How A Part-Time MBA Can Turn A Specialist Into The Leader Of An Organization

How a part-time MBA can turn a specialist into the leader of an organization

This article is sponsored by Imperial College Business School. Learn more about its Global Online MBA.

Dr Malte Jaensch isn't what you might call a typical engineer. Ask him what he does, and you could receive any number of answers. In the last decade and a half, he has completed three degrees, and founded five very different companies in the fields of education, intellectual property, retail, and, perhaps his greatest passion, engineering and high performance electric motors.

"I wrote down the hours I did... 21 hours per week on average, 1100 hours a year, and then 1,800 to 1,900 hours time investment overall for the MBA," explains Malte Jaensch, a PhD and executive MBA graduate of Imperial College London – now head of the electric drivetrain group at Porsche Engineering in Stuttgart, Germany, his quick mental arithmetic revealing that sometimes time demands have to be as fine-tuned as a high-performance sports car.

Malte Jaensch Imperial College Business SchoolChoosing Imperial College Business School

Malte was already a successful entrepreneur when he decided to study the MBA at Imperial College Business School.  Previously, he and his PhD supervisor at Imperial College London, Dr Michael Lamperth, had set up Evo Electric, a small startup venture which was nurtured within the Imperial Incubator. Their focus was to improve on the still bulky engines used by hybrid vehicles – an increasingly pertinent question in the car industry today.

Choosing Imperial College Business School was "the best option", Malte asserts. Imperial is world renowned for its expertise in science and technology. The Business School naturally collaborates closely with the main university. "Innovation happens when you mix technology and business,” Professor Francisco Veloso, dean of Imperial College Business School recently said. “That’s what you see here at Imperial, which makes it a very dynamic place to research, work and study."

Malte took work and study to an impressive level, balancing 21 months of student life in parallel with his responsibilities as chief engineer at Evo Electric.

"The MBA strengthened my affinity to entrepreneurship"

Malte had a passion for entrepreneurship before the beginning of his MBA. By the time he started the program in 2010 he had been successfully running Evo Electric for four years. "But the MBA strengthened that affinity for entrepreneurship – I learned how to put together a business plan in detail, how to think about companies, how they grow, why they fail, why they don't fail, you know, the full entrepreneurial universe."

After the MBA, Malte started the four companies referred to earlier – making five companies including Evo Electric. "These four were entities on the side, but what the MBA did for me was increase my motivation to get involved in these entrepreneurial activities, it gave me confidence in saying, 'Ok, I'm going to do this.'"

At Porsche engineering's electric drivetrain group, Malte stepped in where two people had previously failed. This was in March of 2013, the year following the receipt of his MBA with a distinction.

In fact, the electric drivetrain group didn’t even exist at that point. Malte arrived on his own, and was assigned the task of creating something from nothing. "Like an entrepreneur, " he says. Familiar territory then.

From one person, he took the group to 20, and projections are that this team will only expand further.  Delivering high efficiency electric cars to market are an important part of the ongoing green revolution, and Jaensch and his team play a vital role in contributing to a fossil fuel-free world.

Bridging the gap between an engineer and a 'more complete manager'

Apart from the school's strengths in entrepreneurship and technology, Malte says, "I wanted to do my MBA part-time and I was looking for a course that would have a general focus, and by that I mean, not focused on finance, accounting or marketing, but broader in scope."

The aspects of Imperial's MBA curriculum he appreciated in particular, "were those areas that I knew little about, such as organizational behavior and marketing strategy – those were courses where I think I took a new viewpoint on issues."

Looking at his experience overall he says, "I feel that the Imperial MBA contributed quite strongly towards making me a more complete manager, with a wider view of what matters, technology aside; to ask, 'how might other people look at this problem if they're not engineers?' for example."

Malte places real emphasis on the human side of the MBA and the need to see all angles of an issue, be it from a technical perspective, from a colleague's point of view, or broader still, from a social perspective. "The MBA framework helped me to hone my communication, presentation and problem-solving skills, but I gained more of a general appreciation of the fact that the world is just bigger than technology."

Imperial has recently added the Global Online MBA to its portfolio. This program extends the business school's reach toward a broader range of students, whether they’re geographically remote or unable to commit to regular attendance in London. Students are presented with the same core courses, taught by the same faulty, on a more flexible basis.

The Imperial College Business School MBA suite includes three part-time programs:

  • Global Online MBA: A flexible two-year part-time online MBA program that places engagement and technology at the forefront of your learning experience.
  • Executive MBA: A two-year part-time MBA program designed for people who are already in a demanding job and want to transform their business effectiveness and careers.
  • Weekend MBA: - A 21-month program taught on long weekends once a month to accelerate your career while balancing study with a demanding job.

This article is sponsored by Imperial College Business School. 

Karen Turtle
Written by Karen Turtle

A content writer with a background in higher education, Karen holds an MA in modern languages from the University of St Andrews. Her interests include languages and literature, current affairs and film. ​

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