Interview with Franziska Eberhard Volkart

Name: Franziska Eberhard Volkart
Nationality: Swiss
Year Graduated: 2002
Current Organization: ProLitteris
Current Role: Deputy Director

Tell us more about your professional background. What were you doing prior to embarking on the Executive MBA HSG?

I worked as a lawyer at court in civil and civil procedure law and then decided to move to the private sector and was employed in a company’s legal department.

Why did you decide to do an EMBA programme? Why did you choose the EMBA HSG?

I was looking for further training to prepare me for demanding management tasks. The EMBA programme’s weekly modules also make it possible to combine a career and continuing education very easily. The programme is practice-oriented and focuses on current topics. In addition to theoretical knowledge, the professors offer a lot of practical relevance, a very important factor for me both then and now. The programme is at the high end of the international ranking, and, therefore very well recognised internationally.

How has the EMBA HSG programme changed you personally?

I found it inspiring to learn a lot of new things after a fairly long working career. I greatly enjoyed the exchange of ideas and discussions with course participants who were from very different professions but in a similar career phase. My personal development progressed here. On Thursday we went dancing in the evening and the next day we had exams. It was an intensive time of confrontation with yourself as a person, with your career and environment and also with the new broad expertise.

How has the EMBA HSG programme made a difference in your career?

The EMBA HSG programme gave me a great deal of confidence in various areas of business administration based on my in-depth knowledge. My salary has risen significantly since graduating from EMBA. I became a member of the Executive Board and assumed broader responsibility in the company, managed important projects and held management functions. I was no longer working purely on the legal side.

What did you appreciate the most about the EMBA HSG curriculum?

I found the mixture of theory and practice excellent. HSG attaches great importance to this. I was able to use the tools we were taught very effectively in practice. During this time, I became better acquainted with my strengths and weaknesses and how to deal with them. It was very enriching, and I then had the courage to pursue my ambitions further.

Was there a particular course that you enjoyed most, and why?

There wasn’t one particular course week that I particularly liked; it was the mix of different aspects and topics that made the program so attractive. In terms of knowledge, the Accounting and Controlling block was very important to me.

What advice would you give potential participants who are looking to do an EMBA HSG?

I would be very happy to recommend the EMBA programme to others at any time, you can only win. The gains include sound knowledge, personal development and also the large influential business network that opens up to EMBA HSG ALUMNI. I am currently President of the EMBA HSG ALUMNI network and am amazed how many influential leaders have completed the EMBA programme or a regular HSG degree. The ALUMNI network provides access to all of them.

Women in particular have the opportunity to develop careers through the EMBA programme on top of family duties and a job. Following the EMBA programme, I voluntarily established the HSG ALUMNI WOMEN. It is high time that more women were employed in top management positions and at board level. Completing the EMBA programme is an important step in this direction.

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