range of technical requirements are also called for. Those who do not have all of these prerequisites have to get help on board. Managing Director Goetzen therefore employed four employees to set up his specialist platform: an assistant, a graphic designer, a programmer and a customer support representative. However, even though he had to take into account many specific aspects when developing the concept for his website, he feels that his studies at MBS were excellent preparation for his subsequent career. “Above all, MBS shaped my entrepreneurial spirit; the countless practical examples, case studies, management exercises and brand analyses helped me find the right path,” states the Aumedo founder. Professor Schäffner’s management exercises, in particular, left a lasting impression on the entrepreneur; in fact, MBS in general laid thefoundations for his interest in business. “My decision to attend MBS was a conscious one, because I wanted to have a well thought out and structured plan; it would all have taken far too long at a state university. The fact that the MBS program was so clearly structured and defined helped me a lot. The rigid structure and organization of the degree allowed me to develop the necessary independence and discipline to set up the portal,” concludes Goetzen.

Rigid program as career preparation

The MBS graduate still benefits from the discipline and endurance gained from the rigid program of his university today. His days consist mainly of networking: writing emails, making phonecalls, preparing presentations and talking about the specialist portal at on-sitelectures. Goetzen travels a lot for his work in the German-speaking countries and spends the rest of his time coordinating the activities of his four employees. His familiar background and excellent contacts in the industry mean that he also has an emotional link to his project. “At the moment, the project is my baby with which I want to realize my goals,” states the portal’s founder.

The development of Aumedo since going live in January 2014 has been quite satisfying: After only three months online, the specialist portal had already passed the 3,500 visitors per day mark and the encyclopaedia with 280 to 300 entries and a blog-like magazine are also regularly visited. Goetzen’s aim isto now establish and consolidate the platform’s position on the market and generate an increase in visitor andsubscriber figures in the mid and longterm.

Presentationgym - what is that?

We support individuals and organisations who want to put together really cool presentations. To get fit, you don’t read a book, you need to exercise. It is exactly the same for your communication skills.?At presentationgym we are really passionate about practice, feedback and really exercising your communication skills helping clients to deliver creative, authentic presentations which tell stories and win audiences over.

How did end up in this sector?

I have always „been on the stage“ in one way or another. Whether acting in a school play, or playing music in bands. For me, presenting ideas was the next logical step.

What did you do this week?

Working in a start-up means that there are no „normal“ workdays and with our limited resources everything has to be done by just a few people. So for this week, I have written a marketing newsletter, blogged, met with the accountant, coached two prospective clients in Japan, followed up with our key customers, revamped our business plan and given this interview. And of course, lots and lots of emailing in between.

Do you enjoy your job?

Absolutely. I especially enjoy working directly with senior leaders on their strategic presentations. In fact, the best working day of my life was in October last year doing this for the world’s largest sports company at their company event in Zell am See. I spent the morning skiing up on the glacier and the afternoon working. Fantastic. That I could do every day.

Anything you don’t like?

Working in a start-up, there is definitely less security than working for a larger organisation. This of course has its benefits and drawbacks.

In what way are you benefitting from what you learned at MBS?

One word: Confidence. I had previously been working for seven years in the same company and doing an MBA with MBS gave me the confidence to do something different.

In your opinion, what is the best feature of studying at MBS?

I cannot really compare it with other MBA programs since I have only ever done one. I was, however, very fortunate to be part of a great group of people that I learned a lot from.  Additionally, at MBS I was able to continue working whilst studying.

3 things that come to mind when you think of MBS?

Smoking outside the building on a Saturday morning in between classes, a really fun trip to Singapore with my classmates and getting my first real introduction to philosophy during Harald Müllich’s classes.

Who do you think would be suitable for a job in your sector?

People who are passionate about presenting, learning and knowledge transfer.

Do you have tips for applying for a job after studying?

When interviewing, actually listen to the question and think before answering clearly. An interview is really not about you at all. It is about the interviewer and giving them the information that they are looking for in a clear, concise, understandable way.

Looking back, what advice can you give to students?

Don’t offer ot take anyone’s bag to Singapore! (laughs). Seriously though, Einstein said that „Education is what remains after one has forgotten what one has learned in school“, and as with many things, he was right. Approach your studies with a view to being educated, rather than just learning things which you will probably forget. Concentrate on the skills you want to develop and work hard at them.

Oliver Wyman - what is that?

Oliver Wyman is a globally leading business consultancy with industry and technical expertise in the fields of strategy, operations, risk management and organization transformation. I personally work for the Organization Transformation business unit. In this department, we help companies to implement necessary changes within their organization. This includes the implementation of new strategies, restructuring measures as well as supporting our clients in M&A activities.

How did you end up in this sector?

I heard about the company from a fellow student at MBS. He said: “Micha, that’s exactly the right thing for you!” I looked into it, and he was right! I applied for the job, and luckily they accepted me right away.

What did you do this week?

I travel a lot – usually we work for the client on-site. How many days a week depends on the client and the type of project, though. At our clients, we then carry out coordination meetings with the various hierarchy levels within the company – from the management to a simple employee. From this, we are able to create analyses and decision papers. There are also internal tasks like job interviews. An important item on the daily agenda is also spending free time with your colleagues: sports, eating together, or whatever you feel like.

Do you enjoy your job?

If I didn’t like my job, I wouldn’t still be here. I like the daily challenge of a project: facing new situations every day and mastering them in a professional way. You deal with different industries, content, company sizes and people. You have to be very flexible here, and it never gets boring! Also there is almost nothing better than solving a seemingly unsolvable problem for a client.

Anything you don't like?

We are often met with political resistance from many sides, although the advantages of our suggestions and advice are obvious to anybody. That can be a little frustrating, but in the end we always manage to find a good solution that convinces people.

In what way are you benefitting from what you learned at MBS?

My studies gave me a very good general overview over most business topics. This fundamental and broad understanding helped me when I worked in various departments of companies, especially at the beginning of my career.

In your opinion, what is the best feature of studying at MBS?

As I said: The program provides you with a very broad overview over all business disciplines. In addition, you are made aware of intercultural correlations, for example during the two semesters abroad, which I spent in Hong Kong and Madrid. And what is most important: the hands-on approach! I still employ many of the methods and tools that I learnt during my studies.

3 things that come to mind when you think of MBS?

  • “It’s pressure that turns coal into diamonds” – This saying was always very much present during exam time, but you don’t have to take it too seriously (laughs).
  • Friendships: I got to know fantastic people, something I would not have wanted to miss.
  • Students´ Clubbing as an organization team for student activities – we had so much fun when we founded it!

Have you achieved what you set out to as a student?

I’m at the point at which I wanted to be at this time in my life. But the journey
continues!

Who do you think is suitable for a job in your sector?

Everybody who enjoys a challenging job and likes change: Every day is different. And the ability to think analytically comes in handy, too. (smiles)

Do you have tips for applying for a job after studying?

You should start early to look for the company you would like to work for, and don’t only think of the large well-known Dax enterprises. There are so many interesting companies, especially in Germany, that are world leaders and offer you the chance to prove yourself. If everything goes well, you will even be able to take on more responsibility quickly. What’s more: Don’t try to be someone you are not during the job interview. An experienced interviewer will notice after the first question.

Looking back, what advice can you give to students?

  • Try to find out what you enjoy. Even if your courses cover almost    everything – focus on what gets you up in the morning.
  • Take a timeout now and then, that’s also part of studying.
  • If something during your studies doesn‘t work out the way you want it to – relax!

How did you get this job?

Even while I was studying at MBS, I had some friends in the Red Bull World who gave positive feedback about the Red Bull trainee program. This 18-month program is only offered every two years. The application procedure takes altogether 6 months during which different “tests” have to be passed. Following a final two-day assessment center, the applicants are accepted and/or rejected. At the start of the procedure for this program, the candidates can apply for different countries and for different “departments” (media, marketing, finance, etc.). It is not possible to directly apply for a specific position in the trainee program. The applicants are assigned a position according to their skills, previous job experience and personal wishes.

How does a typical work day look like in your job?

It is the task of the B2B marketing of Red Bull Media House to integrate potential partners/companies in our formats and channels. Due to this multi-faceted diversity, I cannot describe a “typical” work day. We receive new requests almost daily, of both larger and smaller customers, which is why we always have to check and create new integration options for these potential partners. For these “ideas and concepts”, we work in close cooperation with internal departments like e.g. the athletes or event departments or with our print or online channels.

What are the benefits of your MBS studies for your current position?

My MBS studies have helped me above all during the application procedure as presentations played a significant role in that. Furthermore, the many practical projects have provided me with those skills that are important for my current tasks. It is not only about briefings, but also the handling of customers and dealing with their priorities. Projects with Adidas, Audi and FC Ingolstadt 04 have been particularly instructive examples. The international orientation of the MBS studies (lectures in English, semesters abroad etc.) also facilitate the day-to-day work in the English-speaking work environment of Red Bull Media House.

About Julian Heise:

  • Contact: julian.heise(at)onlinehome.de
  • Start of studies at MBS: 2013/2014
  • Graduation from MBS: 2015
  • Current employer: Red Bull Media House (Salzburg)

Wie bist du zu diesem Job gekommen?

Ich habe mich ganz klassisch über die Karriere Homepage von Lidl Schweiz beworben und mich in einem mehrstufigen Bewerbungsverfahren durchgesetzt.

Wie sieht ein klassischer Arbeitstag in Deinem Job aus?

Den klassischen Arbeitstag gibt es nicht. Es sei mal soviel gesagt -  es gibt nie nichts zu tun. Wenn ich am Morgen ins Büro komme, dann kann es passieren, dass über Nacht (wie dieses Jahr geschehen) der Schweizer Franken eingebrochen ist. Im Lebensmitteleinzelhandel bedeutet dies: „nur der Erste wird vom Kunden wahrgenommen“.  Dies hat zur Folge, dass man unheimlich schnell und flexibel handeln und entscheiden muss: je nach Wichtigkeit der Ereignisse werden dann auch mal über Nacht TV Spots gebucht und produziert oder eine großflächige Billboard-Kampagne lanciert. Neben den „Spontanaktionen“ bin ich noch für die Mediaplanung, Imagekampagnen und für den kompletten Online-Bereich zuständig.

Inwiefern profitierst Du in Deiner heutigen Position von Deinem Studium an der MBS?

Am meisten profitiere ich von den praxisnahen Situationen, die wir im Studium geschaffen haben. Mit der Theorie legt man die Basis, aber die realitätsnahen Fallbeispiele bereiten einen ganz konkret auf den Berufsalltag vor. Zudem profitiere ich von den erlernten Soft-Skills, da ich viel mit Mitarbeitern, Agenturen und Testimonials zu tun habe. Heutzutage kann man fast alles nachlesen bzw. recherchieren. Geschicktes Verhandeln, souveränes Auftreten oder beispielsweise troubleshooting sind Fähigkeiten die heutzutage immens wichtig sind und die man eben nicht mal schnell „googeln“ kann. Die MBS hat gut erkannt, dass es darauf ankommt, die High Potentials von morgen bestmöglich auszubilden. Dies gelingt durch einen guten Mix aus theoretischem Wissen, realistischen Praxisbeispielen, dem Auslandsaufenthalt und gezielter Persönlichkeitsentwicklung. 

Über Robert Uwira:

  • Kontakt: Uwira.robert(at)googlemail.com
  • Studienstart an der MBS: Sommer 2013
  • Studienabschluss an der MBS: SoSe 2015
  • aktueller Arbeitgeber: Lidl Schweiz AG

Wie bist du zu diesem Job gekommen?

Ich habe mich während meines Auslandssemsters an der Texas A&M für eine Praktikumsstelle bei der WWP im Büro in Wien beworben. Ganz klassisch, mit Lebenslauf und Motivationsschreiben, ohne dass die Stelle damals offiziell auf der WWP-Seite ausgeschrieben war. Glücklicherweise wurden meine Bewerbungsunterlagen dennoch an den Account Director vom Büro in Wien für den Kunden „bwin“ weitergeleitet, welcher mich zu einem Skype-Bewerbungsgespräch einlud. Dessen Hauptaugenmerkt lag klar auf meiner Ausbildung auf der MBS, wobei ich durch die Präsentation einiger Sponsoring Aktivierungs- und Evaluationsprojekten, welche ich auf der MBS absolviert hatte, punkten konnte. Zwei Wochen später habe ich die Zusage erhalten und habe Anfang Februar 2015 als Praktikant für den Kunden „bwin“ im Wiener WWP Büro begonnen.

Wie sieht ein klassischer Arbeitstag in Deinem Job aus?

Mein Aufgabengebiet umfasst die Betretung des Kunden „bwin“ für den belgischen Fußballverein RSC Anderlecht, wobei ich für jeglichen Markenauftritt und die Konzeption als auch Durchführung der Sponsoring Aktivierungen zuständig bin. Insofern verbringe ich einen Großteil meines Arbeitstags mit Projekt Management, der Koordinierung von Projekten als auch der Abstimmung der unterschiedlichen Aktivierungsideen mit den Kunden. Am Anfang der Fußballsaison wurde dem Kunden, anhand seines erworbenen Rechtepakets, eine Auswahl an unterschiedlichen Aktivierungsprojekten vorgelegt, welche ich im Laufe der Saison sukzessive abarbeite, den Erfolg beobachte und Projekte dementsprechend adaptiere um die KPIs, welche vom Kunden vorgegeben wurden, zu erreichen. Abgesehen davon, bin ich dadurch relativ oft vor Ort in Belgien um die finale Durchführung der Projekt zu koordinieren und zu kontrollieren. Was mitunter der spannendste und lustigste Teil der Arbeit ist.

Inwiefern profitierst Du in Deiner heutigen Position von Deinem Studium an der MBS?

Ich habe dem Studium an der MBS meine derzeitige Position als auch den bisherigen Werdegang meiner Karriere zu verdanken. Auch wenn man beim Berufseinstieg wieder bei „Null“ beginnt, was die firmeninterne Arbeitsprozesse und Strukturen angeht, hat mich das Studium sehr gut auf den Einstieg in die Berufswelt vorbereitet. Vor allem wenn es um die Evaluation und Konzeption von Sportsponsoring Aktivierungsmaßnahmen geht, profitiere ich sehr von dem was mir die Dozenten an der MBS beigebracht haben.

Über Thomas Trinkl:

  • Kontakt: thomas.trinkl(at)yahoo.com
  • Studienstart an der MBS: Herbst 2013
  • Studienabschluss an der MBS: Frühjahr 2015
  • aktueller Arbeitgeber: Weirather – Wenzel & Partner GmbH

 

How did you get this job?

In my opinion, the course for a successful career in sports business is already set during one’s course of studies. That is why I have worked, both as an intern and a working student, with Allianz Deutschland AG in the fields of sponsorship and marketing, while at the same time doing my Master at MBS. My current employer is the lead agency for sponsorships of Allianz, both on the German market as for the globally active Allianz SE. This synergy allowed for the perfect entry as a junior consultant after I had received my Master’s degree.

You cannot overemphasize at all the importance of “internships and training/experience”. Even before my time with Allianz I had the opportunity to work for a.o. the VfB Stuttgart Marketing GmbH, for the South West Radio, Wirtschaftsförderung Frankfurt or the consulting company, Ernst & Young.

How does a typical work day look like in your job?

Due to my consulting work for various clients from different industries, like e.g. the insurance company Allianz on the one hand and the consumer-goods manufacturer Henkel on the other, my area of responsibility is highly diverse. I handle for example large annual events like the FC Bayern team presentations, but I also worked as project manager of the Allianz campaign #Titeltraum for last year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup in Canada: and it sure was an extraordinary experience to travel through Canada for some weeks in a specially modified trailer, the Allianz “bloghome”.

Successful work in the sponsorship field is, however, not only based on „activating highlights“. Our day-to-day work also requires much dedication far away from the illustrious world of sports: To quickly prioritize tasks and email correspondence, set up and follow up on meetings and brainstorming sessions, prepare project schedules, budget calculations, presentations for clients and proposals for the executive board is as much a part of our daily business as it is to check venues and expertly handle service providers.

What are the benefits of your MBS studies for your current position?

I would look at that from two different angles: First of all, the Master study program, focusing on sports, business & communication, is the optimum preparation for a job in sponsorship. Furthermore, MBS has an incomparable network of lecturers. From my point of view, it is this wide variety of high-level expert figures from sports and the media that is the greatest asset for the MBS students. It is amazing how quickly one comes across “former companions” again in real professional life.

 

About Benedikt Weiss:

  • Contact: Benedikt.Weiss(at)cemano.com
  • Start of studies at MBS: Januar 2013 / SoSe
  • Graduation from MBS: Juli 2014
  • Current employer: Cemano Communication GmbH

How did you get this job?

I joined PowerBar through personal contacts. As I had previously owned an agency, I was able to bring in knowledge and experience in the online sector – I guess this was a plus for me in the discussions. But don’t worry: you can also join Powerbar without personal contacts.

How does a typical work day look like in your job?

As the Digital Brand Manager, I am responsible for all online sectors. These include not only the European website, but also the sites of other economic regions like for example Japan. Social networks also play an essential role; we are currently connecting these on an international level. Of course, working within the global framework of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube or the business portals is also included in my tasks.

Paid Social, Google Display Network, Advertizing on Demand – online marketing has also to pass across my desk. That includes absolutely everything from media briefs to optimizing campaigns. 

What are the benefits of your MBS studies for your current position?

My studies have helped me a lot as they have contributed to provide a solid strategic base for marketing – to not “always” follow your gut feeling. This is highly useful especially for the social media if you want to develop an international strategy.

About Sebastian Koch:

  • Contact: bastian.koch(at)powerbar.de
  • Start of studies at MBS: WS 2013/2014
  • Graduation from MBS: SS 2015
  • Current employer: PowerBar Europa GmbH

Blue and red, Schalke and Bayern – those two parties existed in the football-mad Christoffer family in the Sauerland, where Ina grew up. “But I have always supported FC Bayern and I had also decided early on that I wanted to work in the field of sports, preferably in football”, says Ina. That is why in 2005 she began her studies in Sports & Event Management at BiTS Iserlohn. She completed interships at professional football clubs in Paderborn, Leverkusen and Bochum. Ina also worked part-time for adidas, for example at the world cup in 2006.

Twice she applied for an internship with Bayern Munich, twice she had no luck. So one might say that after all it was pure chance when it finally worked out – a closer look, however, suggests that character traits like passion, determination and energy played a vital role in helping Ina Christoffer work her way into the gates of FC Bayern.

Christian Nerlinger, Sports Manager of FC Bayern München, had already left Munich Business School when Ina began her master studies at MBS in fall 2008. She still found a connection to the club: together with fellow students she presented a proposal for a business project on international marketing opportunities for FC Bayern Munich to Andreas Jung, who was Marketing Director at that time. The proposal was accepted and the result that the students presented must have been very convincing, as this time Inas application to write her master thesis at FC Bayern was successful. In February 2010, she started in the sponsoring department of her favourite football club. And only three months later she got an incredible offer. Ina remembers it exactly: “It was a Thursday and they said: You can finish writing your thesis until Monday, from Tuesday on training in the Administrative Office of the Board, your contract starts on May 1 – are you ok with that?” What a question...

This “perfect beginning of my career” as Ina Christoffer calls her start at FC Bayern Munich AG would even get better in May, when Ina was allowed to accompany the club to the German Cup final in Berlin and even to the Champions League final in Madrid.

But what does she dreamof now that her old dream has become reality so quickly? In that respect, Ina doesn’t want to give away much, the same goes for all topics related to FC Bayern. One thing she can say though: „I won’t be able to arrange for internships or tickets.” However, maybe she can help her old fellow students in a more indirect way: by making sure that MBS will maintain its excellent reputation in the executive suite of the FC Bayern München AG.

How was your day?

I just came back from my holidays, next on my agenda is the organization of several upcoming events, such as preparations for Berlin Fashion Week, and, of course, preparing the according press work.

What do you like best about your job?

It is very diverse – when I get to my office in the morning, I often don’t know where the day will take me. I also very much enjoy the personal contact to interesting people such as journalists, designers, bloggers, salon owners etc.

What don’t you like?

Actually, there is really nothing I don’t like. It definitely isn’t boring and every day there is something new.

How do you benefit today from your studies at MBS?

I benefit most from the international focus and practical orientation. However, the broad spectrum of lectures from financial management (which I need for my budgeting) to corporate communication (which is the theoretical basis for my daily work) is also great and still essential to me today – how else would I know what NOP means or how to structure a press release?

What sums up studying at MBS?

Broad business and general knowledge ranging from financial accounting to communication management or intercultural management. This way, you learn to see a company as a whole and complex organization and are able to better understand operations and processes. In addition, by being so practice-oriented MBS offers great preparation for the working world. During your studies you already have the opportunity to gain insight into national and international companies which helps you decide which area you are most interested in and passionate about.

3 things that come tomind when you hear the word MBS?

Practical orientation, semester abroad, and a great foundation for the working world.

How did you experience the transition from student to employee?

I didn’t experience any problems. I had already done internships in the PR sector and these contacts helped me to secure a job while I was still writing my final thesis. Without the internships during my studies this wouldn’t have been possible.

Have you gotten to where you dreamed of being as a student?

I can definitely confirm that, yes. When I finished my studies I didn’t think I would get this far this quickly. To be in charge of the whole public relations work of Aveda for three countries three and a half years after graduation? I would have never dreamed of that. But who knows what else the future has in stock for me.

Any tips for job applicants?

Start building your network early and try to establish contacts during your studies. This might prove very useful once you have graduated and are looking for a job. The MBS network is an excellent stepping stone into the working world – alumni like me are working in the most varied industries and companies. Use this network to get a foot in the door in an area you are interested in.

What advice can you give MBS students for their time at university?

It doesn’t matter what profession you will end up working in – most likely you will in one way or another have to work with budgets etc.. Therefore my advice: don’t despair of the numbers. Also, take in everything you can – the business knowledge, the experiences abroad, and of course, the great fellow students.

From Theory to Practice

For all MBS students, their semester abroad marks an absolute highlight. But it is not always only about getting to know another culture, studying at a different university and forming new friendships. Some students even bring home a new business idea. During his semester abroad in San Diego, Bachelor graduate Claus Weiss had the idea to bring the cult product “Acai Berry” to Germany and to open a café. He outlined the business plan while he was still studying, and “Daddy Longlegs” opened in 2013.

How did you come up with the idea of founding “Daddy Longlegs”?

The idea came to me during my term abroad at San Diego State University. Not only did I have a great time there, but I also brought home a business idea from my semester abroad. 

What is so special about your product, the Acai berry?

It hits the nerve of our times with regard to health-conscious nutrition that is prepared before the customers’ eyes. It gives a lot of power and is perfectly suited for sportspeople in particular. 

Your job as the business manager of “Daddy Longlegs” is your second job. What is your main occupation?

My main job is real estate development for a Munich family company. I see my professional future in the field of real estate; the gastronomy sector is my hobby, so to speak. 

Would you say that you have already found your dream job?

With the fields of real estate and gastronomy, I have definitely found my dream industries. And I feel very much at home with the Munich family company. This way, I can perfectly combine my two passions.  

What are your next big goals?

I am always ready for projects in the fields of real estate and gastronomy. In real estate, I am particularly interested in the difficult projects. You know, those projects that, at first glance, seem to involve high risks – be it the optics or the location of the property. In gastronomy, on the other hand, I would only opt for tried-and-tested convenient locations.

What is your formula for success?

Stay hungry – stay foolish! As a rule, when people tell me that something is not possible, I do not accept their point of view. Almost everything is possible when you are prepared and willing to pay the price. And I always try to swim against the tide. Up to now, this has worked out pretty well for me.

In what respect do you profit from your MBS studies in the position you are in today?

From a technical viewt, I profit from all the courses around the subjects of finances and taxes. A small entrepreneur should at least have a rough idea about taxes. With regard to personality and appearance, the many presentations I held have helped me to act with self-confidence in front of a client. 

From your point of view, what is the hallmark of an MBS study program?

It’s extremely practice-oriented and takes place in a family-like ambient. The network I was able to set up at MBS is very valuable for me. 

Name three things that come immediately to your mind when you think back to your time at MBS.

1.    Friends
2.    Fun
3.    A thorough education in business

Have you arrived where you wanted to go as a student?

My original goal was to take over the family business so one could say I did not arrive where I had wanted to go. On the other hand, I am very satisfied with the new direction and my new options and I have never ever regretted the decision not to go „home“.

What advice do you have for MBS students for their studies? (= If you would re-start your studies, what would you do differently?) 

I’ve always learned for life. And this attitude always had a positive impact. That is exactly why I would recommend all the other students not only to learn for their résumé but to really learn for life! If you do your work with enthusiasm and commitment, then you will succeed.

Have you been a good student?

It was rather mixed. I studied hard for all those subjects that I liked or from which I could profit for my professional career. But there were also other subjects for which I just did what was absolutely necessary.

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Alumni Relations

Martina Dengler

+49 (0)89 547678-270
Martina.Dengler(at)munich-business-school.de