In an article titled “In eine andere Welt eintauchen” (“Diving Into Another World”), Süddeutsche Zeitung presents portraits of three MBA graduates from various business schools in its October 13, 2016 issue. Thomas Heißmeyer, 40, who completed the international MBA program at HHL, talks about his motivation for studying Management, explaining, “I did not want to be a soldier in a pit; I have ideas and I want to put them into practice. However, to be able to survive in the world of business you need to learn the tricks of the trade.”
After high school, Heißmeyer studied what he was most interested in: History, Political Science and Communications. Afterwards, he completed an internship at the European Parliament in Brussels. Later, he started a job as an assistant to the CEO of a major fashion group in Paris, procured by his twin brother, a designer. Thomas Heißmeyer initially suffered from culture shock. He explains, “You come from the non-conformist European job market and all of a sudden you find yourself working for a luxury brand.”
It is not that he was not interested in the world of fashion. “But fashion in perpetuity –that doesn’t work.” What to do?
He needed an MBA and chose HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management. He quit his job in Paris; his parents paid for his studies.
“It was an intense time where I often had to leave my comfort zone,” says Heißmeyer. “No vacation, studying hard – particularly in the field of finance. Up until then, I had only ever dealt with words on an intellectual basis, never with numbers.”
This change was challenging. “It all worked out well though and boosted my confidence,” concludes the historian.
Once he had learned the tricks of the trade and obtained his MBA degree, he started working for a communications consultancy but then realized after a few years that he was better suited for corporate consulting. Completing an MBA helped him in this area as well. Heißmeyer states, “By now, I have become fluent in the language of business.”