Christoph Petersen (28) completed his Master of Finance degree course with a concentration in Corporate Finance in 2013. While still a student, he also worked in the Corporate Banking division of Commerzbank AG, dealing with complex financing structures and solutions for medium-sized businesses.
After graduation, he continued to work in this role until October 2015, when he moved over to Main Incubator GmbH, a fully owned subsidiary of Commerzbank AG. He is currently employed in the Company Building department, where he is in charge of the Business Development unit’s “Main Funders” project – a peer-to-peer lending platform and the first such project to be launched by a major European bank.
How well did your academic studies prepare you for the challenges of working life, up to and including your current job? What did you find especially useful?
Every day, I find I’m drawing on the practical knowledge gained during my studies. Project work at Main Incubator is characterised by teamwork and shared objectives, giving me a great opportunity to use the soft skills I practised and developed during the many case studies and group projects I worked on at Frankfurt School. My Master’s degree course encouraged us to be self-reliant, and to painstakingly familiarise ourselves with both theory and practice. Which is how I was able to acquire and build on the valuable skills I now rely on in my everyday work.
Looking back, how important was your time as a student at Frankfurt School in the greater scheme of things?
My time at Frankfurt School was a formative period in so many ways. I especially liked the programme’s international orientation and the multicultural composition of the student body. While working on joint projects with my fellow students, I learned a great deal about different approaches and ways of working, some of them undoubtedly shaped by cultural differences. My time at Frankfurt School was also extremely important on a personal level, as I still count some of my former fellow students among my closest friends.
What’s your favourite memory of your time at Frankfurt School?
My favourite memory is of the professional but friendly rapport between academic staff and students. To this day, I’m still in touch with a number of my former lecturers. But I should also mention the Introduction Days, the graduation ceremony and the fabulous student parties.
How important are alumni for a business school? What do you think alumni can do for their alma mater?
Alumni have an important role to play on behalf of universities. Ultimately, they’re the people who act as the institution’s representatives to the outside world once they’ve graduated. I also think alumni should treat networking as an important responsibility and help current students benefit from it as well.
What’s your favourite motto?
"Work until you no longer have to introduce yourself" (Christian Audigier)