Bid redeemed. Robots and Rotkraut

Manuel Frei at the Industrie 4.0 trade fair in Nürnberg

The prize was a trip to Europe’s largest trade fair – Industrie 4.0 – in Nürnberg. CEO and IM alumnus Stephan Kunz offered this at the Bid for a Boss – Manuel Frei placed the winning bid.  The two shared a dinner of Rotkraut and Spätzle the night before  the big day – looks impressive.  We don’t know what Manuel thought of the robot, though.

There will be more such amazing opportunities at next year’s Bid for a Boss. Set for 12 April – so save the date.

Manuel Frei (left) won the bid for CEO (and IM Alumnus) Stephan Kunz’s offer to be taken to Europe’s largest trade fair in Nürnberg.

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Forecast 2018: Events and Expert Pool

Merry Christmas everyone and may 2018 be awesome for you all.

And what are IM Alumni doing next year?

  • Thursday, 22 February Prof Dr Kaspar Riesen will give us a talk about recent research and projects he’s involved in Business Intelligence/Artificial Intelligence. This IM Medley is a good opportunity to combine learning about professional developments as well as networking with fellow alumni during the apero afterwards.  Dean Prof Dr Anya Nikoulina is sponsoring this for us – you can register on

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  • On 12 April it’s time for Bid for a Boss – we’re thrilled with not only the money raised this year for alumnus John Uwaeke’s charity but also with the wide range of unique opportunities bosses provided for so many of you. And it was fun. So – save the date or you can already register on 

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  • Two other events are planned – a repeat of the Pub Quiz in October and an informal barbecue where you can also bring along your partners (and children) in September. We’ll also, of course, be present at Graduation to award the IM Alumni Graduation Prize.

New: We’d like to establish a pool of experts on IM Alumni. We’re looking for 2-3 experts/professional in the fields of HR, Communications, Finance & Banking, Entrepreneurship, Marketing, Accounting & Controlling and Education who are willing to mentor alumni or students, or be willing to simply be available for questions on their professional fields, on continuing academic or professional studies, on professional developments and employers. If you might be interested in being included in the pool, send us an email under alumni.bsc-im.business@fhnw.ch

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#ThrowbackThursday Daniel Altherr

(From left) Flo, Daniel, Stefan and Jan on the “weird but fun” night out in Zürich with a group of BEST tour Californian students in 2007.

In June 2007 about 15 students from CalState Fullerton came to Switzerland as part of the so-called BEST programme run by Robert Buttery, the Head of International Relations.  He asked some of us regular students to take the group out – which we did.  It was a Monday evening and we, Stefan Stöckli, Jan Musar, Flo Estoppey and myself took this group to several bars in Zürich.  Let’s just say it was a weird but fun night with a lot of alcohol.  Which meant that the next day we ended up sleeping on our desks in a classroom as we waited for a lecture to start.

Graduated BSc IM in 2007

Now I’ve been with DePuySynthes, which is part of Johnson&Johnson, for over 8 years now in various roles.  Currently, as EMEA Marketing Manager for the Spine segment, I can profit from knowing the business inside out and the network I’ve built up.  I’m tasked with rationalising the portfolio of 255 products by half. Reducing this number will allow us to focus our R&D efforts on creating innovation instead of keeping old brands updated to comply with the changing regulatory environment. The challenge is to retain our existing customers when removing some of their favourite brands. So I have to keep them and our sales force well informed.  This is such a major project that it’s on our CEO’s scorecard which motivates me even more. My role is very much more about marketing strategy than sales which I enjoy and means I learn something every single day.  Also, importantly, I enjoy that I can have a better work-life balance now that I don’t have to travel so much. I had years when I undertook 70 trips a year.

After Graduation I’d done my semester abroad in Hong Kong and joined the Insight China seminar so a year after graduating I tried working in China. But it was 2008 – I picked the wrong year.  I then returned to Synthes as Product Manager in the Spine unit, which after two years lead to the role of Market Development Manager of the same group in the Middle East and Africa. Especially the Middle East is a vibrant development area in our sector and I travelled a lot. However, after the merger with Johnson&Johnson that business unit became redundant – I then took on the same role but for 13 countries of Eastern Europe and was based in Prague.  This market was expanded to include Neuro – two business units dealing with implants and instruments for brain and skull surgery.  This unit, too, was reorganised last year so after about 4 years in Prague I returned to Switzerland.

How did studying IM help? You know, I was thinking about this recently. In my current job I’m not applying much of the knowledge taught in the courses I took.   But my studies brought me three highly valuable assets. One is that those three years made me an adult, able to work independently and take responsibility. Then, I learnt to present. I developed the skill to stand in front of people and talk about what I know- or sometimes even what I don’t know and to be concise. I need to present every day – to colleagues, to surgeons. And then thirdly, it gave me a valuable network of people including some, like Stefan and Jan, who remain my best friends.

Want to get in touch with Daniel? you’ll find him in the IM Alumni LinkedIn group.

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Bid Redeemed – Innovation Playdate

Monika Blaser (left) took Nikolina Fuduric through the Innovation Lab toolkit at Postfinance which Nikolina had won at the Bid for a Boss event. We’re not sure what the piggy bank is about but looks like they had fun

This week Nikolina Fuduric redeemed her Bid for a Boss win: she and Monika Blaser, Head of the Innovation Lab at PostFinance enjoyed a “playdate” – Nikolina could pitch a business idea they then took through the Lab’s toolkit. “It was a learning experience for me and it was a lot of fun!” reports Nikolina.

The Bid for a Boss event, with the auctioning of various opportunities with bosses from all walks of life, raised over CHF 3000 of which the majority went to the charity C4C which provides laptops and ICT training for youngsters in rural Nigeria.  The event will be held again in April 2018.

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Winning Bid for a Boss – Brussels Lobbying and Beer

Amila Basic (left) and Andrea Häfliger at the European Parliament. The won the “boss” Max de Boer who took them to brussels for two days of lobbying and Belgian beer. Read all about it in the latest edition of The Sextant

Last April one of the star offers at the IM Alumni Bid for a Boss event was the two-day trip to Brussels offered by Max de Boer.  The happy winners were Amila Basic and Andrea Häfliger and in the new edition of The Sextant they themselves report on how that trip went.  Read all about it and other international news nw_sextant_Autumn-2017-MEDIA.

 

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#ThrowbackThursday: Dominik Trost

Dominik (bottom row, far right) with his Jogku team in South Korea

I first considered Mexico as my hottest favorite for the semester abroad so I could improve my Spanish skills. As the deadline to apply for a university came closer, I remembered my stay in the USA where I lived together with my “brother from another mother” Richard Shin. I was fascinated by his personality, his focus on studying and the Korean culture overall. With those memories and a gut feeling which was telling me to go to a country where everything is totally different from what I was used to, I opted for South Korea. I fell in love with that country and the people virtually upon arrival. Every Saturday, we played “Jokgu” – soccer-tennis describes it best – with local people. There was no way of communicating through words – but body language was enough for us to understand each other. I also met up again with Richard and got the chance to dive into the great Korean culture; we went fishing, celebrated “Chuseok” – Korean thanks giving – and went out to do what Koreans do! Living together with his family for a time was an experience I will never forget and I realized again that spoken language is not needed to understand each other. I felt and still feel like a Korean – an experience I will never forget!

Dominik Trost 2017

Graduated from BSc IM in 2016

My best friend Sven from my kindergarten days and I had often talked about setting up our own business.  So during our studies – Sven was studying IT and I was in my second IM year – we started developing and selling small applications. By the time I graduated we had enough income to go full-time. At that time, we got the opportunity to develop a complex job/vacancy tool which was aimed to be implemented in big HR companies. Soon we had 8 employees and interns (in summer 2017 up to 12) in our office in Lenzburg. We decided to become a legal entity and founded Comptex Solution Engineering GmbH. As we were really passionate about the potential of Augmented Reality (AR), we opted to put all our resources into holo|one – a spin off which focuses solely on developing AR-solutions. Two months ago, we saw that Airbus was holding a competition on Innovation Solutions in the Aeronautic Sector.  We sent them a concept where AR plays an integral part in maintenance procedures of aircrafts.  Currently, for instance, when planes go in for maintenance or repairs the engineers still use physical paper checklists, manuals which have graphs of all the parts etc.  With our application they put on AR glasses, go to the engine and see through them and receive all necessary information of the respective part they are working on. They have their updated checklist pinned virtually next to the maintained or fixed part and can search the endless manuals by voice. Another part of the application is designed for trouble-shooting events – if a plane lands where there are no certified Airbus engineers then instead of flying people out, a general engineer can wear the glasses and the Airbus team in another location can see what they see, support, guide and even draw directly in the field of view of the engineer. The great thing about our solution is that it is neither limited to the Aeronautic sector nor to maintenance. Having a remote expert available everywhere, following a checklist while working as well as making use of browsing endless manuals by voice within seconds open up opportunities for many more business processes.

We got financial support and the opportunity to be part of an accelerator/incubator project in Hamburg.  We started there at the beginning of October and it’s very exciting. The next two months are devoted to identifying customer desirability. There might also be changes in the overall concept due to additional findings in field research and interviews. By January, we have to make sure that our solution is technically feasible. Do engineers and mechanics want work with additional glasses to complete their tasks? Would it even be an option to use tablets or smartphone for this solution?  By spring there will be the demo day where we present a prototype and explain the business viability of our solution. During this time we get a lot coaching and support from Airbus. There is a lot to do but it’s very exciting.

How did studying IM help?I took the Entrepreneurship major and the many sessions practising how to pitch were very valuable. When we flew to Hamburg to pitch our concept to Airbus we knew we only had 9 minutes to pitch. Because I had had so much experience, I was confident and focussed.  Also, all the information about investors helped a lot when we were setting up our own company, and of course then there’s all the stuff we learnt about marketing and intercultural communication….. all of this is useful now.

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Graduations Galore!!!!!

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UPDATE – Photos now available here
Congratulations to nearly a 100 new IM Alumni

Nearly 100 new IM graduates received their Bachelor diplomas at graduation ceremonies over the past two weekends – this includes nearly 40 “pioneers” who studied at Campus Brugg in either full- or part-time mode.

In Olten the Graduation Ceremony took place on 6 October.  Due to ever-increasing numbers of students studying in English, there is now a ceremony exclusively for those graduating from BSc and MSc English-taught programmes.  Our own IM Alumni Graduation Prize was also awarded – this year’s winner is Umberto Verde who was praised by classmates for initiating many good ideas, being the class rep and “he has invested a lot of his free time for his fellow students and he was always there when you needed help with something. He is a great guy and more than deserves this award.”

In total the graduating classes nominated 10 classmates who they felt deserved the CHF400 prize for contributing to the IM community.  Nominees were: Carolyn Höchle, Tobias Dolenzky, Theo Whitwill, Timo Dätwyler, Leonora Asani, Corinne Köpfli, David Balsiger, Delia Moser, Geoffrey Bauer and Umberto Verde.  The prize money is raised at the Bid for a Boss event.

In Brugg, the ceremony was held on 30 September and  IM graduate Steven Rowntree received the Graduate of the Year prize of CHF 1500.  This was the “pioneering” batch of IM students who began their studies in 2014.

Photos of both ceremonies will soon be available here

 

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Pub Quiz in Basel for all you clever cookies

Our first ever IM Alumni pub quiz – because we know you’re all pretty clever. Join us 21 September at the Pickwick Pub in Basel

Time to show you really are clever cookies:-)

Our first ever IM Alumni Pub Quiz will be held at the Pickwick Pub in Basel on Thursday, 21 September.

We’ll be doing 4 rounds from 7pm (though we start warming up with drinks from 6pm – there’s a free welcome drink for you).

Form teams (no more than 4 people per team)  – get in touch with your old classmates, especially those who seemed to know all manner of trivia. Register below either as a team ( give yourselves a brilliant name) or as an individual – you can indicate in the message section that you’re looking to join a team and we’ll try to help.

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