Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) has been offering part-time continuing education courses in management for executives since 2001, making it one of Germany’s oldest and most renowned academic providers in this area. We have decided to build further on the success we have achieved with the Executive
Master of Business Administration degree program. To this end, the Gutenberg School of Business Mainz
(GSB) has been established which will consolidate the university’s many years of experience in providing continuing education to those in professional and executive positions.
The common objective of the Young Professional Master’s degree courses is to enable participants,
while continuing their careers, to develop professionally, to assume management and leadership responsibilities in businesses and public institutions of various sizes, and to empower them to make responsible decisions on a theoretically sound basis. The course has been expressly conceived to impart more than just skills and expertise. The aim, rather, is help participants develop individually, make them willing and able to take on responsibility and thus assume accountability for their own decision-making. GSB’s target group includes young professionals, specialists and executives working for commercial enterprises and public institutions, the self-employed, physicians, and freelancers. Thanks to JGU’s long and successful history of providing business education, GSB has in effect an excellent ready-made reputation and can draw on the university’s many years of expertise in teaching MBA courses. The high quality of the teaching on offer is reflected in the fact that the course is accredited by the FIBAA and the German Accreditation Council, the country’s most important national accreditation bodies. GSB is also system-accredited by JGU. In addition, it is a member of the International Association of MBAs (AMBA), the leading international association of business schools, which is dedicated to the maintenance of excellent quality in management training. To further ensure the practical relevance of the course content, GSB is in permanent contact with outstanding figures in the business and social spheres. The aim is to ensure a continuous and consistent enhancement of the course, making sure it is geared to the needs of employees and employers to the greatest possible benefit of all involved parties.
The unique features of GSB
Lecturers and course content
We believe that the most important criteria for the success and benefit of any course of study are the
quality of the lecturers and the material they teach. We are pleased to say that we have been able to recruit
and permanently retain excellent lecturers for GSB.
Our lecturers come from a wide variety of universities and institutions, are all specialists in their subjects,
and have taken the decision to teach in Mainz because they wish to pass on their knowledge and experience to our course participants. We are convinced that what distinguishes a first-class MBA program is the ability of its lecturers to convey the current status of scholarship and research in their subject, combined with their practical experience of current issues. We endeavor to draw on practical examples from the participants’ own actual professional experience to illustrate connections between course content and professional practice. All our lecturers are able to effectively employ this close interaction of theory and practice in their modules and already have extensive experience in teaching professionals on a part-time basis. The outstanding quality of the lecturers and the content of the modules they teach is attested to both by the feedback provided by participants and by the exceptional results of evaluations of seminars and courses.
The concept of the course modules
We are convinced that personal development and, as a consequence, subsequent professional success
primarily require close and intensive interaction between participants and module lecturers. Our degree courses therefore require a high level of attendance in Mainz, during which content and skills are actively taught and discussed during group work. Modules are also structured so that attendance is principally required at weekends to minimize disruption to participants’ professional commitments. To ensure the insight participants acquire in the modules they take is presented in a practical context, we strive to closely link academic and practical activities. For instance, we give participants the option of working on assignments on specific topics related to their own professional activities. The master’s thesis they are required to write at the end of the course will also generally address an issue related to their professional experience. In the optional project reports, participants are also provided with the opportunity to transfer theory into practice. The result is a course that enables the participants to directly apply the knowledge they have acquired during their careers.
Education of specialists and executives at GSB
The goal of GSB is not to produce specialists in a particular field but to enable young professionals, experts and executives to develop into individuals able to meet the diverse challenges faced by managerial personnel working in all sectors. To achieve this, during the course participants are given insight into enterprises from the managerial perspective, so they can perceive them as functional, communicative and interdependent entities that are simultaneously single components in a global economic policy system. The course material has been structured so that participants will come to recognize the core elements of any organization and its management. It will thus provide a comprehensive overview of the combined interrelated effects a business or enterprise can exert. Nevertheless, good management and leadership training requires more than just knowledge transfer and dissemination of concrete guidelines on how best to act. To be a successful manager it is also necessary to be a successful leader, and leadership is inseparably linked with the personality of executives. To be competent, any executive must be particularly aware of his or her responsibility to society as a whole. Hence, good management and leadership training cannot be divorced from an individual’s personal development; executives must be able to take responsible decisions, aware of how these might influence their organization, its employees, society, and the environment. We aim to educate team players whose working methods and management style are communicative, cooperative, and based on mutual trust. The decisive factor here is to foster in participants a corresponding mindset during the course. They don’t just acquire this mindset by intensive study of leadership as a subject in the individual modules of the course; this is also achieved by means of exchange, cooperation and discussion with lecturers and fellow participants within the individual modules, as well as with the GSB management and high-profile specialists they meet during the course.
To foster the leadership and management skills described above, GSB has designed MBA programs that are tailored to the specific needs of professionals at different stages of their careers. These master’s degree courses cover all of the core elements of management training, each embedded in a generalized management program with a broadly structured curriculum.
Study at top international universities abroad
The program provides participants with the opportunity to gain an insight into other cultures and to round off their education with at least one study visit to one of our partner universities (Shanghai, Adelaide, Warsaw and Austin). In contrast with many other MBA programs, the costs of the academic program for the obligatory stay abroad are already covered by the tuition fee.
Extensive network of participants, alumni and practicing partners
Among the particular attractions of GSB are the regular “fireside chats” it organizes with high-level representatives from business, politics and culture. This enables participants to build up a personal network that extends beyond fellow participants from their own academic year, which they can continue to draw on during their careers following completion of the course. The large and active alumni network plays a similar role. It includes members from many sectors and – on account of the long history of JGU in manager and executive training – many leading individuals at various stages of their careers. We are pleased that the guiding principles and concepts that have shaped our course (first class lecturers, excellent partner niversities abroad, practice-oriented content, high attendance and interaction, provision of a suitable balance between academic and professional work and individual mentoring) have proven their worth over many years and are constantly being copied by other MBA course providers.
Our graduates have experienced first-hand the high quality of the education we provide at GSB, and this makes them our greatest advocates. We can therefore dispense with expensive advertising and image campaigns and, instead, offer potential participants an appealing and tailored course at a very attractive price. We expect our course participants to actively contribute to their modules and to take an interest not only in their own progress but also in that of the group as a whole. In our selection process, we place an emphasis on excellence, mental agility and personal maturity. We aim to form groups of participants each academic year in which are combined a wide variety of interesting personalities, academic backgrounds and professional experience, who can inspire and learn from each other. Each cohort in the various degree courses, we hope, will view themselves as a team, who can together face the demands of studying part-time while still being professionally active, and who, despite all the hard work involved, will enjoy their time at JGU. There is no doubt it will not be easy, but at the same time you will be able to enjoy the sense of achievement associated with acquiring a university MBA degree of international standing and the opportunity to experience the joie de vivre and hospitality of the vibrant city of Mainz.
Prof. Dr. Franz Rothlauf
Prof. Dr. Andrej Gill