Funds transferred to Catalyst4Change

Lighting up Faces. A group of young pupils get their first peek at the world of computers and the internet. Thanks to John Uwaeke’s two step charity, children in rural Nigeria receive basic training and some of these receive further support to become a trainer themselves. The charity Catalyst4Change also supplies laptops. Want to know more? 

CHF 2000 was transferred to Catalyst4Change this week. IM alumnus John Uwaeke’s charity aims to significantly improve opportunities for children in rural Nigeria by supplying laptops and training in basic IT*.  The IM Alumni Association held a charity auction, Bid for a Boss, in April to support this initiative.

Just over CHF 3000 was raised at the auction where 15 bosses offered an amazing range of opportunities. (We’ll keep reporting on those redeemed bids.)

The remainder of the funds will cover other association events and the IM Alumni Graduation Prize which recognizes the social contributions to the IM community.  IM bachelor students in their 3rd year are currently nominating fellow students who have helped their class, students or the school over the years. The prize is announced and awarded at Graduation (which will be on 6 October this year).

  • If you missed out on the event but want to donate to this good cause you can deposit money in account number 40-000061-4, Basler Kantonalbank, 4002 Basel.  IBAN CH11 0077 0253 5963 8200 1 770.  Aternatively, if you have laptops still in good working order and are willing to donate these, contact John directly.
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Boats, wine, cake, marketing: winning bid redeemed

From left Prof Dr Nikolina Fuduric who offered the outing to winners Enzo Scannella, a visiting professor from  University of Palermo and two visiting students from Mexico Diego Aguilar Ortega and Juan Arellano Mendoza.

A boat ride, sunshine, wine and chatting about marketing – Prof Dr Nikolina Fuduric’s offer at the Bid for a Boss was actually auctioned off twice and raised CHF 440 for C4C. “Winners” were visiting professor Enzo Scannella from partner University of Palermo and then visiting students Diego Aguilar Ortega and Juan Arellano Mendoza from Mexico.

The foursome all reported having a wonderful afternoon with the boat ride, wine, coffee and cake forming a great background to lively and interesting discussion.  The offer was one of 15 up for auction at the Bid for a Boss 2017 event which raised over CHF 3000 for both the C4C charity set up by alumnus John Uwaeke to support children’s education in rual Nigeria and for the IM Alumni Graduation prize.

(In case you were wondering – we hope to forward the funds to C4C within the next days – we were waiting for all the bids made to be paid into our account.)

 

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#ThrowbackThursday: Raïna Rasper

The Insight China volleyball team (From left: Kim Quy Ly, Philippe Gutekunst, Fabienne Wheeler, Patric Buess, Nadine Hügli, Raïna Rasper, Inna Schaffner) get ready to play Lanzhou students in a volleyball match. This was before the Snow Beer tour.

We had all been looking forward to the tour of the Snow Beer factory during our Insight China on-site seminar in 2009.  While in the northern Gansu province we were shown around the Lanzhou Snow Brewery.  We were lead over a sort of bridge, a high pathway under the building’s roof, it was 35 degrees and we were all soaking wet in our business suits.  There was no air-conditioning and so we were really beginning to look forward to having a taste of the cold “snow” beer, such a promising name!  They then took us to a sort of bistro where at last we got a glass of beer.  Imagine the disappointment when it turned out to be a glass of quite warm, well, lukewarm beer!  It seems that around that area in China warm beer is much preferred. We could have cried outright, but had to laugh afterwards – it was a memorable moment.

Raïna Rasper today

Graduated Bsc IM in 2009

Now For many years I worked mostly as project and marketing manager for Cendres+Métaux, a medical device company. I was engaged for a development project of a medical device, a vascular access for patients with chronic kidney disease. The product idea was born between two clinic directors at the University Hospital in Berne. The kidney specialist had a problem and the Ear-Nose-Throat surgeon presented him with a solution – this is how they came up with a very innovative product idea: the first bone anchored vascular access for haemodialysis. To me it was a unique opportunity to enter a project like this at the earliest stage possible. It took five years of development before entering clinical trials. Now, two years into it we’re finally able to prepare the market launch.

This is now what I am doing and loving – the mother company is currently in the process of setting up a new enterprise, called Diavantis, and I am the product manager.  This is challenging, diverse and exciting at the same time. It’s genuine start-up work. We’re building up our own brand, creating the company name, image and identity and also of course building the product brand, not only of this one device but also thinking ahead by innovating the next  product generation.  What I really like is that we’re in a small team of 7 people and together we’re creating something so meaningful and important, because if successfully launched the product could help to increase the quality of life for a great amount of people suffering from end-stage renal disease. I also get to do a great variety of tasks, such as product documentation, instructions for use, surgical guidelines etc…  I compare it to childbirth – I’ve carried this baby, so to speak, for over 8 years.  It’s a hell of a ride.

How did studying IM help? Certainly when I first started working, having all the business knowledge, knowing how to write a business plan, do marketing research, create a supply network – all of this was relevant for me.  But what I valued most was that we’d already gained experience during our studies in dealing with international partners and different cultures.

After graduation Raïna went straight to Cendres+Metaux, in Biel. She started a MSc in Life Sciences over a year ago and is currently working on her thesis in the field of Urban Ecology.  Raïna also still practises Tae Kwon Do – she was on the Swiss National Team until 2015 and was a frequent national champion.  Now she’s back to practicing the sport in her club and enjoys teaching the younger generation.  Get back in touch with Raïna on LinkedIn

 

 

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The Catalogue is Out

So here’s the full catalogue: 15 bosses offering unique oppotunities.  Highlights include: personal consulting from an SRF economics reporter including a visit to a TVshow such as Arena or Sportpanorama, a 2-day excursion to Brussels (flights and accommodation included) to sit in on a workshop on Swiss-EU relations, a day in a communications agency, behind the scenes at a hotel including learning how to make ice-cream,  joining a CEO on  a visit to Europe’s largest tradeshow in Nürnberg…..

2017 Bid for a Boss Event_programme and auction catalogue

For those of you who can’t make it but would love to win one of these opportunities: mail us at alumni.bsc-im.business@fhnw.ch to set up phone bidding on the night.

Bid for a Boss, 27 April from 1830.  Register here or on Facebook

 

 

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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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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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#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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Bid for Boss funds go to charity

Today we  donated 2000 Swiss Francs to Andrew Frei and Flavio Schneeberger”s Swiss Support Foundation! This money was raised by the IM Community at the “Bid for a Boss” charity event on May, 16th this year. Nine “bosses” went under the hammer and just over CHF 3500 was raised in total and has now been redeemed from the various generous bidders.  After covering the costs for the event plus the graduation prize, CHF 2000 remained for the charity SSF set up by alumnus Andrew and Flavio.

SSF works predominantly with children in the Philippines to improve their lives, especially by funding accident and health insurance (see www.SwissSupportFoundation.ch).  alan and andrew freiBrothers Alan (left) and Andrew Frei at the Bid for a Boss event on 16 May this year.  Alan was the guest speaker  and Andrew, an IM alumnus, is one of the founders of the Swiss Support Foundation which was voted as the recipient for funds raised at the charity auction.

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