Accepted.com is continuing a blog series featuring interviews with current MBA students, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at top MBA programs. We hope to offer you a candid picture of student life, and what you should consider as you prepare your MBA application.
Here’s a talk with Jennifer Langel, a student at Berlin’s ESMT (European School of Management and Technology) with a background in television and media. Thank you Jennifer for sharing your thoughts with us!
Accepted: First, can you tell us a little about yourself – where are you from? What and where did you study as an undergraduate and when did you graduate?
Jennifer: I grew up in a small town in southeastern Michigan, an hour from Ann Arbor. When it was time to apply for college I only applied to the University of Michigan. I studied Film and Video Studies, and graduated in 2002. After graduating, I lived briefly in Chicago, and then moved to Los Angeles. I started working in television as a production assistant, became a coordinator, and then a production accountant. Since graduating, I have worked on several talk shows, including The Jerry Springer Show, Dr. Phil, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Tyra Banks Show and most recently Lopez Tonight.
Accepted: Why did you decide to attend ESMT? Which other programs were you considering and what tipped the scales to favor ESMT?
Jennifer: I looked at several programs in the U.S., and was seriously considering Marshall at USC. However, I had never lived or worked abroad and started to research the idea of combining two life goals: my MBA and living abroad. I focused only on MBA programs in Germany, as I already spoke a little German and was familiar with the culture. I looked at the other top MBA programs in Germany: Mannheim, GISMA, HHL but ultimately I felt ESMT was the best fit for me.
I chose ESMT for the focus on technology, and because the current and past students I spoke with were so excited about their experience. The helpfulness of the admission office, and the excitement about being part of such a young program also appealed to me.
Accepted: Had you visited ESMT before deciding to attend?
Jennifer: I visited the school for my admissions interview, and left Berlin hoping I would be admitted.
Accepted: What are some of your favorite things about living in Berlin?
Jennifer: Berlin is one of the hottest cities in the world right now, and it is amazing to walk in the streets with so much energy everywhere. It’s also a great city to wander in, I love to walk and see where I end up. My least favorite part is how the time flies when I am out with my classmates, an hour feels like five minutes!
Accepted: From what I understand, ESMT has two elective tracks — Sustainability and Innovation & Technology. Which did you choose and why?
Jennifer: I chose the Technology track. How we watch television is in the process of changing and I want to be a part of that change.
Accepted: What do you plan to do post-MBA? Will you return to the West Coast (U.S.) and to the media world?
Jennifer: I definitely want to continue working in the media industry, and ideally, I would like to stay in Berlin or Germany for a few years.
Accepted: Your Filmography listing on IMDB is very impressive (and really cool!). What’s been your best job in TV production? What was it like working on The Ellen DeGeneres Show? Did you get to hang out with Ellen? Is she funny when the cameras aren’t reeling?
Jennifer: My favorite job was working on The Tyra Banks Show. I was the same age as the demographic of the show, and the show talked about topics that were relevant and fun for me. I still use makeup tips I learned from Tyra! Sadly, as an accountant, I didn’t get to interact much with Ellen, but my friend was a producer on the show and loved working directly with her.
Accepted: Do you have any advice for some of our applicants who will be applying to ESMT?
Jennifer: My best advice is to reach out to the admissions office and current and past students. Visiting the school is also important: It’s hard to understand what a program has to offer just by looking at the website. ESMT is special because of its small size; every student benefits from attention from the faculty and the administration and this is best observed by visiting.
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