Martina Ernst | Get to know your IAB members

March 06, 2019

Global Executive MBA Alumna

Why are you actively involved in the WU Executive Academy's International Advisory Board?

My GEMBA program was a fantastic opportunity to receive top notch education as well as to enhance my professional network and I enjoy helping our alumni community grow and prosper.

What topics/questions/concerns that MBA students and alumni could approach you with? What are your areas of expertise?

As former Head of HR in the banking industry as well as managing director CSE Europe in the service industry I am happy to share my knowledge in HR related topics (career planning/salary negotiations/career development/CV/USP) as well as in leadership related issues (how to master change/ how to successfully act with your team in VUCA times).

What should MBA students not miss during their Core Modules in Vienna?

  • Klimt and Schiele exhibition at the Leopold Museum and afterwards a nice lunch/ dinner at the Museum‘s Quarter

  • The beautiful architecture of the Secession and afterwards a nice lunch/ dinner at the Naschmarkt

  • Kutschermarkt and it’s nice little cafes and fish restaurants

  • The Central Cemetery as well as the romantic Cemetery St. Marx

  • Hiking in the Wiener Wald

If you could do the MBA again, what would you do differently?

Honestly: I would do it most probably exactly the same as I enjoyed the teamwork with all my colleagues as well as all topics we covered during the modules. I have one small suggestion: putting a bit more emphasis on self awareness/ individual’s role in teams/ support via individual coaching

More than half of the students report the network as one of their main reasons for choosing an MBA. What tips do you have for our community on how to make the most of the WU Executive Academy's alumni community?

Your network is only alive if you

  • get to know each other well enough to build a trustful relationship

  • are really interested in your fellows

  • frequently meet each other


I can laugh about ...
my many mistakes
Shortcomings I am most likely willing to overlook …
being unpunctual/ forgetting names to name only the first ones which cross my mind
My funniest/most exciting travel experience was ...
By coincidence, I met an alumni and friend of my GEMBA class at the Milanese airport (directly at the gate) and we chatted so wholeheartedly that we didn’t realise the boarding and departing of our plane to Vienna - was the last one of the day, so we had to find a hotel and stay overnight: it was his marriage anniversary and I was a brand new employee supposed to show up in a meeting (in Vienna) with my board member at 8:00 the following day
I could not live without this app on my cell phone…
Google Maps - would get constantly lost/ WhatsApp/ Peak and many more...
You can always find this in my fridge…
Tomatoes, chilies, red peppers, feta, olives as well as Skyr/ yoghurt/ goat cheese - and a bottle of champagne
I would spend my last money on…
....I should say: on my friends and family but honestly: idea - it hopefully never comes to that point
10 years ago, I thought … career should always be linear - and this idea often really stressed me afraid to make the wrong move
Today, I know ...
...that professional life as well as careers are much more colourful - as long as you love what you do, you do the right thing and eventually all the dots will connect !

Read more interwiews with our IAB-members here.

Share this