- Individual and group assignments. As MBA students we do a lot of individual assignments which differ from course to course. For example, for Corporate Finance, we construct financing plans in Excel and forecast different scenarios. For Marketing, we had to write a reflection on one of the topics, and explain how we would use the tools and techniques learnt in the future. In addition to individual assignments, we have much many group assignments. Group assignments are very diverse. These assignments usually involve research, analysis, calculations, forecasts, creative problem solving and giving presentations.
- Active listening to lectures and guest speakers. ESMT professors spend very little time on pure lectures; they mainly try to encourage discussions and questions and answers even when explaining purely theoretical principles and methods. This gives us students a chance to learn by being an active listener. We often have guest speakers from different organizations who are people with lots of achievements. They share with us their experience and knowledge and readily answer our questions.
- Film watching and discussions. During some classes, we watch short films which illustrate the importance of a certain topic or push us to think about controversial aspects of business. After watching the videos, we usually reflect on them and discuss our opinions on the topic.
- Role-playing. Some teachers use role-playing as part of their classes. Role-playing means that each of us is assigned a specific role from a business case (eg. a CEO, CFO, a customer, the government etc.), and we play our roles as if we were the real person in the case. This kind of role playing stimulates learning and understanding different perspectives.
- Tests and experiments. We do many personality tests to understandour own character as well as that of our peers. These tests and experiments help us explore our strengths and weaknesses, as well as our interests and motivations so we understand how we can improve and develop ourselves.
- Presentations are an essential part of the MBA program at ESMT. Students give individual and group presentations on different topics. Afterward, professors give us feedback on our performance, and advise on how we can improve our presentation styles.
- Networking. Nowadays, networking is a necessary component of a successful professional’s day to day activities. Networking means meeting different people from various parts of the world with diverse backgrounds and establishing ties with them. ESMT gives us lots of opportunities for establishing valuable networks. First of all, we have access to the alumni network of ESMT. In addition, there are special events called Master Classes, wherea high-ranking person with exceptional leadership meets MBA students to shares his/her experience with them. Another interesting initiative which enhances our networks is an event called Bergfest. This is a student initiative organized at ESMT. During Bergfest we meet each other, ESMT faculty members and people from different organizations in an informal atmosphere and talk and enjoy food and drinks.
- Preparation for the future challenges after MBA. ESMT understands how important it is for its students to be ready to reenter the business world as a new leader with fresh mind and new skills. Throughout the MBA program, we attend special classes which aim to keep us informed about current trends and requirements in the job market, help us improve our CV and teach us how to preparefuture job interviews. Additionally, each of us has a corporate mentor. A corporate mentor is a person outside ESMT, from a business organization. He/she helps and advises us how to prepare for our future career. Usually, every MBA student is matched with a corporate mentor from an industry the student wants to work in. Corporate mentors give us a practical view of their business world and discusses our issues related to our post-MBA careers.
After you have read all those things that MBA students do, you may that there's no time rest. While the program is intense, we still find time to rest and have fun together. Some of us like to go to clubs and bars each Friday. Others use their weekends and holidays to explore Berlin and nearby places. ESMT is in the middle of Berlin and even through our class windows we see one of the most beautiful buildings in Berlin – Berliner Dom.
About Sona Rostomyan
Sona Rostomyan is a full-time MBA student at ESMT who was nominated as one of the Kofi Annan Fellows this year. Prior to joining ESMT as an MBA student, she started her career at one of the most rapidly growing banks in Armenia (Ameriabank CJSC) working first in the customer service department and then in the back office. She has more than 4 years experience in the banking industry (including customer transactions formalization, and account management). She enjoys solving mathematical puzzles, reading books and has a passion for photography.