Interview with MMF students
Meet MMF – we have asked current and former MMF students about their experience. Hear from Thies who already graduated, from Alex, Toni*, and Colin who are at the end of their studies and from Stephanie, Benjamin, and Anna who just started to study MMF. All intweviews were held in the winter semester 2019/2020.
Stephanie: I studied Economics and Business Administration before. I choose MMF because I wanted to go more to 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, so I think I went over the course topics and saw some of the electives. I realized how it combined both. 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 super quantitative economics bachelor 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 choose MMF basically because of the summary that I read before coming here and also 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 the 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 combines well.
Alex: I got my bachelor's in economics. For me, it was similar. 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: About how much financial stuff you’re supposed to know already. Like even if you don’t have a financial background you should know the basics, have a foundation.
Benjamin: I would say the same thing, but regarding economics. Because I studied international business with a focus on finance and capital markets so the financial courses are a bit easier to grasp for me. But macroeconomics was like a whole other planet for me. It would have been something I would have liked to prepare for before knowing how deep and how specific the courses will be. But I like economics, it challenges me and I am growing, so its mostly in the postscript.
Toni: Probably I would have studied more German. Also, the time pressure during exams. But that’s it. The communication before coming here is quite good.
Alex: I would have liked to know more about the possibilities of going abroad. About how it works so that you can orientate before. I just noticed that there is a Double Degree program. It would have been nice to have an overview when applying.
Stephanie: I knew that it would be international, but I didn’t think that it would be so diverse.
Benjamin: What surprised me personally, was the class structure. Because back home in university usually classes had about 20 students and coming here and being in such a huge room with a lot of people that was different for me.
Toni: 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. Furthermore, the internationality and the diversity in our group. Because the cohort is small, you were talking to many classmates. I knew most of them better than just their names.
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 but we had a cool group spirit.
Stephanie: Not being afraid to ask for help, I think that is an important part. I think you should know a lot of statistics.
Benjamin: A good foundation in math. Having a habit of self-study. To be driven and to keep on going even though it’s difficult and some ideas are hard to understand. To keep going, to be motivated. Having some self-study skills.
Toni: Analytical skills, also reading skills. It’s very important because 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.
Colin: For the first semester, that is definitively true. Maybe it is nice to know how exams work, being smart in exams and thinking about which answers could be possible. General study skills.
Thies: The ability to organize, spontaneity, easing up and also not being too excited. I think I was less nervous than during my bachelor’s. So all the things that I worried about during the bachelor – I just relaxed and thought: It will work out. And it did.
Alex: I agree, 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, more intense, and bigger. 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 and banking and banking supervision. And currently, I am working at the ECB. It is possible to find a job there or at least an internship, so just apply! Try, 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 most like about Frankfurt is that it is in the middle of Europe, let say, 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 so… I think Frankfurt isn’t a good town for tourism because you cannot do that much, maybe fill one or two days. But if you live here, it’s great because it’s neat, you find everything, you don’t need to travel long distances, you find everything, … So when you live here it’s great.
Thies: I like it. What can I say, I am from the north of Germany but I stayed here after the master. 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’s cool to have many people from all over the world. It’s fun.
Benjamin: I did know German before. I studied some courses before, and I think that is a very very smart choice also for international students. And 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. So even though you can come to Germany without a good level of German. I would say that they offer really good German courses and the most important thing is to have the ambition to improve your language skills. Some people, just don’t want to learn. But I have seen a lot of improvement in the people that really want to do it. Yeah 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: Yeah, I can also recommend MMF. There are many things you can benefit from the program. It’s very international. It’s in a city that is very dynamic regarding the financial industry, there’s a lot of work opportunities. The faculty is also very experienced and gives excellent teaching. The students and the course 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: Start early, don’t let it slip. Surround yourself with lots of motivated people because it pushes you as well.
Benjamin: Work hard, get good grades, start early, study for the GRE, get good grades, get a good application. 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: Compared with my bachelor's, it is kind of a tough master, you have to remember what you had in the bachelor, especially for the fundamental courses. Put a lot of effort into the master also in socializing 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 bad as it looks. In the first semester, many students dramatize. But in the end, it’s just five exams you have to take. If you participate and study, it is doable.
Thies: Being openminded for everyone who is there. Especially, because we come from different cultures and there might be a language barrier sometimes. You can learn a lot from this cultural exchange.