The ESMT MBA: What You Need To Know
ESMT Berlin is no ordinary business school, and one can tell solely from its location: in the former National Council building of the old East German state, where the standout feature is a spectacular 20-meter high socialist-realist stained glass window depicting the GDR’s heroic workers.
Berlin is at heart of Germany’s political, cultural, and startup capital and is home to modern art and film, has a thriving food scene, and is home to people from all over the world.
ESMT Berlin was founded in 2002 by 25 multinational businesses and is one of just four triple-accredited schools in Germany. Their full-time MBA was recently ranked number 1 in Germany and seventh in Europe in the FT European Business School Ranking.
Typically, there are around 50-55 students in the class; this year they had 40. Small class sizes equal students receiving personalized and constructive feedback. The MBA has a short core segment with many electives. The intense 15-month program is 67 ECTS, or 33.5 US credits and is divided into five modules, challenging students to think strategically, initiate creative solutions and work in dynamic international teams.
ESMT is keen to go beyond a one-size-fits-all MBA and is striving to allow students to personalize their courses as much as possible. The idea is to produce leaders with a T-shaped expertise: competence across the range of MBA subjects and skills, complemented by a deep knowledge in one area. The focus will be on fostering business intelligence — for example, linking R&D with business outcomes — to promote innovation management and leverage the school’s location in Berlin to sharpen students’ entrepreneurial skills.
Of the most recent class: 92% changed industry, 88% changed roles, 84% changed countries, and 84% made the triple jump and changed all three! It’s clear that the program excels at bringing international talent to Germany. Nearly half of graduates enter the e-commerce and technology sectors, with consulting coming in third.
The program also offers both specializations and focus areas. The specializations are in key areas currently sought after in the German job market – Managerial Analytics, Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Strategic Leadership. If graduates want to give back, they can choose to participate in the fully funded Responsible Leaders Fellowship following graduation.
Following a recent overhaul, the full-time MBA program has three focus areas: one, integrated thinking, on the grounds that the traditional siloed courses (microeconomics, marketing, etc.) don’t reflect the more fluid nature of modern business; two, digital thinking, because jobs have changed and students need to be experts in innovation management, business model innovation, change, and disruption; and three, creativity.
ESMT has new exciting plans for the class of 2023, they will have the option to complete a longer international experience than they used to offer: a 6-12-week summer internship. They also have opportunities for students to learn German and will offer the option to take electives abroad at a global partner school.
“I am super excited about the revisions we’ve made to the full-time MBA program in 2023,” says Program Director Rebecca Loades. “We’ve put student choice at the heart of the MBA and are now offering multiple opportunities to tailor the program to meet their needs. The springboard to flexibility happens once students have established their management foundation in the integrated core. From May, they are in the driving seat. Choose a track, select a summer option, and then tailor the program even more with electives.”
ESMT showed resilience to the pandemic by investing €400,000 to convert three of its auditoriums into “hybrid classrooms,” with video walls, tracking cameras and mics that pick up who is speaking.
Post-program options are available to students, such as the Responsible Leaders Fellowship where students spend up to 6 months completing a social impact project in a developing country, with heavy support of the university, who will help them find the fellowship, give them a stipend, and cover travel costs.
ESMT MBA Rankings Data
ESMT MBA Employment Stats
ESMT does not list top hiring organizations but rather lists an example of companies that have recruited the school’s graduate MBAs.