#ThrowbackThursday: Oliver Ivisic

Enjoying life and the semester abroad in Madrid: Oliver and Eva Vaquero (far right) who later came for a semester to Olten.

“Due to personal challenges I didn’t expect to be going on a semester abroad. But then the situation changed and everyone at the school helped me still organise an exchange in Madrid.  So I left, having had a very tough time for over a year without any high expectations. However, this exchange had a very positive influence and helped me to recover. I began to meet great people from many different cultures who despite speaking different languages somehow all understood each other. I am still in contact with some of them. Suddenly I was living a different life, I was getting back to normal and regaining my motivation.  This semester was life-changing for me.”

Oliver Ivisic

Graduated BSc IM 2010

Now  Finance Project Lead at Hirslanden

“Hirslanden is a big company with 16 hospitals – I’d known it for a long time as my mother worked as a nurse for them. I’m in the corporate office and am part of the finance project team in a multi-million project to centralise parts of these unique, independent hospitalsI love it as it enables me to network with many people, develop my project management skills and deepen my knowledge of financial business topics.  Beforehand, as a management consultant, I was an external and I really appreciate having an internal position.  There are similarities but now all my clients are within the same organisation and we’re all in transition together. I want to develop my own USP’s within the next few years and even in the short time I’ve been here, and with great team support I’ve already managed to move this project forward which is very rewarding.”#

How did studying IM help? “Basically it gave me a great education – I didn’t realise the full value of such an education until much later.  We all got amazing opportunities.  For me one of the stand-outs was going to India for my Bachelor thesis.  FAIRMED wanted a cost analysis and a breakdown of funds sent to India.  A relatively easy task technically – the challenge lay in obtaining the information from the many different people in India.  I spent six weeks in a fairly rural area in India which was quite isolated and then travelled to Mumbai to meet with a friend and fellow student: suddenly I was surrounded by more people than you can imagine.”

After graduation Oliver followed his Bachelor with an MA in Banking and Finance at the University of St Gallen and then worked for over three years as a Management Consultant for Vectoris AG before starting with Hirslanden last December.

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Bid for a Boss: Kelechi’s Story

Kelechi Madu. Paying forward.

This is Kelechi Madu. He is 17 years old and comes from a humble family in a rural community in eastern Nigeria.  Normally, he would have completed primary school and probably become a child labourer. Secondary school or university would have been very difficult if not impossible.  John Uwaeke heard about the bright young man and sponsored him through secondary school. This year he will sit his final examinations. Kelechi hopes to study Electrical Engineering or Civil Engineering at university.

It takes more than this diploma though:  Kelechi received the opportunity to do a computer course and through the Buddy2Buddy (B2B) initiative he was then given a laptop and trained as a trainer.  He is now one of 2 pioneer instructors who are a vital link in the Catalyst4Change programme. It is not enough to simply collect or buy second-hand laptops and donate these to remote and poor communities and schools in eastern Nigeria: the children need to be taught how to use them.

Without B2B or C4C, Kelechi would not have been able to develop his tenacity for learning and his innate leadership abilities.  Without a laptop, or computer skills, he would have little chance of competing for a place at university.   His self-esteem has blossomed, he is training other young people in IT and through that more youngsters will have better chances to succeed at school but also to have options to stay and work in their communities and not join the many who are forced to seek work in the cities.

Bid for a Boss.  27 April.  Register now.  And bid generously.

Free entry.  Bar (including a mixologist) and soup from the Suppenstube at reasonable prices. Nibbles and ice-cream for free.

Register here or on Facebook

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Boss#2: Talk with Melanie about Controlling

Melanie Auer, Head of Controlling at Roche Pharma

Melanie Auer is Head of Controlling at Roche Pharma.  And she’s our Boss#2.  She’s been with Roche since graduating from BSc IM in 2011 – including six months in India helping to establish the controlling unit there.

Bid for her on 27 April #BidforaBoss and get individual time with her to talk about controlling, networking and planning your development.  Drinks in the Pebbles Bar – that’s the one at the top of the Roche tower – are included.

Sign up here or on Facebook

By the way – there will be something pretty special to eat and drink on the night – we’ll tell you more next week

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Introducing Boss #1: Monika and Innovation

Over the next weeks, we’ll be introducing a few of the many bosses up for auction at the Bid for a Boss event on 27 April.  Don’t forget to register either here or on Facebook

Boss # 1: Monika Blaser, Head of the Innovation Lab at PostFinance

Monika offers a tour of the innovation lab to get insights into the innovation process and the toolbox PostFinance uses. The highest bidder can “participate in a workshop for a current innovation project to check out how we foster innovation. Depending on interests you can also participate in a pitching event, get feedback from the audience for your own business idea or go to the pitching clinic to improve your own pitching skills. ½ a day, lunch/Apéro included.”

And even if you don’t win the bid, you can meet Monika during networking activities.

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#Throwback Thursday: Esin Cengiz

The Missing Podium. From left: Robert Buttery auctioning Dean Antje Leukens and Esin Cengiz finding it thoroughly amusing

“At the kick-off event for IM Alumni we were beginners and made a few hilarious mistakes. Not only were we not able to print the name tags on time, we realized we didn’t have a podium for the charity auction and Robert as auctioneer and Antje who was being auctioned tried to stand on the same chair. This was hilarious. Later at the speed-networking there were some misunderstandings as some thought it was speed-dating.  But it was great – so good to launch this connection and I’m certainly looking forward to the next one – the Bid for a Boss on 27 April – where we do have a podium!”

Graduated BSc IM 2009

Now Head of HR and of CSR at Pernod Ricard “What I really love about my job is working with people, supporting them supporting them to be at their best as well being there for them when they just need someone to talk and share their thoughts. It’s especially the change management that I find challenging and rewarding.  It allows me to be creative and innovative and put my footprint on our culture – the way we want to work, to shape our organization. Hence why I was actively looking for roles in HR where I could embrace the change management aspect in my area of responsibilities. What I enjoy a lot about working at Pernod Ricard is definitely the great brands we have but also our decentralized organization which  gives us the liberty to shape our business according to the Swiss market needs. We are all asked to be entrepreneurs and take responsibilities for our decisions and actions. We are quick to make decisions and bring change, and that is what keeps me going every day. That also is reflected in our CSR actions where we should not just talk about it, but do it seriously, set an example.  So, for instance, we’re now changing our cars to emission A standards and introducing a paperless office or working with SpiritsSuisse to actively raise awareness about misuse of alcohol.  Additionally, we’re sponsoring ESN (European Student Network) parties at the FHNW with the objective of supporting responsible drinking.”

How did studying IM help? ”It taught me to be flexible and open-minded. This attitude was intrinsic in the studies and then consolidated on the semester abroad. My world was opened to the fact that different people perceive things differently and do things differently – you can’t just go from your own perceptions.  Of course we experienced this too during our studies here – there were many students from different cultures.  And our lecturers – not only different cultures but teaching us diverse topics: our professor in Maths and Statistics also taught an elective in Books of the World. I truly believe that we are very lucky to have gone through the studies as we have, we were exposed to diversity in a way that is very special and prepared us all to what was to come. I think that is the reason why I enjoy being the Chair of the IM Alumni Association Board so much, to be able to give back and contribute to the great community of IM is still very rewarding and exciting as ever. It is great to see that every year the school is graduating top class students and opens many doors for them to go and be great at what they do. I am certainly grateful that I have had the opportunity to study International Management at the FHNW, not only for the great people and experiences but for the long lasting relationships I have gained out of it.”

After Graduation “After an initial internship in HR at PwC I became an HR Assistant and HR Consultant @PwC.  Then I became PMO for the Global Talent Acquisition team to shape the new recruitment strategy for Zurich Insurance Company. In 2013 I had the great chance to join 3M EMEA, where my role as HR Coordinator was to coordinate/manage the start-up of the newly created Supply Chain Center of Expertise EMEA in Burgdorf, moving over 200 people from across the world to Switzerland and building up the organization from day one on. Since 2013 I am also the Chair of the IM Alumni Association Board.”

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27 April in Olten: Build your network, build their future

It’s back.  An evening of catching up with former classmates, networking with other alumni, and having a pop at winning exclusive time with an interesting “boss” who will  inspire, advise or coach you. And if you don’t win – well, there’s a chance to get to know them during speed-networking or networking bingo.  Yah.

We have 15 amazing high-flyers offering unique opportunities (see auction catalogue).  And remember- this is for charity.  This time we’re paying forward by sponsoring alumnus John Uwaeke’s Catalyst4Change which aims to empower children in rural Nigeria by providing laptops and IT training.  Have a look at the video and you’ll see the need for this.

Sign up using the contact form below or go to our Facebook page and sign up for the event there.

Big for a Boss: 7pm – 10.30 pm, Thursday 27 April, Atrium B, Campus OVR in Olten (bar opens from 6.30 pm)

 

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CV Check 2017 – more than booked out

On 23 February 2017 alumni experts checked the CVs, application dossiers and social media profiles of over 35 students from BSc IM, MSc IM and MSc BIS (sorry we couldn’t fit everyone in – we’ll aim to make it bigger next year). So many interesting CV’s and questions – hope we helped you towards your goals! Thanks to all the volunteers!

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#Throwback Thursday, JP Persico

It's spot JP-time! Anyone found him - three times?

It’s spot JP-time! Anyone found him – three times?

“I organised a trip for the exchange students to the Jungfraujoch – we had such a great time.  The setup of the Student Council was to organize events with the exchange students that fostered inclusion into the general student body and the exploration of Switzerland.  Everyone helped to make the students from abroad comfortable and participated in these great days out.  What’s amazing is that these experiences have led to long-lasting friendships.  Just recently I was visited here in Chicago by a former exchange student from Germany.”

JP Persico

JP Persico

Graduated BSc IM 2008

 Now Manager Digital Innovation and Strategy for Bosch North America

“I really enjoy innovating new pathways which can lead to improved business results. Currently I’m leading the digital marketing teams and digital innovation at our Automotive Aftermarket division here in North America, where we are developing new strategies to increase our digitally derived business from a single digit percentage point to 20% in the next three years.  I’m based in Chicago and my organization spans three countries, so I’m working with many different teams to create a focal point.  We’ve created new business models to tackle the disruption our market will face in the next few year and are continuously innovating our approaches to achieve the highest possible success.”

How did studying IM help? “When I look back, what I really enjoyed was the diversity in the classroom.  Not only the exchange students from abroad but also all the different experiences everyone brought along. The fact that people came from different backgrounds and trades made the learning experience even more substantial.  I was involved in the Students Council and also led with two other Students the project Insight China in 2008. The management of Insight China was a boost to my career start after the IM program.  The creativity involved in the sponsorship models we built and the responsibility given as a student equipped me with the right tools to start my job in marketing consulting.  So I was able to grow my career much more quickly than would normally have been possible. All in all the time at UAS NW/FHNW was amazing, the friendships and experiences were timeless and the semester abroad helped my Spanish and introduced me to my now wife from the United States!”

Post-Graduation JP started as a Junior Consultant with Futurecom interactive AG in Switzerland and after two years was promoted to Consultant where he consolidated his expertise in digital marketing including account management for such companies as Ford (Switzerland) Lindt & Sprüngli (International) and Colgate-Palmolive (Europe). He moved to Bosch in Chicago in 2012.  He’s currently close to completing his Executive MBA at Northwestern University’s Kellogg’s School of Management.

Want to catch up with JP? You’ll find him on our LinkedIn group.

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#Throwback Thursday, Sabrina Gallardo

Sabrina and fellow participants get ready for a banquet with officials during the 2010 Insight China seminar. From left: Michael von Arx, Sabrina Gallardo, Andrea Krebs, Chung EnhTaing.

Sabrina and fellow participants get ready for a banquet with officials during the 2010 Insight China seminar. From left: Michael von Arx, Sabrina Gallardo, Andrea Krebs, Chung EnhTaing.

“I had on no occasion experienced anything like the banquets with Chinese leaders we had during Insight China in 2010. I had never been so far away from home, in such a different culture and there we were, proving our great respect to them, drinking shot after shot with these officials. Not all students could keep up with these drinking habits. This trip was an amazing experience and certainly taught me to be much more tolerant.”

Graduated BSc IM 2010

Sabrina GallardoNow Country Division Controller and deputy CFO at Siemens Industry, Switzerland

“Consulting and supporting projects is what I love best. Cost is key for me so the opportunities to analyse situations and develop a strategy allows me to use my whole potential and not just my mathematical abilities.  It also involves more contact with people.  Obviously my job involves cycles of controlling where I have to deliver budgets and quarterly forecasts and so on but then for the rest of the year I am involved in projects on a diverse range of topics such as pricing tools, IT dashboards or recently I worked on business development based on the impact of the strong Swiss franc. Here I had to not only work with finance but also with logistics and the MarCom guys, exploring what the projected impacts were on the Siemens volume and the clients’ behaviour… I can get very involved and passionate about such projects.”

How did studying IM help?  “The key thing for me, I think, are the student networks.  These are really strong – not only during studies when we help each other study, and have fun at parties, but also afterwards. I was astonished, when I came back to Switzerland after working abroad for 4 years, that my former classmates were there for me, supported my job search. The most helpful course for me was Consulting, I took this as a minor and it taught me how to speak with different stakeholders.”

Post-Graduation During the on-site Insight China, Sabrina actually linked up with her future employer, Alstom, during the Insight China seminar. She asked if she could send her CV and next thing found herself on a train to Paris to be Financial Analyst for the Latin America Region & Controller of the Business Unit Alstom Transport. Next she took on the role of Business Manager with Estée Lauder Companies, based in Madrid, where she concurrently completed a MSc in International Relations and Affairs at the Comillas Pontifical University.

Want to catch up with Sabrina? You’ll find her on our LinkedIn group.

 

 

 

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