Student portrait: Christian Frank - "Sustainability is essential for business"

2020-07-27 The Master student is a scholarship holder of the renowned Schmalenbach Society, which aims to bring together practice and science in business administration. Christian Frank's curriculum vitae fits to this profile very well.

Abstract and analytical thinking are Christian Frank's strengths. He has played chess since his childhood and was Lower Saxony's U-18 state champion. His second passion is accounting. "Accounting requires similar skills to chess," says the 27-year-old. He is attracted to logical challenges and the high complexity of the discipline. Christian Frank is in his second semester of the master's programme Management & Finance and Accounting - with success: Due to his very good performance during his studies, he is now being supported with a scholarship from the Schmalenbach Society. However, his social commitment also counted for the award. Christian Frank  led trainings for the youth department of the Hildesheim Chess Club for many years.

Christian Frank left his hometown for his bachelor studies. "I completed a dual course of study at the State Academy of Studies in Plauen," he reports. There he studied commerce and international management and gained practical experience as a manager in the system gastronomy. Christian Frank completed his studies as the best in his class. One of his lecturers recommended him to Leuphana for the subsequent Master's degree, because the graduate wanted more: "I am enthusiastic about the strongly scientific orientation. We write fewer exams here, but more papers in the style of a scientific article," reports Christian Frank. He is currently writing a literature review on empirical research with regard to audit companies that also provide consulting services to their clients: "Shareholders and stakeholders usually take a negative view of this, because they then doubt the objectivity of the audit," reports Christian Frank. Conversely, lobbyists argued that combined audit and consulting services would lead to better audit quality as both services are in one hand. In his scientific homework he comes to a similar conclusion: "Many studies I have found confirm a positive effect of duplication," says Christian Frank. 

The student sees a great benefit in science for practical applications: "Results can be transferred to political or economic decisions." Consulting and audit services will be separated by the “Big Four” in UK in the future. Christian Frank alludes in particular to sustainable corporate management: "Studies show that investors are paying more and more attention to sustainability." Before his time at Leuphana, the topic of sustainable finance and accounting was a largely undocumented topic for him: "Leuphana plays a pioneering role here." He himself wants to consider social and ecological aspects in his professional life later. "Sustainability is essential for the economy because it makes companies less vulnerable to crises," says Christian Frank.

In the beginning, he says, it was very challenging for him to understand publications from international journals in detail. In addition, there were many methodological and statistical seminars. "But the modules fit together very well. Everything comes to a head towards the master's thesis," reports Christian Frank. He is supported by Patrick Velte. The Professor of Accounting, Auditing and Corporate Governance also advised Christian Frank to apply for the Schmalenbach Scholarship: In addition to 500 euros book money per semester, the scholarship includes non-material support from a network of scholarship holders and further training with renowned scientists: "I hope that this will be of great benefit to my studies." Because the Master's is not the end of the story: Christian Frank would like to do his doctorate next year under Professor Velte’s supervision. 

Christian Frank is in his second semester of the master's programme Management & Finance and Accounting. ©Gregor Jaap / Leuphana
Christian Frank is in his second semester of the master's programme Management & Finance and Accounting.