Loads of fun and loads of pictures were taken at the IM Alumni sponsored photo booth at Thursday’s Xmas Apero. Many thanks again to the Student Council for letting us crash the event. (More photos on our Facebook page)
Join us on 14 December from 5.15pm in the Atrium A at OVR in Olten – IM Alumni is crashing the Xmas Apero (thanks fachschaft wirtschaft olten students.fhnw). We’re sponsoring the photo booth and Lia’s made some cool glasses! See you there.
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.
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!
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.
Major Marketing students yesterday were tasked with pithcing their marketing strategies to a fictitious board considering launching an eco-engine oil. The board comprised four alumni, all from now working in the fields of marketing or communication. Ten teams of students delivered several different pitches each and received immediate feedback from both the panel and Marketing professor Barbara Miller.
“Hard work but really interesting,” was the consensus among the panel of alumni: Haris Besic (IM Alumnus now a marketing intern at the Swisscom Academy), Samuel Bühlman (IM Alumnus, now wokring in Marketing and Communication for Innovation as Business Developer at Olyfia), Fabian Stutz (Alumnus Betriebsökonomie, now Head of Sales at Robotec Solutions AG), and Stefanie Pauli (IM Alumna, now trimedial journalist at SRF).
For the 6th semester students this was the final session of their intense Major Marketing course: they received their tasks in the morning and presented in the afternoon. A fitting end to both the intense day and the semester was an informal apero.
Four IM alumni return to their alma mater next week to evaluate Marketing Major students’ final presentations. Stefanie Pauli, Fabian Stutz, Haris Besic and Samuel Bühlmann were invited by Prof Dr Nikolina Fuduric to support her in providing students feedback and an evaluation on Thursday, 8 June at the OVR campus.
In their 6th semester, the Marketing students worked on a capstone case based on an engine oil that has sustainable properties. They were given a written assignment on how to launch such an US American product on the Swiss market and develop a marketing plan. On 8 June they receive instructions in the morning on a presentation they have to develop to give in the afternoon in front of the panel. Stefanie Pauli (graduated 2014) is now a journalist with SRF, Fabian Stutz (graduated 2016) is now Head of Sales at Robotec Solutions, Haris Besic (graduated 2016) is a Marketing Intern at Swisscom and Samuel Bühlmann (graduated 2013) is a Business Developer at Olyfia.
“With this capstone course and case, we’re trying to bring a balance of knowing, doing and being in marketing and as a business professional, ” says Nikolina Fururic. “Our classroom philosophy has a holistic bent where we try to think as inter-disciplinarily as possible so that the students can see that their decisions have impact on a lot of fronts…sometimes even unexpected ones. We have a big focus on being able to use the knowledge they’ve developed so that they can go into the business world confident that they are agile thinkers and problem solvers.”
From 16:15 there will be an apero.
The Philippine Ambassador and many ASEAN citizens are guests at a special ExploreASEAN event on 6 June. Alumni are welcome to join and enjoy a panel discussion, expert addresses and a buffet featuring Southeast Asian food.
You can register at exploreasean_Special_Event_06-06-2017
Students increasingly search for semester abroad accommodation using new approaches – airbnb, Facebook groups, fori. Read about their experiences in the latest Sextant as well as a host of reports on who’s where and new intensive study programmes.
“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.”
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.