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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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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#ThrowbackThursday Couples

Richard and Nicole became a couple during their semester abroad in Korea in 2003

We both started the IM degree in 2001 – it was only the one class then so we all knew each other well and four of us especially formed a very close-knit group. So a friendship between Richard and myself had already been well established before we went on our semester abroad.

Back then allocation of your host university was by drawing lots from a hat.  Nearly all of us wanted to go to Auckland as our first choice but there were only a few places there.  So we drew lots again for our second choice: Ajou University in South Korea.  About half the class had decided that we wanted to do something adventurous – and South Korea seemed pretty different. In the end, there were 8 of us who went to Ajou and there, within the first month or so, Richard and I became a couple.

The other six in Korea were not at all surprised – they’d seen it coming – and so there was no awkwardness.  But those two close friends in our group were not there and we puzzled greatly about how to tell them.  Don’t forget, in those days we didn’t all have smart phones, there was no Whatsapp.  We didn’t want to wait until we saw them again months later, so we mailed.  That did feel a bit weird.  However, being a couple within the IM class was not a problem.  There were quite a few others who had also met a partner during their semester abroad.

 

Richard and Nicole with their twin girls in 2017

What happened next? Nicole: I went on to work for PwC consulting expat clients in international HR.  Richard and I got married in 2010 and then in 2012 our twin girls were born.  I decided I wanted to be at home for at least a year so stopped my job.  Eighteen months later I then found the perfect post for me – I am the Assistant for the IM programme.  It’s part-time, interesting and close to where we live and of course it was a bit like returning “home”.  I very much enjoy being in touch with a great variety of people – I liaise with lecturers, especially external lecturers, coordinating resources, planning. It’s perfect.

Richard: I joined what is now the Bank J. Safra Sarasin immediately after graduating and have been there in different roles and different teams ever since. My current position is Senior Portfolio Manager for institutional clients based in Zurich. What I enjoy since the merger is that the bank has become more international and our working language is English now.

Via the IM Programme many students have learnt a lot about business, made new friends, found future employers, expanded their horizons and also, more often than you think, found their partners.  After nearly 20 years since the programme started there are a surprising number of IM couples and even IM babies 🙂

So – here’s a slightly different #TbT item.  Also, so that we can tell all you IM lovebirds out there that we’re having a Love@IM barbeque from noon on 9 September at a site around Olten (we’ll communicate the place soon).  It’s for all who found love via or during their IM days and for any and all resultant kids:-)  So save the date and sign up now!

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Love@IM

Via the IM Programme many students have learnt a lot about business, made new friends, found future employers, expanded their horizons and also, more often than you think, found their partners.  After nearly 20 years since the programme started there are a surprising number of IM couples and even IM babies 🙂

To celebrate the love that’s been created, we are having a Love@IM barbeque from noon on 9 September at the Pfadiheim in Wangen bei Olten.  It’s for all who found love via or during their IM days and for any and all resultant kids 🙂 . There will be some basic food and drinks (sausages, soft drinks, etc.). Feel free to bring your own meat, extra drinks, a salad, a very yummy cake,..

So save the date and let us know if you are coming and if you’re bringing some food (we will get in touch with you beforehand)!

 

Registration

 

 

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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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Four Alumni on Marketing Major evaluation panel

IM Alumna Stefanie Pauli and Marketing professor Nikolina Fuduric (Photo: Kierin Mulholland)

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.

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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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