Alex Hartman, the benefits of having a global mindset that clients appreciate
May 03, 2023
All Knowledge Areas
*Interview by Sonia Alegre, Schiller Alumni
Alex Hartman graduated from Schiller Heidelberg with a Master of Business Administration in International Business in 2016. He has a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and Advertising from the University of North Carolina. Alex has developed a successful career in the financial services industry where he has held different positions at companies such as The Exchange, a global non-profit for the military and Bank of America where he is currently VP, Financial Center Manager of Bank of America. He speaks fluent English and German and is based in Dallas, TX.
How did you get to Schiller?
My dad worked in the military and my parents were living in Stuttgart, so Heidelberg was a very good opportunity to be close to them and get an American education. I was looking for something where I could use the American FAFSA and Schiller was the best option because it also offered federal student financial aid for graduate school, which was a huge benefit at the time. Also, Schiller came at the top when I researched for universities.
What's it like to study at Schiller International University, Schiller? Tell us your typical daily routine
I actually loved studying there. What I loved most about the experience is that because it was a smaller campus, compared to the big American universities, I felt I had way more connection and the ability to approach my professors. It was easier to ask questions and get clarifications and I felt that was a lot better than being in a regular American university among 200 other students in class. Also, the campus was great, I was just 2 hours away from where my parents were living so I had an independent life from them but was not too far either.
The daily routine was kind of like an all day type of affair. I selected the expedited program, 15 months, so there was a lot of action every day from 8am to 4pm, and that was pretty much my life at the time but, it was fine because I didn't want to stretch it out and take longer to complete the degree. I thought it was important to be fully committed to the program where I can just study full-time. I don’t think it is that easy to combine full-time work with part-time studies so I loved being fully involved in studying 24/7. My focus was better too, so my GPA was significantly higher than when I did my undergrad.
Does the campus provide everything that students need?
The campus was a new facility and it was great. I remember very well the library which was awesome. Studying at Schiller was online textbook based, which I really liked as it was like a paperless digital experience - instead of having to carry heavy books- but being able to have that library on site was really great as sometimes you need to go back to the basics and check resources and they really had anything you could need.
How has Schiller impacted your career?
Before I went to Schiller, I was in retail management and I remember I was working about 70 hours a week which was really too much. I felt I really needed to do something to advance my career and went for the MBA so I could move on to better roles. I also knew that the further you are out of school from your undergrad, the harder it is to go back, so my focus was to think of what I could do afterwards and I knew I wanted to do something international and globalized. I figured that an international experience would better position me as I knew I wanted to do something with a global firm.
Currently at Bank of America, I feel everything that I was taught at Schiller has really helped me here. I work in a client facing role and you run into people from all walks of life and thanks to Schiller, I am culturally aware, culturally sensitive and a lot of clients feel this experience that I have and like it too. They can see that I have this international background and global vision.
Why would you recommend studying at Schiller International University, Schiller?
I definitely recommend the university and I recommend that prospective students try to study at more than one campus. For me, at the time, I was too focused on completing the program so I didn’t, but I think it is a huge advantage, having the possibility to go to other campuses like Paris, Madrid or Florida while continuing your program. It is very unique. I recommend they get to experience another country and another campus when they join Schiller.
How can aspiring Schiller International University, Schiller students be prepared for applying?
My advice really is to put yourself out there, put yourself with a focus on your education because that is the most important thing that prepares you for life and the future. Obtaining my MBA was a better experience for me than my undergrad was and I wish I could go back again, even if just for fun, as studying is a lot less stressful than the working life and reality of paying bills.