Frankfurt School hosted its first Extended Leadership Winter Academy (ELWA) from 27th November 2017 to 8th December 2017. This programme was mainly designed for students from the Master of Leadership in Development Finance (MA) – online (MLDF). Students of these Online Master studies could chose to replace the regular e-learning module “Leadership & Change Management”, which is a part of their third semester, into this two weeks on-campus training. The Extended Leadership Winter Academy addressed leadership challenges in general and devoted considerable attention to the specific topics that arise frequently in developing countries: poaching of talented staff, fragmented teams and frequent changes in the business model. The aim of this in-class course was to familiarise students with the main theoretical and applied themes in leadership and change management. Using literature and case studies as background material, students had the chance to work in-depth on a topic and gain profound expertise in the field of leadership and change management.
A Diverse experience
The ELWA was split into two parts. During the first week, the MLDF students attended the general Frankfurt School Leadership Winter Academy, which is an open enrolment executive programme targeting development finance professionals worldwide. Students had a chance to sit together with other executive participants from different countries sharing a similar background.
On the first day, after the warm welcome from the Programme Director Dr. Barbara Drexler and the initial introduction of the course, the first session on leadership qualities had already begun. 39 participants were divided into small groups to solve various tricky tasks within a certain time frame.
The general purpose of the first week of the training was for participants to gain leadership skills and to find the way of how to work in a team in the competitive world. Some participants said that it was very challenging and interesting at the same time to work in an international team with people from all over the world to reach training’s goals. Undoubtedly, social events in the evenings, such as: Frankfurt sightseeing, bowling and German Christmas Market fostered friendly networking and knowledge sharing among all of the participants.
Exclusive second week: Master of Leadership in Development Finance
The second week was exclusive for the Online Master students. The main tutors of this week: Prof. Dr. Erich Barthel and Prof. Dr. Björn Michaelis focused on: types of leadership, contingency theories of leadership, participatory leadership and delegation, leading change and strategic leadership in particular. The last step for students to complete the training and earn 6 ECTS credits was to present an interesting topic from their company context and apply the theories, models, tools etc. that they have learned during the two weeks. On the last day of the ELWA programme, students gave their impressive presentations and received certificates.
As their student advisor, I am very proud with their performance throughout the entire training. All of the individuals are very friendly with a good sense of humor. During the second week of the training, we organized a dinner where the first cohort of students of the Master of Leadership in Development Finance (MA) – online (Class 2016-2018) had a chance to network and give some tips to the freshmen of MLDF Class 2017-2019. It was also a good opportunity to meet professors and discuss the final projects. It will be the last big step for students to be completed in order to graduate from Frankfurt School.
I think the Extended Leadership Winter Academy was a very good experience for students. They had a chance to meet in person under one roof, improve their knowledge in leadership and make friendship with each other. I together with the whole Online Master Team wait for the following in-class ELWA training with the next cohort in November this year. We also hope to see our first intake students again at the Graduation Ceremony this autumn!
Till then have a good time!