An interview with André Reichel, Professor of Critical Management and Sustainable Development, about his study program “International Energy management” here at Karlshochschule International University.
Can you describe your International Energy Management program in three hashtags?
Now the longer version. What is International Energy Management all about?
The energy sector experiences a dramatic transformation,
- from the focus of generating usable energy to providing new energy-oriented services
- from heavily centralized fossil-based energy to more decentralized renewable energy production
- from a monolithic industry with clear-cut boundaries to a heterogeneous competitive arena with many new actors.
The study program in International Energy Management is providing the knowledge, understanding and critical reflection necessary to successfully manage in the energy business – be it in one of the big utilities or in one of the many municipal power supplier but also with new companies in the field of renewable energies, spanning from energy generation, energy sales and marketing, as well as IT solutions for energy efficiency. In all of these environments the need for strategic minded managers with the ability to proactively redesign and create new business models around energy is increasing dramatically. International Energy Management students will become these type of change managers and shape the future of energy.
What is so special about studying International Energy Management at Karlshochschule?
At Karls we view management from a culturalist and constructivist standpoint. Nothing in management and the field of business can be understood without a deep knowledge an appreciation of the underlying cultural currents. Management is first and foremost a cultural activity, based on culture and at the same time changing the culture. Especially in such a vital field as energy, that faces such dramatic changes, a culturally sensible management perspective is something unique to your studies at Karlshochschule. This perspective is reflected in the study program and connected to its practical elements like corporate projects and your internship, as well as in the selection of our partner universities for your studies abroad. At the same time you will find our Karls to be a place with a great sense of collegiality between staff and students, a family of learners and teachers that are united by their curiosity to know more and get at the heart of current issues in business and society.
What is the most interesting module in your point of view?
There is not one single module I would like to highlight, because I cannot possibly make that selection given the different nature of the modules and their overall high quality. What is most interesting probably is the entire curriculum structure and how the different modules in International Energy Management relate to each other. You will start slowly with some foundational work in the energy business and with sustainability issues. Then you progress to more detailed questions on energy efficiency, the energy market, how to manage within the energy industry and so forth. Everything in the curriculum is tailored to giving you the best background understanding of current and future challenges in the energy business.
How about my job opportunities after my graduation?
After three years at Karls with International Energy Management you will have plenty if opportunities to pursue your career. Strategy and Business Development departments in energy utilities as well as big consultancies are one path you might wish to follow. Another path can lie in working for government agencies and ministries dealing with environmental, energy and economic issues, both on the national as well as on the supra-national level e.g. the European Union. Of course, you can also continue to a master program in sustainability or strategy and deepen your knowledge. Or why not do your own thing, work in the non-governmental sector with NGOs or start your own energy business? Whatever path you might want to choose, here at Karls we will help you the best we can with choosing interesting partner universities and internships to focus your career options.
Who should apply for the program? What kind of background do applicants need?
Anyone with a deep desire to understand the changing nature of energy in our society and who is committed to sustainability. We are looking for curious students willing to change the world but also willing to challenge their own worldviews – to learn more and realize their full potential. You don’t need to be an ace in physics for International Energy Management; energy business is not about physics in the first place but about understanding the interrelations of energy, business, the natural environment and society. If you want to get really deep into these questions, you are at the right place at Karlshochschule.