29/02/08

Employees' MBA Study Program Pays Off for the Company After a Short Time

Schwäbisch Hall. "The money you have to pay for a head-hunter can be used to have three qualified employees earn the degree of Master of Business Administration", said Prof. Dr. Harald Unkelbach, member of the Central Managing Board of the Würth Group when addressing forty personnel managers and CEOs of regional businesses on the occasion of an event organized by the Würth Academy at Kunsthalle Würth in Schwäbisch Hall.

Since the start of the program in 2002, roughly 140 graduates of universities, colleges and technical colleges have very successfully completed a master study program at the U.S. American University of Louisville and the Würth Academy. The participants complete their study program exclusively in English alongside their professional work and spend 4.5 weeks in the U.S. twice and twelve weekends at the Würth Academy in Schwäbisch Hall and Bad Mergentheim. After a study period of only 13 months, the participants earn their degree either as Master of Administration, Master of Science or as Master of Engineering.

Rainer Zierlein (37), graduate engineer, who works in research at ebm-papst earned the degree of Master of Engineering in this program in 2007 together with eleven colleagues. He told the audience that the study program required a lot of commitment and hard work indeed, but that it also was a lot of fun. The students, he said, had grown together to a powerful team during the program. The Master of Engineering from Igersheim (Main-Tauber region) remarked: "We really breathed life into the motto "all for one and one for all". Anybody who had a problem was pulled along by his or her fellow students and brought up to the level of the group."

This was also confirmed by Ralf Schütz (39), department manager at Recaro in Schwäbisch Hall who is currently completing an MBA study course in "Global Business". The 39-year-old said: "Owing to the fact that the participants come from completely different fields of business, team work is very exciting." The professors, as was remarked, have a lot of practical experience and are "very good". Being a mechanical engineer, he can now learn a lot about business administration. Schütz mentioned that self-discipline is indeed a challenge and a requirement for the study program, yet: "The additional benefit by far outweighs the input." Already now he is able to use his newly acquired special know-how in his daily work.

The fact that participation in the program both pays off for the student and the business sending him or her to attend was confirmed by Dr. Harald Unkelbach: "The program pays off for the company already after a rather short period of time - according to my calculations at Würth after about one-and-a-half years." Traditional methods of personnel recruitment are obsolete in his opinion in view of the future demographic development. In this, he was also supported by Prof. Dr. Bodo Wilmes. Seven years ago, ebm-papst endowed the chair of the academic head of the MBA program mainly with the objective of allowing engineers to get involved in international further qualification. Wilmes explained that meanwhile, many graduates had advanced in their jobs. The number of students leaving their studies without completing the course was very low, and only very few graduates had left their businesses after having completed the program. This risk, he said, generally only presented itself once the businesses did not support or only half-heartedly backed their employees in their studies. Arnulf Freiherr von Eyb, special laywer for labor law in Künzelsau demonstrated practical ways of how businesses can support the MBA study program with the help of a financial contribution or by granting additional vacation and in return binding the employees by contract to the

business.

People interested in the upcoming start of the next MBA study program in June 2008 are kindly asked to contact the administrative head of the program, Robert Leuze, phone 07931/916710 or robert.leuze@wuerth.com.