I want to become a future leader fit for the biggest challenge ahead of us.

Mats Brandt, Germany
Institution:Imperial College Business School
Program:MSc Management
Degree:2020-2021

What did you do before this Masters?

I started my professional career in 2015. For my bachelor’s degree, I received sponsorship from Beiersdorf AG, a multinational FMCG producer (including brands such as NIVEA and Eucerin) based in Hamburg, Germany. The following three years I spent my time rotationally at university for study terms and at the company for internships (each lasting three months). I gained insights into accounting, marketing, reporting and analytics, manufacturing controlling, sales, and business controlling. After graduation, I worked full-time as a consultant in our group accounting and controlling department until the start of my Master’s programme.

Why did you decide to do this Masters?

With the MSc International Management programme at Imperial, it was specifically the focus on leadership abilities and international exposure, as well as mindset development, that caught my attention. I want to become a future leader fit for the biggest challenge ahead of us - to drive sustainable and innovative business models and growth in volatile markets and uncertain environments.

Why did you choose this school?

Many factors drove my decision to study at Imperial College Business School. Personally, I wanted to prove myself in a very competitive environment, stretching my abilities at one of the world’s leading business schools. It was partly my inner curiosity that pushed me towards this combination of programme and school. I did not search for the option with the highest possible overall grade; I searched for the challenge.

What did you experience during the programme?

My favourite module has been Leadership in Action – it is the only module that accompanies us on our transformational journey for the entire year, and does so with a very unique approach. It has by far been the most interactive module in the first term and fostered a very strong culture of exchange, collaboration, and learning among the cohort. Participation surveys after each class make you reflect on your contribution to the discussion. While some say that this provides additional pressure to engage in class, I highly appreciated the learning effect. When filling out the surveys, I always reflected on what I’d said in class and what the lecturer or other students added to this. This is a long-term learning achievement that I would not have reached without this approach.

Leadership in Action is what really differentiates this programme from other management programmes at comparable business schools and universities. I did not expect to be taken on such a reflective and transformational journey within just a couple of weeks. You will start to intensively question yourself, your behaviours, your decisions, mistakes and what you can learn from them. You will understand how others perceive you and how you can use your strengths and weaknesses to shape your environment, ultimately leading people around you. For me, this experience helped me make huge progress in understanding and leading people.

I am also delighted that I received the opportunity to represent my cohort as the Academic Leader. As part of the Student-Staff Committee (SSC), I am in regular exchange with the programme’s management team. We raise the concerns and proposals of our fellow students and work on continuously improving the MSc International Management programme together for future cohorts. In this position, I also gain insights into the processes and the future initiatives of the Business School.

How did you benefit from the programme?

The biggest asset of this programme is the cohort itself. Our extremely diverse group of students from all around the world, with various backgrounds, focus areas, and interests, is of tremendous value for everyone. We may be very different, but we are all here for the same reason: to grow personally, to build our networks, and to find friends for the rest of our lives. Every individual in our cohort has unique stories to tell, unique experiences to share or unique knowledge to offer. I am pretty sure that a business created solely with people from our cohort could be quite successful! We all share the same values but combine a very broad range of skills and expertise that make us a highly effective group.

The relationships to the people in our cohort and the atmosphere are incredibly rewarding. As the Academic Leader I am impressed by the appreciation that we as theSSC receive from our fellow students. We put a lot of work and effort into all of the topics we cover, but I know from past experiences that this does not necessarily mean receiving recognition. To see that people value engagement motivates me even more to raise my voice for every single student on our programme.

Why would you recommend this programme to others?

The MSc International Management at Imperial College is incredibly international – not only in terms of fellow students, who enhance the entire student experience with their diverse backgrounds, but also in terms of the extra-curricular activities. This enables us to broaden our mindset, gain new insights from different locations and learn how very different perspectives can shape similar challenges. However, the biggest asset and a real USP is the exclusive Leadership in Action module. It consists of lectures, workshops, and projects across the entire year and equips us with important techniques to reflect on ourselves, develop leadership abilities, and gain hands-on experience. The opportunity to shape the second part of our studies towards our individual needs and study abroad with another renowned university complement the overall experience.

More Information

University Profile:Imperial College Business School
MIM-Profile::MSc Management

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