#ThrowbackThursday: Daniele Turini

Met on day 1 – the crew! From left Robel, Manuel, Reto , Daniele (in front) and David

This is our crew.  We met on the very first day of studies in IM.  In one of the classes we had to form a group and there was no choice, really, all 5 of us guys were in the back row.  There was an instant  chemistry among us though and the friendships have proved lasting.  After graduation, we all went our separate ways but remain in touch sporadically.  And – whenever one of us turns 30 we get together. Recently it was David’s turn and we all made sure we could at least catch up, say hi and plan our next common activity.

Graduated in 2012

(Photo: Natascha Jansen)

Now  After 4 years as the Head of eCulture, Marketing and Communications at the Basel Museum of History, I changed jobs last August and am now Digital Consultant at Xeit GmbH where I can concentrate on what is my passion – digital communication.  At this agency, I can work on a broad range of projects such as working out social media strategies, re-designing websites, drawing up concepts for blogs or working on some kind of digital projects that yet have to be defined.  Sometimes we work for bigger corporations, but it’s also very nice to help the smaller start-ups.  I hold Social Media workshops or even broader-themed workshops for clients.  I also do more teaching now.  Currently I hold courses in community management at the ZHAW (Zürcher Hochschule for Angewandte Wissenschaften) and once a semester I’m guest lecturing at the Albert-Ludwigs University in Freiburg im Breisgau on eCulture.  I love the diversity of my roles but it is of course demanding.

After graduation My career path was a case of serendipity.  I took on an internship at the Basel Museum of History and just then they were looking for someone who could do Social Media.  This role expanded over the years where I developed a digital strategy and in teams worked on numerous cross- and transmedial events and activities. It was a good time. I had the chance to start from zero and eventually was invited to present our digital strategy in Atlanta, Barcelona, Berlin and various other places in Europe. At the same time, I returned to the FHNW repeatedly to further educate myself in this field: I first did a DAS in e-Business Management and currently I’m doing the Master in Digital Marketing (to be quite honest, I never would have thought I would do that).

How did studying IM help? It gave me an international mindset.  I always felt that there’s a different approach in IM both on the personal and the business level.  We were always encouraged to think outside the box and to be open-minded.  This mindset increased my initial motivation to study IM and it has served me extremely well in my professional field.  Social Media, digital media is also very much about being open-minded.

Want to get in touch with Daniele?  You’ll find him on our closed IM Alumni group on LinkedIn. (And of course, you’ll find him on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram, on Snapchat, on Xing, on SoundCloud, and on his very own dotcom page!)

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#ThrowbackThursday, #Love@IM: A December Love Story

Tatiana and Marcel Dickmann

Tati came from Ecuador and Marcel from Germany – both on a one semester exchange which brought them much more than expected.

“When I arrived at the Olten staff house for my exchange semester in spring 2007, I was given a room on the 13th floor. My buddy brought me and upon our arrival there was another exchange student there. “Can you look after these girls?” my buddy asked the student, as they knew each other from the HR class. That was how Marcel and I met for the first time.  He was on exchange from FH Dortmund and I from Universidad  Católica de Santiago de Guayaquil in Ecuador.   We didn’t go to the same classes but on the 13th floor we all socialised together a lot.  We never dated as such but hung out and got to know each other very well. By June we were a couple.  Before we returned to finish our education in our different countries, we travelled around Switzerland and at the end of our time together Marcel proposed.

I knew it was real but I also had my doubts whether a relationship could survive the distance and the long separation on the horizon. We agreed that he would come in December to meet my family and then we could announce our engagement. But shortly after going back home, in September, we both realized that it didn’t make sense to be apart. So he came to Ecuador in December to marry me. I completed my open semester and moved to Germany by March 2008 to learn German and a year later we were back in Olten: Marcel had accepted a job in Switzerland and I had decided to study IM.”

Coming Full Circle: Tati, Marcel and Oscar. Ten years after meeting and marrying, the two former IM (exchange) students are back In Trimbach where their baby Oscar was born just a few steps from where the couple met.

Now  “This month is our 10th anniversary.  And the biggest gift we received was the birth of our son Oscar last September.  We also moved to our house this summer – to Trimbach.  As Marcel said, we have come full circle – we are back to the place where we started as a couple and our son was born in the hospital on the same grounds as where we had lived.

In February I will return, at 70%, to my job as Country Business Manager LFP DesignJet at HP GmbH in Zurich. I really enjoy that it’s so international and that besides using my managerial skills I can use all my languages.  I like the travelling and getting to know the business in other countries, I enjoy presenting our products and being in contact with our customers.”

Tati, after graduating in 2012, first worked for Scintilla for 2 years and then joined HP’s graduate program. She was promoted to her current role in March 2015.

Marcel, who graduated in 2007, worked first in auditing for Deloitte but then switched to finance controlling in the energy branch working for companies like AXPO and BKW. While employed in that role at BKW AG, he completed his MAS in Controlling at ZHAW. Since January 2016 he has been finance controller and member of the Management of the hospital Dornach (Solothurner Spitäler AG). “Being a site finance controller means to have the whole responsibility of the site’s finance, which allows me to interact with different people in different departments in order to understand their processes. So being a hospital finance controller has brought me to have experiences like joining a couple of surgeries without being a doctor. And I like the challenge of having this big responsibility while working 80%. I enjoy spending every Friday with my son and wife.”

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#ThrowbackThursday Daniel Altherr

(From left) Flo, Daniel, Stefan and Jan on the “weird but fun” night out in Zürich with a group of BEST tour Californian students in 2007.

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.

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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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#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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#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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#ThrowbackThursday: Oliver Ivisic

Enjoying life and the semester abroad in Madrid: Oliver and Eva Vaquero (far right) who later came for a semester to Olten.

“Due to personal challenges I didn’t expect to be going on a semester abroad. But then the situation changed and everyone at the school helped me still organise an exchange in Madrid.  So I left, having had a very tough time for over a year without any high expectations. However, this exchange had a very positive influence and helped me to recover. I began to meet great people from many different cultures who despite speaking different languages somehow all understood each other. I am still in contact with some of them. Suddenly I was living a different life, I was getting back to normal and regaining my motivation.  This semester was life-changing for me.”

Oliver Ivisic

Graduated BSc IM 2010

Now  Finance Project Lead at Hirslanden

“Hirslanden is a big company with 16 hospitals – I’d known it for a long time as my mother worked as a nurse for them. I’m in the corporate office and am part of the finance project team in a multi-million project to centralise parts of these unique, independent hospitalsI love it as it enables me to network with many people, develop my project management skills and deepen my knowledge of financial business topics.  Beforehand, as a management consultant, I was an external and I really appreciate having an internal position.  There are similarities but now all my clients are within the same organisation and we’re all in transition together. I want to develop my own USP’s within the next few years and even in the short time I’ve been here, and with great team support I’ve already managed to move this project forward which is very rewarding.”#

How did studying IM help? “Basically it gave me a great education – I didn’t realise the full value of such an education until much later.  We all got amazing opportunities.  For me one of the stand-outs was going to India for my Bachelor thesis.  FAIRMED wanted a cost analysis and a breakdown of funds sent to India.  A relatively easy task technically – the challenge lay in obtaining the information from the many different people in India.  I spent six weeks in a fairly rural area in India which was quite isolated and then travelled to Mumbai to meet with a friend and fellow student: suddenly I was surrounded by more people than you can imagine.”

After graduation Oliver followed his Bachelor with an MA in Banking and Finance at the University of St Gallen and then worked for over three years as a Management Consultant for Vectoris AG before starting with Hirslanden last December.

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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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