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Three success factors

In the balancing act between work and study, the MBA International Management Part-Time pulls out all the stops

Lecture meets team building: Students from the 3rd semester travelled to a hut in the Allgäu region to learn and network.

Von Heike Trost & Katrin Reil

Starting university is an exciting new phase in life - even for the old hands. Those admitted to the MBA International Management Part-Time programme have already completed a degree and gained at least two years of professional experience. Nevertheless, returning to university for the part-time MBA brings new challenges. How do you balance your job and your studies?

Success factor 1: Community and ESB Spirit.

"Right at the beginning of the semester, we got together in a hut in the Allgäu region and listened to our lecture on leadership and managing people - in front of a mountain panorama," the third-semester students tell us. They organized the trip themselves - also to bond even better as a group. Because they don't see each other every day during their studies, it's important for them to build up a strong network so as to work well together and support each other in difficult phases. For the Allgäu travellers, the mission was a success, says Alexander Plonka, a student in his 3rd semester. “Our time together was about fun, responsibility, respect, trust and commitment - in keeping with the ESB Spirit,” he says.

Success factor 2: Flexibility.

To ensure that students can combine work and study, the MBA International Management Part-Time uses a combination of different teaching formats. "We see that students benefit enormously from in-person classes," says programme coordinator Jevgenia Lang. "That's why we're happy to now be able to hold most of our classes in a normal class format again." At the same time, however, online events - such as the virtual contact seminars - now have a permanent place in the curriculum. They are held by professors and guest lecturers and offer the opportunity to study course content in depth or to provide project coaching.

In addition to variable event formats, Simone Brauchle, a student in her 2nd semester, also appreciates the flexibility with regard to examination performance: "In many of my subjects, there are no classic exams at the end of the semester; instead, we write papers and presentations. I think that's a great approach, because it's exactly what matters in everyday professional life - applying what you've learned and working in diverse teams.

Success factor 3: Creative learning management.

"It's a big challenge to combine the MBA International Management Part-Time programme with my normal day-to-day work. However, the more weeks go by, the better the coordination of job and studies becomes. It's important to set aside fixed time slots for preparing for and following up lectures, as well as for the set tasks and learning for exams," says Celine Maurer, who is one of the first-semester students in the MBA International Management Part-Time course this winter semester.

She usually studies in the evenings or on weekends when there are no lectures. Moral and academic support comes from fellow students who are in the same situation. “We have an online group and are in a lively exchange about assignments, class content and organizational matters. This helps solve problems and questions, clarify facts, and provides a good connection. Students who already know some of the material from their previous course contribute this knowledge and help with questions about the course content,” she says.

Cohesion, flexibility, personal initiative and good support from the lecturers and the entire team - you can learn a lot from the success factors in the MBA International Management Part-Time programme. Certainly, Celine Maurer draws a positive conclusion about her first weeks at ESB Business School - "I am happy to be in the MBA Part-Time programme and wish us all a great time."