#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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Life at the top!

Oezlem Kösker won lunch at the Pebbles Bar at the top of Roche tower. Melanie Auer, Head of Controlling at Roche Pharma, had offered this at the Bid for a Boss charity auction in April.

Oezlem Kösker picked the right day to redeem her Bid for a Boss.  Melanie Auer took her up, as promised, to the Pebbles Bar at the top of Roche tower in Basel.  Melanie reports they had a wonderful time: “It’s great that this way you meet nice people you wouldn’t have met otherwise.”

John Uwaeke’s charity Catalyst4Change has not only profited from the money raised at the charity auction: John reported last week that he received three laptops from one of our alumni.  John will take these to Nigeria in August. “We are in contact with an orphanage home and another rural school in Eastern Nigeria to donate laptops and support the education of motherless children,” John reported.

 

 

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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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Thank you, all of you, for such a great event

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Over CHF 3 000 was raised for disadvantaged youth in rural Nigeria and for the IM Alumni graduation prize at the Bid for a Boss event on Thursday 27 April.  Fifteen bosses, all offering unique opportunities, went under the hammer with most of the proceeds going to a charity set up by alumnus John Uwaeke.  Apart from the entertaining auction (thank you, Robert) there was time to network and have fun.

Supporting this event were loads of others: Pernod Ricard sponsored with a great bar and mixologist, and food (soups, ice cream, nibbles) were offered.  Student volunteers manned the bar.  And two photographers (Corinne Köpfli and Kierin Mulholland) documented it all.

We’ll be posting more soon to give you the details of the fundraising and what happened next when the “winners” called in their bids. There were also separate donations of money and laptops to C4C, some bosses offered a second service and there are more pix in the pipeline – so there’s loads to still let you know about.  Meanwhile, all we can say, is a very big thank you to all of you.

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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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