Dr. Werner Eberhardt realized his wish to pursue an Executive MBA degree at Mannheim Business School comparatively late. At the age of 48, Eberhardt, who holds a doctoral degree in biochemistry, wanted to do something different and thus commenced the ESSEC & MANNHEIM Executive MBA on his own initiative. Having worked for different companies in the life sciences sector, he continued his career at SAP in 2004, where he implemented the worldwide marketing for the strategic partners of SAP and became team leader. As Eberhardt is among the two percent of SAP's top talents, the corporation supported him during his studies. "If you are already on the way, new doors open up," says the biochemist.
Eberhardt had just started the EMBA program, when he heard that SAP wanted to engage increasingly in the field of life sciences. Due to new technologies, enormous amounts of data can be processed distinctly faster, which helps to develop more effective therapies for patients. Eberhardt contacted the person in charge, offered his help and was entrusted with the development of the strategic partners and clients in the field of life sciences and health care. "Therefore, I managed to make a leap from marketing to software engineering already during my EMBA studies," Eberhardt explains. He recruited the first client and established a virtual development team. "It was a classical task of business development," says Eberhardt. Business Development is also a crucial element of the ESSEC & MANNHEIM Executive MBA. For the Entrepreneurial Project, which is an integral part of the program, participants are asked to develop a concept for a company, including all steps from the first ideas to the business plan and the search for investors. Eberhardt's team came up with a business plan for CommunityCare, which allows relatives and friends to improve their contact with care recipients with the help of mobile devices. Eberhardt summarizes: "My skills concerning the development and evaluation of promising business models have improved a lot."
He was able to put his newly acquired knowledge into practice at several instances at SAP. "My competences have also been of use," Eberhardt emphasizes. He graduated in September 2013 and was promoted in December of the following year. As Vice President of Healthcare Development, the biochemist is now responsible for the whole development of the new department.
This text by Bärbel Schwertfeger (www.mba-journal.de) was published in the journal "Personalführung" (in German language).