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MBA Aviation and Tourism Management: 10 Years – 10 Faces – 10 Countries

2021 marks a special year for Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences as well as for our MBA program. As the university turns 50 this year, our Master of Business Administration celebrates it‘s 10th anniversary.

Together we want to look back at the MBA’s roots and ambitions and where we stand now. We would also like to share our lovely student’s birthday wishes with you. We took this special occasion as an opportunity to speak to two leading personalities of the course: Mr. Knut Walther, senior lecturer and Professor Dr. Karl-Rudolf Rupprecht, head of the MBA-Program.

Mr. Walther, you have been part of the MBA crew right from the start. Looking back, can you tell us something about the roots and ambitions of the program? What was your motivation to teach in the MBA?

(Knut Walther) Sure, as you know the program started in 2011 with Prof. Dr.  Ziegler as the head of the program. She had the vision to develop a non-consecutive, practice-oriented MBA in the field of Aviation Management. Being so close to Frankfurt Airport with all the resident companies (Fraport, Lufthansa, DFS), the majors in Airport and Airline Management as well as Air Navigation Services soon emerged. These were, let’s say the foundation of the program. Bearing in mind the industry’s development, the program later expanded and incorporated tourism management as another major.
Being part of this program and contributing to it‘s success has been a real pleasure for me. I have always felt sharing my knowledge to prepare the next management generation for future challenges to be a very rewarding experience. This motivation made me become a lecturer. Aside from my job at FRAPORT I have worked as a lecturer in various different contexts.  

How does teaching in the MBA differ from other courses at university? What makes the MBA special from your point of view?

(Knut Walther) At master level and especially at MBA level, interacting with the students is the most important thing in class. Lecturers are there to stimulate the students to critically reflect on challenges. They need to enable students to see the interrelations in complex problem settings. Students need to step back and look at problems from a meta-level in order to act solution-oriented and they need to internalize methods to create knowledge. Let me sum this up in one sentence: „I am not the teacher, I am the facilitator.“

How do you feel about this, Mr. Rupprecht?

(Karl-Rudolf Rupprecht) I totally agree with what Knut said. Teaching in an MBA requires a different perspective of the lectures. For us, students are more of a sparring partner than students. They make it special – it is so inspiring to see the next management generation grow with their tasks.

How does the MBA today compare to 2011?

(Knut Walther) I feel that, especially with our growing alumni community, the MBA has become more international and diverse. Drawing on our alumni’s experiences and knowledge is crucial for our program. I feel that the MBA develops with every single student. The course is enriched by all the contributions from the experienced alumni, students, lecturers and our KompetenzCampus crew.

Rupprecht, what are the future plans for the course? Let’s say for the next ten years?

(Karl-Rudolf Rupprecht): The Aviation and Tourism industry continues to connect people and economies worldwide. The global challenges, such as climate change, challenge us in particular. Our goal for the MBA ATM program is to successfully prepare the leaders of tomorrow, especially in the topics of leadership, digital transformation and strategic business development.

Mr. Walther, what do you enjoy most about the program?

(Knut Walther) I really enjoy being part of the MBA. The relationship with our students is very important to me, as it is a mutual relationship based upon giving and taking. It is just great to share one’s knowledge and get an instant feedback on it.

And finally Mr. Rupprecht and Mr. Walther, what are your birthday wishes for the MBA, the students, alumni and the KompetenzCampus crew?

(Karl-Rudolf Rupprecht): Stay curious, be inspiring, be motivated to lead people and have fun on the job!

Thanks you two! Now, let’s find out what our students and alumni have to say:

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