#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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#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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#ThrowbackThursday, Olivia Jeup

From left: Gabriela Stefanini, Olivia Jeup, Eveline Bürkli and Timo Kaufmann at Dick's Last Resort in Boston - taking it on the chin.

From left: Gabriela Stefanini, Olivia Jeup, Eveline Bürkli and Timo Kaufmann at Dick’s Last Resort in Boston – taking it on the chin.

Olivia in Boston with connectUS in 2012: We went to a restaurant called Dick’s Last Resort which is a place where the waiters are intentionally obnoxious to customers; like they really insult you. It brought up loads of our vulnerabilities but we had grown so close as a team that we were able to laugh about ourselves and about many silly little things.  After a day of intense but formal presentations and visits, it was very so nice to ‘let loose’.

Olivia Jeup, graduated 2012, now works as International Communications Manager at Roche

Olivia Jeup, graduated 2012, now works as International Communications Manager at Roche

Graduated BSc IM 2012

Now International Communications Manager for two divisions (Immunology and Ophthalmology) at Roche.

“I love this job – it is challenging at times working with highly educated clinicians and physicians and trying to understand the complex field – but of course this gives me a ‘free education’.  I work in cross-functional teams and develop and implement communications strategies to support achieving the marketing goals for individual products.  This mostly means we maintain relations with various audiences and are responsible for informing and educating them about specific diseases and drug developments.  For instance, informing journalists about the latest research into a particular disease.  It can be very creative and I enjoy working in the health industry as it’s something that really matters.”

How did studying IM help?  “Many of the courses were useful and connect to my current position, especially by giving me an insight into business.  Although I’m specialized in communications, I need to have insights into the business side to successfully contribute to market growth. For instance, I now need to provide information about our products that investors look for or manage issues to protect the brand’s reputation so I need that kind of insight. The Intercultural Communication courses helped in that I now work in global teams and need to be culturally aware.  It is amazing how well connected the school is to the world and prepared me for my current working environment.  Studying in English, for instance, means I am entirely at ease working here at Roche”.

Post Graduation Project Manager at Richmond Events and then joined Roche 3 years ago.  Also completed a (online) MSc in Marketing at the University of Liverpool.

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

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