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Threefold commitment: Anna’s business@school story

Ten years ago, Anna Sokoll participated in business@school as a student at St. Ursula School in Geisenheim together with students from Schloss Hansenberg boarding school under the direction of Paul Rauh. That one-year school project has since grown into a multifaceted commitment in which Anna has taken on a number of different roles: first as a student coach, then as a coach from the business world. Anna shares her experiences with us in this interview.


How did you come to participate in business@school in the 2013/14 school year?

At my high school, St. Ursula School, we were asked if any of us were interested in participating in business@school in cooperation with the nearby boarding school Schloss Hansenberg. I have always been eager to try new things and decided to participate together with five classmates. We went to Hansenberg regularly on Saturdays and learned everything about the project from Paul Rauh, the project-leader business@school teacher at the boarding school, working our way through the three phases of the business@school year. Funnily enough, my student team at the time was supported by a coach from Commerzbank AG—and now I work there myself and coach business@school teams.


How did your business@school participation and involvement as a student coach impact your career?

I feel like major milestones in life such as business@school change your thinking long-term. I learned an incredible amount during that time that I might otherwise have learned differently or only much later. The project introduces you to the business world at a very early stage and gives you firsthand insights. I don’t know if I would even have studied business administration (and philosophy) at all if I hadn’t participated in business@school.

In addition, business@school teaches you how to deal with situations that you are unfamiliar with as a student but may well encounter in your working life. There are obstacles to overcome and opportunities to seize, and you learn to work together as a team over a long period of time.


Why did you decide to become a business@school coach?

business@school taught me how to show commitment—first with my own participation on Saturdays at boarding school and then when I coached business@school team after finishing high school. When I saw the ad for business@school coaches at Commerzbank, I knew I wanted to continue with it. Of course, this is a commitment that I have to manage and integrate into my daily schedule, but I really enjoy passing on my knowledge and expertise. Since last year, I have also been a lecturer on the transformation of the banking industry, exchanging ideas with the next generation of economists.


You currently you work at Commerzbank AG as a Business Expert. Has business@school nevertheless sparked a founding spirit in you?

Definitely. Last year, and friend and I gave some serious thought to launching a startup. I can certainly see myself as a founder some day. I very much enjoy working independently and bringing my own vision to the table. Now I just need the perfect idea.