The school operates a rolling admissions process and accepts applications until the minimum cohort has been selected.
The University of Mannheim MBA is designed for high-achieving professionals, providing participants with the skills and tools needed to succeed in today’s fast-paced economies, says Ralf Bürkle, director of marketing and communications at the German school that lies about 50 miles south of Frankfurt in the country’s southwest. “Mannheim,” Bürkle adds, “can look back on more than 100 years of expertise in educating leaders.”
The Financial Times and The Economist rank Mannheim as Germany’s top school in management studies. Overall, FT places Mannheim 49th globally, up from 55th in 2015, while The Economist ranked it 38th in both 2014 and 2015.
Mannheim’s 12-month MBA features small classes, with only 50-60 students per cohort. They are very diverse cohorts, however, with more than 20 different nationalities represented. The program offers a general management education, Bürkle says, that combines readily applicable business know-how with an interactive, team-oriented approach to education. In addition, “A Social Sustainability Project and Business Master Project are integral elements of the program that allow participants to get hands-on experience by putting their newly acquired knowledge into practice,” he says. “An entirely distinctive element of the Mannheim MBA is the possibility to choose from five regional tracks the one that best fits their profile.”
Admissions criteria for Mannheim include:
On average, Mannheim receives 400 to 500 applications for 60 available study places, Bürkle says.
LIVING AND LEARNING AT MANNHEIM
“In the Mannheim MBA,” Bürkle says, “theory and practice are closely intertwined.” Studies focus on case-based and interactive learning in multicultural teams, and participants receive practical information and on-the-spot insights during on-campus company visits. They also “acquire a great deal of first-hand information from international business speakers,” Bürkle says, to go with “soft-skill trainings as well as individual career counseling (that) will accompany them throughout the program.”
The Mannheim MBA is divided into four terms. In the first, students have to take core courses, e.g. Marketing, Financial Accounting, and Strategic Management. The second term is a mixture of core courses (e.g. Corporate Finance, Managerial Accounting, and Ethics) and electives (e.g. Responsible Business Negotiation, From Data to Insights, and Innovation and Creativity Management). In the third term, students can choose further electives from a broad range. The fourth term is dedicated to the Business Master Project.
The Business Master Project asks participants, using all of their experience and newly gained knowledge and methodological skills, to develop a solution for a complex business issue in a so-called Multi-Competence Team. In small groups, students can either assume the role of consultants and “experience a real-life challenge within a company or develop a business plan for a completely new entrepreneurial idea,” Bürkle says. “Interdisciplinary work is an indispensable element of the project. Naturally, participants are assisted during the project by experts from the faculty and the corporate world.”
OPPORTUNITIES TO STUDY OUTSIDE GERMANY
The Mannheim MBA offers five international tracks, Bürkle says. Participants can spend up to two terms at partner business schools in Europe, Asia, and North America, giving them the opportunity to “profit from the best each institution has to offer and get to know the region of their choice, its business professionals, and its economy.” Among Mannheim’s partner business schools are Warwick Business School (UK), Queen’s School of Buisness (Canada), and CUHK (Hong Kong).
Throughout the 12 months of the program, one-on-one sessions with the Career Development Team are available to guide participants along their career path. In addition, Bürkle says, students have exclusive access to the recruitment contacts of Mannheim’s partner companies, and participants benefit from soft-skill courses and additional coaching offers — “and they have plenty of opportunities to meet company representatives in recruiting workshops, individual selection interviews, and at company presentations.”
“As the German job market is very healthy at the moment and more than 80% of Mannheim’s graduating class continue their career in Germany after the MBA, career prospects of our graduates are excellent,” Bürkle says. “On average, the placement rate three months after graduation is higher than 90% and the average post-MBA salary normally exceeds US$100,000.” Many C-level managers and executives of leading German and international companies are Mannheim alumni, he adds, such as Luca Mucic, CFO of SAP, a member of the Mannheim EMBA Class of 2007.