The value of commitment – my Part-time MBA experience without a Bachelor’s degree
Part-time MBA / 12 March 2021
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Part-time MBA Class of 2022
Martin works as a Legal Secretary at Linklaters LLP’s Intellectual Property department in Frankfurt. He is a candidate for the Part-time MBA Class of 2022.

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I started looking into the idea of doing an MBA after a lunch with a close friend who, at the time, was working for the MBA programme at Frankfurt School. I wanted to take the next step in my career and this opportunity seemed almost too good to be true. I always expected applicants for an MBA to have at least a Bachelor’s degree to be able to pursue an MBA, but: she proved me wrong.

Until then, I had accomplished a vocational training as a paralegal and four years of work experience in an international law firm in Frankfurt. In combination, this equals a so called EQF (European Qualification Frame) Level 4. To reach the required EQF Level 6 for MBA admission (e.g. Bachelor equivalent), I simply had to pass an additional academic entry test with two professors from Frankfurt School. Fortunately the test was not about learning 100 different definitions by heart – I was provided with preparation materials and encouraged to demonstrate my general understanding of business management. The hour passed quickly and at the end, the experience felt more like an in-depth conversation about management and strategy instead of an all-or-nothing test. The feedback was excellent.

Self-doubts go away

Getting to know my fellow students during the MBA Leadership Camp and in the first lectures on campus was crucial for me. You may enter a lecture room fearing to be the least qualified of all of them, but later you leave the room knowing that you can count on many, many people helping you out. While students with a Bachelor’s degree in finance certainly have an advantage, the MBA has shown to be also designed for people like me, who can have a more diverse background. The spirit that quickly evolved around our group of students was incredible. I am very grateful to be part of such a unique and inspiring group. Now, after having completed my first semester with very satisfying results, my initial doubts have completely disappeared.

The high quality of lectures is essential

Lecture weekends can be quite challenging. The time you usually take to rest from a work week is now reserved for even more work. Luckily, my fellow students and I all know why we are doing this. You can see the high level of motivation in the countless zoom meetings, where we prepare short presentations or research based results and write essays about analysing markets, perform regression analyses, or assess management decisions. You somehow get used to not having much free time and learn to organise yourself and your days – time management coaching at its best!

Our professors do an excellent job in communicating a lot of content in a very short period. Last weekend in his course about organisational behaviour, Prof. Flood discussed topics such as  “effective executive teams”, “cross-cultural motivation and engagement”, “high performance teaming”, “managerial burnout”, “power and influence”, and “organisational culture and emergency teams”. He covered all of this while structuring the course in a very interactive way and encouraging discussions among students. In my opinion, attending the lectures is time well spent. I also highly appreciate the approachability of the lecturers. Many are open to sharing stories of their own business career and they encourage us to ask more questions. This contributes to a very positive and learning-friendly environment. I cannot wait to see what lies ahead.