Interview with Academic Director

Prof. Dr. Karolin Frankenberger is the Academic Director of the Executive MBA HSG, the Executive School of Management, Technology & Law at the University of St. Gallen. She is also the Director of the Institute of Management and Strategy in the School of Management at the University of St. Gallen.

In your role of Academic Director, how would you like to develop the EMBA programs?

Having worked for seven years at McKinsey & Company and seven years at the University of St. Gallen, I believe this is an ideal combination to reinforce the EMBA programs. Before helping executives to learn what to improve in their organizations, it has always been important for me to understand how the organizations work.

I would like to continue developing the Executive MBA programmes that equip our students with in-depth management expertise, personal development support, and outstanding networking opportunities with top executives from various companies. My goal is to develop global responsible leaders. For this, we provide real business cases to students by collaborating with top executives from multinational companies. We provide an opportunity to discuss various challenges, which top executives are facing.  We continuously coach and mentor our students during the program and stay in close contact with them after they graduate. And we make sure that our students understand that management means more than making profits but is also about values and responsibility.

What inspires you to lead the Executive MBA HSG programmes?

What drives and inspires me is making a difference in the world. What I took away from working at McKinsey & Company is how to have impact in life and do something that really matters and that makes the world a better place. In my position as an Academic Director, I have the pleasure of teaching many talented future leaders by guiding them to make a positive impact in their important phase of life.

What new features do you have in store for executives considering an EMBA programme?

We strive to develop global leaders by offering a framework of personal and professional advancement with a focus on impact through insights. Our programs provide the latest management methods and tools by collaborating with a wide range of companies and executives.
This allows participants to develop the specific competencies needed to tackle intricate business challenges a global environment and make an impact in their organisation and in society at large.

For example, in most of our courses, we give students real cases and problems to solve and ask the students to deliver their presentations before a jury, which is often composed of top executives from multinational firms and organisations. This requires the capabilities to focus on the complex management challenges executives face. Throughout the preparation phase, faculty and industry experts coach and mentor the students to make sure that they fully understand how to convert a theory into practice. During the presentation, the students are then required to answer probing questions from the jury, who also provide them with in-depth feedback. In addition, as a post module assignment, the students apply the learnings in their own organization to make continuous improvement and impact in their function.

Moreover, our program focuses on personal development and coaching to help our students to become responsible leaders with the ability to lead the team effectively. As the students go through our personal development program, they develop a clear notion of how they can leverage their experience to become a more authentic and effective leader.

The University of St. Gallen has always pursued its integrated management approach in order to create a purpose that leads to a positive impact on our society. We make sure that our students understand that there is normative, strategic and operational management levels and all three components need to be managed in order to succeed in the long-run.

Having said that, our EMBA programs also reflect this approach and we help our students to become responsible executives, who value a sense of purpose in their organization and who are interested in making a positive impact to our society at large

Who will benefit most from the EMBA HSG experience?

High-potential executives who want to accelerate their career and who want to have an impact in society will benefit highly from our EMBA programme. The modular format enables executives to study and work at the same time, which allows them to apply what they learn immediately. The EMBA participants are able to acquire in-depth management expertise and benefit from personal development support and outstanding networking opportunities.

The EMBA HSG is delivered in two formats – an International EMBA in English and an EMBA in German. How can prospective participants choose between the two options?

We offer programs in two formats for the students to choose from – in German and in English. Both programmes provide the latest management methods and tools through collaboration with a wide range of companies and leading executives. This allows participants in both programmes to develop the specific competencies needed to tackle various business challenges within a global environment

Could you describe your current student profile?

We aim to build a unique peer learning experience for our EMBA participants by careful selection of a diverse class. On average, our EMBA participants are 38.5 years old and have 14 years of professional experience, of which eight are in managerial roles. Our participants bring insight from various industries such as consulting, manufacturing, financial services, healthcare and pharmaceuticals, IT and technology, and the public sector.  

How do you measure the success of EMBA alumni?

Successful EMBA alumni are able to make a positive impact in their organisations and in our society. They are role models for others and take responsibility and risks. They learn from failures; they show humility; they believe in themselves and never stop trying, and always remain students for life.

When you come to St. Gallen, you will acquire the mind-set that is not only about insight but also about impact. What we teach our students is how to solve complex problems and how to structure complex solutions but what is even more important is we teach them how to be a responsible manager. It is also important to be humble and to try to empower others and not always try to be the centre of attention, but rather empower others in order to make them successful.

Contact Us

Do you have any questions or require further information? We will be happy to help.

Apply now

Register online to start your personal application process.