INTERVIEW -Prof. Dr. Mike Schulze

Prof. Dr. Mike Schulze
Professor of Controlling, Accounting and Financial Management at European Management School (EMS), Mainz/Germany & Institute for Business and Management Heidelberg Skopje.

1. At the founding assembly of the Institute for Business & Management Heidelberg – Skopje (IBMHS) a few months ago, the members elected you as member of the International Advisory Board. Can you explain to our readers the four pillars of the Institute?
The IBMHS offers a wide range of education programs and is based on four different pillars: seminars & conferences, e-learning, open programs and university study programs. The first pillar, seminars and conferences, covers individually bookable seminars provided in classroom. Furthermore conferences offer the possibility to receive impulses on new topics, to exchange ideas with experts and other participants and to network. The second pillar, e-learning, provides forms of learning in which electronic or digital media are used for the presentation and distribution of learning contents. This pillar therefore enables distance and time-independent learning for students. In the third pillar, open programs, students can choose from certificate programs in the following subject areas: Risk Management, Compliance, Banking, Controlling, and Accounting. In all programs, the IBMHS draws on the expertise of experienced speakers and conveys the seminar content in a practice-oriented and interactive manner. The last and fourth pillar offers postgraduate, higher education study programs where official university degrees can be obtained. This is certainly the premium education format of the institute.

2. Which is the biggest practical benefit for companies in Germany when talking about dual education (which will also be implemented within the IBMHS MBA study programs)?
Dual education combines theory and practice. The education alternates between university-based and company-based learning periods. The university provides the theoretical knowledge, while the companies offer practical training for the students. At the end of studies, the students graduate not only with a university degree but also with a vocational training certificate. This significantly increases the chances of graduates on the labor market.

3. Which companies will be included in the dual degree study programs from the Institute for Business & Management HEIDELEBRG Skopje?
It’s not that important to talk about certain companies at that point in time. I would rather highlight that the idea is to give the students of IBMHS the opportunity to get in touch with different companies and organizations. We would like to integrate companies from various branches, so production companies, service companies and governmental organizations so that students can experience the full range of the economy and possible later employers.

4. Why do you think the German dual model of education should stimulate Balkan students?
Here the answer is very easy: because it’s about investing in your own future. With the dual model of education we offer students a great chance to develop, personally as well as professionally. The graduates will be highly attractive to the labor market and I think that this is the best stimulation that can be offered.

5. Why has IBMHS chosen Macedonia for implementing the German dual study model?
Macedonia is in very promising situation at the moment, a NATO and later even EU membership seems to be within reach. To be able to make use of those decisive political developments and its underlying economic potential, the country, as a prerequisite, needs to make further progress in education in the next years. The IBMHS has recognized this, wants to be part of this process and we believe to be able to provide a relevant and unique contribution.

6. One of your main fields of expertise as a professor is controlling. Can you please briefly explain the range of activities of controllers as a profession?
Controllers design and accompany the management process of defining corporate goals, planning, steering and regulating corporate actions. They mainly assume two roles within the company: on the one hand they are internal consultants and partners of the management and thus co-responsible for achieving corporate objectives. On the other hand, controllers are internal service providers in that they are responsible for providing accurate and relevant information to the management, e.g. in form of management reports. Controllers are important for the companies in which they work and to whose success they contribute. They are in high demand on the labor market. They also have successful careers; many board members in big companies were controllers once in the course of their careers.
Prof. Schulze, thank you very much for this interesting interview!

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