Planet interviews the director of the MBA-Programm of the HTW: Antti Kappanen

How many of your students are Europeans? How many of them come from Spain?

A majority of our over 50 currently enrolled students come from Asia and Latin America. Beside German students, our current Europeans come mainly from Central and Eastern Europe. Perhaps a bit exceptionally, at the moment we don’t have anyone from Spain enrolled in the programme. As a small degree programme, our marketing reach is quite limited. Nevertheless, those Spaniards among our alumni are on very successful career tracks!
How does Germany’s good economic situation influence the success of your programme?

The economists in Germany refer to the current highschool students as the “generation full employment”. Many of them bet on reaching unemployment levels below 5% in a few years. Businesses are already reporting difficulties in finding qualified labour.

With all the news, it’s hard for someone, especially a European, not to know that there are jobs in Germany. If you are considering a move, an English language Master study is a ready opportunity to update your skills profile. At the same time, you can familiarize yourself with the language and the culture. In a couple of interesting years, you can be very well positioned on the market that keeps gaining attractiveness.

Already since several years, the MBA&E is annually breaking its enrolment record. We develop as a programme, but certainly part of the success can be traced back to the good economic situation.

How many graduates find a job after the studies? Are some recruited straight from the programme?

Also our graduates can feel the strong demand on the job market. Many graduates stay at the company where the write the Master thesis – that is having let the company test them – or are offered a job elsewhere soon afterwards. Ca. one-half of our international graduates stay at least for a couple of years in Germany to work here, gather experience and learn the language.

I think companies are also becoming increasingly proactive in their recruiting. We can see that for example in career fairs and online events, but also in the interest by employers toward our programme. But of course, the traditional application is still the main method for finding a position. This is why application counselling is part of our programme.

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Do you mediate internships?

As I said, it is not uncommon that companies ask us whether we have a suitable candidate for their position in our network. Mainly candidates with specific language competences are sought. But again, the most internships are found through active applying – and for that support is available from the programme office.

What kind of qualifications are expected of an applicant?

In oder to study in our programme, one must have a Bachelor’s degree, as well as at least one year but rather two to four years of professional experience. The largest groups by background are business engineers and engineers. Of course, business graduates and others with experience in the industry are more than welcome, too.

We hold it very important that all of our students become successful graduates. That is why we want to ensure right at application that the studies in our programme are a good match with the person’s career plan.

What does it cost?

The fees total about 10,800 EUR. Included in this amount are not only instruction and services of the programme office, but also for example excursions. With monthly 800 EUR for living costs and a study duration of three semesters, the total budget for the studies will remain below 25.000 EUR.

Do the students learn German?

If you want to build a career in Germany, you must speak the language. The MBA&E offers weekly German classes and further classes can be taken at the HTW language institute. Berlin also has an outstanding selection of language schools.

Do you help students to find accommodation?

In the last three to four years, Berlin has ran short of student accommodation. For example, the Studentenwerk Berlin often has a waiting list of hundreds of applicants in September and October.

The MBA&E has prepared for this by establishing a small programme dormitory. So we can ensure that our students have more accommodation choices at the beginning of the studies. Of course, capacity is limited but at the moment we accommodate ca. one-half of our students.

Why are you located in Berlin, a city with very little industry?

That’s correct – especially heavy industry is scarce in Berlin. But as a studying location the German capital is extremely interesting! Also our international students gain ground here easier than at most other places.

The Berlin economy is on a track of growth. In late years, it has been characterized not only by start-ups but also by large players that are coming into the city – not least due to the outstanding pool of international graduates paralleled by hardly any location worldwide!

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