Alumni of the Month
Name: Christoph Lautsch
Place of work: Coburg / Germany
Graduation Year: 2019
Current Job: Key Account Manager Automotive
Favorite Quote: “Leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders” (Tom Peters)
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years I see myself in a senior management position, being fully responsible for a globally acting team and account, or as a business consultant for companies which are working in cross-cultural environments. Due to my expat working experience in USA, China and Italy, international business development is my passion and expertise.
So you finished MBA classes in 2019, tell us about your experience after your MBA Degree Program.
The MBA program enriched my personality and functional knowledge, especially having worked closely together with students from different countries in Europe, Asia, America and Africa. The program showed me different ways to see matters from various angles and gave me new ideas how to approach a task. As a result, I am more unstressed when I am confronted with new and unusual situations.
What skillset do you need to do your job?
Integrity, empathy, persistence. Good communication and presentation skills. Open mindset and ability to recognize opportunities and challenges at an early stage. Being prepared to adjust quickly to changing conditions. And of course leadership skills, the ability to motivate other people for common goals in a sustainable way.
What are your future plans?
I just took over a new position as Key Account Manager, being in charge of a globally present customer in the Automotive Tier-1 industry. This is a great chance to keep on developing myself both from professional and personal perspective and in the end rounding up my already comprehensive sales profile. Besides, as I see a strong demand for SMEs to get active support to define, align and run their business activities in China in a sustainable way, I also consider to work as a consultant in that field in the future.
If you could describe your experience in Rome during your MBA how would you sum it up?
I have completed the MBA program next to my job as Business Development Manager Asia that involved international travelling. On the one hand meeting the requirements of these both tasks at the same time had been challenging, on the other hand it makes me very proud that everything worked very well (thanks also to the support of my family and friends, my employer and of course the SSM) and having been honored as the “Outstanding Student of the Year”.
Having studied and spent 1 year in the amazing and lively city of Rome is a wonderful experience in my life, which I definitely do not want to miss. Not only my knowledge but also my network expanded, as I have found new friends I am still in contact with.
Can you share an experience that is most memorable with relation to the MBA Degree program?
Most memorable event was the adventure day which took place at the end of my first course “Leadership 360 Degrees”: the students started in chaos and ended up as one unity. Individual borders were broken through thanks to developing courage, understanding the different roles in leadership, having “the big picture” always in mind and motivating each other.
What was your favorite class in the program and why?
Every prof did their best to keep their classes interesting and in most cases the courses were also a lot of fun. As they fitted the most to my professional direction, the courses “Leadership 360 Degrees“ and “Competitive Strategic Management” were the most useful for myself. They involved a lot of practical exercises to develop entrepreneurial skills and also the opportunities to reflect your own behavior and personality.
What advice would you give newcomers to the MBA Degree program or for those interested?
It is up to the students themselves what to take out of this program. You can be courageous and try out different ways under training conditions, which is not so easily possible without any serious consequences in a real job. In the end it is a big chance to develop yourself in many aspects so my advice is: take this chance!
What do you think differentiates this MBA from other MBA programs?
In the first place, the group is small which allows that the profs are able to focus on the individual development of each student.
In the second place, the students and also most of the profs have an international background i.e. you study in a very international atmosphere.
In the third place, it is not the university’s focus to prepare you only on a single final exam. There are a lot of group works during each course, especially for presentations which are essential in a manager’s professional life. Further helpful experiences were all the practical tasks such as practicing negotiation skills and training how to interview potential candidates in the right and polite way.
In the fourth place, the program takes place in an ancient building and awesome location straight in the heart of Rome. After the course, you can easily walk to the most beautiful places just around the corner…
Would you recommend this program to other people?
For sure. It is a great chance for personal development and to interact with people from all over the world. Especially working in teams with people having different professional and cultural background, is sometimes a challenge but also fun at the same time. Prompt feedback on one’s performance is a great chance for fostering your individual development. You are prepared to become a manager or an entrepreneur and not only an employee. And last but not least: the program takes place in one of the most amazing cities in the world and a beautiful country.