A love of international travel and a global perspective led Bettina Kosiel to leave her logistics position with a German railroad and return to her alma mater, the University of Mannheim.
Kosiel received her master’s degree from the University of Mannheim. She also minored in French, and during her studies spent a year at EM Grenoble/France. After college, she helped cargo transport run as efficiently as possible at the railroad, but she missed travel and greater exposure to other countries.
When the position of assistant to the dean for international relations opened at the University of Mannheim, Kosiel found a great way to fill that void. It was also a move that would lead her to the EMBA world and to her current position as EMBA Program director at the University of Oxford.
“I was responsible for all the exchange programs for the business school at Mannheim and for management of the school’s partners,” says Kosiel. At the time, she juggled the exchange relationships with more than 90 participating schools. She also oversaw successful efforts to earn accreditation from several accrediting organizations.
The strong international focus at Mannheim meant plenty of opportunities to break new ground: She helped establish double-degree programs, as well as Mannheim’s first MBA Program, which involved partnerships with two other business schools in the United Kingdom and France.
In 2005, she joined the Mannheim Business School, the umbrella organization that administers management education at the University of Mannheim. She helped with the company’s start-up, including its administration and infrastructure, and served as a member of the leadership team. Here, her introduction to EMBA began.
“I was actively involved in helping the company grow,” she says. “It was really a journey.”
Ultimately, Kosiel led a portfolio of three EMBA Programs, the Mannheim EMBA, ESSEC & Mannheim EMBA, and the Mannheim & Tongji EMBA, while also maintaining responsibility for accreditations, adjunct faculty, and incoming residencies. In particular, she enjoyed her contact with EMBA students and found the work rewarding.
“I really admire the discipline of EMBA students and the diversity of their backgrounds,” she says. “We see students throughout the program, at the beginning and end of classes. It is really interesting to learn about them and see the difference the program makes for them – how they change, how they develop.”
After 15 years with Mannheim Business School, Kosiel decided to embark on a new global adventure. “I wanted to stay in the industry, but at a business school in a different country.”
She joined Oxford earlier this year, and consistent with her passion for international experiences, she looks forward to finding new ways to further strengthen the global perspectives of students.
Kosiel attended her first EMBAC Conference in 2012 when Paris served as the host city. “I thought it was a good opportunity to go and meet colleagues throughout the world. They were really helpful and supportive, and I wanted to become more involved.”
As a result, she contributed as a conference committee member and also hosted a regional meeting. In 2018, she was elected to the EMBAC Board of Trustees. Kosiel values what she has gained from her time spent in the council and looks forward to helping the organization and its members continue to thrive. “This is a network I wanted to give something back to.”
Kosiel also shared the following insights:
- My hobbies include: “Photography, travelling, mountains (skiing, hiking), cooking.”
- My favorite city is: “A difficult one, but Paris and Barcelona.”
- I'm most proud of: “Getting where I am today, really enjoying what I am doing, and having such a great network of family and friends.”
- I'm reading: “Mostly detective stories, but just started The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down: How to be Calm in a Busy World by Haemin Sunim.”
- I'm passionate about: “Good food and good wine.”
- My next project is: “Personally, expanding my apartment by adding the roof top floor. Professionally, future EMBA Program design.”
- You may not know that: “I don’t like eating fruit.”
- When I think of EMBAC, I think of: “Great colleagues sharing ideas.”