I’ve written about the start to the MBA programme and how great it is to spend this experience with such great people… but, unfortunately, the programme doesn’t last forever and eventually (or honestly, more like now) we all need to start thinking about what we will be doing after graduation. Dun dun dunnn…
The Frankfurt School and its Career Services is great at organising events with a variety of interesting firms, sometimes with upper management coming to us (such as our “In the Boardroom” series), and sometimes by us making field visits. Deutsche Bank hosted one such event at their twin tower headquarters in downtown Frankfurt. We were welcomed in the lobby and then taken upstairs, where we walked past a room that at first came across as a bit strange for a bank, as it looked sort of like a museum (more on that later), to a conference room where the head of graduate recruiting led a discussion of the bank’s “One Bank Leadership Programme”.
Essentially, the program offers top drawer MBA students the chance to get to know the company and its people in a truly unsurpassed way. Successful candidates go through three rounds of rotations at different departments—one in a discipline more tailored to their background, one in something new and of interest, and another in an entirely new discipline altogether, which is meant to be challenging but also widen horizons. Along the way, there is an upper management mentor as well as a less senior mentor to meet with regularly. We even had the chance to meet previous intakes to the program and were invited to chat with them informally afterwards during a catered luncheon.
I’d like to note that this discussion was conducted in German, as the programme requires advanced German language skills. This is a great example of how MBA students with previous German skills, or those who really apply themselves in the language courses offered for non-German speakers at the school, can really excel in the Frankfurt job market. And there are quite a number of such students; given everyone must also speak English at school and often have a third mother tongue; it really speaks to the linguistic ability in our class!
After the luncheon there was a tour of the art collection, which has been rather nicely incorporated into the building’s orientation—certain wings are named after artists of particular regions. It shows Deutsche Bank does not meet the stereotypes of banks being stuffy places; indeed, they also foster culture… and fun!
Fun, you say? Well, remember I was curious what the heck all that stuff we walked past was… I did finally get my answer. At the end of the art tour, we got to play around in Deutsche Bank’s “brand room”. There was a bunch of cool and interactive things, like a motion activated surface that reminded me of something Tony Stark would use his lab in the movie Iron Man. They also had a wall that when you walked up it, it would mimic your body movements with balloons shapes and they would fly off of you if you waved your arms. While pretending to be a superhero and throwing computer-generated balloons was a fun way to end the tour, I found it was also a very creative way to get to know the company; the balloons discussed diversity and the interactive surface offered information about the history and mission of the bank.
At the end of the event, I found the programme to be very enticing and have decided to join a number of my fellow MBA students in sending in an application. It’s an incredibly competitive selection process, but you can’t get in if you don’t apply! And with our experience at the Frankfurt School, I think many of us are well positioned to be chosen— fingers crossed!