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MBA graduate on stairs

MBA Personal Development

Integrative leadership development

ESMT ties its MBA program together with a year-long course on personal development. Future executives cannot just be technical specialists in finance, marketing, strategy or operations. They need to have personal competencies that bridge functional expertise, displaying a capacity to work harmoniously across functions and the ability to influence others to reach shared goals.


Throughout the MBA year at ESMT, candidates attend a series of personal development workshops and seminars designed to allow reflection on the MBA experience, draw conclusions, and facilitate personal growth outside of the classroom.


In the first modules, students complete intense teambuilding exercises that create a sense of camaraderie among the classmates. Further high-impact sessions on managing group work and intercultural sensitivity follow. Students also participate in a public speaking workshop, and, for non-native English speakers, a writing workshop to hone their communication skills.


Later into the program, three days are devoted to negotiation skills, where MBA candidates complete negotiation simulations. Two 360-degree feedback sessions, once mid-year and once at the program’s conclusion, help students give and receive feedback in the presence of a trained coach.


Finally, ESMT’s senior faculty leads students through a concluding seminar before they reenter the workforce. Students discuss common challenges faced by MBA graduates during their first job placement and discuss recent cases related to leadership challenges.


The Master Class: Poignant leadership discussions with industry leaders


The small, personal class size at ESMT allows students to get the most from corporate speakers. Throughout the year, students are invited to Master Classes, which are evening events where the MBA class discusses business, life, and leadership questions with a high-level executive. These evenings are closed to the public and press, so students can personally learn what it is like to be on the board of a global company.

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Master Classes

ESMT Berlin talked to Hubert Patricot, Executive Vice President and President of the European Group, Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc.