Germany has always been a superpower in technology, research, and innovation. The country has got the 4th largest economy in the world and comparatively far more stable than the US. Traditionally, Germany has always attracted Indian (and international) students for technical (STEM) programs. However, over the last decade, Germany has also become one of the popular MBA destinations for Indian and international candidates.
However, a majority of Indian and foreign students have concerns about academics, language requirements, job prospects (especially for non-German speakers), etc. So, we got in touch with the Admissions and Communications Team at ESMT Berlin in order to find out more about studying an MBA in Germany, and other details about the ESMT Berlin MBA and MiM programs.
ESMT Berlin MBA & MiM Rankings
ESMT (European School of Management and Technology) Berlin is one of the top business schools in Germany and Europe. The ESMT MBA program consistently ranks among the FT Top 100 Global Rankings. Additionally, the ESMT MiM program also ranks well in both FT and QS rankings.
ESMT is a private business school founded by 25 multinational corporations. The school focuses on the development of entrepreneurial and sustainable leadership. The research concept of ESMT sets three major research areas of expertise: Leadership, Innovation, and Analytics.
ESMT Berlin MBA
Class Profile, Academics, Eligibility, Deadlines, Fees, Scholarships, Placements & Salaries
Q&A with Laurence Wilson
Q 1. How do you see the COVID-19 situation affecting the MBA applications at ESMT Berlin for 2021 admissions round, especially from foreign students?
ESMT is being as flexible as possible regarding the current COVID-19 disruption, students with any reservations should get in touch with the admissions team directly and their question will be dealt with personally.
On a larger scale, we have not seen a drop in applications, and we are fortunate that this year ESMT is launching the world’s first Triple Accredited blended MBA. This Part-Time MBA is 80% online, and so the advances we have made with online education are now benefitting our other programs that have temporarily switched to online education.
All classes will start as advertised and there are contingency plans in place in case of further disruption.
Q 2. What are some of the lesser-known facts about ESMT Berlin MBA and MiM programs that you would like to share with prospective international applicants?
ESMT keeps its class size small, with around 50 students for the MBA, EMBA, and Part-Time MBA, and 100 students for the MIM. This is deliberately so as we seek to create a curated class of students who will benefit from the intimate and collaborative nature of working with a small group.
Q 3. In the US, there are a lot of STEM-designated MBA programs. How is ESMT Berlin keeping its MBA program relevant in today’s tech and data-driven job market?
One of the main benefits to ESMT of access to our Founder companies is their near-instant feedback on the state of the job market and letting us know of any skills shortages.
As a result of this, ESMT redesigned its curriculum to include specializations in Entrepreneurship & Innovation and Data Analytics. This meant our students were some of the first to reach the market with these new, high demand, technical skills.
Q 4. Quite often candidates struggle to decide between MBA and MiM. How should candidates decide the right program?
The MIM and MBA at ESMT have been designed with two different audiences in mind.
The ESMT Masters in Management (MIM) program has a maximum work experience limit of 18 months, and the two-year curriculum is designed to give students lots of work experience outside the classroom.
The MBA requires at least 3 years of work experience, and the one-year curriculum is designed to get students back into the job market as quickly as possible.
Related Article: MiM vs MBA – How to Choose the Right Program for Career?
Q 5. Could you please provide a few insights on the MBA application review process of ESMT?
Once an application is received, candidates will be invited to interview with a member of the admissions team. All applications are assessed holistically with each part of the application carrying equal weight. During the interview, admissions staff are trying to find candidates with a collaborative nature, who will work to ensure the success of the whole of their class.
Q 6. How should an applicant decide if s/he is a good fit for the ESMT Berlin full-time MBA program? Once decided, how they should demonstrate the fit-factor on the application?
What ESMT focuses on most is what is motivating the applicant to do an MBA and how do they see their career evolving after the program. It is important that the applicant’s expectations are aligned with what our program can deliver.
We are concentrating on why an applicant would choose ESMT as their next step in their further career progression. Applicants need to be prepared to outline their post-MBA career aspirations thoroughly in the application essay and the interview.
We also recommend applicants to check out the school by contacting alumni, current students, and/or reaching out to the admissions team. Candidates are evaluated on the basis of the ability of the school to deliver on their expectations, their likelihood of successful program completion, as well as their ability to add to the experience of other members of the relevant program cohort.
Q 7. Could you please share a few stats on the ESMT MBA class profile?
As the majority of our students are international (94% non-German) the information contained in the MBA brochure should be sufficient for the above. As we search for a highly international student body, ESMT does not discriminate between EU and non-EU residents.
Q 8. How studying in Berlin is different from any other location in Asia, Europe, or North America? What are the unique advantages of studying in Berlin for international students?
Every year, over half of ESMT’s students relocate to Berlin from foreign countries. Some students plan to return home after graduation, and some come to ESMT with the goal of staying in Germany and hence participating actively in Europe’s largest economy.
There are also many students who are considering changing locations and moving to any given country post-graduation. No matter what the end goal is, all students spend time living and studying in beautiful Berlin.
Living in Germany during your studies is rewarding. The country is well connected to the whole of Europe, which means that you have a wide variety of vacation options during your study breaks. The visa processes are relatively easy and straightforward – you receive personal support for these steps from our Student Services manager once you are accepted for a program. More information about student life in Germany could be found here.
Q 9. Despite the one-year length, how do you ensure that the MBA program retains the practical relevance?
ESMT focusses it’s teaching on practical relevance throughout the time spent in the classroom. However, the curriculum also includes a Consulting Project, in which students work directly with companies to solve real-world problems.
Previous examples have included branding a major anniversary at a European airline and increasing revenue at a Berlin-based NGO. This allows students to implement what they have learned in a real-world situation before graduation.
Q 10. ESMT Berlin follows a rolling admissions policy. But, do you suggest any particular application deadline for improving their admission chances and smoother visa process?
Whilst ESMT accepts students right up until the final deadline, we always encourage students to apply as early in the year as possible. It allows students to take advantage of the Early Bird tuition discount, gives more time to process visas, and also prepare for the relocation to Berlin.
Q 11. How much importance does the admission committee give to the brand name (or reputation) of the undergraduate institute and employer of an international applicant?
It is great if you come from a reputed university. The same refers to the company you have worked before joining a business school. However, we take a careful look at your grades and the subjects and how you performed – be it from a well-reputed or less-reputed school. The same refers to your professional experience. The name of your company is one thing, but more important is the position you hold. What were your responsibilities? Were you in charge of a team, processes, budgets? How did you perform? That is what the admissions team concentrates more on.
Q 12. What are the common mistakes you see in international applications?
The essay introduces applicants as an individual and shows how the applicant is unique when compared to others with similar test scores and professional experience.
We feel that not all applicants take advantage of that chance. Many seem to forget that essays are a unique opportunity to reflect one’s personality and life experiences. Essays should sound like the applicant and should be written by the applicant. Admissions managers are not looking for a specific answer to any of the questions. There is no right or wrong.
Many applicants use tiresome industry jargon, technical terms, financial lingo, or management-speak. Avoid this. Keep it simple and to the point. Stress what makes you unique.
Quite a few applicants submit an application full of typos and grammatical errors.
Q 13. Quite often MBA applicants struggle to get a good recommendation letter. What’s your advice on how to approach referees for getting strong and personalized letters of recommendation?
The people that you choose, and the thoroughness and enthusiasm of their recommendations, are a critical element in your file.
Make sure that your recommender knows you well and will take the time to write a thorough and supportive letter, detailing your performance with specific examples rather than general statements.
The ideal letter is from a current or recent supervisor. If you feel that asking such a person will jeopardize your job situation, and you would prefer to ask someone else—a client, for example— do so.
Applicants should take the time to prepare a list of potential recommenders. We suggest a meeting or speaking with them before they write the letter, so they really understand why you are applying to a particular school. Make sure to give your recommenders time. It is up to you to manage your recommendations from start to finish.
The same is applicable for entrepreneurs and self-employed (or freelancers). along with achievement demonstrations (funding, revenue, and exit/acquisition, or even if it’s a failed one) recommendation letters from clients or investors are of course welcome.
Q 14. What does ESMT Berlin look for international applicants for scholarships and how is the review process for the scholarship applications?
Scholarships will be allocated on the basis of intellectual excellence, evidence of personal & professional achievement, and evidence of strong leadership potential.
ESMT exclusively offers scholarships in conjunction with a successful application to its MBA program. The scholarship is not donated in the form of cash and will be deducted from the applicant’s tuition fees.
In the online application, applicants have the option to write a scholarship essay. The essay gives the chance to share their opinion about why they should receive one. Applicants have the chance to elaborate on their achievements and special qualifications. There are no separate essays for scholarships. In one essay a candidate can apply for multiple scholarships or just one.
The amount of the scholarship will be decided after a candidate has been accepted into the program. Candidates are evaluated in conjunction with the overall application.
All applicants with a GMAT score above 650 (or equivalent GRE score) receive a pre-defined sum. Additionally, early-bird applications and German language skills also help to get scholarships. Read more about MBA Scholarships and Financing Options at ESMT.
Q 15. What’s the percentage of non-EU students who remain and work in Germany (or Europe) after completing the MBA from ESMT Berlin?
The German government is very eager to retain students after graduation, and as such all graduates are automatically given an 18-month visa to remain and work after graduation.
80% of the last MBA class chose to take advantage of this fact and remain in Germany for their first job after graduation. After these 18 months, the group is split into three segments, with a one-third remaining in Germany for the long term, and one-third moving elsewhere in Europe, and the remaining moving internationally.
ESMT has a consistently strong pool of students from India and as such as have a large Indian alumni network, working not just in Germany but all around the world.
Q 16. What are the most suitable job roles that are generally preferable for foreign MBA graduates/students with no German language proficiency?
The job market in Germany does not often require people to speak the German language, and our Careers Team is set up to find people work in English. The overwhelming majority of our students do not speak German to a professional degree upon graduation, yet do not struggle to find employment.
However, there are certain instances where it is required, the most commonly requested being consulting, which will almost always ask for German language skills.
Q 17. How does the ESMT Berlin Careers Team help international MBA students with their career planning and job placements?
The work of the career team is split into two segments. Firstly, improving your profile through things like CV workshops, Strength Finders, etc. and secondly through networking, bringing you to companies through company visits, and bringing companies to you on campus.
Whilst the work of the careers team is to secure you the best possible job after graduation, ESMT Berlin also offers individual career coaching to ensure you are on the right path for the long term as well as in the immediate future.
Q 18. Finally, how can an international applicant get more personalized information before submitting an application (apart from the official website)?
ESMT is fortunate that our small size allows us to spend more time with applicants. We always encourage applicants to reach out to staff, students, or alumni whenever possible. We can facilitate discussions between candidates and student ambassadors.
A good tip is typing ESMT into the search bar on LinkedIn to see who in your network has studied with us. You can then reach out to alumni directly. Typically alumni are more than happy to speak to candidates about their time with ESMT Berlin.
Other Key Facts about ESMT Berlin MBA
ESMT Berlin MBA tuition fees:
€43,500 (~ INR 36 Lacs / USD $47,000)
ESMT Berlin MBA Admission Requirements:
- 3 years of professional (postgraduate) experience
- An undergraduate degree or equivalent professional qualification
- Strong GMAT or GRE score (average ESMT Berlin GMAT score is 640)
- TOEFL, IELTS or equivalent proof of English proficiency for non-native speakers
- Completed online application including two references
- Interview either in person or via Skype or Zoom
ESMT MBA Scholarship Amount:
ESMT Berlin doesn’t disclose scholarship amount details. However, from our own experience at Stoodnt (previous admits and data from MBA admissions consultants), we have seen Indian candidates with excellent academic grades, GMAT score of 700+ (or 320+ in GRE), and proven track record in the professional front getting EUR 15,000 – 20,000 scholarship (tuition-fee waiver).
ESMT Berlin Application Deadlines:
The final application deadline for non-EU applicants is November 2 and December 1 for applicants holding an EU
passport or coming from a country that does not require a visa to study in Germany (e.g. Australia, Brazil,
Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, and the USA).
Average Salaries, Jobs & Career Transitions after ESMT MBA:
Acknowledgment: We would like to thank Ankan Guria (ESMT MBA Student’ 2020) and Toni Trommer (Marketing Manager, ESMT Berlin) for this Q&A blog article.