Laura Rosicka has a goal. “At some point,” says the twenty-seven-year-old, “I want to assume a leadership role.” To make that dream reality, she’s now studying at WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management. This year, the part-time MBA program will bring 74 new young people through its doors, and the full-time program 35. WHU warmly welcomed Rosicka—and all 109 new students—this past Saturday evening at a celebration on the Duesseldorf campus in honor of the start of the new semester. Day one also coincided with a special anniversary: Exactly 10 years prior, WHU moved its MBA program from Vallendar to its newer campus at the Schwanenhoefe in Duesseldorf.
“Moving the MBA program from Vallendar to Duesseldorf was a breakthrough decision,” said Professor Martin Fassnacht, Academic Director of the MBA Program, at the WHU MBA Night, hosted in part by the alumni organization In Praxi. According to Professor Juergen Weigand, Deputy Dean of WHU and Associate Dean of Academic Programs, that move is what led to the program’s incredible success. He gave the students and the over 500 guests an overview of WHU’s development—from its humble beginnings to its current status as an internationally renowned business school. He recalled how the first group of part-time MBA students were housed in a hotel. It wasn’t until 2012 that WHU moved into its current campus.
This semester has already shown just how international and diverse both WHU and its cohorts have become over the years: Students from 15 different countries are working on their full-time MBA; in the part-time program, there are 20 countries represented. Both programs target young people with career experience seeking to further develop their managerial competency. On average, enrollees in the full-time MBA program have 5.6 years of work experience; those in the part-time program have six years. Laura Rosicka has worked for three years as a managerial assistant at a social media agency based in Berlin. After earning her bachelor’s degree in brand management, it was clear that she wanted to continue her education in the finance sector. It was not long before she made the decision to apply for the part-time MBA program at WHU. “The school’s reputation precedes it. And really, the idea of completing a master’s degree part time while continuing to work has always appealed to me,” she said.
During the official program start on Saturday evening, the newcomers were given a plethora of information to help them organize their studies. Following the ceremony, they started their leadership journey by kicking off the traditional week-long Future Leaders’ Fundraising Challenge, under the direction of Professor Jane Lê and Assistant Professor Pisitta Vongswasdi. The goal of the FLFC is to show students what “leadership” truly means. The name of the game is to collect as many donations as possible for a predetermined relief project. Along the way, the students receive support from some of today’s leading industry experts, helping them to hone their sense of sustainable and social responsibility—both within their own organization and beyond. But first thing’s first. Those in attendance at the WHU MBA Night had ample chance to get to know each other and connect with alumni and members of In Praxi.