Interview with Franziska Föllmi-Heusi
Name: Franziska Föllmi-Heusi
Year Graduated: EMBA 53 (2019)
Current Organization: Spital Schwyz
Current Role: Director / CEO
Tell us more about your professional background. What were you doing prior to embarking on the Executive MBA HSG?
As a political scientist and economist, I first worked in research and consulting and later as the managing director of a large university faculty. Taking responsibility and making things fly – even in a complex, regulated environment – has always been my world. After more than 10 years in management positions, I was eventually ready for a major further education program. It quickly became clear to me that the only option was one of the “major” EMBAs.
I wanted an excellent, solid business education combined with forward-looking management and leadership skills.
Why did you decide to do an EMBA programme? Why did you choose the EMBA HSG?
In terms of content, the EMBA HSG is clearly one of the best in Europe. Its focus on practical relevance was especially important to me with my very research-oriented background. As a working mother with three young children, the organisation and logistics that such further education demands of every family is definitely one of my most important selection criteria. The weekly modules mean that there is a good chance that there is enough space for the further training while still leaving sufficient time in between for work and family. I also made a quite conscious decision in favour of the German-language programme, as the closely-knit network of EMBA HSG alumni in the German-speaking area offers me much more than a global network.
How has the EMBA HSG programme changed you personally?
The programme has strengthened me in many dimensions and given me the courage to pursue my ambitions further. Sharing ideas and opinions with so many people in a similar career – and life – phase is enormously enriching. Rarely in my life have I learned so much in such a short time, both professionally and in terms of personal development.
How has the EMBA HSG programme made a difference in your career?
I applied for the position of Hospital Director during my further education as a real outsider.
Without the EMBA HSG programme and without the encouragement of my fellow students, I probably would not have had the courage to send in the application. In terms of content, I learned a lot of what I have lived on the job before the programme and I could also learn further during the programme. This additional foundation helped me a lot.
What did you appreciate the most about the EMBA HSG curriculum?
Sharing ideas and opinions with fellow students was certainly one of the most important aspects of the curriculum. To see how others organize their careers, what motivates them, what doubts and difficulties they have is very rewarding and is a good barometer for your own strengths and weaknesses. In terms of content, I clearly benefited from the various modules in Accounting / Finance / Controlling, which were also well coordinated. Of course, you first have to get used to group work with many alpha animals but, surprisingly, this also becomes routine over time – it strengthens and polishes the social skills of everyone involved. Last but not least, I enjoyed my master’s thesis. Without this pressure, it would have been difficult to go deep dive into the topic so intensively.
Was there a particular course that you enjoyed most, and why?
I took the “exotic” elective courses and I found them to be excellent. Not only were the class sizes ideal, it was also the weeks in which I really learned something new and innovative. The module on Business Analytics and Artificial Intelligence was by far the most exciting and, despite the technical topic, very hands-on.
What advice would you give potential participants who are looking to do an EMBA HSG?
Dear female candidates, believe in yourself! I would encourage more women and mothers to do the EMBA HSG programme. Of course, finding the time could be a challenge for the family, but the same also applies to the many fathers on the programme who all manage it somehow. In the end, you will certainly be empowered and equipped with so much new knowledge and an incredibly strong network that it is definitely worth it.
Do you have any questions or require further information? We will be happy to help.
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