In April 2020 COVID-19 changed the world and nothing was as before. Meeting my Executive MBA classmates face-to-face, interact with the teaching professors and exchange information in coffee chats at Frankfurt School changed. Classmates actively discussed the changes intensively, supported with ideas and Frankfurt School proactively communicated anticipated changes. What was most concerning currently for everyone? What must be changed to proceed with the modules?
Frankfurt School established a phased approach to accommodate the challenges and introduced full virtual lectures and over time a well-working hybrid-model. Classrooms were fitted out with required protection and classmates made use of it and returned to school.
Most concerning, can we all maintain the timeline of lectures? Markus Mädler and Gisela Brinkmeier always appreciated open discussions and helped to amend lectures accordingly without extending the overall plan. The teaching professors were able to adapt to the new method of delivering content in the same quick way.
On the other side of the coin, how to work and learn under these new conditions? Sitting an entire day at home? How does a good learning environment need to look like?
The University used methods like virtual coffee chats utilizing the technology to deliver the virtual lectures. Beyond this, virtual international networking session were established to actively engage with other students across Frankfurt School. This made everyone smiling, as it was unusual, but still a good game and looking towards the next one.
Shortly after my journey started, one of the most compelling extracurricular offers was brought up: Mindfulness workshop. You get to know some basics around how your brain works and more importantly, how to relax and focus again. Whenever you are distracted because of moving from one topic to the next, a kid entering your home office and you need to switch back, sit back for 5 minutes and slow down. All methods which have been taught can be used everywhere and every time. An additional very helpful and unforeseen big help in these times.
The spirit, engagement and ongoing effort are worth it. Frankfurt School is climbing up the ladder of rankings, may it be the well-known Financial Times MBA ranking or local ones. Thanks to the University, the classmates, Alumni and all other students for being part of this journey and that we all master it together.
Although time went on, lock down got reduced and now spinning up again, we get still actively informed around upcoming changes and more important the health of our classmates and professors.
Hereby want to express big thanks to Frankfurt School for delivering lectures under the always changing conditions. It was unquestionable an additional effort to all Frankfurt School’s staff.