Alumni interview with Philip Kollmann: “Leave your comfort zone”

All News, Faculty, Inside CBS   -  30. January 2019

No fear of new beginnings: In 2015, Philip Kollmann decided against his secure position at the bank Stadtsparkasse and for a Bachelor’s degree at the Cologne Business School. His interest in financial topics could be combined well with his studies, so that he founded the student initiative “CBS Finance and Business Club” together with a fellow student. Today he is working for his employer “Tank & Rast Entwicklungsgesellschaft mbH”, where he is responsible for finances and coffee.

CBS: Why did you apply for the General Management course at our campus?

Philip Kollmann: I’ve always been interested in various topics and didn’t want to specify too early in my studies. Later in your career, you will be expected to have knowledge in accounting, project management, presentation skills, etc. Nevertheless, our studies were not too general: There were various electives for us.

CBS: What did you like best about studying at CBS?

Philip Kollmann: That the studies were that practical! At CBS you can attend soft skills courses and initiatives in addition to the seminars. You should really take notice of this, as you can expand your skills and knowledge. Valentin Güttler and I founded the “Finance and Business Club”, for example, because we wanted to focus even more on financial topics. We then thought that we would like to offer an “Investment Breakfast” with bankers in Frankfurt am Main and were surprised by their openness. There was a lot of organisation for us in advance, but it was also a lot of fun, too and our project management skills were trained.

CBS: How did your CBS studies prepare you for your current position?

Philip Kollmann: My studies prepared me very good for the job, because as a “generalist” I gained expertise in various fields. The soft skills courses helped me a lot in my job interviews. Through my work in the “Finance and Business Club”, I built up a broad network and acquired project management skills that helped me score points with companies. I only wrote four applications before starting my first job at Tank & Rast!

CBS: What does a typical working day at “Tank & Rast” look like?

Philip Kollmann: As Project Manager Rollout “Coffee”, I take part in many coordination meetings for our architects, franchisors, franchisees and specialist departments. My job is to plan new Wayne’s Coffee cafés at our service stations in Germany, including preparation and follow-up. I’m also often on site at the store openings, which makes my work varied. Of course, there is always time for a cup of good coffee.

CBS: What attracts you to your work?

Philip Kollmann: That I have to adjust to new challenges every day.

CBS: What are your career plans for the next few years?

Philip Kollmann: I want to deepen my experiences in project management and want to support making “Wayne’s Coffee” well known in Germany.

CBS: What advice would you give to prospective students?

Philip Kollmann: Move out of your comfort zone from time to time and dare something new. You can only win!

CBS: Thank you very much for the interview!

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