Kyle Wilson (*1986)

Graduation HHL 2012

Last September, Kyle Wilson from Chicago, Illinois graduated from HHL. Here, he successfully completed an MBA.

In the “115 years of HHL – 11+5 faces” series, Wilson amongst others represents HHL’s link to the United States of America. In fact, the foundation of the longest standing business school in German-speaking Europe was strongly influenced by the developments in the U.S. – particularly the establishment of the Wharton School of Business and of the University of Chicago. After re-establishing HHL in 1992, the first private accredited business school in East Germany received substantial American support from Prof. Dr. Gert Assmus, PhD. From 1997 to 2000, the Tuck School professor served as Dean of HHL. Together with American Prof. Dr. Richard Mancke, PhD, he has implemented in 1998 one of the first full-time American-style MBA programs in Germany. Today, two out of three members of HHL’s Scientific Advisory Board are from the United States (Prof. Dr. Robert G. Hansen, Ph.D., from the Tuck School of Business and Professor Dr. Michael Czinkota, PhD., from Georgetown University). As the first private university in Germany, HHL received the seal of accreditation by the renowned American organization AACSB in 2004. Among the over 10 international partner universities of HHL are leading business schools in the U.S. This mutual exchange includes highlights such as the yearly summer school on “Doing Business in the Enlarged European Union” at HHL with the strong participation by American students. In the early 2000s HHL received approval from the U.S. Department of Education to hand out U.S. government sponsored loans to their students from the U.S. In September 2012 Philip D. Murphy, current Ambassador of the United States to Germany, kicked off the HHL International Guest Lecture series with a lecture on “Succeeding in a Globalized World – An Ambassador’s Perspective.”

HHL also welcomed American Consul Mark J. Powell during the 2012 graduation ceremony, as he presented HHL student Kyle Wilson with a 1,000 EUR prize for academic excellence. The prize was awarded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), one of the world’s largest and most respected intermediary organisations in its field, and is one of ten awarded to the top international students in Germany who show outstanding academic performance.

The now 27-year old student very much liked the international MBA class with students coming from 12 countries: “HHL quickly caught my attention as a leading business school in Germany, as well as the whole of Europe – a quality which never wavered throughout my year-long study. From the students to the administration, everyone was open, friendly, and fully committed to exemplifying and fulfilling the values and standards so crucial to the culture of HHL.”

After the formal graduation ceremony at HHL, Wilson set off to Asia to start his study abroad term at the Nanyang Business School in Singapore: “As one of the high quality universities selected by HHL to form a partnership, Nanyang Business School is located in a region which has time and time again proven itself to be critical to the future of the global business environment, offering a unique learning opportunity to round out the comprehensive program provided at HHL.”

Before Wilson began his MBA at HHL he worked as an analyst for Sargent & Lundy (S&L), an energy consulting company headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. He opted for business administration in Germany and for HHL because of different reasons. “It perhaps started with my choice of which language course to enter during middle school, which was German. My German studies continued on and off throughout middle and high school until a unique opportunity at the end of my freshman year at Purdue University presented itself – a two month long research exchange program at the Technische Universität Darmstadt. I found it such a pleasure to have had this experience that I have since wanted to make it back to Germany,” says Wilson. Following the completion of his Bachelor degree, Wilson started to look at further schooling opportunities in Germany. He already had the desire to do an MBA, which he quickly realized would require a minimum to three years of work experience. This led him to pursue his career in Chicago.

Though he pondered if school in the US would be more appropriate, he felt it was best to follow through on his original desires – to return to Germany and to finally follow through on learning a second language. After some considerations, Wilson felt that HHL offered the best all-around education. The opportunities for student involvement and the curriculum would best set him up for his future career progress. An extensive list of partner universities for the exchange program, an intimate class environment due to the class size, and his interest to learn more about the city of Leipzig only made it that much better.

Having recently completed his Master Thesis, Wilson has begun his search in hopes of a position in the German job market that will allow him to blend his background in Mechanical Engineering and his business knowledge recently developed through HHL’s full-time MBA program.

Photo: HHL