Halfway through the Frankfurt MBA programme, my class and I have to face the next challenge: the final master thesis. We have three options to fulfill Frankfurt School’s requirements for the master thesis: writing an individual research project (IRP), an entrepreneurial business plan (EBP) or being part of a group consultancy project (GCP) (in collaboration with a company). Prof. Rolf D. Cremer and Prof. Lars Baumann lead the respective thesis workshop. After explaining the requirements for an IRP and EBP (which is also possible with a group of two or more students), the topics of the group consultancy projects were introduced to us.
A GCP is a project in cooperation with a company. Twelve companies were interested in working with Frankfurt School’s students together in such projects. The projects last three months, require 3-4 students and handle topics which are provided by the companies. These topics were presented during the workshop by company representatives or project leaders themselves. Among others, Daimler / Lab 1886, Francotyp-Postalia, Frankfurt Main Finance, Iconic Lab, SDG-FinTech Initiative, exceet Secure Solutions and LionTec are this year’s cooperation companies. The industry focus is widely spread from software to car manufacturing to non-profit organisations, etc. Many of the companies ask for student support to transform their business model to new industry standards or develop innovations.
For example, Daimler participated in the workshop with a project within their Lab 1886. The Lab 1886 is Daimler’s innovation department with c. 70 employees. This is a very large team compared to other innovation departments of German companies. The hierarchy is very lean to enable a fast development of future trends. The project’s topic is in the area of digital assistance and mobility. Another project is provided by Iconiq Lab, an innovative FinTech Venture Capital company in the area of blockchain and cryptocurrencies. They are looking for students’ support in the area of ICO (Initial Coin Offering) and its environment. The company was established by Frankfurt School Alumni Maximilian Lautenschläger (Full-time MBA Class of 2016 ).
After the workshop and hearing all different projects, MBA students have to form their groups and apply for the projects they would like to work on. Starting from June onwards, the students will work closely together with the companies during the summer and present their final results in front of the company’s responsible board members, project leaders and Frankfurt School professors.