Interview with MMF students

Meet MMF – we have asked current and former MMF students about their experiences with the master's program. Hear from Thies, Alex, Toni*, Colin, Stephanie, Benjamin, and Anna. All interviews were conducted at MMF Bridge Day 2019 which brings together MMF alumni and current cohorts of MMF students.

*Name changed

Stephanie: I studied Economics and Business Administration before. I chose MMF because I wanted to go more into the business side, especially the financial part. In my bachelor’s, I only did microeconomics, so I wanted both – the best of two worlds!

Benjamin: Before, I studied International Business. I like MMF because it integrates both economics and finance. I went over the course topics and saw some of the electives. You get some solid knowledge of economics, but it also equips us with financial knowledge.

Anna: It’s a similar thing for me because I did a quantitative economics bachelor's and I wanted to do something applied for once. But I can still go into both if I want to.

Toni: I did a bachelor’s in Economics. I chose MMF basically because of the summary that I read before coming here and because of the city. And also, I like Germany, it was an appealing country for me.

Colin: I did Economics and Business Administration at Goethe University before. I like the program because of its structure and curriculum. I chose it because of the courses I can take here.

Thies: I did a bachelor's in economics and another one in business administration. In my case, I chose MMF because of the combination of economics and business administration. I liked the macro track in economics and the finance track in business administration. That is combined well in MMF.

Alex: I studied pure economics before and didn’t want to do pure finance, so I was looking for something in-between that combines both.

Stephanie: If you don’t have a financial background, you should at least know the basics and have a foundation.

Benjamin: Because I studied international business with a focus on finance and capital markets, the financial courses are a bit easier to grasp for me. Macroeconomics was more difficult for me. It is good to prepare beforehand, knowing how deep and how specific the courses will be. But I like economics, it challenges me, and I am growing.

Toni: Probably, I would have studied more German. Also, there is some time pressure during exams. But that’s it. The communication before coming here is quite good.

Stephanie: I knew that it would be international, but I didn’t think that it would be so diverse.

Toni: I was surprised by how international it is. In my bachelor's, most of the international people were just French Erasmus students, so there wasn’t that much diversity.

Thies: My first impression was how new the campus is. My previous university was located in old barracks, which had its charm, but I like the campus in Frankfurt better. I like the internationality and the diversity in our group. Because the cohort is small, you talk to many of your classmates. I knew most of them well.

Alex: How international it was! There are people from all over the world and relatively few Germans. I liked it because it gave me insights into different backgrounds. People were very diverse, and we had a cool group spirit.

Stephanie: Not being afraid to ask for help is an important part. I think you should know a lot of statistics.

Benjamin: A good foundation in math. To be driven and to keep on going even if it is difficult and some ideas are hard to understand. To be motivated.

Toni: Analytical skills, also reading skills. We have two seminars, they’re mandatory, and you have to read a lot of papers. So, I would say reading skills and analytical skills are really important. Analytical skills especially in the first semester.

Thies: The ability to organize, spontaneity, easing up and also not being too nervous. I just relaxed and thought: It will work out. And it did.

Alex: You need to be organized. In the beginning, it’s a lot of new impressions. A lot is new, many things are a bit more intense. So, if you are good at organizing and orientating yourself, that is an advantage.

Benjamin: So far, my biggest interest has been with capital markets, specifically asset management.

Toni: Well, I was already working in retail financing. Probably I would like to keep working on that, not specifically in a financial company but more in a selling company. I really like it because you see a whole different environment from the finance institutions.

Colin: I am into risk management, banking and banking supervision. Currently, I am working at the ECB. It is possible to find a job there or at least an internship, so just apply! Try as much as you can, because then you are successful. Don’t shy away.

Thies: I am working at PWC in capital markets and accounting consulting. I always wanted to do M&A, but until now I like it.

Alex: I am going to work at a strategy consultancy.

Stephanie: I already lived in the area before. I am happy here, it’s green, there are many parks. Many people say there are only suit-wearers here, but I don’t see it this way. Frankfurt is very international. There are people from all over the world.

Benjamin: I come from Mexico, it’s a big change coming here to Frankfurt. I like Frankfurt in the sense that the city that I am from has about 4 million inhabitants. Frankfurt is a big city, but not huge. So, it’s a nice city that has a lot to offer but it is also peaceful and calm. It’s a sweet spot. I really like living in Frankfurt.

Toni: I like it very much. I knew the city before coming here, because I had some job meetings here before. What I like most about Frankfurt is that it is in the middle of Europe. It is very close to France, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Switzerland… That’s the most appealing thing for me about the city.

Colin: I am originally from Frankfurt. If you live here, it’s great because it’s neat, you find everything, you don’t need to travel long distances.

Thies: I like it. I am originally from the north of Germany, but I stayed here after the master's. So that says something. There are many things to do here. During the winter a bit less than in the summer, but the city has its charm.

Alex: I was positively surprised. It’s way more international than any other city in Germany. A lot is going on, you always find something to do. It is cool to have many people from all over the world. It’s fun.

Benjamin: I knew German before. I studied some courses, and I think that is a very smart choice also for international students. I was around the B1 or B2 in German, which is intermediate, so I can get around in the street, buying groceries or in a restaurant. For international students, I think it is very important getting a grasp of the language, so life here in Germany will be easier knowing some German.

Toni: I would say for the university it is not that necessary. I have met people who don’t speak a word in German, and they can manage their life in university very easily. But I would say for your daily life it is really important, for example, finding a place to stay or buying whatever or asking where something is. They offer really good German courses, and the most important thing is to have the ambition to improve your language skills. I have seen a lot of improvement in the people that really want to do it. I think is really useful. It’s more for your daily life, not for too much for the university.

Stephanie: Yes, I can because I like being in an international environment and that is exactly what this program offers.

Benjamin: I can also recommend MMF. There are many things you can benefit from thanks to the program. It’s very international.  It’s in a city that is very dynamic regarding the financial industry, there are a lot of work opportunities. The faculty is also very experienced and gives excellent teaching. The students that you meet all are surprisingly helpful.

Toni: I would definitely recommend it!

Colin: I would do it again, yes.

Thies: Yes, definitely.

Alex: Yes, I am very satisfied, choosing MMF has paid off.

Stephanie: Surround yourself with lots of motivated people because it pushes you as well.

Benjamin: Be ready to enjoy the experience, get the most out of it, because it is a very fast pace. Come with motivation to make the best of it.

Toni: Put a lot of effort into the master's and also socialize with people, because that is important, especially for networking.

Colin: Choose your courses wisely, you have three semesters where you can choose, so think about what you really want to do.

Alex: As we say in German: Nichts wird so heiß gegessen, wie es gekocht wird – nothing is as dramatic as it looks. If you participate and study, everything is doable. 

Thies: Being openminded for everyone who is there. Given that we come from different cultures, you can learn a lot from this cultural exchange.