The Professional MBA is truly international, reflecting the realities of the business world. You will work alongside experienced executives from a broad range of companies and business areas, giving you an insight into their way of thinking and their approach to business. The following statistics are based on the last 3 intakes.
Click here to download a detailed class profile including nationalities, industry and functional background and management level of the participants.
Ines Knapic, MBA
The Professional MBA accelerates your experience, boosts your professional capacities, and helps you to progress faster to reach your objectives. This program had an immediate impact on my professional career.
Diversity is key in class - the executives participating come from different nationalities and diverse professional backgrounds and pursue interesting and inspiring careers.
Read through the career stories of our Alumni and understand the impact a Finance MBA program can have on your professional life.
Professional MBA Finance alumnus
What stages in your life have had the greatest impact on you and why?
There had been few such stages each fundamentally changed my professional and personal life. One of the earliest: a chance for me to be a young banking professional (at 25 years of age) as I got an internship in one of the international hubs of the Arthur Andersen audit firm, which was a Big 6 leader of audit and advisory services industry of that time. This introduced me to the world of business advisory services. This also gave me a chance to join the Moscow practice of Arthur Andersen which I view as one of the first milestones in my professional development path.
The second one, which has resulted in a 17-year-long career journey, was in my 30s where I had the chance to join and later on to lead the tax practice of the Finance function of Deutsche Bank Russia.
The most recent milestone, no doubt, is my WU MBA Finance graduation. The study has fundamentally reshaped and broadened my knowledge and horizons of modern finance, management and leadership skills. This has been absolutely instrumental to my professional career growth.
Did you originally want to pursue a different career? If so, what made you change your plans?
Yes, I did. At the very start, my career dream was to work in the field of corporate finance or financial risk management. Yet, as said in Alexander Pushkin’s novel, Eugene Onegin, “an accidental, imaginative god” opted differently and gave me a chance to expand my career path with the leading financial institution in the field of corporate taxation. This gave me a chance to serve an organization with strong corporate values and a culture of long-term professional motivation. I enjoyed the growth and personal success.
What has changed in your career as a result of your MBA degree?
The MBA study process coincided with challenging times for the local financial market and the financial services industry. These uncertainties and challenges, however, allow me to leverage the newly gained knowledge and skills into my professional contribution to the firm’s strategy execution.
The primary objectives for my MBA study was to gain new knowledge and upgrade my insights on management frontiers best practices and on ultra-modern finance theory and best practices.
Networking and gaining new experiences were secondary objectives. Both proved to be incredible and fruitful. Certainly, my implied expectation was that an MBA study should increase my professional value and personal brand on the human capital market. Having gained this MBA study experience, I am assertively confident that I can reach new horizons in the financial industry, both locally and internationally.
What was your biggest professional/personal success?
I am long-distance runner by nature, and therefore I train for long-term sustainable progress. For me the “biggest” success is therefore still in my future. I link my individual success to my MBA graduation as an acknowledgement of my efforts and personal traits. The recognition from good people around me, as well as their positive attitude, is also an indication of personal success, in my belief.
What are your goals for the coming year?
The professional goal for this year is to transition away from tax risk management specialization to strategic risk management. In addition, I would love to challenge myself, start triathlon training and do a competition.
What do you consider a “great luxury”?
Nothing can be more luxurious than time, in my opinion.
What was the last book or movie you really enjoyed?
I recently had the great pleasure to read a book from the Nobel prize winner in economics, Robert J. Shiller, called Finance and Good Society. Additionally, How Will you Measure your Life? by Clayton Christensen, professor of Harvard Business School, was also a good book. I would strongly recommend that finance students watch the movie “Margin Call” to recognize the need for ethical business conduct, corporate responsibility and individual responsibility in the modern corporate world.
How would you characterize your philosophy of leadership? Has it been influenced by a leadership role model?
Leading by example, recognizing and rewarding fairly, giving second chances – are key elements of my leadership philosophy. Having a role model, in other words a mentor, would be a great supporting factor for my personal growth. Unfortunately, in my professional life I have not had the luxury of having a mentor, from whom I could learn or seek support in challenging times.
How do you recharge your batteries when you are not pursuing your demanding career?
I am fond of fitness training and chess.
If you could change places with anyone for a day, who would it be?
I think it would be a math teacher at school; I like math (though I realized this much after school ended), and I very much like teaching, bringing knowledge and sharing life experiences. Education has vital value for modern society and progress in the long run.
Why would you recommend the Professional MBA Finance of the WU Executive Academy?
If you read this career story, you have likely already realized why you should do a finance MBA. I’d love to recommend WU Vienna’s finance MBA program in particular, as it is the right product of two factors: 1) core managerial studies which will reshape, renew and expand your fundamental values of business administration and 2) the super finance specialization, which offers ultra-modern finance theory and best practices, coupled with a truly value-added international residency, aiming to get the flavor of international financial education and leading financial industry experience, as well as wonderful life experience and networking. The positive NPV of your Professional MBA Finance diploma is a matter-of-course!
Johannes Schechtner, MBA
The MBA Finance interview process is tough and precise but precious, as the entry process assures that only experienced high potentials can qualify for the program. I was very thankful to experience excellent productivity in the finance classes and projects with high performance outcome.