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10.11.2022 | School of Business

«My studies prepared me well for my professional start»

Joel Kistler is a true globetrotter: his academic and professional career has already taken him from Switzerland to New Zealand, Spain, India and Singapore. He laid the foundation for this global career in his Bachelor's degree in Business Administration (International Management).

As Regional Manager, Joel Kistler manages the business of BBC Bircher Smart Access for the Asia-Pacific region from Singapore. Despite his busy schedule, he found time to look back on his student days in this interview.

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Joel, why did you decide to study at FHNW at the time?

Joel Kistler: The Business Administration (International Management) degree programme appealed to me because it was always clear to me that I wanted to work in an international company and environment. The fact that I was required to complete the third semester abroad was an additional plus. So I studied as a free mover in New Zealand in the third semester and in Spain in the fourth semester.

How did your studies influence your professional and personal development?

Studying at FHNW prepared me well for my professional start. At the beginning, I thought I wouldn't be able to apply half of what I had learned and would therefore forget it. In fact, however, this only applies to my Spanish, as I no longer have the opportunity to speak Spanish in Singapore. The practical lessons in subjects such as International Law, Organisational Behaviour, International Finance & Accounting and especially my specialisation in Business in Asia offered me exciting insights. The fact that I can still draw on much of what I learned at FHNW helps me in my daily work.

What highlights from your time as a student do you particularly like to think back on?

Besides my two brilliant semesters abroad, I also had the opportunity to work as a project manager on the international student project Focus India. We had a lot of freedom and enough support to shape the project according to our interests. In addition to the practical experience in project management and the international business world, what I remember most positively is the teamwork among us students.

What tips would you give to current and future students who also want to pursue an international career?

Break out of your comfort zone and courageously take a step forward! You are the business talents of tomorrow and with an education from FHNW you don't have to hide. Take advantage of the international exchange opportunities and get involved in the international student projects. And if you make a mistake, don't let it discourage you, but learn from it and draw the right conclusions. And one last tip: non-iron shirts are worth their weight in gold when travelling!

BSc Business Administration (International Management)

International Management is the art of realising what is happening, seeing where your company is heading, preparing for change and having the right teams in place.

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