On Saturday, August 28, the WHU Full-Time MBA Program and the Part-Time MBA Program welcomed its new cohorts. This is a regular occurrence for the program every year. But what made this particularly special was that almost every student could attend the event at Campus Dusseldorf and in-person for the first time in over a year.
Year on year, Germany’s #1 MBA Program has been growing, both in numbers and nationalities. This year was no different, with a total of 134 attendees. Students hail from across the globe, including Australia, China, Chile, Italy, Japan, Portugal, and Peru, enriching the cultural diversity of the group.
MBA programs at WHU are renowned for being international. However, the cohorts also represent a diverse mix of ages, academic backgrounds, and professional experience. In this new cohort, they represent an average of six years of work experience in the Full-Time MBA and five years of experience in the Part-Time MBA. Some students hail from engineering backgrounds or the arts, to more traditional business backgrounds such as sales or consulting. Gender diversity continues to grow, with 38% female in the Full-Time MBA and 34% in the Part-Time MBA.
“Being a strong leader in a modern corporation requires the ability to foster and build a strong networking with the right people,” says Part-Time MBA student Enrique Vargas. “That is one of the reasons I decided to join the MBA Program at WHU. Based on the program’s reputation and what I have seen during the first days, with classmates coming from more than 22 countries, I am thrilled and truly confident that the WHU will help me expand my German network and my international one well. Especially now that we can be together on campus can look at each other faces and share the same excitement.”
While the week ahead for the students looks to be an intense and challenging introduction to the programs, the first two days give them a chance to understand general structures and organization. Saturday kicked off with a welcome from the Dean, Professor Dr. Markus Rudolf, Deputy Dean, Associate Dean Academic Programs, Professor Dr. Jürgen Weigand, Academic Director MBA Program, Professor Dr. Martin Fassnacht, and Program Director MBA, Dr. Zeeshan Sultan.
With formalities out of the way, students are introduced to the Future Leaders Fundraising Challenge by Professor Dr. Jane Lê. This prepares them for a fast-paced challenge focused on innovation, leadership, and entrepreneurship. “The first day has been a mix of emotions,” says Full-Time MBA student Francesco Luongo. “It is great to be part of such an enthusiastic and energetic class, and I felt relieved seeing so many people again together in a safe environment. I hope that this program will provide me with stronger skills in leadership and competencies in finance and an opportunity to build a network of talented people. I chose WHU because I wanted a big change in my career. I am certain that WHU will provide me with all the tools that I need to make a triple career change (country, industry, and function).”
The Future Leaders Fundraising Challenge is a crucial part of the program, as it offers students a crash course in strategy and teamwork in an experiential setting. This weeklong event provides the teams a different challenge every day. These challenges equip them with unique skills they will continue to develop throughout their studies while raising money for charity.