Are you an officer about to complete your period of military service within the next two years? If so, now’s the right time to start thinking about your transition to civilian employment.
In particular, Kempten’ MBA International Business Management & Leadership and the compact versio International Management Programme (IMP) - focus heavily on practical application and enable you to continuously develop your personal leadership skills. Both options will aid your career after leaving the German Armed Forces. The outstanding qualities of these programmes are their international dimension, flexible schedule and mixture of civilian and military participants. Attending seminars alongside civilians and international students on a public campus will give you valuable insights into working in the free economy and an international environment. The programmes are carefully designed to teach the cutting-edge skills in leadership and strategy expected from managers nowadays. The fact that lectures are conducted in English and coupled with study periods in Australia, Thailand or South Africa is greatly to your advantage.
Do you have any questions, or would you appreciate some advice? Please feel free to get in touch! We look forward to hearing from you.
Officers’ varying experiences and military backgrounds, their range of academic qualifications, diverse military training and different career aspirations are reflected in the maximum flexibility we have built into the MBA programme for Officers, with the ultimate aim of ensuring maximum benefit for every participant.
You can commence your MBA up to two years before retiring from military service. As we always run four parallel MBA groups, each subject is taught twice a year – so there’s always a chance to catch up on seminars if other commitments (e.g. courses, foreign deployment) clash with the envisaged schedule of one to two years.
Participants can select the most suitable elective and compulsory modules on the MBA to pursue their professional aspirations. In addition, there is a choice of partner universities for your period of study abroad and you also get to pick the company or organisation with which you wish to complete your master’s thesis.
Participants who are keen to move seamlessly to a company outside the German Armed Forces can opt for just Level 1 of the programme to gain the Certificate in Management. A full MBA can still be attained at a later date by completing the remaining courses as a part-time professional student on one of the various master’s programmes.
Level 1 begins in your choice of March or September each year. We recommend commencing Level 1 one to two years before you retire from military service.
The advanced course (Level 2) runs from April to June each year – generally three months before you leave service. The Forces’ Vocational Training Services (“BFDs”) have confirmed that participants on this programme can be released from duties for the three months prior to leaving service for the purpose of completing the studies required to round off the MBA programme (subject to their superior’s agreement).
The period of study abroad (Level 3) takes place in September and October. We recommend that participants start working on their master’s thesis after that. This will avoid any significant delay compared to other officers leaving service on 30 June.
By then, you will have completed almost all the requirements for your MBA, while significantly improving your language, personal and intercultural skills. You will be superbly equipped for mastering the new challenges of a civilian career.
Starting dates for Level 1: March or September
Starting date for Levels 2–4: April of the year in which you leave military service until March of the following year
Combining MBA & vocational experience
During Level 2, you have the option of completing a three-to-six-month internship in a company of your choice between January and June, ideally in a department related to your particular major.
You will spend two to three weeks on campus during the practical period to study your major subjects alongside the civilians on the MBA programme. The practical experience you will have gained by this point will help you contribute to topical discussions.
There is always the option of working on a company project during the internship that can be counted towards your studies. You can also choose to participate in the project week at Kempten, tackling practical company projects during this time. In addition, you can work on assignments in your major subjects and your master’s thesis while at the company. The Professional School is breaking new ground on the German market with its cooperative (“dual”) MBA programme, so we are delighted to be able to offer you this rare opportunity.
Benefits of the Dual MBA
The fees for this programme are fully reimbursable by the German Armed Forces’ Vocational Training Services (BFD). This also applies partially to accommodation and travel expenses in Germany and elsewhere, even if you want to write your master’s thesis abroad.
Your Vocational Training Services can inform you about funding. Please get in touch with them directly to discuss your particular options.
Both the Director of Studies and the Programme Manager, Professor Martin Göbl and Josef Auer, are ex-officers. They are familiar with your situation and can therefore offer excellent guidance in deciding how to make the transition into your civilian career.
Please feel free to get in touch if you require further information or would like one-to-one advice.
Tel.: +49 831 2532-491
Prof. Dr. Martin Göbl
Director of Studies
Tel.: +49 831 2532-154
I made a conscious decision to study on campus at the Professional School. I preferred this to distance learning on the basis that you don’t have to work your way through heaps of papers at home, but instead reap the benefits from high-intensity guided learning. Even the part-time blocks are rather like full-time study. The lectures you attend during a 3-day weekend seminar almost equate to a full-time quota of two hours per week throughout a regular semester. This fitted the way I work very well. The preparatory reading was meaningful and compact.
To sum up, this advanced study programme includes full-time and part-time blocks providing intensive contact with lecturers, but it doesn’t take up too much of your free time
I am glad that I opted for the MBA in Kempten. The fact that it’s not an “officers-only MBA” but has mixed groups comprising civilians, international students and former officers meant I was able to form various networks and learn from other participants’ experience. The practical focus of the study programme enabled me to gain a fully rounded insight into business. Courses on the MBA such as “Leading Self” advanced my personal development and prepared me for the transition to free enterprise.
Kempten Professional School showed me on the MBA what personal development through studying really means. Through self-reflection; with other experienced people from different backgrounds, religions and cultures; by broadening my horizons to other countries, businesses and mindsets – above all, furthering my own personal development as a human being.
Yes, there is. Officers tend to be more disciplined. In addition, they often adopt a different approach to tackling case studies and seeking solutions. In some cases, a lack of practical experience is evident. On the other hand, precisely when it comes to aspects of leadership, officers actually have a great deal more experience and skills and thus prove extremely competent in discussions.
No, not at all – quite the opposite. Experience with our participants has shown that particularly those who were weaker in English to start with improved their language skills incredibly quickly – and were often very surprised by their own success. This immersive experience meant they quickly learned business English and terminology.
Yes, they really do, as prospective employers expect outstanding performance in this respect precisely from former officers – and there are actually significant differences in leadership between business and the military. This makes it extremely important for you to be aware of them. We will help you to utilise the basis of experience that you have built up in the military to improve and keep on developing your expertise. We will not only reveal the elements that you can transfer to your civilian career, but also pinpoint the aspects that need changing and transforming to sharpen your professional acumen.
We chose South Africa for the condensed course and Australia for its outstanding quality. The two options provide entirely different intercultural experiences.
This ties in entirely with our philosophy that besides studying you should also interact with the country and its people to fully benefit from this valuable experience abroad. For this reason, we have taken great care to select options that not only give you the opportunity to attend high-quality courses, but also to live in an environment that encourages you to make contact with the locals. Our choices of Cape Town in South Africa and Brisbane in Australia, which lies on the Gold Coast close to the Great Barrier Reef, are carefully designed to offer you a bona fide “Foreign Venture” while also ensuring it’s a carefree and relaxed experience.
Yes. There is always the option of spending two weeks in South Africa. However, it has to be said that this pathway means you will miss out on a large part of such extremely valuable foreign experience. But of course, this course is more quickly completed, allowing you to return sooner to Germany to write your master’s thesis.
No, it’s not. Our university is entirely independent from the German Armed Forces, which also applies to our MBA programme. Of course, we carefully reflect your special circumstances and distinctive professional background. In addition, some of our team members are also former officers, hence in many respects we are positively disposed towards the German Armed Forces. We have also accrued a considerable wealth of experience in dealing with the Forces’ Vocational Training Services (BFD).
No, we focus on training people how to apply for positions abroad. Applications abroad and completing your master’s thesis or company project in a different country are special challenges that we are keen to carefully prepare you for, which is why we channel our efforts in this direction. The training we provide augments rather than replicates the Kienbaum seminar. We focus on the specifics of application processes for positions abroad and build upon the Kienbaum training.
Once you reach a certain level and beyond, almost every managerial position calls for international experience and pristine English, as either your customers or your suppliers are more than likely to be from abroad. It is crucial for you to have this experience, otherwise you will struggle to work successfully in an international environment. You might respond that you have completed numerous deployments abroad with the military. Rightly so, but the irrefutable fact remains that international business is an entirely different matter and managers require considerable experience in this precise field nowadays.
In Germany, people often aren’t entirely aware of the quality of an MBA and how it differs from a master’s degree programme, with the title “MBA” also being misappropriated for marketing purposes. Only those degree programmes that are EQUAL-accredited in accordance with European regulations qualify to be considered as “genuine” MBAs, containing high-calibre subject matter across the full spectrum of business administration and a period of study abroad, all taught and examined in English. For this reason, prospective MBA students should carefully scrutinise the content and quality of any degree programme. Compliance with these stringent requirements is signified by the “EPAS” seal of quality.
The Professional School of Business & Technology at Kempten University of Applied Sciences has therefore set the highest of standards meet these exacting demands. Officers retiring from the German Armed Forces stand to benefit particularly from these exceptional assets and impeccable quality.