The Bachelor in Management, Philosophy & Economics (MPE), it is often said, trains you in meeting the growingly complex challenges our society faces. This may sound rather abstract. To make it more concrete, think of the problem of climate change: In philosophy, you will study what obligations (if any) you personally and society more generally have in fighting such a threat. In economics, you will discuss efficient environmental regulations and how to incentivise different actors to comply with them. And in management, you will learn how businesses can implement these regulations cost-effectively and develop new business models.
We already knew quite early that we wanted to study these kinds of problems. What we didn’t know was what we wanted to do after our Bachelor’s degree – which made interdisciplinary programmes, opening many different career options, all the more attractive. But what tipped the scales for the MPE?
After having spent months researching where to find the best interdisciplinary programme (including several night shifts, obviously), what made the MPE stand out for us was the ‘M’ – and thus the Frankfurt School’s unique combination of economics and philosophy with management. Other degrees appeared to lack this component. However, before starting our studies, solid skills in business studies seemed absolutely essential to us. As recent graduates, we are now even more convinced that they are.
At the same time, we knew that the MPE would be strongly focused on building crucial analytical competencies. We were not disappointed: The philosophy modules trained us in constructing good arguments – and exposing flawed ones – just as they taught us how to evaluate the explanatory power of scientific theories and models. During our studies, we had some of the most insightful discussions we have ever experienced. The duties to future generations, the notion of freedom or the spread of knowledge are just some of the many topics we investigated.
Especially helpful were the one-on-two (one lecturer and two students) supervisions we had on our philosophical essays. Without these concentrated discussions of our own arguments and the feedback on how to support our conclusions with even more clarity and robustness, we are certain that our writing and reasoning skills could not have evolved as they did.
Hence, the MPE is not just about gaining knowledge. It is also about learning how to think & reason better. And thinking better will bring you that extra step closer to manoeuvring successfully in today’s complex environment.
But let’s be honest: The MPE also allows you to meet great people. The MPE students you work and make friends with often share many characteristics. They are eager to learn about multiple perspectives on an issue. They are open-minded. They go the extra mile of challenging and asking critical questions about what they are learning, rather than taking it as a given. And they like meeting, across all MPE intakes, for get-togethers at a famous “Apfelweinbar” to mingle, laugh, and talk about anything and everything.
So, no matter whether you decide to continue your studies at another excellent university or head for the consulting or banking sector, the MPE provides you with a fantastic academic – and social – basis. It exposes you to a great variety of different philosophical, economical and managerial approaches. And the more you are exposed, the more you realise just how much these disciplines overlap and interrelate – and this insight continues to reach far beyond lectures. When people ask us what we learnt during our degree, our favourite answer thus is: We learnt a way of thinking.
Co-author: Stella Jathe
Bachelor (BSc) in Management, Philosophy & Economics Class of 2020