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#88 ESMT Berlin MBA Admissions Interview with Nick Barniville – “Every Door is Always Open”

Nick Barniville ESMT MBA

“ESMT has a very particular culture and it’s a culture of intimacy. We’re a small program with a highly intensive research-oriented faculty but at the same time it’s a very intimate place, it’s very informal. Everybody here is on a first-name basis, every door is always open. It’s just a non-beauracratic school where everybody speaks to each other eye-to-eye. We don’t really have a student-faculty divide that you find in many business schools. We’re all in this together.”

Episode Length: 51:45

ESMT was founded in 2002 by 25 leading companies – including Bayer, Daimler, and McKinsey – who wanted to develop management talent in Germany. The school is the fastest in history to be triple accredited and was ranked #53 by the Economist in 2016 and #70 by the Financial Times in 2017. The program has two elective tracks: technology and innovation management and global sustainable development. A good chunk of students (10-20%) also start their own companies after graduating, no doubt due to the program’s Berlin location.

The program runs from January to December. Candidates can participate in an optional 3 month pre-MBA program in September that includes intensive German language courses, online prep courses, participation in campus activities and an introductory workshop with Career Services. Graduates can stay for up to 18 months in Germany to look for jobs. Currently tuition is €43,500 for the 1 year program. With average starting salaries at €91,000+, ROI is immediate and high.

Listen on for the insider’s scoop as Nick and I discuss the value of MBAs in Germany, job opportunities for international MBA students in Germany, and how to get into ESMT.

About our Guest

Nick Barniville is Associate Dean for Degree Programs, ESMT (European School of Management and Technology), where he has been since 2010. Nick is responsible for the management and development of full-time MBA, Executive MBA and Masters Programmes at ESMT.  Before joining ESMT, Nick was the Director of MBA Programmes at the Smurfit School at University College Dublin for 4 years and at Insead as Director of Communications for 5 years.

Touch MBA’s ESMT Berlin MBA Fast Facts

Program Highlights (3:38)

  • 25 German companies found ESMT in 2002, ESMT’s first MBA class begins in 2006
  • 1 intake/year in Jan
  • Length: 12 months
  • Campus in Berlin, one of Europe’s startup capitals. The campus is in the old headquarters of the East German state council
  • 65-70 participants/intake
  • 30-40 nationalities/intake, class is ~90% international
  • Ranked #49 Economist 2015, #64 by Financial Times 2016, #15 BusinessWeek 2015
  • Accredited by AACSB, AMBA, EQUIS, FIBAA
  • Program Structure: 13 core classes, 7-8 electives, team consulting project and business plan competition. MBA students have the option to attend a one-week elective course at partner business schools of the GNAM network or participate in international field seminars. Partner schools include Yale (USA), EGADE (Mexico), HEC Paris (France), Fudan (China) and many more
  • After 1 year, students can extend their MBA through the ESMT Responsible Leaders Fellowship (6-months to complete a social impact project in a developing country) or an Exchange Semester in China at Peking University Guanghua
  • Two elective tracks in Managing Innovation and Technology and Global Sustainable Business

Admissions (24:35)

  • Admissions offered on a rolling basis
  • Deadlines: April 2: Early decision deadline, July 1: deadline to get 50% off intensive German language course in Berlin, Sep 1: deadline for scholarships, Nov 2: final deadline (Dec 2 for EU Nationals)
  • 5 applicants per full-time place
  • Avg GMAT: 650
  • GRE accepted
  • Avg age: 30, Avg work experience: 6.5 years (80% range 3-10), 3 years min work experience required
  • TOEFL scores, or equivalent proof of fluency
  • Interviews done by ESMT Director, Professor or Senior Professional

Financing (36:28)

  • Full-time MBA Tuition: €38,000
  • Recommended budget: €12,000-€18,000
  • Partial and full tuition scholarships available
  • Scholarship awards are from 10% (more common) to full tuition (rare); the average is about 25-30% of tuition and scholarships are offered to around 60% of the students.
  • Scholarships are based on merit and financial need – improve your chances by making it clear how you would be a dynamic contributor to the program
  • Loans available through Prodigy Finance and Brain Capital (EU & North American citizens)

Career (42:35)

  • ESMT MBA – Full-time placement report (Class of 2015)
  • Average Salary not including bonus (bonus): €75,194 (€16,603)
  • 83% of graduates received job offers within 3 months of graduation
  • Top 5 Geographies: 76% Germany, 12% Asia, 6% Americas, 3% non-Germany Europe, 3% Africa
  • Top 5 Industries: 25% Technology, 12% Consulting, 12% Energy, 12% Media, 12% Financial Services, 12% E-commerce/Retail, 6% Pharma/healthcare, 3% Education, 3% Manufacturing, 3% Logistics/Transportation
  • 7% of graduates started their own companies after graduation
  • 14% of graduates accepted Responsible Leadership Fellowships after graduation
  • Top 5 functions graduates worked in: not available
  • Graduates can stay in Germany 18-months to look for a job
  • ESMT Business School: 400+ Full-time MBA alumni / 8,000 school alumni worldwide in over 40 countries

Get in Touch

Show Notes

  • Alex Melamed

    I’m an alumnus of ESMT and I can only say this:
    Nick is (as always) completely sincere and transparent on this podcast. These are the same things he told me before my interview, during my interview, and a year later, close to my graduation, when we discussed how true this is in hindsight. A really different school, with a really special culture, that truly suits Berlin’s unique spirit, but also brings together the air of top faculty and professionals from HBS, LBS, INSEAD, IMD, HEC, Stanford, Wharton, etc. One of the best decisions I’ve made so far, definitely!

    • DarrenJoe

      Alex, thanks for chiming in and I appreciate your reflections. I really enjoyed my conversation with Nick as well. Would you like to be a part of our Ambassador’s Forum representing ESMT? It would be great to have a recent ESMT alumni there to answer questions from potential applicants. Let me know! http://ambassadors.touchmba.com/

      • Alex Melamed

        Thanks, @DarrenJoe:disqus 🙂 Is there a way to turn this conversation private?

  • Pingback: #100 “What 1 Action Can Candidates Take to Dramatically Improve Their MBA Application?” - Podcast » Touch MBA()

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