First modules have been successfully completed online with live teaching sessions

The Corona Crisis has also affected our MBA. Like all programs around the world we were faced with a complete University shut down since March. Being a program which does all its teaching in presence, we had to make a decision to either pause the program or to switch to an online format. To not loose time and not knowing how long the shutdown would last, we quickly decided, together with our students, to continue with live streaming sessions.

DSC 0147 bearbeitet kleinLuckily we already had some experience with digital education because two years ago we started to tape teaching sessions of core MBA modules and provided the content as “Digital Video Handouts” to students for better preparation for assignments.

This was very well received as helpful digital study support. However, transferring a whole module to a digital format was a big challenge. One thing was clear from the start: We wanted to provide the best teaching quality possible as this is the core competence of our program. Thanks to the help of our excellent technical staff and the professional curiosity of our lecturers we switched to online teaching, keeping the original schedule to give everyone maximum planning security.

After successfully completing two modules “Strategic Management” taught by me and “Financial Accounting” taught by my colleague Prof. Frank Althoff, we became braver. Included in the module “Leadership” (lecturer Prof. Waldemar Pelz) there was a 2 weekend communication training session held by Volker Michel, who is an experienced personal communication trainer. The session included topics such as body posture and body language or use of language and intonation as well as peer reviews on presentation skills. These topics already pose challenges to a presence format. Moving everything online was a very special effort. We decided to install a studio set up in one of our empty classrooms to be able to show Volker in full size using studio sound, light and cameras. Besides being al lot of fun for everyone, it was a memorable experience and showed the full potential of online teaching.

I would like to take the opportunity to thank Volker for his great Online adaptation of this module and Andy Deublein who as our technical specialist provided the professional environment which made everything possible.

Design Thinking drives Innovation” was the theme of this year’s MBA Alumni Day from November 15th to 16th

The MBA Alumni Association once again chose a very important business topic for this year’s Alumni Day: Innovation and its drivers.Group Picture 2019

The stylish location for creative thinking “Out of Office” in Frankfurt-Sachsenhausen with a fantastic view on the Frankfurt Skyline, provided the perfect setting for the event. Almost 50 Alumni including 15 students from our partner University Bergamo met to get inspired and meet old and new friends.

Prof. Stefanie Wannow, THM Business School Professor for Marketing and a specialist on innovation, started the day with a very insightful presentation on role of innovation for modern business. In her view innovation will drive future business success more than ever in business history. Acceleration of knowledge, low cost innovation and user-centered & open innovation lead to a democratization of innovation. To capture the full potential companies have to adjust and align structures, resources and systems and develop a company culture to foster innovation. Innovation needs creative thinking which means to think out of the box using new ways to approach a problem by activating the right side of the brain. Besides creative minds companies also need an entrepreneurial spirit. To prove the point she analyzed several successful entrepreneurs and startup businesses such as Elon Musk from Tesla or Ethan Brown from Beyond Meat who possess very special skills such as vision, self-confidence, purpose, sacrifice and endurance in order to grow their creative ideas into a successful business. Finally, she outlined success factors for effective innovation teams such as psychological safety, diversity, shared purpose & meaning, conflict resolution management, autonomy & integration.

Baltic Management Institute visits THM Business School for Innovation and Industrie 4.0 Conference

Baltic Management Institute Innovation and Industrie 4.0 Conference

From October 10th to 12th the THM Business School hosted the 4th annual conference on Industrie 4.0 for our partner the Baltic Management Institute. 16 Participants from Vilnius met in Frankfurt to listen to the latest developments in this very dynamic field of innovation. Prof. Hayo Reimers opened up the conference with an insightful macroeconomic outlook on the German and European economy followed by Prof. Nils Madeja who analyzed the Innovation Environment in Germany which is fueled by the Digitalization. New business models are challenging existing businesses and their revenue streams. With real business cases he highlighted the need for transformation for many traditional German businesses. They have to refocus innovation on business models and systems rather than single products. Finally, Prof. Gerrit Sames presented the latest technology and systems for the Industrie 4.0 revolution. According to him whole business streams need to be looked at in order to successfully implement digital tools. Hereby the developed system will only be as strong as its weakest part. He criticizes that many businesses are still thinking too much in isolated solutions.

 Absolvent Stephan Schwilden vom THM MBA-Programm berichtet in der Süddeutschen Zeitung
(Nr. 218, Freitag, 20.9.2019)

„Man kann sich nur durchbeißen,
wenn man das selbst will“

Da saß er dann, Wochenende für Wochenende, ein erfahrener Anwalt aus Frankfurt am Main und Mitgründer einer großen, international agierenden Kanzlei, unter jüngeren Berufsanfängern, fast als einziger Jurist:

Foto SchwildenIn seinem MBA-Kurs an der Technischen Hochschule Mittelhessen fühlte sich Stephan Schwilden manchmal schon etwas exotisch. Auf seiner Visitenkarte stand bereits der Doktortitel, promoviert hatte der Jurist 2004. „Bei mittelständischen Unternehmen in Deutschland ist der Doktortitel wichtig, der schafft Vertrauen“, sagt Schwilden.

Warum dann ein MBA-Studium? „Als Karrierebooster brauchte ich das nicht“, betont der Jurist, „doch durch den MBA konnte ich mein wirtschaftliches Wissen vertiefen, und das auch in Bereichen, mit denen man als Jurist eher wenig zu tun hat – etwa ‚ Sales and Management‘.“ Und noch einen Aspekt führt Schwilden an: Im Internationalen Umfeld verliert der Doktortitel an Bedeutung, der MBA dagegen zählt mehr. Schwildens Kanzlei hat eine große Mandatsbasis im Ausland, da schafft der Master of Business Administration einen Vertrauensvorschuss. Da seine Mandanten ausschließlich Wirtschaftsunternehmen sind, muss ihr Anwalt eine Bilanz interpretieren können –und die Sprache der Wirtschaftsleute verstehen und selbst sprechen, erklärt Stephan Schwilden.

Natürlich sei ein MBA aufwendig, aber nicht ganz so aufwendig wie ein komplettes BWL-Studium. „Im Rückblick sagt man ja gerne, war halb so schlimm. Doch es ist die Extra-Meile, die man gehen muss, das frisst Zeit am Wochenende“, gibt der Anwalt zu. Dank der richtigen Einstellung habe er sich gut motivieren können. Und die klingt so: „Man sollte den MBA nicht für jemand anderen machen, auch nicht für das Unternehmen oder weil man dann eine Gehaltsklasse höher rutscht, sondern nur für sich selbst. Man kann sich nur durchbeißen, wenn man das selbst will.“

Für Schwilden war es bereichernd, aus seinem gewohnten Umfeld herauszukommen und sich mit  Chemikern, Betriebswirten, Vertriebsspezialisten auszutauschen, sich andere Gedankengänge zu erlauben. „Das hat den Horizont erweitert“, sagt er. Direkt nach dem MBA analysierte er mittels eines speziellen Analyse-Tools die Wettbewerbsposition seiner Kanzlei und richtete mit seinen Partnern die Strategien für die Zukunft neu aus. „Anwälte beschäftigen sich im Tagesgeschäft oft viel zu wenig mit der eigenen Positionierung am Markt und mit Wachstumsstrategien“, hat Schwilden beobachtet. „Der MBA gibt einem noch einmal das Rüstzeug und den Gedankenanstoß, in diesen Bereichen etwas zu ändern.“

Weitere Informationen erhalten Sie unter oder telefonisch: 0641-309-2707.

//Stephan Schwilden, Christiane Bertelsmann - Süddeutsche Zeitung 20.September 2019

MBA Trip to Charlotte 2019After having visited the Charlotte area three years ago, as a part of my own MBA-studies, I gratefully took the chance to join the MBA XVI group on their stay to beautiful North Carolina as the accompanying lecturer and representative of the THM Business School and its MBA-Program. Charlotte and its surrounding area represent a prosperous and rising region in the Southeast of the United States, midway between Washington DC and Atlanta. The “Queen-City” is home to the corporate headquarters of Bank of America and the east coast operations of Wells Fargo, which along with other financial institutions has made it the second-largest banking center in the United States. Furthermore, many industries have production sites and subsidiaries in the area; a steadily growing number of corporations from Germany is active in and around Charlotte. Moreover, it is a great place for sport-enthusiasts with its prominent teams in American Football (Carolina Panthers), Basketball (Charlotte Hornets) and Baseball (Charlotte Knights). In addition, it is a great place to visit music concerts.

Within the few days a stayed there, Guns n’ Roses (sad I missed them) and Phil Collins (not so sad) had performances in the local spectrum arena. Getting to Charlotte from Germany is relatively easy; several airlines provide a direct connection from Frankfurt to this international hub. For a number years, Prof. Christopher “Doc” Howard holds the International Business Seminar at Pfeiffer University and it was an exciting experience to meet him as a colleague this time and not as a student. Dana Hanson, another dear person I was enthusiastic to meet again, organized the program and planned our agenda. Moreover, she empathically served as a fixer for all upcoming problems during our stay.

Academically, the twelve students received a number of case studies in advance, which had to be read prior to the visit. In class, Doc and the students discussed possible strategies and operations to resolve the problems entailed in the cases. As a final exam, each group got their own case on Friday, which they had to solve within a few hours. The official visiting program included a Charlotte City Tour, on which we could see many wealthy parts of town, former cotton-factories turning into housing and breweries (!) and the inner city. During the week, we also had the chance to listen to two stimulating guest speakers. Mr. Sven Gerzer, Vice President of Economic Development at the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, gave us information and fun facts about the general economic situation in Charlotte and the possibilities for foreign direct investments in the area. Ms. Kristin Whalen, Attorney at Law at Bridgehouse Law, contributed an interesting speech on “Product Liability in the United States vs Germany”. The visits at four major corporations were on the schedule, too. The earlier mentioned Wells Fargo impressed us with its huge trading floors, gigantic halls in which traders buy and sell bonds and securities while they gather information from sometimes six monitors at a time.

MBA digitalDie Digitalisierung ist eine der größten Veränderungen der Gesellschaft und Wirtschaft der letzten Jahrzehnte. Sie hat zur Folge, dass neue Geschäftsprozesse und Modelle entstehen und stellt das Management aller Unternehmen vor erhebliche Herausforderungen, sich diesen neuen Trends anzupassen und sie für das eigene Geschäftsmodell zu nutzen. Die extreme Dynamik der Entwicklung hat dazu geführt, dass viele Firmen die für die Digitalisierung notwendigen Fähigkeiten bei Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeitern erst noch entwickeln müssen. Eine kürzlich durchgeführte Umfrage bei 100 mittelhessischen Firmen hat ergeben, dass darüber hinaus ein außerordentlicher Bedarf and qualifizierten Fachkräften in diesem Bereich besteht. Im Durchschnitt plant jedes zweite der befragten Unternehmen Neueinstellungen im Bereich des Digital Business.

Die THM Business School trägt dieser Entwicklung Rechnung, indem es seine Curricula in Bachelor und Master durch Inhalte im Bereich Digital Business ergänzt und erweitert. Mit Prof. Dr. Nils Madeja konnte ein absoluter Spezialist in diesem Bereich für eine neu geschaffene Professur für Digital Business gewonnen werden. Als erstes Programm wird nun das Executive MBA Programm der THM Business School neu ausgerichtet. In einem neu konzipierten Modul „Digital Business“ werden Inhalte wie Digitale Geschäftsmodelle, Digitales Prozessmanagement und Industrie 4.0 vermittelt. Darüber hinaus werden digitale Inhalte in verschiedene Module wie z.B. Marketing eingearbeitet.

Ein weiterer wichtiger Aspekt für das Programm ist die Digitalisierung der Lehre und Didaktik. Obwohl der MBA ein Präsenzstudium ist, können bereits jetzt Vorlesungsinhalte aus Schlüsselmodulen digital auf einer speziell bereitgestellten Plattform abgerufen werden. „Dies ist ein enormer Vorteil für Studierende des MBA, die alle einer Vollzeitbeschäftigung im Management nachgehen und das Studium berufsbegleitend absolvieren“, sagt Prof. Jan Freidank, der Leiter des Programms. Die Nacharbeit der Modulinhalte und Vorbereitung auf Prüfungen kann jetzt komplett digital und an jedem Ort der Erde erfolgen. „Das Feedback zu diesem neuen Angebot ist bisher außerordentlich positiv ausgefallen“, resümiert Freidank.

Die THM Business School schließt mit diesem Angebot eine wichtige Ausbildungslücke für die mittelhessische Wirtschaft. Weitere Informationen erhalten Sie unter oder telefonisch: 0641-309-2707.

//Jan Freidank May 2019

MBA Abschlussfeier 2019 00233Die Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen hat zehn Absolventen des berufsbegleitenden Studiengangs Master of Business Administration (MBA) verabschiedet. Sie kamen mit Angehörigen und Lehrkräften der THM Business School bei einer Feierstunde zusammen.

Dort sagte Studiengangsleiter Prof. Dr. Jan Freidank bei der Begrüßung: „In Zeiten globaler Herausforderungen und einer sich immer dynamischer entwickelnden Wirtschaftswelt ist es wichtig, den Wandel mitzugestalten, anstatt nur auf ihn zu reagieren. Hierbei möchte das Programm einen Beitrag leisten, indem es seine Ausbildung konsequent auf internationale und interdisziplinäre Inhalte ausrichtet. Hierzu gehört auch die Aufnahme von Themen zur Digitalisierung in das Curriculum.“ Der Fachbereich Wirtschaft aktualisiere permanent das Studienprogramm. Das führe zu einer sehr hohen Zufriedenheit bei den Teilnehmern.

Als Jahrgangsbester mit einer Abschlussnote von 1,2 wurde Sebastian Koch ausgezeichnet, der bei dem international tätigen Autozulieferer Küster arbeitet. Bekannte Unternehmen wie Continental oder Fresenius haben wiederholt Nachwuchsführungskräfte in den berufsbegleitenden MBA-Kurs des Fachbereichs Wirtschaft entsandt. Im aktuellen Jahrgang waren Ingenieure, IT-Spezialisten, Chemiker und Betriebswirte unter den Teilnehmern. Zum Programm gehören auch Auslandsaufenthalte in Italien und den USA.


//Jan Freidank Februar 2019

MBA Alumni meets in Frankfurt for their annual Alumni Day

This year theme was the impact of digitalization transformation on business and its impact on the future of work.AlumniDay2018 kleinGroup

The event started with a casual get together at the ALEX Frankfurt Skyline Plaza on Friday November 16th followed by a full day on Saturday November 17th at the Evangelische Akademie located in the heart of Frankfurt at the Römer. More than 40 Alumni and current students joined the event. In addition to our friends from University of Bergamo we also welcomed Alumni from BMI Vilnius turning the Alumni Day into truly international event.

Digital transformation expert Peter Knapp opened the day with a very insightful look into the roadmap for Digitial Transformation of a manufacturing company. As former Chief Digital Officer and experienced head of some of the largest data centers in Europe he was able to showcase challenges of digital transformations. In his view deep commitment and digital skills are needed from top management which cannot be achieved by a singular strategy workshop. He recommends to develop a long term strategy and detailed digital roadmap which helps a company to prioritize and allocate resources needed for the digital transformation. “Knowledge and use of digital buzz words” will not be enough to compete any longer.

Baltic Management Institute visits THM Business School for Industrie 4.0 Conference

BMI 2018 kleiner2

From October 25th to 27th our MBA partner BMI visited Frankfurt and Mittelhessen for a 3 day conference on Industrie 4.0. 20 executives from Vilnius Lithuania were given a fist hand look into the latest developments of one of the most important trends in industry. The program consisted of a general outlook and forecast of the German and European economy given by Prof. Hayo Reimers, followed by an in depth look into the latest trends by the Industrie 4.0 Coordinator of the THM, Prof. Gerrit Sames. Martin Heinz, general manager of ITAC Software AG and Alumni of our THM Executive MBA, provided insights into software architecture needed for excelling manufacturing automization and integration. Company visits to Continental Teves in Frankfurt, Bender GmbH in Grünberg, and Buderus Guss GmbH in Breidenbach provided valuable use cases for the implementation of the Industrie 4.0.

MBA Bergamo Group 2018

The trip to the Universita Degli Studi di Bergamo was the last module for the MBA class XIV as a group, so this was also some kind of farewell event. 

Most of us arrived in Bergamo on Wednesday evening,looking forward to our visit at the University on the following day.

At Pizza Bella Napoli we got acclimated to the Italian culture with great pizza.

We were welcomed at the University by the staff and by meeting the Italian students on the first morning. To get to know each other, we had a small exercise finding out things we had in common and differences in our lives. It was interesting to see that one of the reasons behind starting an MBA for the Italian students was the economic situation of Italy, which is much rougher in terms of unemployment than in Germany. This seems to lead them to start the course at a younger age and at a way lower budget.

Together we visited Tenaris in Dalmine, a global manufacturer and supplier of steel pipes. After a lecture on the details of the production process and the different applications of their products, we went to one of the sites, where yellow-glowing hot iron bars ? were pushed through a spike to form pipes. To see the degree of automation, the safety precautions and the processing of the products left a deep impression on me.

The next day started with speakers of Bonduelle, Tesmec and Italia Zuccheri with deep insights into marketing salad, heavy machinery or sugar in their respective innovative way. The lecture was topped off by practical examples of how to grow by learning from mistakes.

Later on, we were welcomed at Fratelli Beretta, a company that sells pre-packaged cold cut meat, with an assortment of their products for lunch. The family business with experience since 1812 showed us the trip the company has taken in the last 20 years, which lead them to become a diversified company and one of the largest food processors of Italy.

On the last day it was time for some business game with the Italian colleagues. By solving case studies and playing a role game, we could learn from each other’s skills and so develop a joint strategy. It was a refreshing way to conclude a weekend of lectures and company visits by a practical assignment, which was being discussed across the teams even afterwards on the event in the evening. Together we went to the Città alta to have some typical polenta and red wine.

Author: Christian Friderichs (MBA XIV student)

BMI LogoTHM MBA offers exchange courses together with partner university Baltic Management Institute - Vilnius

Based on a long-term cooperation with our partner university Baltic Management Institute in Vilnius, Lithuania - the THM could offer several seminar blocks in economic / management classes to the MBA students. The next courses are Managerial Economics & Global Economic Environment, Management Practices, Digital Management and Operations & Supply Chain Management. There are limited places available, so have a look on the dates below (read more) and contact us.


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