Digitization has been an important topic in our everyday lives, in business, and in research for quite some time. But driven by new technologies, new infrastructures and last but not least by the pandemic, we are experiencing an unprecedented wave of digitalization, which is further increasing the output of digital innovation in business and society. We have talked to Prof. Dr. Maximilian Röglinger, who is Chair of Business & Information Systems Engineering and Value-Based Business Process Management at the University of Bayreuth, Deputy Head of the Core Competence Centre Finance & Information Management.
Together with the TUM School of Management, Prof. Röglinger is currently teaching the new Finance & Information Management (FIM) master’s program. The predecessor of this degree program has had a long record of success. Five times in a row, it achieved the nationwide top ranking in the CHE Ranking for master’s programs in business administration – most recently in the current 2020/21 CHE Ranking. Many former students of the program are already managers in German business today. These include Bastian Nominacher, one of the founders of the Unicorn start-up Celonis, and Ana Maria Balan, Head of Strategy Development at Infineon Technologies AG, who was hailed a prophet by Handelsblatt for her leadership during the coronavirus crisis. The FIM program continues this tradition and is aimed at ambitious students who wish to pursue exceptional career paths in business and research in the age of digitalization.
Prof. Röglinger, how is digitalization changing our society?
Röglinger: This comes as no surprise to anyone today. The impact of digitalization has been and continues to be enormous, affecting individuals, businesses, and society as a whole. The rapid spread of digital technologies is not only changing how people interact with each other, but also their behavior as consumers, professionals, and individuals.
What does this mean for companies?
Röglinger: Every organization must – whether it wants to or not – drive its own digital transformation. Otherwise, it will soon disappear from the market. This applies in particular to established companies whose business models have so far managed without digital structures, and which are therefore having a hard time with the digitalization process. But digitalization is really upsetting the established business rules of the physical world – we all know the examples of Netflix, Amazon, AirBnB, and Uber, which have shaken up their respective industries – so established companies in particular have a great need for transformation. But this requires employees who can “think digitally”, who have a digital mindset.
What does this mean for the leaders of the future?
Röglinger: Companies need leaders who exemplify this innovative mindset and who can break new ground. So, in addition to a profound analytical and technical understanding, creativity, flexibility, critical thinking, and proactive collaboration are also required today, to drive the digital transformation in companies as a manager. This is exactly what you learn in the Finance & Information Management master’s program (FIM). You develop an understanding of topics at the interface of business administration, computer science, mathematics, and digitalization.
How will this enhance their future career opportunities?
Röglinger: As I said, today it is no longer just a matter of specific professional qualifications. Interdisciplinarity and interpersonal skills are also required to be successful in demanding leadership positions. In my view, the FIM master’s program offers a perfect approach to deepen precisely this triad of professionalism, interdisciplinarity, and soft skills. The program combines technical skills such as programming, statistics, and econometrics with theoretical and practical knowledge of finance, business information technology, and management. In addition, students have exclusive and numerous opportunities to gain practical experience. Together with many great companies, we offer exciting events at which students can exchange ideas very openly with experienced mentors from companies and academia. This enables our students, who have often completed their bachelor’s degree in business administration or computer science, to individualize and expand their personal profile. At the end of the master’s program, FIM graduates are equipped with the expertise and soft skills to manage digital transformation and continuously respond to changes and challenges in the financial and business world.
What is your personal highlight of the FIM program?
Röglinger: What I particularly like about the FIM program is the small cohorts, which allow for close relationships between students, lecturers, and companies – we call this the FIMily. The new FIM program is the continuation of an already very successful concept, and I am very proud to be able to accompany many FIM students on their way.
How would you summarize the advantages of FIM?
Röglinger: FIM combines a high scientific standard with a strong industrial orientation. Students already learn the practical implications of what they have learned during their studies. This means that FIM students are extremely well prepared and can choose from a wide range of career opportunities when they start their careers. Digitalization affects all sectors without exception. It is also remarkable that many very renowned companies support the FIM program and are eager to network with our students right from the start. It is also common for students to become entrepreneurs themselves, immediately after completing their master’s degree, or to pursue an academic career with a doctorate.
Are you interested in mastering the challenges of big data by using innovative strategies of information systems?
The FIM master’s program is aimed at outstanding students with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, Business Information Technology, (Business) Engineering or (Business) Mathematics, or a related field of study who are ready to complete a challenging and supportive master’s program.
With excellent lecturers, researchers, interdisciplinary teaching, and strong partnerships with great companies, FIM offers you a practical and research-oriented education that will prepare you for a career in business or research in the best possible fashion. The next application phase starts in January 2022. Applications are processed by the TUM School of Management, which is designing the program in cooperation with the University of Bayreuth. Applications require both a valid GMAT certificate and a letter of motivation. In the two-stage selection process, you will then have the opportunity to prove your suitability in a personal interview.
If you are interested, you can find more information about the FIM master’s program here.