Every April at Campus Düsseldorf, WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management greets the first intake of Full-Time MBA students of the year. On March 29, the WHU MBA Program once more welcomed an extremely diverse group: 31 MBA students hailing from 19 different nations across the globe including North and South America, Africa, South-East Asia, China, the Middle East, Europe, and India.
Most notable in light of this year’s #1 ranking (in Germany) with the Financial Times is the level of gender diversity, with women representing an incredible 45% of the 2020 cohort. The class, as always, represents a wide range of academic and professional experience, with an average of six years of practical knowledge from a broad spectrum of industries.
The new students kick-started their WHU MBA experience with an official greeting from Deputy Dean and Associate Dean for Academic Programs, Professor Dr. Jürgen Weigand, Academic Director of the MBA Program, Professor Dr. Martin Fassnacht, and MBA Program Director, Gerold Gnau. After the morning welcome, the cohort enjoyed an introduction to the various lectures, workshops, and experimental learning formats such as the Future Leaders’ Fundraising Challenge presented by Professor Dr. Nadine Kammerlander.
Following a class photo and campus tour in the sunshine, the afternoon opened with a taster to entrepreneurial activities on campus, with the student-led initiative WHU Entrepreneurship Roundtable. A bus tour through Düsseldorf rounded off the day’s schedule and welcomed the new intake to the multicultural and vibrant city.
“I’m so excited for the journey,” says new student Jennifer (Joo Young) Bae from South Korea. “I have a diverse background with experience working in both Seoul and New York City, so I can’t wait to learn from the professors and my classmates, and to rebrand and upgrade myself professionally.” New starter Ashley Black from the US adds, “I am looking forward to bringing the methods I have learnt from my undergraduate studies in the USA to the MBA program here, and using that knowledge to further my skills as a business woman.”
Leadership and entrepreneurial thinking are key to the curriculum at WHU, so April 1 signals the beginning of a busy week for the new starters with the start of the Future Leaders’ Fundraising Challenge. This weeklong exercise places the students into teams and challenges them to think strategically, while instilling a sense of social responsibility. Not only do the students gain skills they will develop throughout the rest of the program, but any funds gained from the challenge also benefit charity. Since the introduction of the challenge in 2016, Full-Time and Part-Time MBA students have raised an impressive total of €195,592.79for children’s rights organizations.
We wish the new MBA students good luck for the rest of the year – welcome to WHU!