MBA in Germany: How it helped an Accenture consultant get hired during a pandemic
When India native Ankur Bhatia was considering studying for his MBA, he had to choose between popular study abroad countries like the UK and the US and others like Germany.
After much thought, he decided on Germany – a decision that proved fruitful in the end.
Ankur managed to secure a job at a Consultant/Specialist in Digital Experience Management at Accenture in February, right on the cusp of the pandemic.
His job entails providing integrated consulting solutions by liaising between business and technical teams via Accenture Interactive, the largest digital agency network.
In a Zoom interview with U2B, Ankur said that the university and job opportunities after graduation were the major factors in his decision to further his studies in Germany. He recently graduated with an MBA from the oldest business school in Germany – HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management.
Ankur started working while he was still pursuing his MBA, and was simultaneously working on his thesis while working full-time at the time of the interview.
The optimistic and positive MBA graduate has no complaints, however, and said that he feels very fortunate to start a job during such uncertain times.
He said, “Many big companies have stopped hiring, so I’m thankful to gain employment in a job that I enjoy doing.”
Gaining a global perspective
Ankur explained, “I was inclined to do an overseas MBA as I wanted to get a global perspective. We have a few top b-schools in India, but the classes are not that diverse. People are competent and very learned but you don’t get a diverse perspective. I finally chose Germany because I was also interested in the ROI of the programme.
“If you compare with the UK and US, I find that Germany has the best ROI factor. I took a loan to fund my studies as I didn’t want to depend on my parents, so I needed to find the programme that would pay off the best.”
With several years of working experience under his belt in technology and product innovation prior to his MBA, Ankur was looking to foray into management consulting.
“Germany may not get as much public recognition for education compared to more popular countries like the US and the UK, but it is certainly very progressive especially in technology areas. Overall, I wanted a good tradeoff and I knew from some of my friends over here that they were doing well. Thus I knew I had a good future here.”
Ankur said he definitely does not regret his decision as he is immensely grateful for the opportunities he gained while studying in Germany.
“I worked on some great consulting projects with German companies during my MBA and completed an internship with the largest chemical giant across the world. I don’t know if I could have had these kinds of opportunities if I had studied in the US. I am fortunate that I’ve been exposed to some of the best technology companies in Germany.”
MBA graduates receive exciting job prospects in Germany
Ankur chose HHL because of the exposure to amazing job opportunities and said that securing the perfect job is not guaranteed if you graduate from the top business schools in India.
“What matters more is experience and the opportunities the schools give you. My school gave me the chance to work on amazing consulting projects and plenty of opportunities to grow in my career, and loaded me with the arms to succeed.”
“In India, job placement is very different as graduates are often spoonfed. Companies come to campus to recruit graduates from top b-schools, it’s not so much as finding the right fit between an individual and a company.”
HHL helps students connect with corporations and companies through networking events for internships and jobs. Ankur said that the consulting projects he did with strong companies in Germany have helped boost his profile and catch the attention of recruiters.
In the end, however, Ankur said the decision should be based on what’s best for you and your future goals. As Ankur’s background is in technology, Germany proved to be the right choice for him.
“Germany was the best for me but might not be for other graduates, it’s really that you get what you put into it.”
Is speaking German essential for working in Germany?
One of the reservations that students have about studying in countries like Germany is the language barrier. Ankur took this as a challenge and did not let it get in the way of his aspirations.
According to Ankur, being able to speak German is beneficial in certain parts of Germany, even if it’s not a must for your programme. Although his course was taught English, he said that many programmes are still taught in German.
“I’m still not fluent but I have learned how to speak some German. I was taught in India that if you don’t know English you’re not good for the market. However, this is not really true in mainland Europe as they value their own language and culture.
“In East Germany where I studied, they are less inclined towards English and it was only mandated a few years ago that there must be English-taught programmes in universities. I did face some initial challenges communicating and overcoming the language barrier.”
However, Ankur said that people in Germany appreciate the effort that graduates put in when speaking the language, and if you can converse with some German, they will try to reach a middle ground and come down to your level of fluency.
“They respect that you’re learning the culture and trying to adapt. For me, it is not a major issue and I still enjoy working and living here.”