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22.11.2023 | School of Business

«Building an International Network is Amazing»

Manuel Wendle, a 38-year-old Business Risk Manager, shares insights into his journey through the Swiss-Asian MBA programme and valuable advice on managing a professional career, family commitments and academic pursuits. Manuel works for Bank Cler, a subsidiary of the Basler Kantonalbank.

With over a decade of experience in banking, Manuel started the MBA programme with two primary goals. Firstly, he aimed at reinvigorating his career in Switzerland and demonstrating his long-term commitment to the industry. And, secondly, he saw the programme as a means to validate and consolidate the diverse experiences he gained during his career breaks, including venturing into self-employment and spending time in Vietnam where he met his wife and where one of his children was born.


Choosing the Swiss-Asian MBA

Manuel's decision to pursue the Swiss-Asian MBA was influenced by his personal connection to Asia. He firmly believes that Asia will be the region with the most exciting and dynamic developments in the future: «I love Asia. I love Vietnam. And one day, when the kids are older, we will probably go back. Therefore, I wanted to foster my connection to Asia.»
A second key factor influencing Manuel’s choice was the flexibility of the programme which combines the concept of blended learning and residential weeks. This flexibility allows him to maintain his full-time job in the banking sector while pursuing his studies. This is a significant advantage for him, as he aims to demonstrate his commitment to the career: «I wanted to prove to myself and to show to the people in the industry that I'm back in the market, not only for short assignments but for a longer term.»
Building a solid international network is the third essential aspect of the programme that Manuel highlights. For him, the residential weeks are the most important element of the programme: «Building an international network is amazing, the most important aspect of this programme. For me it’s worth even more than the MBA itself.»

Challenges and Rewards

Balancing a full-time job, family responsibilities and an MBA programme is very challenging indeed. Manuel states: «It’s about setting priorities. Without setting priorities, it’s not possible to successfully complete these two years.» He underscores the importance of putting some activities temporarily on hold while pursuing the MBA and of picking the right time to start the programme, «but the journey itself is very valuable and rewarding.» Soft skills, time management, and structured planning are essential takeaways from the programme.

Master Thesis and Professional Involvement

At the moment, Manuel is in the research phase of his Master Thesis, focusing on Central Bank Digital Currencies (CBDC) and their potential impact on the banking industry. A topic of high relevance in the near future. He is planning to complete the Swiss-Asian MBA next year.

Swiss-Asian MBA FHNW

Do you want to transform yourself into a global leader? Find out more about the Swiss-Asian MBA programme here.

Swiss-Asian MBA