Lifelong Learning with TUM’s Seal of Excellence: Program managers reflect on their experiences

With the advance of digitalization and ever-shorter innovation cycles, a dilemma arises for employees: you can no longer rest on old knowledge. Instead, fresher insights and contemporary methods are urgently needed to keep up – or even lead – today’s pace. Keeping this reality in mind, we have designed an Executive & Professional Education portfolio, tailor-made for the needs of experienced or young professionals in part-time and full-time formats.

Whether you enroll in an Executive MBA, the Master in Management & Innovation, or one of our Certificate Programs, our approach remains the same: evidence-based and future-oriented education, taught by professors at our university of excellence, is combined with close guidance and support for participants throughout their educational journey. And that starts and ends with our program managers.


Realistic expectations are key

“Sometimes I actually feel like a proud parent,” reveals Sandra Kersting, who manages the Executive MBA program. The comparison is lopsided at first glance, as we are dealing with high-achieving professionals. But the association arises in the context of the overall duration and the often close personal bond, says Kersting. “After all, we follow our participants from the initial interview before they actually enroll to their Executive MBA graduation.”

Of course, a prestigious master’s in business administration, such as the one from the Technical University of Munich, implies commitment and willingness to work hard. Pointing this out is a task that falls to program managers. What’s even more important, though, is to openly discuss participants’ goals and expectations to ensure that effort and commitment are rewarded with the best possible value. And this happens before the program even starts. “As program managers, we are often the first point of contact,” says Kersting. “It has proven invaluable for everyone involved to talk about what our participants want to achieve with the program and get out of it in the end. Plus, those initial conversations feel all the more rewarding when we’re there to guide and support them throughout the program and ultimately witness their success after graduation.”


Students become experts

Once all the framework details have been clarified, support and supervision take place during the study period. And this is similarly intensive, as Susanna Feldmeyer and Verena Suhm also report. Both of them, as well as our program management team, accompany the Master in Management & Innovation in its various formats in cooperation with international universities and get to know the students very well. What do they all have in common? “As diverse as the course participants appear, they are united by their common aspiration to actively intervene in improving our world and to think both entrepreneurially and innovatively,” says Feldmeyer. It is fairly common for relationships to continue well beyond the actual graduation. Especially when graduates become experts themselves. “Many make really impressive career leaps or find new ways to use the knowledge they’ve learned,” program manager Verena Suhm tells us. “Inviting them as guest lecturers in our modules is only logical. Because what could be more inspiring?” Also, TUM’s connection with its graduates doesn’t end there. Because in addition to a prestigious degree, the latter gain something else: a strong network worth cultivating. That’s why many remain loyal and connected to our Alumni community.


Hands-on practical knowledge based on cutting-edge education

Of course, a part-time or full-time master’s degree must first and foremost accommodate the needs and schedules of working professionals. There is a lot to consider here. The realities of people’s lives are diverse, with more or less responsibility taking up time alongside their jobs. Yet, there are challenges that require knowledge and training on a very in-depth level for specific topics. “That’s exactly what our Certificate Programs are for,” says Tabea Stockburger, who oversees continuing education on blockchain as Program Manager. “In our courses, we provide holistic insights that are scientifically sound and rounded off with hands-on practical examples. The courses are compact and limited to a period between three and seven months. This allows participants to meet the demands of work, family and continuing education without floundering.”

In addition to the practice-oriented skill-building, experience has shown that the networking aspect is also crucial for them. And the program managers create plenty of options for that. “As participants expand their own networks through the Certificate Programs, many find inspiration to further shape their professional future,” comments Sabine Fischer, who oversees the Certified Private Equity Analyst training program. But even those who do not have a concrete goal in mind after graduation have laid an important foundation, says Tabea Stockburger: “A certificate degree from TUM is recognized internationally as a seal of excellence. Anyone who wants to venture into other industries has good chances with it.”

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