On Friday, 4 February 2022, my fellow peers and I participated in the “Semester Opening Event with the ECB (European Central Bank)”. After a long winter break, the Semester Opening ceremony with the ECB was the warmest welcome back to campus and my last Master in Management semester. This was a great and unique opportunity for me and my peers to learn about the mandate and current challenges of the ECB – the central bank for the 19 European countries that share the euro.
The speaker from the ECB, Mr Gabriel Glöckler, Principal Adviser, Directorate General of Communications, delivered a profound and comprehensive presentation on the theme of “Inflation, infections, innovation: current challenges for the ECB”. Mr Glöckler started the talk with an overview of the inflation picture in the Eurozone. He talked about what the ECB could and should do about the issue to navigate the complexity of this unique time and to maintain price stability, especially when rising energy prices are driving up overall headline inflation, causing a lot of other things to get more expensive.
He also addressed the topics of innovation in central banking and climate change, and their impacts on the monetary policy of the ECB in the context of the pandemic. I found ECB’s efforts to “green” its monetary policy and the idea of a central bank offering a digital currency (the ECB is currently investigating whether to issue a digital euro) extremely fascinating. I was also impressed when he said ECB is trying to communicate its monetary policy in a way that makes it more understandable and approachable to people.
Next, Mr Glöckler gave a very informative introduction about career opportunities for Frankfurt School (FS) students. ECB offers bachelor’s and master’s students from all majors and backgrounds a cross-cultural working environment and many opportunities to develop their personal and professional skills. He also discussed the key qualifications that the ECB is looking for in a candidate. Some crucial skills to work for a policy-making institution, for example, are writing policy briefs and assessments that a fit-for-purpose for decision-makers, critical thinking, and problem-solving.
At the end of the talk, students had a friendly and interactive 30-minute Q&A session with Mr Glöckler. My fellow students asked questions about ECB’s roadmap to greening monetary policy, the ECB’s fields of activities, blockchain, and so on. One student asked whether the digital euro could be more environmental-friendly than a cryptocurrency, which is an interesting question in my opinion. Mr Glöckler addressed all questions nicely. I was amazed because he was so approachable to the students, and we had a true discussion between this senior official and the students.
The cosy get-together after the talk allowed students from the different study programmes to network. This was a great opportunity for me to catch up with my fellow peers and FS staff. I made new friends with some students from the Master of Finance programme, and we connected via LinkedIn. I found myself to be privileged to talk to Mr Glöckler from the ECB. I appreciated that he set time aside from his busy schedule to talk to FS students and give us valuable insights about the ECB’s work. His way of communication made finance-related
topics so understandable and interesting to me, a student not specialised in finance. To me, the Executive Talk was an insightful extracurricular opportunity going beyond finance-related topics. What better way to kick off the new productive semester would there be?
Again, this highlights one of FS’ unique strengths. FS offers me exposure to organisations and experts from various industries, opening the doors to many opportunities for my future career.