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20.6.2024 | School of Business

«The biggest benefit is to connect with so many different people.»

Simone Dollinger is a seasoned Programme Officer in international development cooperation who works with Mission 21 in Basel, Switzerland, overseeing projects across Latin America. She shares insights into her impactful career and academic journey through the Swiss-Asian MBA programme. After working in Costa Rica for six years, she has returned to Switzerland.

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Simone pursued the Swiss-Asian MBA programme with the objective of enhancing her management skills, after working in Latin America for a long time. The decision to join the programme was driven by her desire to continue her education in a MBA programme that offered flexibility through blended learning, allowing her to balance her professional responsibilities in Latin America with her academic aspirations. «FHNW recommended to join the Swiss-Asian MBA because it offers online classes, which really appealed to me.»

Flexibility and Recognition

Besides the flexibility, the recognition of the Swiss-Asian MBA FHNW in Switzerland was also a factor as Simone was seeking a programme that would enhance her management skills and align with her career goals in international development. Additionally, she was drawn to the programme's focus on digital transformation, recognizing the importance of understanding and leveraging digital tools in her role at Mission 21: «It was an eye opener for me and I could see how NGOs can participate in this development.»

Simone views the recent integration of the Swiss-Asian MBA – which is still available – into the Swiss-International MBA positively. She believes that broadening the programme's scope to include international perspectives beyond Asia enhances its relevance: «The biggest benefit is to connect with so many different people from various backgrounds.» This change aligns well with the diverse and global nature of modern business and development sectors, offering students a more comprehensive understanding of international dynamics.

Challenges and Rewards

Embarking on the Swiss-Asian MBA journey presented Simone with both challenges and rewards. Managing a demanding workload alongside her studies required meticulous time management and dedication, especially given the time zone differences during the webinars. So, another benefit of the MBA, she believes, lies in its ability to hone conceptual thinking and leadership skills: «I could often take over the lead in group works, being used to working with very heterogeneous teams.» This broadened Simone’s strategic perspective and equipped her with the tools needed to drive positive change within Mission 21.

Master Thesis – Analyzing the Organizational Culture

Simone's master thesis centered on analyzing the organizational culture of her employer Mission 21. Conducting a case study, including an empirical survey and in-depth interviews within the organization, Simone explored strategies for enhancing the company’s organizational culture. With the approval and involvement of the management, this project aimed to contribute to Mission 21's ongoing development and effectiveness in fulfilling its mission within the international development landscape.

Swiss-International MBA FHNW

The Swiss-Asian MBA is a specialisation of the Swiss-International MBA. Find out more and join the programme to unleash your potential in international business.