Becoming a banker – with Frankfurt School
Professional Education / 21 November, 2019
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Trainee banker at Commerzbank AG
Valentin is currently training as a banker at Commerzbank AG. Afterwards, he’s hoping to study part-time on Frankfurt School’s new campus.

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So what exactly is Frankfurt School? When I read the sentence “You will build up your knowledge in Frankfurt School seminars” in a description of the Commerzbank AG training course, it gave me pause. I had no idea what to expect, let alone exactly who or what Frankfurt School might be. Which seminars would I be attending? What would I be doing? We were introduced to Frankfurt School during our induction week. This finally shed some light on the nature of this mysterious third party, as well as their role in what is actually a work-study training course.

Our first introductory seminar: BankEmotion

A group of around 15 of us met together for our first seminar: BankEmotion. This was a banking simulation game that taught us all about the various banking activities, departments and regulations in a playful way. It helped us develop a broader understanding of the subject and alerted us to the challenges and problems involved in managing a bank. What’s more, given that we had previously had very limited opportunities to get to know each other, it provided a very pleasant atmosphere in which to become better acquainted.

Useful tips and tricks – building on vocational college lessons

This seminar was followed by others that further improved our understanding of what we had already learned at vocational college – things like national and international payment transactions, not to mention lending. Frankfurt School helped us prepare in advance by giving us access to online seminars covering the same subject matter – often in considerable depth. The seminars enabled us to clarify certain questions that still remained unanswered, and the lecturers often gave us useful tips and tricks (of a kind you simply don’t get at vocational college!). Above all, however, the seminars allowed us to start early in preparing for our final examinations. What’s more, the lecturers were always ready to help us, even outside the seminars, because they cared about our success as trainees.

Soft-skill seminars for personal development

In addition to the banking seminars, we were also given seminars – which I’ll call “off-topic” seminars – designed to help with personal development, that is, our development as strong characters and human beings. During these off-topic seminars we were, for example, taught how to successfully put time management principles into practice. I was surprised by how effective the new approach was. Thanks to that seminar, I’ve been able to optimise my study timetable and am now using my time much more efficiently. We were also invited to develop and present our own value systems. In short, these “off-topic” seminars encouraged us to reflect and work on ourselves – I found them a welcome change from everyday banking work and a valuable aid to thinking outside the box. What’s more, they helped us better understand the opinions and viewpoints of others.

Frankfurt School offers more than just seminars

Alongside our usual classes, we’re often in contact with Frankfurt School in other ways. For example, they give us access to useful tutorial notes so we can explore certain topics in more detail. These help us revise and further develop our knowledge in our own time. Sometimes, our vocational college training didn’t explain certain subjects in enough detail. Fortunately, we can catch up by reading the tutorial notes, which are quick to read and easy to understand. What’s more, Frankfurt School offers a variety of online tests so we can revise or prepare for our exams.

The next step in our careers – with Frankfurt School, of course!

What’s more, Frankfurt School has already taken steps to support us as we enter the next stage in our careers. We were introduced to Frankfurt School’s various programmes while visiting one of the business school’s Career Days, where our many questions were also answered. Once I’ve finished my training course, I’d like to enrol on Frankfurt School’s Bachelor of Science programme. Our lecturers have given us helpful tips on the application process, as well as some useful contacts. I’m looking forward to the next stage and to hearing whether I’ll be accepted onto a Frankfurt School degree course.