Studying the Zollverein School MBA

Studying at Zollverein SchoolAs announced on Tuesday this week today I’d like to share some information about Zollverein School’s MBA programme(s) with you; well at least as far as they do not affect non-disclosure issues ;-)

Interestingly this week’s MBA newsletter pointed me to an interesting study conducted by The Graduate Management Admission Council (GMAC®) is composed of representatives from leading business schools worldwide however their main focus clearly is on the anglo-saxon graduate MBA markets.

Anyway, also for the post graduate market their reports holds some good news namely that:

“Across the board, recruiters feel better about the economy now than at any other point since the GMAC Corporate Recruiters Survey was launched in 2002, when global economic conditions were in a slump. Corporate recruiters said they plan to hire 18 percent more MBAs this year than in 2005, on average, with finance and marketing expertise in particularly high demand.”

later on the report continues as follows by emphasizing the rising demand for more “soft skills focused leaders”:

“Recruiters said they are especially eager to find MBAs whose “soft” skills—intangible qualities such as leadership potential and communication expertise—are strong. Nearly 40 percent of recruiters said they place significant weight on soft skills when judging people they interview. A majority of the respondents said MBA students are receiving sufficient training in these areas in business school.

Most of the recruiters who participated in the survey also said MBA graduates are generally well grounded in traditional business skills such as problem-solving and analytical thinking. But GMAC surveys of MBA alumni indicate that people tend to rely more on softer skills as they advance in their careers—suggesting that business schools and their students could benefit from placing additional emphasis on developing these types of abilities.”

From my perspective at Zollverein School it’s the balanced mix of both aspects “hard” and “soft” skills which makes the MBA programmes different. Together with its strong emphasis on “Design” as a methodology to create and shape processes and products the Zollverein School MBA programmes are aiming at a unique strategic position on the international MBA map.

In order to illustrate this unique blend of content here are two quotes from current MBA class of 2006 & 2007 students which might illustrate some of their expectations. While Werner Bossenmeier is currently finishing his Master Thesis, Bettina Martini started the Executive MBA this early spring:

‘In a constantly changing market environment, the only real constant is change. My professional goal is to make emerging movements for change visible, and to translate these into innovative processes for companies.’

Werner Bossenmeier
Interbrand Zintzmeyer & Lux | Zollverein School MBA 2006

‘The course opens up new perspectives for me, which widen and possibly even change my angle of vision, and which will have an effect on my work. I am convinced that a holistic approach to the entire design process, involving all concerned—the client, their company, and of course their end customers too—will lead to a better and more sustainable outcome.’

Bettina Martini
factor design Hamburg | Zollverein School MBA 2007

So what are the basic co-ordinates of the two MBA programmes which are addressing these expectations? Let me simply assemble and quote some of the data from the PDFs Zollverein School has prepared (Executive MBA, Full-time MBA), but which are quite embedded in their current website. In general the curriculum is divided into five subject areas:

  • Methodology
  • Transformation
  • Strategy & Marketing
  • Organization & Leadership
  • Finance & Operations

In contrast to the ‘common’ approach of MBA programmes to create and address modularized and very often independent blocks of knowledge the modules (or ‘strands’ as they are called here) of the Zollverein School MBA are highly linked in a sense that:

“… the same issues are picked up on in the varying subject areas and treated there from their specific perspectives. This enables the individual issues to be linked, with the effect that the students get to know the present and future challenges of management better.”

By the same token the Zollverein School MBA is not a general tour of MBA concepts, but rather has an emphasis “… on Strategy & Marketing with the focus on customer-oriented development and implementation of strategy concepts.” Accordingly:

“… in the Transformation and Methodology strands will allow students to acquaint themselves with themes from the fields of culture, society, and business that have a sustainable impact on current corporate developments. The issues dealt with in these classes will be raised and discussed in other parts of the course. The lecturers for this strand will also be involved in the Strategy & Marketing, Organization & Leadership and Finance & Operations strands.”

If you reflect this approach in the context of the GMAC study mentioned above you will see the Zollverein School MBA approach is perfectly addressing the balance between hard & soft skills as discussed above. Furthermore it re-positions “Design” in the larger context of the corporate value chain: From being a simple sub-function of marketing to an company wide methodology addressing various stakeholder groups inside and outside the organization.

For further information and getting in touch with Zollverein School and its staff visit the Zollverein School website on ‘Personnel’ as well as contacting Katrin Oemmelen and/or Annekatrin Sonn.

2 Responses to “Studying the Zollverein School MBA”

  1. MD.Bodiozzaman Says:

    I am a civil servant of Bangladesh Government. I have been serving in Bangladesh Civil Service (Audit & Accounts) cadre for 7.5 years. I also have two years working experience in banking sector as a senior officer. So my total length of service is 9.5 I have a Master degree in management earned from Dhaka University. I feel keen interest for admission in Master of Business Administration (MBA) specialization in Accounting and Finance. I have some question regarding admission such as:
    1. When is the deadline of Sbmission of application?
    2.When the session starts?
    3. If I want to apply for 2007 session when I have to submit my application? Is the application form same as DAAD form?
    4.Can I apply under DAAD Scholarship programmme to study in Master in Development Management or MBA ?
    5.I have 6.5 in IELTS and 213 in TOEFL.Do I need GMAT Score?
    6.Do you charge any application fees?

    Best Regards

    Md. Bodiozzaman
    2/2, Gazetted Officers Hostel
    Green Road, Dhaka-1205

  2. septi panca sakti Says:

    my name is Septi Panca Sakti, I am a university student in English Department faculty of letters, Padjadjaran University, Indonesia. i want to ask a question about DAAD Scholarship programme? thanks for your attention, i hope for your regards.

    Septi panca Sakti
    English Department
    Fakulty of Letter
    Padjadjaran University
    Jatinangor, Bandung

Leave a Reply