Graduate School News

The GS Community during Corona

How is the GS Community coping?

- Messages from all over the world

We are thinking of you all, and are so glad to hear from you. I know that we are all trying to keep healthy and safe: let's get through this time together, and please carry on keeping in touch.

Prof. Dr. Siegfried Zürn from Germany, Dean of the Graduate School

In Augsburg, 8 April

„Dear Students, dear Alumni, dear Friends,

The Graduate School is currently facing its greatest challenge in the 21 years since its inception, and we are working - together with the President's Office and many official bodies - daily to cope with this situation. My two priorities as Dean of the Graduate School are, first, to do everything I can to ensure that Graduate School students and staff remain safe, and secondly, to keep our programmes running wherever possible, so that our students can progress with their degrees. This is clearly not easy in the case of laboratory or project work, but in other areas, both staff and students have already started working together successfully online. I am very grateful for their flexibility, and for all the positive feedback that has been given to me by all parties. In addition, the rectorate is supporting us

I am working from my home in a very tiny rural place near Augsburg. Honestly, with 2 kids at home and our dog around it is not always easy to manage all requests of the different “stakeholders”… but I am getting better and better in this way, too. And it helps to better understand and value what it means to “manage a family and household…”

I would like to thank the Graduate School staff, professors and students for their understanding and for all working together as a team in this difficult time. Additional thanks to the President's Office and administration of the Hochschule Esslingen for providing specially tailored support and options especially for our international students – of course within the legal framework of the University’s statute. We will get through this together! In the meantime, stay home and stay safe!“

Prof. Dr. Robert Straw from the U.S.A., "Founding Father" of the Esslingen Graduate School

In Switzerland, 7 April

"Now entering our 4th week of WFH, teams and individuals start to get a bit frazzled. It's tough having partners around all day, not to mention home-schooling, something most parents have never really done before. Balancing family, new work challenges is only part of this. Physical challenges are limited mobility, and psychological challenges stress us. The two are indefinitely intertwined.  

Already on day one of WFH, I implemented a Wellbeing Call with all of my staff to start every day. During this call, I am interested in knowing and sharing two main things: Are you physically safe? Are you mentally safe? HOW ARE YOU doing, coping, managing, etc. These calls are the most important call I have with my team every day. Business topics come later, but first things first. In addition, I get a feel for how people are doing with their personal and professsional stress levels and often I set up "Coffee Chats" with team members in the afternoon. And just like we would face-2-face, we have a coffee and talk about the weather, kids, family, shopping, stuff.... and purposefully leave work for other discussion rounds. The work of a leader is primarily to take care of the physical and psychological safety of their team - and then get the work done. Greetings from far up in the Swiss Alps."

Bineet Kumar from India, MBA 2015

In Göppingen, 8 April

The Lockdown

The start of each year is looked upon
As a chance to start afresh,
To make new plans, to set new goals,
To advance in life, to achieve no less.

And this was the start of a decade,
And another hope to make things right,
To set it rolling for the next ten years,
To better the world with all our might.

Is it wrong to dream, to aspire?
To advance, to run to stay ahead?
To try to make our lives better?
Doesn’t that set us apart from the dead?

May be we ran a bit too fast,
And ran alone for our own good.
Leaving behind the nature and the rest,
And all that so long for us stood.

Yes, our greed ignored the early signs,
And endangered the earth divine.
To run at pace and to touch that post,
We just remained a man, forgot the mankind.

Who would have foreseen a start like this?
That would push us decades behind.
Quarantined, fearful, locked at home,
Searching for toilet papers, hard to find.

When working from home would become an order,
When the whole world outside would be in disorder,
When meeting friends would be a thing of the past,
Schools would be shut, unaware how long would it last?
When such questions would become too common,
When we’d realize something wrong has been done.

Bodies being carried on trucks on the roads,
Hospitals burdened and the staff distressed,
Governments clueless and the people confused,
But the numbers still rise, regardless.

As we remain home, alone and locked,
Planes grounded and the ships docked,
Businesses closed and the empty roads,
Relatives distant and the problems broad,
May be it’s time to look within
And to understand the wrong,
Man is not alone on this planet
The nature must be kept along.

The phase will be over and normalcy would return,
Smiles will be back and world would be strong,
Hopefully the lesson would’ve been learnt,
That the planet must be preserved for long.

Walid Mecharrafie from Lebanon, Head of IT for the GS 1993-2013

In Esslingen, 8 April

"The 'COVID-19' outbreak has created a new reality for all of us, At least temporarily, some chances, for e.g. when we are dealing with many new challenges, both personally and professionally.

It’s up to each of us to do our part, so we can get through this as quickly as possible. In the meantime, one might have immediate concerns about the 'real  life', after  rsp. during these challenging times. We are all in this together and won't stop believing!"

J. D. Rudolf Panjaitan from Indonesia, MBA 2019

In Jakarta, Indonesia, 7 April

"In the middle of 2019 German Federal Government launch new innitiative in support of innovation and industry integration. As such several new institutes were founded before the end of 2019. Right then i was starting my professional engagement with one of the newly founded institute situated in Ulm.
Meanwhile on the other side of the world an outbreak started. Little did i know then that it would create uprecedented outcome throughout the world. A Pandemic.
Fast forward 6 months, social distancing, self-quarantine and other counteractive measures was taken by governments accross the globe. Indonesia Ministry of foreign affairs demanded its citizen to return from overseas especially from countries affected seriously by the notorious COVID-19 as one of such counter active measures mentioned above. Germany was one of them.
I was so confident that my family can come to Germany in June 2020 because i had completed all the necessary family reunification visa in February. Soon after i receive a letter of work termination from my employer and accept the fact of future uncertainties. I have to accept the things i can not change in my life. I believe it is for the best. One can plan and weave intricate details but in the end GOD decide."

Abhishek Krishnamurthy from India, DDM 2021

In Esslingen, 7 April

"Coronavirus – This is the hot topic in almost every discussion nowadays, be it with friends, family or colleagues at work. Such has been the impact this pandemic has had all over the world. Tracking and following the trend on a daily basis is almost everybody´s favourite activity now. The greatest challenge I think for everyone is to suddenly adapt to this digital lifestyle without any direct human interaction. We are so much used to our previous DDM schedule that we hardly had any time. We always wanted some time to take a breather. But now all we want is for this to be over so that everyone can go back to their normal lives.

Personally, I feel the essence of an International Masters Program is to build good rapport and network in the industry and gain exposure to the working environment and different cultures. This is especially difficult if we don’t have direct interaction with people. Another concern is that it is becoming increasingly difficult to apply for Master Thesis because the companies are either temporarily shutdown or in Kurzarbeit. A lot of the research activities are currently on hold in most companies as they are also uncertain about the future. Ofcourse a global phenomenon of this scale affects economy heavily. The impact of this on the Job market especially the Automotive sector is something which I think will be interesting, since majority of the companies are undergoing transformation towards E-Mobility.

I really appreciate the efforts of Graduate School, Hochschule Esslingen in organising the online lectures. This has really helped in keeping us engaged and utilize the time effectively. Else it would have been really difficult to imagine being self-quarantined having nothing to do. A typical day for me now consists of attending online lectures and cooking. The latter which I have grown increasingly fond of in the last couple of weeks (and getting better at :) ). Keeping in touch with my family back in India, especially my wife who is constantly worried about the condition here. She was supposed to travel to Germany last week for her Masters Program. But unfortunately, because of the current situation that is not possible. I think the best thing to do right now is to keep ourselves engaged and avoid social interactions so that everything can go back to normal as soon as possible. Until then, Stay at Home and Stay Healthy!

Danish Malik from Pakistan, MBA 2006

In Australia, 7 April

"We face an unprecedented situation these days. Humanity has faced many pandemics but we were not as connected as today so the spread has been exponential. That connectivity is also a blessing. Most people have transitioned to 'Work From Home'. It took a while for all team members to understand the best practices for remote work but we got there. The silver lining here is perhaps the realization that we're all in this together. Actions of one impact many and societal cooperation is crucial. Also, hopefully after going through this crisis, people will realize that remore work is feasibile and liberating. I hope this leads to more flexibility and better work-life balance"

Sebastián Gómez from Spain and Argentina, DDM 2021

In Spain, 7 April

"I start this text calling everyone to practice social distancing measures and to stay at home when possible. Everyday, there are a lot of people who are dying due to COVID-19.

In Spain, the situation is very hard to believe. Daily, hundreds of people are dying. The hospitals are at maximum capacity and more and more sanitary workers are getting infected with COVID-19. The government has taken very hard isolation measures, which we all must accept not only for our own safety, but mostly for our older generations, who worked hard and cared always for us. We cannot let them die, we owe everything to them, and we love them.

It is in the hard times where people show what they are really made of. Since this started, every single day at exactly 20:00, everybody in Spain goes to the window or to the balcony, and we clap together, to say thank you to all of our sanitary workers, that are fighting with the virus and risking their own life. To say thank you to the police, that is ensuring that everybody respects the isolation measures. To say thank you, to the army, that has opened campaign hospitals, disinfecting the streets and making huge efforts to help to win this war against this invisible virus. And to say thank you, to everybody else that is out there risking their life for us.

Besides all the hard times and negative feelings, we must stay as positive as we can. I personally think that we have the obligation of helping wherever we can to overcome the virus and learning from this to avoid something similar in the future.

Some of us, students, may think that this is “bad, because our study program can get longer”, but again I see this as an opportunity. I have used this delay in the beginning of the semester to improve my German, that to me is as important as my Master’s degree. I am very proud of belonging to the Hochschule Esslingen, I can see how hard they are all working trying to offer online learning opportunities to all of us, not leaving anyone behind. Thanks to all of you, I really feel supported.

I would like to finish with a message of hope to everybody. Sooner or latter we will beat the virus and recover our life, just be patient, and again stay at home. As the prime minister of Italy told to all the Spanish people in the television this week, “let’s stay away today, so that we can hug each other again tomorrow”. And to all my fellow students that are not as lucky as me to be able to travel home, stay strong, I admire you all and wish you the very best."

Ganesh Swaminathan from India, MBA 2014

In Frankfurt am Main, 6 April

“Little did I know, that the Coronavirus disease will become a global pandemic when I texted a colleague in China in January and enquired her about the situation after the Coronavirus outbreak in China.

It makes me really sad to see the number of affected cases constantly grow higher day by day. Currently the right thing to do is to stay at home and be in self-isolation. Like most other people I am also working from home and I regularly video-chat with my colleagues. I am still finding ways to keep myself engaged after my working hours. I am an avid traveller and also most of my hobbies in the past have been connected to doing something outdoors. But now I have started to try some new indoor hobbies like experimenting in the kitchen, reading Kindle eBooks, learning to paint etc.

At times like these, I not only think about the people in medical field who are working hard to end this pandemic but also about the others who are working outside their homes, for example bus drivers, supermarket employees etc. I have great respect for them and I also feel grateful for the people who are helping others in these tough times.

My heart goes out to the people who have lost their lives and who are currently suffering, and also to those (people who have lost their jobs etc.) who are affected by this situation.  I hope that people around the world who can do social distancing and self-isolation would follow the same without any excuses. I am anxiously waiting for the day when this pandemic will show signs of reduction.

Stay safe and healthy!“

Mir Samad Ghoreishi from Iran, MSc AE 2001

In Iran, 6 April

"I am currently working as a CEO in the company IBBC (Iran Bearing & Bushing co.) We have been in this crisis since early February, and my wife and two daughters have been at home since February 20. I had to go to work, but from March 19 to April 6, our factory was closed and I was at home with my wife and two daughters. Schools and universities will be closed from February 20 and will probably continue until the end of April.

My eldest daughter is a university student and pursues all university courses through the web. My youngest daughter is a student and she takes homework from her teachers through television and the web. The government has created a special training channel for students and They give lessons and assignments to the students.

During the quarantine period, we manage our time at home with different tasks and we had very interesting times. For example, we played group games, group sports with the whole family, such as yoga, zumba, Pilates, etc.

For very important purchases, only one person (me or my spouse) goes out. I wish you all good health and hope that you and your families all stay healthy."

Marcello Barreto de Pinho from Brazil, MSc AE 2001

In Donauwörth, 6 April

"Me and my family, we are doing well. I became an employee from Airbus since 2019. I'm working in Donauwörth developing new solutions and solving all day problems related to the fuel system of NH90 and H135 helicopters. I'm the System Design responsible.

The Corona hast changed a lot the way of work. We were divided in two Teams (red and blue). The Teams are forbidden to meet each other. Also different Toilettes for each Team was defined. But most of Engineering departments had Home-Office. I'm also in Home-Office since the third week of March. I'm using the Home-Office time in order to solve some complicate issues, because I can concentrate myself better and not getting interrupted through meetings and daily problems."

Pattreeya Tanisaro from Thailand, MSc IA 2001

In Thailand, 5 April

"Since the outbreak, it becomes my behavior to monitor the statistics of the disease after getting up in the morning and before going to bed at night. Days by days, I am getting more and more anxious about the crisis. We, humans, need social interaction. I read that because of social distancing people become more stressful and aggressive and finally resort to violence!! Quite scary! For me, I miss going out during the springtime, the best time of the year. I miss it so badly. I miss seeing daffodils bloom this year, nonetheless I want to survive to see them bloom next year! Therefore, I take the self isolation seriously. For the past several weeks I've watched loads of TV series, studied Chinese and learned several new recipes from Youtube, Japanese's green tea chiffon cake and Korean kimchi! I usually buy kimchi that sold in the Asia shop. From here on, I don't need to buy it anymore because my cooking is more tasty! Furthermore, I have bought many books but usually have an excuse for having no time to read them up until now, so it's the time! Studies say reading can reduce stress, stimulate the brain and can cure loneliness! And you, what do you do during self-quarantine?"

Andrés Corrales from Ecuador, ASM 2021

In Esslingen, 3 April

"I am very concerned about the situation our world is experiencing right now. In my case, being isolated from the outside, has being very tough.

The idea of being in another country is to be able to interact with people from different parts of the world and of course learning a new language and more about new cultures.

This unexpected event has changed all the plans that I have and of course, the ones of my fellow colleges as well. I don’t know if the process of getting a master's thesis or a job here in Germany will be easy after this situation. A crisis is on the way and in countries like mine the situation is getting very difficult each day. Hearing about members of my family and friends losing their jobs gives me a feeling of helplessness and in addition being so distance from them and from my new friends in Germany is a situation with a lot of feelings that I  expect not to experience again.

Let’s pray that our world can overcome this situation and also let's take in consideration what we all are living right now, in order to appreciate more what we have."

Krishna Torgal from India, MBA 2020

In Germany, 3 April

"The Corona situation across the globe has affected our lifestyle and global economic conditions.  Despite the total lockdown, the confirmed cases are on rise across several countries. To break the chain, I have self-quarantined for more than two weeks now. I am confident with correct measures and precautions, our lifestyle will be normal in couple of more weeks. I will be able to get back to my regular evening walks and meeting with friends.

On the other hand, I find that market situation is on the brink of meltdown as all the non-essential businesses are closed.  I come across several posts on LinkedIn where people mention about their job loss or difficulties to find an internship.  I am currently hunting for the job and finding it real challenging to identify the open position that suits my profile. But without being too pessimistic, I am utilizing this time to build my skills and gain knowledge on the topics that interest me. We shall overcome this epidemic and look forward to the normal life and good opportunities."

Chaminda Hettiarachchi from Sri Lanka, MBA 2002

In Sri Lanka, 3 April

"In a time when the entire world is struggling to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic, I am honored to share my ideas as a MBA alumnus of the Esslingen Graduate School.  I live in my home country of Sri Lanka. As a tropical Island in the Indian Ocean, the spread of the virus here is still in early stage with less than 200 affected cases and only few deaths. Some think we will not get affected much based on our weather and the geographical location. However, I think we are still in the early stage of the curve and worst is yet to come and hence we should take preventive measures seriously.  Anyway, the entire country is under curfew for few weeks now and we try to apply social distancing strictly.  Therefore, I work from home and use digital technology to connect globally.

As an active member of Graduate School alumni community, I keep in touch with the faculty members, staff and fellow alumni while following what is happening in Germany. I am very interested to know more about how Germany, even affected with high number of cases of Covid-19, has been able to “flatten the curve” with proportionately fewer deaths.   It will be very useful for us in other countries to learn from German experience and best practices.

My current professional work involves introducing Industry 4.0 technologies for socio- economic development in Sri Lanka.  As a way of contributing to the national campaign on preventing the spread of coronavirus in Sri Lanka, I am working on several not-for-profit projects of using 3-D Printing technology for Covid-19 related device productions. I am really happy to collaborate internationally with any like-minded people who can contribute with their expertise. I strongly believe that times like these need more global partnerships and international solidarity. I wish you all the best, good health and request you to stay safe. Warm greetings from Colombo, Sri Lanka!"

Ran Lang from China, MBA 2021

In China, 3 April

"I have never imagined that the situation become so serious in Europe when I came back to China in middle of February. When I finished the 14 days’ self-quarantine in China, the corona virus become wide spreading in Europe. With the infected people increased dramatically, more and more flights to Europe being cancelled and European countries shut down the boarders and decide to close schools. On the other side, in mainland China, with the mutual endeavor of Chinese Government and people, the situation becoming better and better. I feel safe here at home. The only problem I am concerning about is the courses in university. Fortunately, university keeps working on ensuring we won’t miss classes. Currently we are studying regularly on-line, it is a kind of new experience, we meet on air and everything goes smoothly on. Currently the spring is coming and flowers are blooming, winter will definitely ends and I believe we will defeat the disease finally and I wish to see everyone in person in Esslingen again!"

Pragadish Nandakumar from India, MBA 2020

In Germany, 3 April

"Corona virus has created a crisis where millions of people need to be self-quarantined in their homes and my case is no different. I have been self-quarantining myself for more than a month now and I only rarely go out to get groceries. This situation has forced me to plan my food rations much in advance for weeks altogether. But, the upside is that I could spend more time with myself – I have started to work on my long pending hobby, learnt a couple of courses online and also started reading new books. Although we can agree that it’s difficult to not go out during the warm weather, its crucial for all of us to follow self-quarantining and social distancing so that we can flatten the curve and return to our normal lives soon."

Óscar Fernando Grisales Arredondo from Colombia, MBA 2021

In Esslingen, 2 April

"As an international student, I am not only being challenged by the situation in Germany but also by the situation in my country, where most of my family and friends live ,and that puts an extra mental burden. However, being away from my loves ones for more than 6 months now, I am already used to interact to people I care only with the help of technology, and that has helped me a lot. Also, I am trying to do all that I usually do, like exercising and expending time with friends, but all inside my room with the help of technology.

The situation with the studies is also challenging since it was not expected, but I have come to terms with the idea that this situation is out of our control so what we can do is put our best efforts to make it easier to everyone and to accomplish our personal and profesional goals.

I hope that we can go back to see our classmates and everyone in the university very soon, but I know that this time apart is a low price to pay to  help to maintain everyone safe."

Maily Laguna De La Rosa from Mexico, MBA 2021

In Esslingen, 2 April

"As an international student of MBA it has been quite challenging to adapt to online classes due to the Corona Virus situation. Not only our studies have been affected but also our private life. One of the reasons to study abroad was to interact with the German culture and the language, unfortunately, at the moment, this is not possible. This new situation is affecting our career development, currently we are in the process of applying for Master Thesis projects and many of the companies have stop the application process. Certainly everybody is being affected and the uncertainty of not knowing how it will continue is high."

Catriona Fekete-Nester from Canada, GS Alumni Relations

in Kirchheim unter Teck, 4 April

My husband, my three kids and I have all been home since mid-March: schools will be shut until at least after the Easter holidays, and probably much longer. The children are sent homework by their teachers regularly, and are managing very well with working alone. We go out rarely, only for the very occasional shopping trip or for a walk with our dog, Molly. My husband and I are now working from home, which is surprisingly effective. Work in the GS is like nothing we have yet experienced: we have meetings via zoom and rarely, if ever, see each other in person.

Answering Pattreeya's question, above, of what we are doing in self-quarantine, I can say that we have stocked up on action videos (3 teenage children), and are currently working our way through The X-Men series. Excellent (pun intended)! I have two new books and am planning on starting one of them, which is about the lives of the women killed by Jack the Ripper, this afternoon.

Along with everyone else, I have been looking at the numbers of Corona cases every day and am shocked by this situation. Today, there was a report that the number of new cases in the Esslingen region is increasing significantly less than the number of people recovering from the infection: possibly a light at the end of the tunnel? In the midst of all the fear and uncertainty, however, I am touched by the values that are emerging: people are sticking together, helping one another, talking to people they haven't contacted in years, and showing their appreciation for those who are out there helping us get through this time. I am very glad to hear from so many of you, and hope that you and your families all stay healthy.

For current information on the Corona Virus, please see the website of the Robert-Koch-Institut

Graduation 2020

Saying goodbye to the Class of 2020

Esslingen's Neckar Forum was crowded with festive bachelor and master’s graduates from all faculties of the university, among them 83 from the Esslingen Graduate School. The ceremony was opened by the university’s Pep Band playing Dizzy Gillespie’s “A Night in Tunesia,“ and then passed on to our University President, Professor Christof Wolfmaier, who hosted the ceremony. Also extending their congratulations to the new graduates were Christine Kumpf, Head of Business Development for the City of Göppingen, Marc Grün from Business Development for the City of Esslingen, and the Associate Head of Board of the Friends of Esslingen University (VdF), Markus Sontheimer.

Outstanding academic achievement

Prof. Dr. Fabian Diefenbach, the University’s Vice President for Strategy and Communication, awarded prizes to top graduates. We were very proud that the following Graduate School graduates were amongst those honoured:

VdF Prize for the Programme Best

  • Julinda Sokoli from Albania (MBA)
  • Johannes Rauhut from Germany (ASM)
  • Debadatta Prasad Swain from India (DDM)

DAAD Prize for outstanding accomplishment

  • Ömer Bingöl from Turkey (MBA)

Festo Prize for an outstanding master’s thesis

  • Andrew Lewis from the USA (MBA)
  • Vitul Bansal from India (ASM)
  • Marcel König from Germany (DDM)

Robert Bosch Prize for the top graduate of the Esslingen Graduate School

  • Johannes Rauhut from Germany (ASM)

graduation address by Julinda Sokoli and Stefan Schlereth

The ceremony was brought to a close by the graduation address of the Graduate School's Julinda Sokoli and Stefan Schlereth.

"These past months have resulted in an experience of self-growth and fulfillment. Taking this Master's degree challenged me intellectually and practically, but I took all my courage and decided to take the challenge and to pursue further education.
"It was great that the program pushed us to the industry in the third semester. This gave us the opportunity to work for well-known German and international companies and in some cases to successfully get employed there.
"The other thing that had an impact on all of us is the international aspect of the MBA program in this University and the diversity of professional and life experiences that we shared among each other during this one and a half year. It is not so common to get such a wide exposure in such a short time. Furthermore, doing the master program in Germany, gave us insight into differences between cultures, study and work environments." – Excerpt from the graduation address by Julinda Sokoli.

"You come to Esslingen as a mechanical engineer so that you can study in the heart of the automotive industry. To do it all in English is an added plus - the industry really appreciates this.
"I was really surprised by the very high academic level of our master's programme, and at the same time by the way the professors treated us - as equals. We had a class size of 25 students and that was really fantastic, as the professors could take time for each and every one of us.
"The same goes for the Graduate School Team, who were always there for us with any of our personal issues and helped us in every way." – Excerpt from the graduation address by Stefan Schlereth.

Graduation Address by Kareem Hamza

During the awards ceremony in Esslingen's Altes Rathaus, Kareem Hamza (MBA) addressed his Graduate School colleagues:

"Coming to Germany for a graduate study was not an easy decision for many of us... Our passion for studying abroad and career development pushed us to go into this experience. And now it is the moment of graduation where we are all recalling the whole experience, and we should recall it with great happiness and pride.
"Personally, I had a very fruitful experience... I had a very interesting international experience and many friends that developed my understanding of different cultures. I was able to work at the university during my studies, and at a reputable company, Zehnder Group, during my master's thesis. I was also able to join CERN entrepreneurship Student Program in Geneva last Summer where I had another international experience and gained a higher passion for entrepreneurship." - Excerpt from the graduation address by Kareem Hamza.

Remembering Core Values: Markus Sontheimer, VdF

Our graduates are now entering a very exciting time of their lives, where their career plans will be pursued and fulfilled, where they are at liberty to concentrate on work and to push themselves as far as they can. With more than a touch of humanity, however, Markus Sontheimer from the VdF advised all graduates, particularly at this point in their lives, not only to see the career in front of them, but also to keep an eye on the values and relationships that give this life meaning:

“I urge you not to plan your career too much, but to let it develop naturally, and to steer it in a direction that brings you happiness and fulfillment. You should enjoy your life with your friends and your family; they are a very important part of you that you should not put aside or neglect.
“For me, one of the most important lessons in life is that you should not work for a boss who does not respect you. If you ever feel that your boss does not respect you, then that is the time to take your career in your hands and change. Life is too short…
“I also counsel you to be very critical of any information that you receive. Be aware of fake news, and try to avoid it by not accepting information from just one channel. You are intelligent academics: find neutral sources, multiple sources of information, and study them critically.“
Mr. Sontheimer finished with a quote from Steve Jobs: “The only way to do great work is to love what you do.“

We wish all our graduates the very best for their start in this new phase in their careers, in their lives. We hope that you will keep in touch with us at the Graduate School, and are always happy to hear from you.

Photo Gallery

- by Catriona Fekete-Nester, GS Marketing Manager

3 New Majors in The Esslingen MBA

The Esslingen MBA has expanded its programme with 3 new majors

Society is progressing through a digital and technological transformation and entering a time where sustainability management progressively gains in importance. In order for its young managers to be competitive in these fields, The Esslingen MBA has grown to include fields like Data Analytics, Entrepreneurial Management and Innovation Strategies in its programme, and to give its new generation of students the choice between these three majors:

The major in General Management is comparable to the classical MBA, with a focus on industrial management. Alongside managerial skills, students learn methods and tools to deal with many issues faced by multinational companies: from risk management through relevant business strategies to marketing in a globalized world.

The major in Sustainable Production and Technology centres around sustainable management concepts. Focus is placed on assessing sustainable activities using Life Cycle Assessment and Costing, and on the methods and tools needed to establish a sustainable supply chain.

The major in Digital Transformation focuses on digitalization concepts driven by technology. Here, the students examine the impact of integrated technology and smart manufacturing on company structures and procedures. In addition, they learn how to manage digitalization strategies in correlation with company goals.

In all three majors, Esslingen MBA students put their knowledge to the test in a business simulation and project work.

Moreover, the start-up counselling service GründES! works closely together with the Graduate School to empower students on their journey to become successful entrepreneurs and to start their own business.

We are looking forward to a dynamic and innovative new year covering these highly topical issues with our international students.

- by Catriona Fekete-Nester, GS Marketing Manager

Bringing the latest research into the classroom

Bosch's Georg Mallebrein designated honorary professor of Esslingen University

In acknowledgement of his many years of dedicated teaching, Georg Mallebrein has been given an honorary professorship at Esslingen University. Professsor Mallebrein works as an engineer in Central Research and Advanced Development at Robert Bosch GmbH: for the past 13 years, alongside his work at Bosch, he has also lectured in Esslingen in the Graduate School, as well as in Automotive Engineering and IT.

“Georg Mallebrein is a remarkably active and dedicated lecturer,“ said University President Prof. Christof Wolfmaier in his opening speech at the award ceremony. “He lectures reliably in a broad number of fields, and for that we thank him, we honour him, and we award him an honorary professorship at our university.“

a Visionary with a passion for teaching

Since 2009, Professor Mallebrein has been lecturing in the Graduate School's M.Eng. in Automotive Systems. Together with Professor Oberhauser, he teaches Sensors and Measurement Technology, Automotive Controler Systems, Engine Control Systems, Lab Automotive Controller Systems, Team Project, and he supervises master’s theses.

"You took over lectures in the Graduate School right from the inception of our new M.Eng. programmes; you were one of our most important advisors, a visionary for these new structures in our education system," said Professor Oberhauser in his laudation address to Professor Mallebrein.

Over the years, Professor Mallebrein together with Professor Oberhauser have supervised the PLACIS student project in cooperation with our French partner university, Supméca, travelling to Paris with our student teams.

Combining his job at Bosch with a Teaching Position in Esslingen

Georg Mallebrein has taught almost 1600 hours at the university and has even reduced his hours at Bosch in order to do so. He is also in Esslingen for project planning talks, invigilating examinations, and in order to supervise master’s theses. “Many of his colleagues didn’t know that he wasn’t a full-time professor,“ noted  Professor Jürgen Haag, Dean of the Faculty of Automotive Engineering.

“Combining my job at Bosch with a teaching position in Esslingen is ideal. In this way, I can bring the latest research in advanced development that I deal with at Bosch into the classroom and also win students for thesis work or even a new job,“ said the new honorary professor. “I value the personal, inspiring and positive environment at Esslingen University and really enjoy being able to research topics in depth that I would not have time for at my job at Bosch."

- translated by Catriona Fekete-Nester, GS Marketing Manager. Please also see the original text in German by Christiane Rathmann, HE RÖM

"Teaching is, quite simply, a joy"

Dr. Andreas Paa was a 2014 graduate of the M.Eng. in Automotive Systems, majoring in Vehicle Dynamics. Now, the 40-year-old has completed his PhD and become a professor in eastern Westphalia

As long as he can remember, Andreas Paa has been thrilled by automotive engineering: as a young child, he often visited his father's engineering company and watched him at work. "I grew up with machines and technology," he recalls, so a career in a technical field was simply a natural progression. After school, he started off in industrial mechanics at Kärcher and then Stihl, and it was after this that he began his studies in Esslingen.

Andreas spent 10 years completing his studies in Esslingen; his bachelor's and master's degrees entirely at Esslingen University and then his PhD in cooperation with the Technical University Braunschweig. During his PhD, he was working as an assistant in Daimler AG's lab for Internal Combustion Engines. The highlight of his career so far was his appointment as a professor for Internal Combustion Engines and Mechatronics at the Technical University of Eastern Westphalia.

In February, Andreas is moving to Lemgo with his family. There, he will begin lecturing in the Faculty of Engineering and will teach his students, among other things, all about the workings of internal combustion engines. "Teaching is, quite simply, a joy," he says. Working together with young people and giving lectures is something, he noticed very early on, that he greatly enjoys. "I was so lucky to be able to work with so many interesting and motivated people at Esslingen University," he says. "And I was always able to work on innovative projects."


"I really enjoy being able to help shape the scientific research of the future," he says. "Research is cool. It always bothered me when things didn't work properly." In his new professional world, applied reseach plays a dominant role.

Is leaving his home in southern Germany difficult? "I will naturally miss my parents, friends and colleagues," Andreas admits. "But my family and I have already had a look at our new home: the people in Lemgo have a bit of the Swabian mentality!"

- translated by Catriona Fekete-Nester, GS Marketing Manager. Please also see the full original article in German by Christiane Rathmann, HE RÖM.

Junior Students take over Esslingen MBA Blog

The Esslingen MBA Student Blog 2020

The Esslingen MBA Blog started in 2016 as a student initiative by Husam Taha, Aparna Sukhavanam, Jorge Robles Saravia and Asad Ali. It began in the style of “Humans of New York”, as a series of interviews with MBA students and professors. Reading through the interviews, we get a wonderful insight into their life in Esslingen, their thoughts and experiences here and in the programme.

Each year, a group of junior MBA students takes over the blog, changing it and personalizing it to make it reflect their year. In 2017, Pengchao Ma carried on, expanding the interviews and showing the world his MBA class. In 2018, Likhith Reddy Asani and Pragadish Nandakumar took over the blog and moved it to an independent domain.

This year's blog is now in the hands of Avani Rathod, Büsra Yildiz, Aniket Shripad Kulkarni and Biswal Pallavi. They have decided to interview MBA seniors and alumni and get their view on the programme and their life and work afterwards. Their first interview, conducted by Avani Rathod with Denisse Cuba, MBA 2020, is already on line at

" favorite place is the side of the campus with huge stairs that leads to the entrance of main building. It’s beautiful with huge park and students can chill there."

- Denisse Cuba, MBA 2020, interviewed by Avani Rathod, MBA 2021

We are very impressed by the students who run this blog, and really enjoy this entirely student-controlled view of their world. Congratulations to all of our earlier bloggers and to our Junior Blog Team, this is a really creative and impressive initiative and we love it!

- by Catriona Fekete-Nester, GS Marketing Manager

7th Graduate Colloquium

On 13 November 2019, the Graduate School held its 7th Graduate Colloquium

With the Graduate Colloquium, the Graduate School gives the university's doctoral and graduate students a platform for interdisciplinary exchange and the possibility to communicate and network.

The 7th Graduate Colloquium started off with a keynote lecture entitled "Sustainable engergy engineering and mobility at Hochschule Esslingen – what on earth are they doing?" by Prof. Dr. Ralf Wörner of the Faculty of Management.

The following doctoral presentations were held:

- By Laura Langenbucher from the Institut für nachhaltige Energietechnik und Mobilität (INEM): „Energieeffizienter Betrieb und ökonomische Bewertung einer solargespeisten Wasserstofferzeugungsanlage."

- By Di Hu, Institut für nachhaltige Energietechnik und Mobilität (INEM): “Simulation of autonomous driving shuttle bus in virtual environment.”

Many thanks to all who came together to make this another successful and valuable exchange.

- by Catriona Fekete-Nester, GS Marketing Manager


2019 Incoming Student Video Competition!

Andres Corrales from Ecuador wins the 2019 Incoming Students' Video Competition!

Where do you come from and how do you live there? was the motto of this year's "Incoming Students' Video Competition"

Kudos to Andres Corrales from Ecuador for sending in this simply fabulous video of himself in his home city Quito for the 2019 Esslingen Graduate School Incomings Video Competition!

- by Catriona Fekete-Nester, GS Marketing Manager

Bizet's Carmen: Our students experience a classical opera in Stuttgart

Heide's Deutschtreff in Stuttgart for Bizet's Carmen

Carmen, which was first performed in 1875 in Paris, shocked its original audiences with its realism and drama, which broke tradition with comical opera. Our students had a chance to experience this famous opera in a fun evening out with Heide's Deutschtreff. Not only was this a chance to enjoy the music and opera, however, but also to see the Stuttgart Opera House before its planned renovation and extension.

The shabby charm of this beautiful building is unquestionable. Built at the turn of the last century, originally as a theatre for the Württemberg court, the Stuttgart State Opera rising behind the small lake in the court gardens is an architectural jewel. Soon, the city plans to renovate and restore this lovely venue for a whopping 2 billion euros! We are looking forward to seeing what our future students report on the changes in the years to come!

- by Catriona Fekete-Nester, GS Marketing Manager

Kareem Hamza, Esslingen MBA 2019, at CERN

Kareem Hamza, Esslingen MBA 2019, was one of over 100 students from around the world who applied to the 5-week CERN Entrepreneurship Student Programme in Geneva – and one of the 14 who was chosen.

The goal of the CERN Entrepreneurship Student Programme is for students to develop new concepts for the practical implementation of CERN’s technological research and development. Throughout the programme, students are assisted by CERN researchers and coaches. One example of a creative new idea arrived at in this programme is a new manner of filtering microplastics from drinking water using laser technology.

Prof. Dr. Michael Flad, Programme Director of the Esslingen MBA: “We are very pleased that an Esslingen student took part in the CERN programme. We are in close contact with the programme organisers in Geneva would like to continue the exchange between CERN and our Entrepreneurship Course in future years.”

Kareem Hamza was visibly impressed by his summer at CERN: “I highly recommend the CERN Entrepreneurship Student Programme to any student with a technical and business background. It was an experience that comes once in a life, and motivated me a lot. The five weeks were also full of fun and we could explore the beautiful city of Geneva, the Alps, and other interesting places in the area.“

Please also see Kareem's full report on his experience at CERN

Further information on the CERN Entrepreneurship Student Programme

- by Catriona Fekete-Nester, GS Marketing Manager

The Esslingen GS in Discover Germany Magazine

"International. Intercultural. Innovative."

In July, Discover Germany contacted us about the possibility of writing about the Esslingen Graduate School. The results have been published and can be seen on line:

Celebrating 20 Years Esslingen Graduate School

23 May 2019: a great celebration with so many important faces from our past and present!

20 years of international master's programmes:
acquiring and educating specialists for Baden-Württemberg

20 years ago, 6 faculties of the Hochschule Esslingen got together to create  new, dynamic international master's programmes for students from around the world. The goal: to build bridges between this culture and theirs, to bring in expertise from around the world and further educate students for the industrial greats situated here and internationally. In the team creating these programmes were representatives from industry, politics, and the university, and together they formed the Esslingen Graduate School.

20 years later, we have graduated over 1300 international students. Many have stayed in Germany and begun a life here, some have come back to the Graduate School to teach, some have gone back to their home countries and are ambassadors there for Germany and our programmes.

We celebrated our past, our present and our future on 23 May, and so many important people celebrated with us: it was an evening of reminiscing and of looking forward to the next phase in graduate education in Esslingen.

We thank all our supporters, the many people who at various levels were responsible for building these programmes, and of course our alumni, who have remained in touch and kept a part of the Graduate School.

Please see our History of the Graduate School

and our Photo Gallery of the 20th Anniversary Celebrations .

- by Catriona Fekete-Nester, GS Marketing Manager

Excellent Results in the CHE and Wirtschaftswoche Ranking

Graduate School parent faculties rated among the best in Germany

In the May 2019 ranking of the Centrum für Hochschulentwicklung (University Development Centre - CHE), Esslingen University was rated excellent in the areas of Mechanical Engineering, Mechatronics and Electrical Engineering, Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology. The CHE Ranking is a nation-wide assessment of students' experience of the programmes, teaching, equipment and research at their university.

In the May 2019 ranking of the Wirtschaftswoche magazine, Esslingen University's Mechanical Engineering Faculty was ranked in the German top 10. The university ranking in the Wirtschaftswoche magazine has been compiled by a national survey of approximately 650 Personnel Managers in small, middle and large Enterprises in Germany.

The M.Eng. in Automotive Systems (ASM) is largely based within the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering: the M.Eng. in Design and Development for Mechanical and Automotive Engineering (DDM) is largely based within the Faculty of Mechatronics: we are very proud that these faculties have been rated so highly not only by Personnel Managers nationwide, but also by university students and alumni.

The CHE university ranking can be seen at ZEIT online.

- translated by Catriona Fekete-Nester, GS Marketing Manager. Please also see the full original article in German by Christiane Rathmann, HE RÖM.

The Esslingen MBA once again an International Top 10!

In the 2019 rankings of the university placement portal Find MBA, the Esslingen MBA in International Industrial Management once again ranked amongst the top 10

The Esslingen Graduate School's MBA in International Industrial Management is once again featured as a top business school worldwide in the career placement area of Industrial Management. In the top 10 list of the MBA specialist and university placement portal Find MBA, there are few other European programmes: the University of St. Gallen in Switzerland and the ESADE Business School in Barcelona, Spain are the closest.

"The Esslingen MBA Team is delighted to receive this award, which is a good representation of the industry's demand for our MBA graduates" commented Dr. Flad, Vice Dean of the Graduate School and Academic Director of the Esslingen MBA.

For further information on this award, please see Find MBA – Top Business Schools for Industrial Management and Manufacturing 2019.

- by Catriona Fekete-Nester, GS Marketing Manager

Co-Creation: The Esslingen MBA cooperates with AEB SE

Unleashing the creative energy of its customers: AEB SE, a Stuttgart-based software company, is encouraging people to create better products together with the firm.

This kind of creative collaboration is what defines co-creation, bringing new wind into the innovation process of new products and services. Co-creation facilitates meaningful outcomes by integrating design, inquiry and local knowledge.

During the summer term 2019, Esslingen MBA students take this next step in entrepreneurial thinking in Prof. Flad’s lecture “Entrepreneurship”. MBA students work in groups to complete the challenges posed by this project, using Design Thinking and Lean Startup-Methods not only to develop but also to test a sustainable eCommerce business model for and with AEB SE.

“This project is almost predestined for the Esslingen MBA students because it calls for the main strengths of the program: business competence and engineering know-how paired with internationality. Putting their theoretical knowledge to practical use, MBA students will create and complete a business analysis for AEB’s eCommerce business in Asia”, says Prof. Flad, who is also the Programme Director of the Esslingen MBA in International Industrial Management.

AEB’s cloud-based software for global trade and logistics also makes a positive contribution to society: the supply chain gets leaner and greener, more secure and equitable. Moreover, AEB allocates part of its annual profits to the AEB Foundation to promote education projects for disadvantaged children.

- by Catriona Fekete-Nester, GS Marketing Manager

Data Science @ Esslingen MBA

Prof. Dr. Flad welcomed Dr. Florian Rahe (Daimler AG) as a guest speaker in his course “Corporate Finance”

Since the success of Facebook and Google in the area of data and analytics, data science has become an important tool for many companies, and one that can be applied to various fields.

In this lecture, Dr. Rahe gave an overview of important data science applications in corporate finance, for example in sales forecasting or credit ratings. He also introduced popular data science techniques such as neural networks.

Students learned how data science can be used to support decisions, make processes more efficient and save costs in companies.

- by Catriona Fekete-Nester, GS Marketing Manager

The Lighthouse Project - 3 Years and Running!

Community spirit is strong in the Esslingen Graduate School. The Lighthouse Project, where Graduate School students visit senior citizens living in a Seniors’ Centre in Esslingen Kennenburg, is now in its third year.

We are proud to have students who, in addition to 18 months of intensive study, found it important to contribute to the community they lived in. When passing on the project to the next generation of students, Lighthouse founding members said how grateful they were for the many beautiful hours that they spent with the senior citizens in the Seniors’ Centre. 

The students share stories and pictures of their home countries with centre residents, they sing songs and organise games. Residents are clearly delighted to receive so much additional attentional, and enjoy the talks and the informal get-togethers with our young students. For most of the residents, this kind of activity is seldom: the fresh breeze blowing from India, Japan, Bolivia or Canada bewitches smiles into their faces.

Yasuhito Nakazawa, an MBA student in the Graduate School, talks about his experience in the Lighthouse Project.

Read the latest article on the Lighthouse Project on the website of the Senior's Center.

Article in the Esslinger Zeitung from 01.09.2016: The Lighthouse Project Shines Brightly out into the World

- by Catriona Fekete-Nester, GS Marketing Manager

Apply for winter semester 2020/21!

M.Eng. applications closed
MBA applications open until 31 May

Apply now
Petra Gülck
Dipl.-Soz.arb. und -Soz.päd. Petra Gülck

Monday and Tuesday 08:30 - 11:30 a.m.

Tuesday and Thursday 1:00 - 3:00 p.m.