Two groups of MBA students visited the SML in March as part of a customized study trip. During these one-week intensive programs, completely tailored to customers’ needs, students were presented with a balanced program of lectures, company visits, networking and cultural events.
Focus on Innovation and Tradition
SML was delighted to welcome back Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU), a longtime partner school, for another study trip to Switzerland. After two successful events in 2015 and 2016, this was the third MBA group hosted by the SML from 5 to 9 March. With 40 students and three faculty members, it was also the largest group to date. For the majority of the participants, it was their first experience of Europe. In addition to delivering academic content and providing practical relevance through company visits, the SML also scheduled time for cultural exchange and shared experiences. The particular challenge was to show Switzerland as both innovative and traditional: Innovation was a key topic throughout and was approached in various ways during each of the five company visits.
MBA Group of DePaul University Chicago
The second group visiting us for another weeklong program in March were MBA students from DePaul University Chicago. At their home university they follow a customized MBA program, which is completely tailored to the requirements of their employer, a regional U.S. bank. Their classes are also held at the workplace: DePaul faculty members teach at the company several evenings a week to enable participants to combine their studies and job duties as efficiently as possible.
The study trip at SML provided the participants with in-depth knowledge about the Swiss Economy and Culture, adding to it different banking and finance related topics. An introduction to the Swiss banking system by Prof. Dr. Suzanne Ziegler, Head of the Department of Banking, Finance, Insurance at the SML, was followed by presentations and workshops on the topics of anti-money laundering, CSR in finance, hedge funds, and alternative risk. Spiros Margaris, leading Fintech influencer and venture capitalist, had been invited as an external guest speaker to share his views on “Fintech Trends”.Precision, Quality, and Modesty as Key Take-Aways
As requested by the group, company visits included not only visits to financial institutions such as the SIX Stock Exchange and UBS, but also to the Schaffhausen watch manufacturer IWC and the world-famous Swiss army knife producer Victorinox. It was these two visits to companies from outside the finance sector, in particular, that made a lasting impression on participants: They particularly praised the precision, highest quality standards, and restrained modesty of the two brands despite their international success.
With this in mind, Victorinox CEO Carl Elsener wished everyone one thing above all during the visit to his factory: “Good health for you and your families.”
Pointing out the importance of the customized programs, Prof. Isabelle Zulauf-Poli, Head International Relations, said: “These international study trips to SML are a real added value to the internationalization of our school. With the participants’ specific opinion regarding Swiss innovation and economic success, as well as with their challenging questions, they help us reflecting our own country and our approach of doing business.”