• GBS students in the Alps!
  • April Orientation: Welcome to the new Master in Finance cohort
  • Master in Finance graduates join the GBS Alumni Network!
  • CFA Institute Research Challenge: What an experience!
  • Hack your brain at the Virtual MBA Experience
  • Welcome! New Pharma MBA faculty member Dr. Aimo Kannt



GBS students in the Alps!

Students of the Master in Finance Class of 2023 can look forward to an interesting experience in the fresh air of the Austrian mountains.

In preparation for the final Master Thesis, Master in Finance Academic Director Prof. Dr. Uwe Walz will teach a seminar on "Scientific Methods for Research and Writing". In the course of the seminar, students will identify a research question in the area of either financial technology management or risk management and regulation, and will present their research hypothesis to their fellow students. The first part of the scientific seminar takes place on Campus Westend; the second part of the seminar will be held in the residential setting of Marburger Haus in Kleinwalsertal in the Austrian province of Vorarlberg.

The Haus Bergkranz is situated in a very scenic location on one of the southern slopes of the Kleinwalsertal valley at 1.140 m above sea level. The high mountain valley of Kleinwalsertal lies on the northern edge of the Alps at an altitude of 1.200 m and is crossed by the Breitach River. It is framed by the 2.230 m high Ifen in the west, the Kanzelwand in the east and the 2.533 m high Großer Widderstein in the south.

Thanks to the extensive facilities, the house offers ideal conditions for combined study, sports and recreational activities, providing an ideal setting for the scientific methods seminar. We're looking forward to this exciting seminar at these two great locations!

April Orientation: Welcome to the new Master in Finance cohort

In the first week of April, GBS welcomed 36 new part-time students for the Master in Finance program at the online Orientation Day. We look forward to the coming two years together with this ambitious group seeking to deepen their expertise in the field of finance and perhaps even launch their next career step!

After a warm welcome by the GBS team and an overview of the part-time Master program as well as the program operations, the students got the chance to get to know each other better in virtual groups.

At the preparatory course held by Academic Director Prof. Dr. Uwe Walz and faculty members Prof. Dr. Andrej Gill and Prof. Dr. Steffen Juranek before the start of the program in March, our #financemaster Class of 2023 already had the chance to receive a quick outline of the main concepts of accounting, mathematics and statistics. Incoming student Sara was happy that she participated: "I was able to do a quick refresh of topics that I've seen during my bachelor which I finished in 2016. The professors were really good, structured and clear to understand. I feel ready to start/continue with the master, because I was able to remember the main topics. And I think the Master in Finance has a really great group of professors that will make it easy and enjoyable to learn."

We are delighted to see that the new members of our GBS Community had a great virtual start!

Master in Finance graduates join the GBS Alumni Network!

On April 29 we officially welcomed our Master in Finance graduates of 2020 to the GBS Alumni Network!

The virtual graduation ceremony was opened with a warm welcome by GBS Managing Director Dr. Christian Jansen. In his commencement address, GBS Alumni Council member Stephan Kiene, Head of Corporate Development & Strategic Planning at Degussa Bank, described why "life itself is management" and elaborated on the relevance of learnings from the program beyond only from a professional point of view. Faculty member Dr. Björn Imbierowicz was recognized with the "Excellence in Teaching Award", which was presented on behalf of the graduating class by Master in Finance alumna Stina Zacharias. During his acceptance speech, Dr. Imbierowicz encouraged graduates to "stay curious! Keep asking questions!". Class Speaker Kai Dressler delivered a heart-warming speech, in which he thanked family, friends, peers and the GBS team. During the ceremony, the academic achievements of Goethe scholars, Beta Gamma Sigma nominees and FIRM Award winners were also recognized. The ceremony closed with a final, official welcome to the Alumni Community by Alumni Council member Maraja Fistanic.

We hope our graduates and guests enjoyed the virtual graduation ceremony and video as much as we did. Our congratulations to our students once again on having successfully completed the part-time Master in Finance program!

CFA Institute Research Challenge: What an experience!

This interview was featured in the last newsletter of the Faculty of Economics and Business at Goethe University, Frankfurt that was published April 29.

We asked members of the GBS student team who participated in the CFA Research Challenge how they experienced their research journey. Our Master in Finance students were satisfied with their results and gave helpful advice for future CFA Research Challenge teams. 

What was your motivation to participate in the challenge?

NICOLA: My academic background is in physics and I am currently working in the IT sector. So maybe I am not the typical type of person participating in the CFA Research Challenge. However, when I signed up for the Master in Finance, I promised myself that I would take all opportunities to enrich my knowledge and gain a better understanding of the financial world. In my eyes, the challenge represented an incredible opportunity to do that. The prospect to apply theory, learn through hands-on practice, and the mentorship seemed very promising. Indeed, it was a great learning experience for me, which I will benefit from for the rest of my life.

JULIA: My motivation to participate was driven by the wish to challenge myself and to find out whether I would be able to translate my learnings, achieved along my master studies and CFA exam preparation, into a practical real-life case. Further, it was a fantastic opportunity to get some highly privileged practical training that could greatly contribute to the knowledge needed for my aspired future career path. Most of all, it seemed like a great chance to expand my professional as well as personal network by working and collaborating with fellow students as well as with the faculty advisor and industry mentor.

KAI: The challenge was an excellent opportunity to deepen my skill set of theoretical knowledge and practice even more. Especially the process of applying educated theory into practice is the main idea of the CFA Institute Research Challenge. Applying knowledge, learning commonly used approaches when it comes to research tasks and executing them together while increasing my network and exchanging new and different ideas with different people - all that combined in a once in a lifetime challenge atmosphere was an opportunity I was willing to take.

That sounds tough and exciting! But how did you manage work, social life, the part-time Master program and the CFA Research Challenge, especially during this very unusual time?

JULIA: Time was the second big "challenge" to manage, for sure. To be honest, I had already prepared myself to fully devote the 3 months from November until January to study, work and write the research report. I knew that my social and private life would suffer the most. However, due to COVID-19, it was clear that those cold winter months and especially Christmas would be anything but normal this year. That is why I was actually glad to have a lot of things on my agenda and to not feel that lockdown depression, loneliness and boredom that many of my loved ones had to struggle with. Of course, it was not always easy, but I tried to remind myself that this would at least be a way to spend that difficult pandemic time meaningfully and efficiently. Nonetheless, setting up a thoughtful and most importantly realistic study plan was the key in order to survive and to not stress out at the last minute. Even if that meant 5 waking up early on weekends to study and research or having calls with my teammates on Christmas eve morning.

KAI: First of all and most importantly, my employer supports my ambitions in academic and professional development. The support of my employer enables me to set up a time management plan that is sufficient enough to develop myself through a master, CFA program and the CFA Institute Research Challenge.Unfortunately, due to corona lockdown, most of my social life was reduced to the minimum around Christmas time. However, the support of my family and my friends has been strong during this intensive time. Third, the work with my team members Julia Hartmann and Nicola Reinhard was wonderful. Every moment where we worked as a team was great: their ambitions and attributions were excellent as was for example holding deadlines or the high quality of their analysis. Right from the beginning of the challenge it turned out to be the start of a new friendship! Last but not least, the collaboration with our academic advisor Prof. Dr. Uwe Walz and our industry advisor Heiko Backmann, CFA was very helpful. They supported us as much as they could by being flexible in arranging meetings and giving us advice. I think the combination of all the mentioned factors made it possible to face the challenge successfully and well prepared not only regarding time management.

NICOLA: Actually, I think that the challenge helped me get through the lockdown. A lot of my time was absorbed by it, the Master program and work, so I did not have time to worry about the pandemic that much. I also did not miss any social events, because our research team was amazing. We worked together remotely on the report basically every day. Of course we were very focused but there were also a lot of moments of fun and time to engage socially. I believe that took my mind away from the difficulties that are going on in the world.

So, in three words: How would you describe the overall CFA Institute Research Challenge experience, especially since you have made it into the German Finals?

KAI: Demanding, Detailed, Elevating

JULIA: Fun, Educational benefit, Committing

NICOLA: Challenging, Educational, Elevating

What would your advice be for the next GBS research group?

NICOLA: It is very important to work together as a group. Not only because we learned a lot from each other, but also because there is so much work and everything and everyone is interconnected. So it is really important that everyone knows what is going on and where we stand with the report and the numbers. Also, it is good to be curious and to question the things written and calculated, which helps to achieve the best results.

JULIA: It is necessary to have a thorough plan with strict deadlines. Communicate issues early enough to your teammates. Try to stay focused and really stick to your schedule. It is helpful to set up regular meetings in order to discuss the current progress and next steps that need to be covered. Make sure 6 to split the work fairly and efficiently where necessary, but also keep everybody on board and review each other’s work. Discuss and work together on the things that are the fundamental basis for your research in order to derive a common reasoning for the final recommendation. Last but not least, do not forget the fun while putting all that hard work into the challenge and to get to know the people you are working with. Take the chance to build real connections with your teammates. Become inspired and enriched by new ideas and ways of thinking along that journey and benefit from the advice and support of your faculty advisor and industry mentor.

KAI: (1) Be willing to hand in your report. (2) Be prepared to invest a lot of time. (3) Structure and organization of your time and your report is key. (4) Discipline to stick to your structure and organization. (5) Don’t forget to have fun with your team members and your advisors during the challenge.

Thank you all for this exciting interview!

If you have questions or want to know more about the CFA Research Insitute Challenge experience, enrolled Master in Finance students are invited to join an exclusive information session on July 15, 2021 at 6PM via Zoom. More information on the event will follow soon.


Hack your brain at the Virtual MBA Experience

On April 13 the GBS Recruiting & Admissions Team hosted the first Virtual MBA Experience for the Master of Digital Transformation Management program. It was an interactive and insightful evening.

Multiple "GBS Excellence in Teaching Award" winner Dr. Karolien Notebaert gave an interesting teaser lecture on Digital Leadership, involving the participants in two interactive experiments to demonstrate the programming of our brains and the 'dancing monkey' in our minds, which gave the participants a perfect first impression of Dr. Notebaert's course which is an integral part of the MBA curriculum.

Following the teaser lecture, Andrew Lucas, GBS Alumni Council member was welcomed as the moderator for the Digital Transformation MBA student & alumni panel. Maraja Fistanic, fellow Alumni Council member, shared interesting insights of her GBS experience and the positive impact it has had on her career progression to becoming a business founder. Florian Ambrosius-Eichner, current student, reflected on his study experience during the pandemic, online learning, and returning to Campus following a hybrid-model. GBS Alumna Vanessa Rieger then informed our guests about the biggest challenges she faced during her studies and how to tackle part-time studies while working full-time. In addition to the overall study 'adventures' and career progression, the Digital Transformation MBA students and alumni also shared their experience of gaining employer support and financing their studies. Aldo Silva, also current student at GBS, shared how he prepared a successful application for the new GBS Thought Leader Scholarship. Fellow alumna of Andrew, Maraja and Vanessa, Alexandra Peckham provided insights on how she initiated the conversation with her employer. The sneak peak into Dr. Notebaert's lecture as well as the student & alumni panel has been a great way to give hands-on and detailed insights into the GBS study experience to prospective students.

We want to thank the students and alumni of the Digital Transformation MBA for their contribution and for sharing their valuable experiences with our guests. We appreciate your involvement! Plans for the next Virtual MBA Experience are already in the making, so stay tuned for this and more GBS events!

Welcome! New Pharma MBA faculty member Dr. Aimo Kannt

GBS is delighted to welcome Dr. Kannt as new Pharma MBA faculty member! Dr. Aimo Kannt is Head of Drug Discovery at the Fraunhofer Institute for Translational Medicine and Pharmacology ITMP. He was a biochemist at the Universities of Tübingen and Cambridge and did his PhD work at the Max-Planck-Institute of Biophysics. He has 19 years of drug discovery experience in different positions at Sanofi and its predecessor companies. Dr. Kannt will be teaching the first part Research & Development in the Pharma MBA elective "Research, Development & Medical Affairs" and address the wide variety of pharmaceutical modalities and how this diversity determines their discovery and development process. Part II Medical Affairs provides a basic understanding of Medical Affairs strategy and key tactical activities, its roles and responsibilities, typical profiles and capabilities, organizational structures, processes and interfaces


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