Longest serving employees at ESMT
Number one (Claudia Rösecke)
Don't just stand in the classroom (Zoltán Antal-Mokos)
- Ideas for impact (Olaf Plötner)
Leadership is about choices (Konstantin Korotov)
The good spirit (Hans-Otto Pohl)
Job posting (Ilka Frenzel)
Interesting but scary (Valentina Werner)
Executive education expert (Ulrich Linnhoff)
MBA around the clock (Stephanie Kluth)
Historic setting – modern facility management (Kerstin Awe)
At your service (Michaela Bodner)
CLAUDIA RÖSECKE, executive assistant to the president, has the personnel number 1 at ESMT. When she took up her job on February 1, 2003 (01.02.03, in the German way of writing dates) in the almost bare first offices of ESMT on Potsdamer Platz, there was a chair, a table, and not much more. Founding president Derek Abell was often traveling and founding dean Wulff Plinke had his main office in Schloss Gracht, so she was often alone in the office and with the decisions of how to best build the structures needed for the school to grow. She especially likes the flat hierarchies and the international colleagues she finds at ESMT. She has worked with three ESMT presidents, and with each president has come new challenges. Working in the president’s office where all the links of the business school come together is challenging and demanding but “probably one of the most interesting workplaces here,” says Claudia Rösecke.
When asked what he likes most about standing in the classroom, ZOLTÁN ANTAL-MOKOS says: “Well, normally I don't just stand there. I like the engaging, exciting dialogue with the students and to really immerse myself in the sessions.” Zoltán left his home country, Hungary, to serve ESMT and has been with the school since 2005. He is a professor of strategy and strategically built up ESMT's Executive MBA program, which started in 2007. In just a few days, the sixth run of the 18-month program will begin. In addition to his roles as professor and as dean of degree programs, Zoltán is a member of several internal committees. He also worked together with his team to establish ESMT's international accreditation. Despite this busy schedule, he still manages to make time for individual meetings with students and colleagues and never seems to be far from his smartphone or computer.
The headline of this article could be the guiding principle of OLAF PLÖTNER, ESMT’s dean of executive education. Since 2003 he has been building up the school’s portfolio of open programs for managers and executives as well as of tailored programs for organizations. The Financial Times has noted this positive development in its rankings since 2009. Currently, ESMT belongs to the top ten European business schools for executive education. Olaf’s program Bringing Technology to Market will run for the 12th time next year and has provided more than 300 international executives with concepts and tools for competitive strategies. In addition to his research and teaching in the areas of strategic management and international sales management in technology-based B2B markets, Olaf has built partnerships with the Darden School of Business, Cheungkong GSB, and CELAP. Looking back at all those achievements he would probably say, “This has all been a team effort.” One more of his ideas for impact: his new book Counter Strategies in Global Markets.
KONSTANTIN KOROTOV chose ESMT in 2005. Coming from INSEAD, in France, he started as an assistant professor. Today, he is associate professor and director of the Center for Leadership Development Research, which he helped to build and make a success. Together with the other members of the center, he aims to enhance the understanding of leadership development in modern organizations. He has published widely on leadership development and coaching, teaches in ESMT’s executive education and degree programs, has established the ESMT Coaching Colloquium as the premier event for coaching and HR experts, and represents ESMT at international conferences such as the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum. With more than 15 years of practical leadership development experience in more than 15 countries, he says that what he is trying to teach is that leadership is about choices and that you are responsible for the choices you make in life.
HANS-OTTO POHL tops our list of employees who have been with ESMT the longest. He started working for the Universitätsseminar der Wirtschaft, now USW Netzwerk, at ESMT Campus Schloss Gracht in 1981. For more than three decades he has been the “good spirit” of Schloss Gracht. Responsible for facility management, he ensures the smooth flow of all seminars in the background and introduced modern technology to the classroom by ordering the first video projector for the campus, as a matter of fact. With his long experience, he also enjoys giving tours to program participants of the historic site where the Metternich family lived for centuries. His knowledge of the location served him well in 2011 when the whole castle had to be evacuated because of old ammunition that had been found nearby. Without much hassle and because of good neighborhood contacts, the program in session was relocated to another classroom – the school building of the town.
ESMT is seeking to fill a position with the following responsibilities and requirements:
- management of ESMT’s personnel administration for its 136 staff members (FTE)
- leading approximately 600 job interviews over a 10-year period
- successfully improvising in a job interview when the fire alarm goes off
- always being accessible
- more than two decades of experience with personnel administration in an international higher education business school environment
- excellent working knowledge of German labor legislation and ability to handle a workforce representing 27 nationalities
We appreciate your interest, but we have already filled this position with our ideal candidate – ILKA FRENZEL, our Head of Personnel Administration.
When VALENTINA WERNER came to ESMT in 2004 to begin faculty recruitment, she was one of fourteen in the offices located Unter den Linden. Growing with ESMT from an assistant for faculty recruitment support to assistant dean, she now leads a team of more than ten, which supports the faculty to ensure that teaching and research goes smoothly. For Valentina the biggest challenge with the largest reward has been setting up the structures necessary to recruit and sustain top international faculty. What were once drafts have become the guidelines ESMT uses to successfully organize faculty resources. She described the experience as “interesting but scary” and is glad that the foundation has been laid. According to Valentina, the growing reputation of ESMT is reflected in a larger and more qualified group of applicants when open faculty positions are announced. And what keeps her at ESMT? “The people.”
ULRICH LINNHOFF started at Schloss Gracht in 1990 and was responsible for open seminars in finance and as key account manager for the former Hoechst Group. During the 1990s, USW grew continuously, partly due to the privatization processes of major companies such as Deutsche Telekom, Deutsche Post, and Deutsche Bahn, for whom USW served as an executive education provider. Additionally, Ulrich handled the growing demand for customized training of medium-sized companies. He says that with the founding of ESMT in 2002, many changes came for the employees of USW. The customers, however, were offered broader and more international management education programs as well as in-depth research that enriched academic and public discourse. In the future, he is looking forward to holding the 100th seminar of "Betriebswirtschaft für Führungskräfte" (Business administration for executives) at Schloss Gracht in 2015.
STEPHANIE KLUTH joined ESMT more than seven years ago to build up MBA admissions. She looks back fondly on the start-up atmosphere and has enjoyed the challenge of building a department from the ground up. She is proud of her motivated team. As head of admissions office, Stephanie still finds ESMT to be very hands-on but appreciates the freedom of being able to think ahead and bring in new ideas. She still takes part in some MBA fairs around the world and finds it inspiring that more and more people know of ESMT.
When KERSTIN AWE started in May 2004 at ESMT, you could still sense the atmosphere of the former German Democratic Republic because many rooms were still as they had been in 1989. As part of the new facility management team, Kerstin started off by refurbishing offices and by creating essential structures such as a post office, procurement processes, and stock keeping. After struggles with the “usual” problems pertaining to old buildings in Berlin, e.g., finding Second World War ammunition during construction work, the official opening ceremony of the completely renovated campus took place in February 2006. Apart from the many prominent guests such as the German Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, Kerstin remembers that in preparation for the event, she and her team covered over sqm 1,000 with foil so as to protect the new floors and carpets.
After setting up a functioning reception area for ESMT in 2003 an even bigger challenge was waiting for MICHAELA BODNER. After completing a mere three-day crash course in preparation, she began to establish and manage an admissions office for the school’s executive education programs. For three years she was a one-person team in this role and considers this time as the most memorable moment in her career. She especially valued the possibility to contribute and to implement her own ideas as well as the start-up atmosphere in the small and tightly-knitted ESMT team. Today, nine years later, the business school is ranked among the European top ten in executive education according to the Financial Times. Around 2,500 managers and executives from Germany and abroad attend ESMT programs every year. Michaela Bodner is still working in ESMT’s customer services and feels exactly in the right spot there. Helping customers, switching from German to English when receiving international calls, is her greatest motivation and reward, says Michaela.