ESMT Berlin is a global business school founded by 25 multinational corporations. ESMT offers three degree programs: A two-year Master’s in Management; a one-year Full-time MBAand a part-time Executive MBA (EMBA). All programs benefit from close relationships with ESMT’s corporate network. The Full-time MBA program is starting in January each year. ARINGO conducted a short interview with Toni Trommer, Marketing Manager at ESMT, to learn more about the school:

Q: What is special about your MBA program? In addition to its’ excellent reputation, what differentiates it from other Top MBA programs?

A: ESMT has been ranked by the Financial Times as the number 1 business school in Germany and number 9 in Europe. It is a very international institution in terms of students, faculty and staff and a business school that has been founded by businesses. This connection to the industry is reflected throughout our programs with group assignments or in-company consulting projects. Students can choose between 3 specialization tracks (Managerial Analytics, Innovation & Entrepreneurship and Strategic Leadership). The city of Berlin is a major startup hub and its innovative and entrepreneurial spirit is deeply enrooted in our programs. Furthermore, a dedicated career services team supports our students with their career development in individual coaching sessions. We do offer a pre- and post-MBA program consisting of German language courses and the Responsible Leaders Fellowship – a social impact project taking place in a developing country, fully funded through ESMT.


Q: Are there any recent changes in the programs or in the admission process?

A: With test centers having limited availability during this period of time, we do accept applications with an extend of flexibility: candidates can submit their applications even if they do not have their test scores (TOEFL, GMAT) yet. Those results can be submitted afterwards.


Q: Has the COVID-19 situation have an impact on getting accepted to the programs at your school? Is there any other impact candidates should be aware of?

A: There are no changes in the acceptance of candidates from all around the world. Visa related issues are the only difficulty candidates may face – a subject which is hard to forecast at this stage. We are in constant exchange with the authorities for updates on visa-related matters.


Q: Can you share some details about the atmosphere in the school? Amongst the students? Between students and faculty? How do students spend their free time?

A: ESMT provides an informal and very comfortable atmosphere. Students, faculty and staff know each other and there is a great sense of community within the school and beyond. Since our students are very international and Germany is a foreign country for most of them, they kick off their adventure together and grow very fond of each other very quickly. Outside of school students enjoy the campus and its garden, explore Berlin and its inexhaustible amount of activities and join student clubs (with topics such as entrepreneurship, sustainability & inclusion and sports).


Q: Can you share some details about the area the school is located in?

A: ESMT is located right in the city center of Berlin, close to many famous landmarks (such as the TV tower or the Brandenburg Gate). This is an ideal location for our students to explore the city.


Q: Can you share some details regarding job opportunities and summer internships for students in your school?

A: With Berlin being a very international city, it is easy for students without any German language skills to find a job after graduation or during summer, although internships are not part of the MBA curriculum. Berlin provides a landscape of multinational companies, family-owned organizations, NGOs and start-ups, so every student is able to find her or his niche depending on the individual background and preference. Our career services team supports our students from day one of their program in order to exploit their potential to the fullest and to path the way for a successful professional future.


Q: What is it that you are looking for in a candidate? Who will especially enjoy this school? who will be a good fit to the school?

A: We are especially looking for candidates with team spirit. Group work is part of all our programs and we value the sense of community that you can feel throughout the school. Candidates who want to make a difference and have an impact in this world are the kind of mindset we are looking for. In addition to that, students should be eager and willing to contribute to the class by providing their background and skillset to their classmates as a tool to develop together.


Q: One most important piece of advice for an applicant based on your experience?

A: Applicants should be authentic and show us who they are. We want to get to know the candidates and their individual profile, so there is no need to pretend to be someone else. Diversity within our classes is very important to us so we look at every candidate individually.


Q:  What NOT to do in the admissions process?

A: Candidates should not confuse us with other business schools, but should be aware of the classes and projects we are offering, as they are what differentiates us from other schools. Applicants should show us why they want to study at ESMT and should not pretend to be someone they are not, just because they are afraid that their profile may not fit to us.


Q: Are later rounds worth considering?

A: Our admissions team works on a rolling basis, so whenever an application reaches out, we treat it right away. Candidates who are considering applying for ESMT should not wait too long to apply, as seats in the class may fill quickly.


Q: GMAT and importance as a % of the candidacy? What is the minimum GMAT you are looking for?

A: We are looking for a GMAT score of 640. We are not a very score-focused school, but these scores serve as guidelines for us to compare otherwise very diverse and different candidates. There is no specific percentage of the importance of the GMAT score, we do consider applications holistically.


Q: Is there anything you’d like our candidates to know regarding the admissions process?

A: Candidates should feel free to contact us beforehand in order to have all the information they need. Our admissions team is happy to review CVs and support candidates throughout the whole process.


Q: Can you tell us more about funding – scholarship/fellowship options in your school?

A: We do offer merit-based partial scholarships for some of our programs (, so funding depends on the individual background. The scholarship application is part of the program application, so we will consider candidates for scholarships if their profile matches our requirements. Berlin is a comparably cheap city in terms of housing and cost of living, especially for a European capital.