Study in Germany 20/06/18 – Webinar QnA

Studying abroad continues to be an aspiration for many!
And as the World is coming into our living rooms everyday, we always have scope to learn a bit more about opportunities in a foreign land. To help our candidates resolve their queries about Studying in Germany, a culture-rich and open-minded land of opportunities, we conducted a webinar with Senior Candidate Selection Coordinator at Quacquarelli Symonds, Keara Nicholl.

Here’s a complete coverage of the questions that came up in the webinar QnA segment!

Let’s dig in.

Q1. What minimum CGPA do I require for a German University admit?

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Keara: So, it varies from University to University. In general, maybe you could be looking between a 2.8-3.2 GPA for some Master’s programs. But a lot also depends on what you have studied previously, and the deemed rigor of the program you studied.

Sometimes, depending on your country of origin, the schools you are applying to will look in-depth at the schools you are coming from, and also evaluate from any additional testing such as the GMAT to understand if you can match up to the academic rigor of the program. So, there’s no straight minimum for GPAs. It’s the same – even more so – for the MBA, where the experience comes to the fore much more so than any previous undergrad exam results. If you have strong experience and a good GMAT, a lot of programs will see that as a very attractive offering.

Q2. Being an IT professional, will it be a wise decision to change the stream and go for an MBA?

So much depends on what you are looking at doing with yourself. It will be very interesting for admissions committees to understand what you have been doing within the IT industry and what your role has been so far. So, be very prepared with questions like, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years’ time?”, “Do you see yourself in maybe a big tech company like Amazon?”

A lot will depend on where you see yourself in the future.

We do see a lot of IT professionals coming through, looking at MBAs because they are so specialized and because they are so technical. An MBA is a great opportunity to open up your eyes and your minds to different sides of Business and immediately makes you much more employable, as opposed to just working within a niche area.

But then again, things wholly depend on what you want to do with your career or where you want to take it.

Q3. Are there opportunities to work part-time during my studies?

Yes, there are huge opportunities to work during your studies. There’s a provision in Germany that lets candidates/students work for either 90 full-time days or 180 part-time days while they’re studying. You’ll still be considered to have student status, but you can work.

Q4. I already have a Master’s Degree from the UK. Is it acceptable for employment purposes in Germany? Secondly, does Germany offer state-funded Master’s in Finance? If yes, which University would you recommend?

Considering you have a Master’s degree from the UK, it’s definitely very feasible for you to go and work in Germany now, because they are open to that. What I would encourage you to do is to look at your current/past Uni’s networks in Germany. If you can get in touch with your career services, they might be able to put you in touch with some alumni who are working in Germany at the moment. In terms of actual employment there, apart from the networking element, I would encourage you to have a look at the companies that you might find interesting and see if anyone from your University network is working in those companies. You know, make connections that way.

Really, so much of education is about working together and collaborating, exclusively so during an MBA, where it’s all about networking and utilizing relationships in the long run. These are definitely reciprocal relationships that that involve a give along with the take, and how you learn to use them is what makes a huge difference in your career!

In terms of Germany offering state-funded finance, yes Germany does offer state-funded Master’s programs. These, however, are only available to candidates who have done their Bachelor’s degree in Germany and the Master’s is considered to be a consecutive Master’s, which means that it follows directly after the Bachelor’s and is in a related field.

When it’s a non-consecutive Master’s program, fees apply. And for most international students who’ve done their undergrad elsewhere and are looking to study in Germany, fees will apply.

Q5. I have 9 years of experience in the IT sector. Are there any 1-year MBA programs specializing in IT?

Yes, there are a number of them within Germany in general. There are some options to add an internship onto those, so effectively you might actually be looking at 16-17 months, as opposed to 12 months. But as a rule, full-time MBA programs are traditionally for a year.

Now, there are a number of MBAs in Germany that are part-time as well (worth bearing in mind), and they span up to 2-3 years. But in general, they’re all 1 year programs.

These programs do welcome IT specializations. But, much depends on what area you want to go into and what company you want to work for after your MBA. Make sure you understand why you are chasing after a specific University and the admit is as good as yours.

Q6. What is the range of fees that apply for international Bachelor degrees?

If you’re talking about state-funded Universities, fees for international candidates are nominal. The range is fairly unknown as of now, because there has been an interesting situation going on Germany, wherein fees had previously been abolished, but now are being brought back by some states because they want to preserve the level of education by not keeping it open to everyone. It’s an interesting ongoing debate. But, maybe you could be talking between 250 Euros to maybe a 1200 for a semester. It depends on the state that you’re looking at as well.

In terms of undergraduate programs, the ones that are generally state-funded and mainly taught through German, will cost you lesser. You should be able to find state-funded courses that are taught through English on the DAAD website.

Q7. How good is the Master’s in Management/MBA program at ESMT Berlin?

Right, so I’m going to take that question from a career counseling perspective.

What do you want to do? Where do you want to go? What company do you want to work for?

An MBA in the best school or the most highly ranked school is going to be useless to you if it does not offer you a connection into a company that you want to work for. It’s all so dependent on what you want to do! ESMT has great programs, and to be honest, in true German fashion, their education system is excellent; academically the programs are all wonderful. The only differentiating factors are which details are really going to help you in your career. So just be very intent on understanding what you want to do.

About the Master’s in Management vs MBA debate:

How much experience do you have? How much have you worked up until this point? Those will be the big determining factors in deciding whether you are more suitable for a Master’s in Management or an MBA.

Q8. How can one be sure that Visa will be granted? Does it help to have a Goethe A2 certification?

In general, the international office is going to be your friend here. Germany really works with quite an open system, so if you’re applying to a school and you get accepted and if you can show the necessary details to support that acceptance along with proof of financial soundness, you should be good to go. Personally, I have never heard of anyone not being granted their German visa when they’ve been accepted on a program, so I can’t foresee any issues. Once you’re accepted, make sure you cross all your t’s and dot all your I’s when it comes to finances. 

If it’s just a student visa, then the German proficiency shouldn’t come into it at all really, unless you want to study at a German-instruction University, in which case you’ll have to do a proficiency test. During your studies, you have the residence permit anyway. But if you want to reside in Germany after your studies and are hence looking for another visa for that, matters that come into play are your employment status, how much contribution you’ve made until this point etc.

There are no legalities surrounding German proficiency, but normal rules would apply. So, it will help if you’re employed and working.

Q9. Is the IELTS (General) acceptable when preparing for Masters in Germany? Or will I have to take the academic IELTS?

It all varies program to program, but usually the IELTS should be fine, definitely from the MBA point of view. When you’re looking through admission criteria, IELTS or TOEFL are the usual scores Ad-comms traditionally seek, to understand your English proficiency.

Q10. If I already have GRE marks and no research papers, will that help much in securing a Master’s?

Definitely. For Master’s, I suppose it all depends on what kind of Master’s you’re looking for. Are you looking at a particularly research-based subject? If you’ve got your GRE ready to go, then it shows that you are a prepared candidate and that’s always very appealing for the admissions committees looking at candidate profiles.

The other thing is you can always have a reference point to your academic background to help demonstrate your research abilities, i.e. academic references, even if they’re not the formalized versions. During the application process, just use reference points to help show that you’re able to handle the academic rigor of the program.

And… that’s a wrap, folks!

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