Present Despite Covid – HHL Enrolls More Students Than Ever
HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management was one of the first universities in Germany to resume classroom teaching in early September. Due to the current hygiene protocols relating to the coronavirus pandemic, the enrollment ceremony took place at the HYPERION Hotel in Leipzig. The festivities marked the beginning of HHL offering further classes on location to its students.
HHL hosted a live event welcoming 252 new students. Of these, 24 international students from 16 countries attended the ceremony virtually via live stream by having their images projected onto screens on stage.
For HHL’s Dean Stephan Stubner, the hybrid format of the event represents „an important signal“ that the school sends to its students which he stressed in his welcoming speech. HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management puts strong emphasis on a personal atmosphere on campus and the students‘ individual development. The Dean said that the school wants to continue to provide these by rendering direct and personal support to its students.
The students could only come together as closely as current restrictions prescribing a minimum distance of 1.5 meters allowed them to. The ceremony was accompanied by music and saw the students being matriculated individually. No class photos were taken this year. The 135 students who attended the event in person took it in stride — after all, the photographer shot individual portraits of everyone in attendance. These will now be put together as a photo collage.
Despite the restrictions caused by the coronavirus pandemic, HHL set a new record for student intake. The class for the full-time Master in Management Program is larger than ever (76 students), which can be interpreted as a sign that the rapid development and implementation of new teaching formats has paid off. The new hybrid formats are particularly attractive to international students as regulations on travel restrictions have become unpredictable.
Presentation of national and university awards
During the ceremony, several students received awards for their outstanding performance. The National Scholarships were handed out by HHL Dean Prof. Dr. Stephan Stubner himself. These scholarships are awarded by the German government and different enterprises honoring exceptional motivation and outstanding academic performance.
This year’s awards went to Leon Lattermann, David Martin Muuß and Dr. Luise Weitzdörfer from Germany (sponsored by Konsum Leipzig eG), as well as Sophie Jose from India (sponsored by Kayzen Realtime Technologies) and David Luxenhofer from Germany (sponsored by IDT Biologika GmbH).
The Australian cellist Louise McKay was presented with a special award. The professional musician is currently completing her Master of Business Administration at HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management and was honored by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) as the best foreign student. The award was presented to her by Simon Clayton, the Deputy Head of Mission at the Australian Embassy, who had travelled from Berlin to meet his compatriot. The DAAD Prize helps foreign students in the best possible way to continue their Master program in Germany and, consequently, creates a lasting and enriching effect on international exchange. The award which is comes with EUR 1,000 in prize money honors outstanding international students which have stood out for their exceptional academic performance as well as significant social or intercultural commitment. The recipient called the award a great honor, stating, “One year ago when my class enrolled for the MBA in this kind of a ceremony I was actually quiet frankly surprised I have made it through the entry exam and got accepted to HHL. And I was quiet worried that I did not really have what it takes to turn my live from being a classical musician into an MBA graduate. So this award really means a lot to me.”
Ceremonial address by Bernd Leukert, Deutsche Bank
The ceremonial address to the students was delivered by Bernd Leukert, a member of the Deutsche Bank Management Board since September 2019, who is responsible for the newly established field of Technology, Data and Innovation.
In his speech, which included numerous real-life experiences from the business world, Bernd Leukert praised the ideal study environment at HHL and the open-mindedness of the city of Leipzig. He emphasized the need for entrepreneurs to constantly reinvent themselves. According to Leukert, the management skills of the executives play a great part in that. It is capable executives who think innovatively that allow employees to successfully implement changes within the company with the desired level of motivation.
Bernd Leukert expanded upon continuing innovative power as a particular challenge for the students in light of the coronavirus pandemic. He explained, „From an economic perspective, it is impossible to apply the ‚wait and see‘ strategy, expecting that everything will be back to the way it was before the crisis. Returning to the previous economic strength will take much longer than what people generally assume.“
Recognizing your own abilities, reflecting and networking, e.g., with other experts from a different field, are therefore key competences when it comes to solving crucial questions within companies — for instance, how the core business can deal with new challenges. At this point, Bernd Leukert explained to the students what is required to achieve all of this: Only a clear vision can determine the course of action. He followed this statement by asking the students to always remain curious and keep an open mind.
HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management
HHL Leipzig Graduate School of Management is one the leading business schools in Germany and worldwide. It is a university-level private business school with the right to award doctoral and post-doctoral degrees.
HHL’s Master in Management (M.Sc.) program was ranked no. 1 in Europe and no. 2 worldwide (Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings 2019). The goal of the oldest business school in German-speaking Europe is to educate effective, responsible and entrepreneurially-minded leaders.