Germany vs Belgium work prospects for EU - but non local language speaker

So, I've received admission offers to the MiF programs of both WHU and Antwerp School of Management.

My background is a BSc in Acc&Fin in a Southern Europe country, plus some solid work experience (internships and 2+ years in Big 4 financial services dept.) but I am looking to do a MiF in order to work abroad in Risk Management (so a middle-office kind of role)

I am of the impression that WHU wins hands-down when it comes to international brand. Ofc it's no UK-target/HEC/Bocconi but it's a target in Germany and DACH(?), with possible reach in London and Scandinavia.

However I'm worried about whether it will be worth the investment since I can speak zero German atm. Of course if I commit to Germany I would do everything in my power to achieve near-fluency in the next 2 years (or die trying) but since German is considered a pretty hard language I'm not sure if I would be a strong candidate for German finance scene.

On the other hand, the AMS is at a more reasonable price (17k vs 34k) and I know of a couple internationals working in risk management in Belgium (one American and one Portuguese out of Solvay). I had also reached a C1 level in French at my teens, so it should be easier to pick up French at a good level again.

Would it make sense to pass on WHU? Any internationals who have worked in Grmany/Belgium pelase share your insights :)

 
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WHU is a great school that places very well into most banks in DACH and also in London; tbh the non-German fluency will be a hurdle for many roles, but you can absolutely overcome this. At my BB, we had couple of interns that were not fluent either and it was not held against them in any way. Most business communication is in english anyways and as long as you are kind of conversational in German you should be fine. I would advise you to reach out to some guys via LinkedIn that came from abroad and work in Finance in DACH and ask them about theor experience, that will give you a better picture

 

Language fluency is not sufficient (with fluency I mean a Perfect accent free German close to a native speaker), but you also Need to be of German culture

Being of German culture means you must fit in with the Krauts in a Team, understand how they work, adapt to their customs and ways on the workplace (Trust me: they wont respect your southern european cultural heritage when it comes to working)… essentially you have to be basically German. Can you manage to become German?

If you want to fit in German Teams (That Are quite homogeneous) you must change yourself quite radically

 

It would depend on the specific group and team at the bank. If they are fairly international and there are others who are learning German/not-fluent... you might be OK.
But there are also many teams that are 100% German - native speakers, German heritage, German ways of working... then it might more difficult.

German culture can be great and a good fit for some expats, but it's not for everyone.

 

Serious question about this: we’re you able to identify any such companies on the German labor market?

I tried to create a full list. For the moment only UniCredit and Allianz Global investors were the ones I could identify

 

WHU BSc alumn here and would generally agree with the other commenters. During my time I was somewhat familiar with the academic director of the MiF and the students there and just wanted to add that the MiF is a quite international program compared to the others at WHU, so you would not be as much of an outlier as you may expect. 

 

German here, speaking German is a must if you want to work in Germany, same in Austria. Switzerland I am not sure, but the job market is extremely difficult to enter for non Swiss people. 

As far as prestiege of thé WHU, barely anyone cares about thé name of your university in Germany. You can enter top IB jobs or MBB coming from a no name university, thé most important thing is that your internships, grades and extracurriculars fit. WHU is also not known for its master programs, (apart from maybe the MiM), but father for its bachelor programs and its startup network. In any case, the MiF isn‘t even no1 in Germany and certainly not that prestigious. I had an admission offer for thé MiF at WHU too but decided against it, since thé price was not worth it for a degree that doesnt provide a significant advantage.
 

So to conclude, WHU is a waste of money unless you want to found a startup. Any free German university does thé job, but in and case you would need to be fluent in German. As for thé job market, Germany certainly has better options available than Belgium, not only in terms of salary, but also in terms of variety 

 

Thank you for the input

"In any case, the MiF isn't even no1 in Germany and certainly not that prestigious."

I didnt end up enrolling at WHU, but how come? It tops the ranking if I remember correctly.

"So to conclude, WHU is a waste of money unless you want to found a startup."

Yeah I figured and actually went for a free school too. Where did you enroll if I may ask?

 

It tops thé ranking, but thé Frankfurt School is generally regarded as better in Finance, because of the location and also because its the only thing they are known for. Class sizes are also larger, so youll often see frankfurt school alumni working at banks and boutiques in frankfurt, which in turn may get you a better treatment on recruiting days. Dont get me wrong, in general FSFM isnt regarded as good or prestigious, but in Finance its pretty much no1 in Germany. After that its maybe WHU, then Goethe and then Mannheim.

I ended up going to Bocconi,

 

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