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„Detours often hold the most interesting opportunities“

Michèle Gauderon graduated in the BSc Business Administration (International Management) from the FHNW School of Business in 2007. Afterwards, she embarked on a truly international career.

After her graduation from FHNW, Michèle first worked on projects for Accenture across Europe, then as global project manager with Panalpina. After obtaining her Master’s degree from Cranfield University (UK), she worked in the Netherlands. Currently, Michèle is in Hong Kong, where she is leading a project for the Asia-Pacific region for Panalpina.

Michèle, what lead to your decision to study Business Administration (International Management)?
I have always had an international focus and had already done an exchange semester in the US when I was in school. The programme Business Administration (International Management) appealed to me because of its pronounced practical orientation and project work as well as the mandatory exchange semester and the fact that it is taught entirely in English.

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How did your studies prepare you for your professional life?
Sensitivity for different cultures has been very important in my career. For the most part, I have worked in international positions and could often manage transnational projects. It’s a big challenge to roll out and implement global processes or concepts and to be mindful of the cultural differences. The Bachelor’s programme Business Administration (International Management) prepared me for exactly that, not only through its curriculum, but also through the interactions with international students, both in Switzerland and during the exchange semester. I was actively involved in organising tutoring programmes and social activities for incoming international students. The programme helps you promote your adaptability and flexibility and lets you take on responsibility. These are very useful experiences for a successful career, especially when you work in an international environment.

What was your personal highlight during your studies?
I was part of the project team of Insight China. We were responsible for the whole organisation and realisation, from visiting universities and companies, to sponsoring, communication and the practical aspects of the study tour. That was a very enriching experience and I’m happy to see Insight China still going strong and that similar projects have been established in different regions and countries (connectUS, Focus India and exploreASEAN, editor’s note).

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What tips would you like to pass on to current and coming students?
First: set a goal and work towards it – but stay open and flexible along the way. Detours often hold the most interesting opportunities.
Second: this study programme is a unique chance to build a global network of friends and contacts. Be active and get the most out of it! For example, I already knew people in the Netherlands and Hong Kong, which helped me tremendously when I started working in those countries.


Further Information

Website of the BSc Business Administration (International Management)