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From Chemnitz to the stock market city of Frankfurt

TU graduate Ingolf Zschockelt can look back on an impressive career, which among other things, enabled him to work as an auditor and consultant on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange

  • With a degree in Economics and Business Administration, Ingolf Zschockelt accompanied companies on their way to the stock market as a frequently requested auditor. The basis for this established his education in Chemnitz. Photo: private
  • In his spare time, Zschockelt is active as a triathlete. His long-term goal is to challenge the notorious “Hawaiian IRON MAN Triathlon”. Photo: Michael Strokosch

Ingolf Zschockelt was born on 29th of December 1968 in Altdöbern near Cottbus. At the age of three, however, he moved with his parents to Karl-Marx-Stadt, where Zschockelt also completed his school education in 1987. That he would afterwards study there was not exactly clear for the Brandenburg-born: “Unfortunately, I had to complete the service at the National People’s Army first, which was an obligation in the GDR before having an opportunity to apply for studies.“ What played a role in the life of today’s auditor, father of one daughter, was the German reunification in 1989, thanks to which he was able to leave the military service a bit earlier. Since a seamless transition to the study was not possible, Zschockelt bridged his waiting time with a job in a textile enterprise. “In addition to the actual profession, I also had the opportunity to complete an apprenticeship as a skilled worker for textile engineering“, said the business studies graduate, who liked to use this additional qualification: “Nonetheless, I knew that the short-term career choice in the field of textile engineering would change nothing about my ultimate goal to start the degree in Economics and Business Administration.”

Then it came to deciding at which university, the newly-acclaimed worker would begin his academic training: “So immediately after the German reunion, I was attracted to study at a prestigious university of the old West German states. Due to the financial “home advantage” as well as the short term mentoring undertaken by the University of Bayreuth, the choice finally fell upon Technische Universität Chemnitz. I began to study there a degree in Economics and Business Administration in the fall of 1990.“ Zschockelt has only words of praise for his academic institution: “The university offered me a completely comprehensive teaching as well as a variety of possibilities to practically apply my knowledge.” While studying, the ambition-ordinated economist completed three internships in renowned companies and accompanied the launch of a new wage system for leading automotive manufacturers at the Professorship of Personal Management and Leadership Studies. “I consider such practical experience as an important part of university education; as a guide for professional life,” summarized Zschockelt. Yet even the present-day dormitories he found pleasant in the university environment. Besides, he could contribute to the sporty balance of student’ body with his work as an instructor of Tae Kwon Do.

Thanks to his well-grounded base in business education and practical experiences, Zschockelt could start working as an auditor at the international ARTHUR ANDERSEN corporation immediately after graduation, initially in Chemnitz and later in Leipzig. After the first two years, he received an offer to work at the German head office in Eschborn near Frankfurt am Main. “Because I’ve played with the idea of wanting to work in the old West German states since the start of my university studies, the decision was easily made. In addition, my career has developed so well that sooner or later, I would have been pulled into an economically-powerful urban center anyway,” said Zschockelt. He has been working as an auditor for this company until his successful auditing exam in 2001. This time also counts as one of the highlights of his previous career: “At that time I was mainly active in the field of corporate finance and accompanied, among other things, numerous companies on their IPOs. I have also spent some time in the US within the framework of training and further education, so I could strongly broaden my cultural horizons in addition to my professional knowledge.”

After Zschockelt was able to acquire additional expertise in other companies, he started his own business as a freelance accountant in private practice in 2005 and is now a sought-after and self-employed specialist. At the same time, he still had some freelancing work and teaching activities at different companies. Since 2011, Zschockelt is the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the KFP consortium and, thanks to this position, he is listed in the column “Köpfe” of the FINANCE magazine, which is a self-proclaimed “CFO Almanac”.

The sports-minded accountant formulated some further goals for the future. Firstly, he wants the best possible education for his daughter, corresponding with her capabilities and aptitude. Secondly, he wants to further develop his own entrepreneurial skills, in particular in the area of management and realize shareholding in a company. From a sporting point of view, the long-time triathlon and marathon enthusiast wishes to successfully challenge the Iron Man in Hawaii.

When asked what advice Zschockelt would give the today’s students on their way in retrospect of his successful career, he replies: “In my opinion, the study should serve a specific career goal that is ideally more specific defined in the course of studies by many practical experiences. An experience abroad is a great expansion of the horizons, but it should not detract from the educational goal. My last piece of advice is that one should be guided not only by the common reputation in ones choice of college, but also for a suitable environment that allows concentration on studies.”

(Author: Martin Blaschka, Translation: Nataliia Boiko)

Katharina Thehos

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