2020 MBA To Watch: Kathrin Henze, ESMT Berlin

Kathrin Henze

ESMT Berlin European School of Management and Technology

“I’m always trying to fill my curiosity with knowledge.”

Hometown: Berlin, Germany

Fun fact about yourself: I’m German. We don’t do fun.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Leibniz University Hanover, Magister Artium in German and English Literature and Political Science

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? European Advanced Networking Test Center (EANTC), marketing and event manager.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2019? I took part in ESMT’s International Field Seminar in China. The trip was organized by participating students as well as the university and offered a truly unique view of China’s culture and way of doing business. We met and discussed with a variety of companies and people from Tencent to Microsoft and got a glimpse into China’s fast-paced and high-tech culture.

Where will you be working after graduation? Bundesdruckerei, Key Account Manager in Public Sector

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: President of the ESMT Technology and Innovations Club.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? It was amazing to be amongst the finalists of the London Business School Clean Tech Challenge 2019. I had two wonderful team members in two classmates, and we learned a lot during the two days of workshops, mentoring, and final pitch competition. It was great to see how we could put into action right away what we have learned during the MBA.  

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? As somebody with a background in humanities, I’m proud that I could turn my discovered passion for technology and all things digital into a career path.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? I had the pleasure to have Henry Sauermann as a professor and mentor for our two-month consulting project. Henry’s quick-talking is only outpaced by his quick thinking. He was able to spot weak points in our consulting project immediately and thus helped us taking the project to the next level. We had a very happy client in the end, and Henry supported us in every step of the way and made us ask the right questions.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? President Barack Obama picked ESMT to host his Obama Foundation Townhall Europe; a couple of other MBAs and I had the unique chance to attend the event. It was amazing not only to hear President Obama share his ideas but also to meet with other young people from all over Europe. A great day filled with excitement, exchange, and inspiration.

Why did you choose this business school? To me, ESMT was the complete package I was looking for. I wanted a school that offered me quality teaching, a focus on technology, and internationality. I was not disappointed in any of the points. My class of 51 students featured people from 24 countries, which was absolutely amazing and offered so many learning opportunities in itself. I can now say that I have the tools I need for my next career steps and a network of truly smart and talented classmates.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? My advice is to find out what ESMT can do for you. During the whole application process, I had the feeling that ESMT is there to help future students and not to fill classes. So once you know how ESMT can help you in your way to come, it will help them to see you as a future student.

What is the biggest myth about your school? That you have to say goodbye to your friends for a year. It is only partially true. An intensive program like ESMT’s meant that you only take off one year from your work. This one year is very intense. Time with friends and family becomes very limited and precious. So it’s a good thing to spend as much time as possible with them pre-MBAas during the MBA with your school family. Still, without the support of friends and family, successfully completing the MBA is hard to imagine. So the myth that you will not see your friends and loved ones for a year was misstated – you just see them a lot less.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? No regrets! I would do everything exactly all over again. I talked to a couple of people from the previous batch. They said that the learning inside the classroom is important, but equally important are all the other aspects ESMT is offering like clubs, career events, and exchange programs. I followed this advice and would recommend to everybody to use their MBA time to the maximum and make use of all the additional experiences and opportunities.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? Paulo Henrique Damiani! Paulo’s days always seemed to have 48 hours with all the things he accomplished. He organized amazing events for the Entrepreneurship Club, was a driving force behind our Galileo student competition, and had already started to lay the groundwork for his post-MBA job while still finishing his MBA. He was always willing to walk the extra mile for the success of his team and his own. This is even more impressive as Paulo left the comfort of a family business to pursue his own dream and company. And on top, he is the quickest German learner I have ever met! I’m more than sure to see Paulo at the top of an entrepreneurs list soon!

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? I am lucky to have many strong women in my family who always showed me that it is especially important for women to be able to take life into your own hands. Having an MBA is a strong symbol of that.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? I’m not a fan of bucket lists, as life has the tendency to surprise you anyway. Therefore, I’m trying to use the opportunities that open up.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? As somebody who regarded herself as incredibly lucky to have the chance to go to school one more time.

Hobbies? I love to hike and am currently planning to join a hiking trip to the top of Kilimanjaro.

What made Kathrin such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?

“The world is changing more and more rapidly and with the new decade emerging, a new type of leader is required to master the challenges the future is throwing at us.

Kathrin embodies the drive and spirit that is needed to overcome and master these challenges. During her studies at ESMT, it quickly became apparent that she is not only capable of adapting to a changing environment and using it to her advantage but also of inspiring her fellow classmates to follow in her footsteps. It was a delight to witness her wit and sharp thinking in action, and I’m sure that her talent will open many doors for her in the future.

Leaders like Kathrin will help change this decade for the better and we can only look forward to what is ahead.”

Alexander Bernhardt
Development Manager


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