Sara Könemann, consultant at zeb, HHL alumna, studied the part-time Master in Management program and graduated in summer 2016. Directly afterwards, she decided to go on with the doctoral program at HHL. In this interview, she talks about the program, HHL’s network as well as the balance between work, university and free time and her motivation for the Doctoral program.
What where the main reasons why you chose this program?
First of all, I was very satisfied with the Master in Management program at HHL. An outstanding academic design paired with a close student-faculty interaction was a great experience on which I did not want to miss out in the future. Second, the flexible program structure is very advantageous for full time employees and allows me to combine my job with a post-graduate degree without negatively impacting my work as a consultant for banks and insurance companies. Both aspects combined only reinforced my decision to continue my academic path by doing a doctoral program at HHL.
How do you benefit from your classmates’ experience and the network?
My classmates are highly committed to the courses and share academic as well as professional experiences. Especially because of diverse backgrounds and various academic research fields they provide insights and different perspectives that enrich my own research project. I think that a vivid and fruitful academic exchange is one of the most important factors for a successful research experience.
Working full-time and studying part-time – what is your personal recipe for a good work-study-life balance?
For me, it’s crucial to have time slots scheduled on weekends – on the one hand for studying and on the other hand for having some personal quality time. Hence, a work-life balance requires a conscious using and planning of time. Moreover, my employer (zeb) supports my post-graduate program in various ways. Apart from additional internal seminars with other doctoral students to facilitate knowledge exchange within our company, zeb offers flexible leave of absence possibilities and research facilities. Finally, it’s great to have understanding family members and friends who are willing to accept and to adapt to my dense schedule.
How do you personally benefit from the Master in Management study program in terms of your own career development?
I see the MiM-program as one of the key qualifications that allowed me to start my consultancy career. On the one hand, I was able to deepen my professional knowledge and on the other hand to develop necessary skills for my every-day-business as a consultant – i.e. methodological competencies. Furthermore, the HHL network and e.g. the access to excellent career services helped me to refine my application documents.
Why did you decide for the doctoral program immediately after graduation?
When I was writing my Master Thesis at the Werner-Jackstädt Chair of Business Ethics with Prof. Andreas Suchanek I soon realized that I want to explore the respective subject in greater detail. Furthermore, I very much enjoyed the taste of the research atmosphere at HHL and wanted to make an own contribution. I was over the moon when Prof. Suchanek confirmed the supervision soon after the graduation and decided that there was nothing left to wait for.