Mats Brandt

MSc International Management
Job after graduation
Co-Founder & Managing Director, Circle
Year of graduation
Mats Brandt MSc International Management 2021
Mats Brandt, MSc International Management
“With regard to the programme, it was specifically the focus on leadership abilities and international exposure, as well as mindset development, that caught my attention. I want to become a future leader to drive sustainable and innovative business models in volatile markets.”

About you

What work experience/internships (if any) did you have before beginning with Imperial College Business School?

I started my professional career in 2015. For my bachelor’s degree, I received a sponsorship from Beiersdorf AG, a multinational FMCG producer (including brands such as NIVEA and Eucerin) based in Hamburg, Germany. The following three years I spent my time rotationally at university for study terms and at the company for internships (each lasting three months). I gained insights into accounting, marketing, reporting and analytics, manufacturing controlling, sales, and business controlling. After graduation, I worked full-time as a consultant in our group accounting and controlling department until the start of my Master’s programme.

Why did you decide to study an MSc International Management at Imperial College Business School?

Many factors drove my decision to study at Imperial. Personally, I wanted to prove myself in a very competitive environment, stretching my abilities at one of the world’s leading business schools. It was partly my inner curiosity that pushed me towards this combination of programme and school. I did not search for the option with the highest possible overall grade; I searched for the challenge. With regard to the MSc International Management programme, it was specifically the focus on leadership abilities and international exposure, as well as mindset development, that caught my attention. I want to become a future leader fit for the biggest challenge ahead of us - to drive sustainable and innovative business models and growth in volatile markets and uncertain environments.


What aspects of the programme do you enjoy the most?

The biggest asset of this programme is the cohort itself. Our extremely diverse group of students from all around the world, with various backgrounds, focus areas, and interests, is of tremendous value for everyone. We may be very different, but we are all here for the same reason: to grow personally, to build our networks, and to find friends for the rest of our lives. Every individual in our cohort has unique stories to tell, unique experiences to share or unique knowledge to offer. I am pretty sure that a business created solely with people from our cohort could be quite successful! We all share the same values but combine a very broad range of skills and expertise that make us a highly effective group.

Which has been your favourite module so far and why?

My favourite module has been Leadership in Action – it is the only module that accompanies us on our transformational journey for the entire year, and does so with a very unique approach. It has by far been the most interactive module in the first term and fostered a very strong culture of exchange, collaboration, and learning among the cohort. Participation surveys after each class make you reflect on your contribution to the discussion. While some say that this provides additional pressure to engage in class, I highly appreciated the learning effect. When filling out the surveys, I always reflected on what I’d said in class and what the lecturer or other students added to this. This is a long-term learning achievement that I would not have reached without this approach.


How have you benefited from the Business School’s connection to the Imperial College London community?

The biggest benefit of being part of Imperial is access to the societies from the main College. Hundreds of clubs offer the opportunity for everybody to find something to engage with - sports, charities, social engagement, tech topics, and many more. This is also a great chance to connect to people from non-business backgrounds. As a STEM university, Imperial nurtures young talents from nearly all disciplines. For example, I joined a club that supports communities in rural Rwanda with research and technological innovations. In this context, business people, techies, and engineers work together on making a positive impact in developing countries.

"The biggest benefit of being part of Imperial is access to the societies from the main College."


What are your future career goals and how have they been realised since being at Imperial?

It is my personal goal to make an impact with whatever I do in the future. I am very happy in FMCG as I love to work with tangible products, to serve consumers across the globe and to know that with the work I do every day I can make the lives of others better or easier. In the longer-term it is my aim to take on leadership and management responsibilities. Imperial and its strong focus on personal and leadership abilities helps me to prepare for this journey. Within my student leadership roles, I can test acquired knowledge before using it in the real business world.


What advice would you give someone who is thinking about applying for the programme?

Before applying, make sure you understand what Imperial stands for. Compare the values of the School to your personal values. I am convinced that only a good fit will lead to a successful story for both parties. Critically, question what you want to achieve in your career and how Imperial and the programme can help you on your way. If you use this analysis and strongly connect your values to the values of Imperial in your application, I am sure you will have a good chance of receiving an offer. And don’t forget - Student Ambassadors are happy to help!

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