2020 MBAs To Watch: Christopher Korman, ESMT Berlin

Christopher Korman

ESMT Berlin European School of Management and Technology

“Big picture thinker. Slightly serious and focused, yet extremely whimsical and humorous.  Loud, yet empathetic.”

Hometown: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Fun fact about yourself: I am a fourth-generation Canadian; all of my grandparents were born in Canada. Early family emigrated to Canada as far back as the 1820s when it was still a British Colony.

Undergraduate School and Degree: Bachelor of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Director, Shared Services at SCI Logistics in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Where did you intern during the summer of 2019? N/A – internships are not part of the ESMT Full-time MBA program.

Where will you be working after graduation? At the time of writing, that is yet to be determined.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: Recipient of merit-based scholarship; served as MBA Class Representative; and graduated with honors, second in class.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Graduating with honors is something of which I am extremely proud. Until the day of graduation, I had no idea where I ranked in the class and my placement caught me by surprise. I am thrilled to have graduated with honors, knowing that I achieved it through my natural efforts as it was not a goal I had focused on.

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? I am proud that over the course of nearly eight years with SCI Logistics, I was able to prove myself and my abilities to my colleagues and the management team. I did so in a way that allowed me to progress from an entry-level position through a total of five promotions, where I reached a director-level role in my last two years before I departed to start my MBA.

Who was your favorite MBA professor? So hard to choose, but one of my favorite memories is of Strategy Professor Stefan Wagner, who used an episode of South Park to teach the business concepts behind freemium games and apps. He found that the episode explained it so well, he couldn’t possibly teach it better himself.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? In our year, a group of students volunteered to organize an international potluck event on campus. Each student brought a dish that represented their home country. It was a great way to showcase and share something about ourselves and our homes with the rest of the school. It is an event we hope will become a tradition at ESMT.

Why did you choose this business school? I chose ESMT for its focus on innovation and technology but was also very drawn to the international focus, bringing in students from over two dozen nations. ESMT’s location in the fun and beautiful city of Berlin is also amazing, and something I am very thankful for as I continue to call Berlin my home after graduation.

What is your best advice to an applicant hoping to get into your school’s MBA program? The GMAT score is not everything. ESMT prides itself on bringing in a diverse group of students each year. Do not be afraid to apply, but take the time to showcase and demonstrate who you are and what makes you unique and interesting.

What is the biggest myth about your school?

Myth: ESMT is a small, unknown business school.

Fact: ESMT’s reputation and rank grow every year. In 2019, ESMT was ranked ninth in Europe and first in Germany in the Financial Times European Business School Ranking! But the small size is true, and I wouldn’t want it any other way. The small class size gave us the opportunity to bond in a way that is simply not possible in a larger school. The small school also allowed us time and opportunity to get to know faculty and staff in ways that cannot happen consistently at larger schools.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? I believe I started the program too confidently. While that might sound strange, it meant that for the first little while I wasn’t operating consistently as an active listener. The MBA is a great time and a safe place in which to build not only your technical and hard skills but also to hone in on the soft skills that you would like to improve.

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? To pick only one is simply impossible. I spent an amazing year together with 49 people who started as classmates and became friends, who each brought to the classroom and into our lives their unique histories, work experiences, stories, ideas, knowledge, and even personal challenges. In one way or another, I learned something from everyone. To them I am forever grateful. So, in no particular order: Ali, Nadia, Kathrin, Rory, Mayra, Andrew, Phui Pui, Sonny, Shan, Animesh, Shaun, Ivanz, Santiago, Nick, Vikas, Josh, Kris, Sunny, Eunyoung, Lukasz, Uma, Hitesh, Pranjal, Aldio, Sally, Gordon, Paulo, Abhishek, Xinyu, Jian, Samantha, João , Bianca, Junyu, Diana, Sungmo, Max, Michael, Matt, Jakob, Dayo, Amber, Aleandro, Sumi, Mike, Farah, Mario, Ajaya, Ian.

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? I started traveling with a group of close friends about five years ago. In 2016 I visited Berlin for the first time with one friend. He wanted to help me see and explore the world outside North America, which is all I had known at the time. I am thankful to him for pushing me to see more of the world and in helping me to see the value in international experience and education.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? The first is to be involved in a project focused on social change. The second is to continue to climb the ranks and someday achieve a position in the C-Suite.

In one sentence, how would you like your peers to remember you? A team player who will not turn down a challenge.

Hobbies? Traveling on city adventures! I love to explore a city, seeing landmarks, museums, galleries, and to find unique shops and restaurants while also exploring the nightlife.

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

“Christopher was one of the most dedicated class representatives ESMT has ever seen. His full commitment to the school and to his MBA classmates certainly set an example for future ESMT students. His excellent grades and degree with honors show his ability to be prepared and stay focused on extremely busy times and tight schedules. Christopher is an advocate for diversity who is looking for constant but also realistic improvements on every level of his life and his community. He is a highly intelligent, polite, and well-prepared person (some might say, a true Canadian) who knows that an inclusive business environment, employee engagement, and client experience all start with one simple thing: the power of listening to others.”

Agnes Horvath
MBA Program Manager


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