After completing my Bachelor in Business Administration I faced two questions: first, which university is best for me to obtain my Master degree and second, what career path and job do I want to pursue afterwards?
Like many fellow students I was not granted many opportunities for practical experience during my Bachelor studies which is why I decided to invest some time for that after graduating in the form of a gap year. During this period, I worked for a small M&A firm and a Private Equity firm which provided me with important and instructive experiences that I highly appreciate in retrospect.
Thereafter, I concluded I didn’t want to go back to university without working at least part-time. The advantage for me was not only greater financial independence but also I do believe that the theories you learn in university are much more valuable when simultaneously applied in practice. Hence, the Master of Finance at Frankfurt School provided an excellent fit due to the 3-day model and the outstanding network to numerous firms in the area.
After successfully interning with HQ Equita, I was offered a working student position. Being a working student at a PE firm is particularly exciting due to the broad insights that I obtain into many different industries and companies as well as the versatility of the tasks that come with it. Also, working for a smaller company has turned out to be advantageous especially when it comes to flexibility and the responsibilities one is trusted with.
Compared to the internship my tasks have changed as I am now highly responsible of supporting with existing portfolio companies and several internal tasks rather than working on current deals as I did during the internship. Portfolio work is somewhat more flexible and less time critical which is therefore better compatible with my studies while again allowing me to get some new insights into another vital part of the everyday work.
Besides M&A and PE I have always been interested in strategy consulting. As the summer break provided the last opportunity for an internship before starting a full-time job, I decided to apply for an internship with McKinsey that was particularly tailored for women. By the way: no matter if you want to work in the financial industry or consulting, I feel like now is a good time for all young women to take advantage of the many special opportunities, such as workshops or networking events, offered to increase the share of women in these fields! You can find plenty of such offers on the Frankfurt School Career Site and I would definitely recommend participating in some of them.
During the entire internship I was part of a team that consulted a German Healthcare firm. I had my own area of responsibility from day 1 which positively surprised me. Even though the topic that I was working on was somewhat less related to Finance, I was very well able to cope with the tasks and received positive feedback afterwards. This again supported my decision to study at Frankfurt School as I believe that the numerous case studies we worked on in teams, combined with the practical experience I gained as a working student, are valuable groundwork to excel during an internship and / or the first full-time position later on.
Overall, I can only advise students to take full advantage of the events and opportunities offered by companies and the Career Services department. I think it is vital to gain as much practical experience as possible and to catch insights into everything that is or might be of interest to you. That basis will enable you to decide for the job that best fits your interests without second thoughts or regrets.