After seven years in the telecoms industry, Timm Wallrodt from Hamburg, Germany decided he needed to broaden his understanding of business and leadership.
We spoke to him about why he chose Copenhagen Business School (CBS), how his MBA has helped in his career so far, and what his professional goals are.
Timm, 29, graduated in IT and Business Administration from the Wirtschaftsakademie Schleswig-Holstein in Kiel in 2004. During his degree, he worked for German telecommunication company Mobilcom as a student trainee, which gave him the chance to combining what he was learning in class with a real job. After his studies, he took a job with the firm as Product Manager for mobile data.
In 2006, he was headhunted by Vodafone, where he worked for three years, until he decided he wanted an MBA to advance in his career.
There were two main reasons for choosing an MBA, says Walrodt.
“First, having studied IT and business administration, I wanted to expand my business knowledge, and have a more general professional profile, rather than being a specialist in telecommunication”, he explains, “I wanted to be prepared to work in different sectors”.
Second, he wanted to have an international degree: “In my class at CBS there were forty students, coming from twenty-two different nations, so a small group but very diverse”.
Ultimately Timm, who in his free time enjoys race biking and sailing, decided to apply only to CBS: “I know I wanted to do my MBA in Scandinavia, because, even if it’s close to Hamburg, I find that the culture is quite different”.
He searched for the best business schools in the area, visited the CBS campus, and sat in on a class. After his visit his mind was made up, he says.
What appealed to him most about the CBS MBA was its focus on entrepreneurship. At the core of this approach lies the Advisory Board program that allows student to work with the advisory board of a start-up company: “It’s a unique thing that you can’t find elsewhere”.
Another attraction was the academics: “The most interesting class I took was the Leadership Discovery Process, because you learn by doing.
“The marketing courses, despite already having experience in marketing, gave me a global perspective.
“Finally, I enjoyed the corporate governance elective, where high profile business professionals were often invited to give speeches.
“This is one of the advantages of Denmark: it’s a small country, making it easier for CBS to be well connected with all the important business people in the area.”
In addition, CBS organizes a lot of events: “we visited some companies, including Carlsberg”, he says.
Timm won the only CBS scholarship offered from e-fellows.net, which covered fifty per cent of the program’s tuition fee of €37,000
He feels his work experience helped him a lot during the program: “The MBA itself benefits from the experience that students put in”, he says, “I was one of the youngest, but could tell the others about my experiences, and benefit from the knowledge of my classmates”.
Two years on from his MBA, Timm is working as a Global Market Access Manager for Novo Nordisk A/S, a pharmaceutical company.
He thinks the MBA helped him in his career by qualifying him to work in many different sectors: “I was working in the telecommunication sector, and enjoying it, but the MBA opened opportunities for me to work in different industries.”
In the next five to ten years, he wants to reach a challenging leadership position in an international company.
Timm would like to stay in Northern Europe: “My current job allows me to travel quite often, so I’ll still have the chance to see the world”.
To MBA applicants, he recommends bringing passion to school: “Just aiming for more money is not enough of a reason to do an MBA, because it’s a tough year.
“You need to love what you’re doing, and enjoy the fact that you have the privilege of doing an MBA at CBS”.
Read more about the reasons people head to business school in the Why MBA section