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MANNHEIM & TONGJI EMBA Finance Module during New York Residency
“Thrilling, Enriching, Lots of Fun, and Demanding”
Finance Module during New York Residency: 
what an experience!
Advanced Finance Module at New York University (NYU), 
Leonard Stern Business School, 
26-30 October 2015
by Paul Th. Janssen
Global Vice President Marketing & Sales
Pharming Group NV
The Participant in MANNHEIM-TONGJI EMBA Program
As a closure of our MANNHEIM – TONGJI EMBA program, program participants attended the exciting, optional “Advanced Finance Module” in New York. Reasons to do so: New York still can be considered the center of Global Capitalism with all state-of-the-art knowledge, knowhow around Finance and Accounting although Chinese stock markets envision to dethrone New York.
Right after having finished the finalization of my Master Thesis for both MANNHEIM and Tongji SEM (Shanghai), the students –nearly simultaneously from Hamburg, Munich, and Singapore - flew out to New York. The choice was made to do a bit of sightseeing, so we gathered and went to Boston and Cape Cod (Province Town) over three days’ time. After this interesting adventure, we found our way to our hotel located in Chinatown, next to Little Italy, and Soho. This is where we met the other ESSEC and MANNHEIM classmates. Interesting to see how diverse and international the groups were: people from all parts of the world were well represented.
The Kaufmann Management Center at Washington Square was the place to be for us: participants. Great to taste the atmosphere in this impressive institution. Students, professors, and company representative were browsing through this thrilling, well-equipped environment.
Kaufmann Management Center at Washington Square
The program entailed three professors covering three major topics in the field of Finance: 
Professor Dr. David Yermack, Professor Dr. Holger Mueller, and Professor Dr. Anjolein Schmeits. The week started actively early morning with Professor Yermack, who stressed the importance of sound Corporate Governance for companies. Explaining us how certain strategic and operational choices could affect the value of a corporation in a positive or less positive manner. Next professor Mueller took us through the subject of Capital Structure. To be honest, we have learnt so many relevant aspects that I had never been made aware of in different Finance classes through the years! Impressive! You could tell that our heads were buzzing and getting overheated with all the knowledge and insights that were shared with us. Last but not least, the Dutch Professor Schmeits displayed a tremendous theoretical, practical knowledge on her specialized topic at an amazing speed. Amazing to see how all knots tied together in the end. I must admit that this professional sparked my interest to further my knowledge in this field as if it were some kind of toy/game that one could play with.
 Prof. Dr. Schmeits teaching Valuation
The program management also arranged for us two social events: a welcome dinner at the first-established, licensed Pizzeria restaurant called “Lombardi’s Pizza” in the United States. Clearly, the management wanted to tell us all about the history of this great place. It was a nice venue to get acquainted with fellow students with as different backgrounds as you potentially could imagine. Secondly, we undertook a trip to the highest point in New York City: the Freedom Tower, that is “One World Observatory”.
A visit to Innovation Center of Microsoft New York
To provide participants with insights into the functioning of corporations, the program management organized interesting visits to (1) Goldman Sachs and (2) Microsoft Technology Center in New York City. Both companies provided us with insights where they expect their respective industries to move. Also they provided a flavor of their company cultures, especially Microsoft tried to provide us with an interesting “peak” into the future of information technology and how this may affect future companies, thus their business models.
In all, it was an excellent choice to be part of this diverse, multi-lingual group of people!
Attending a basketball home game at Madison Square Garden