An E.M.B.L.-HSG Alumnus' Experience - Konstantin Hoppe

May 12 2014

Dr. Konstantin Hoppe, E.M.B.L.-HSG class 2008/2009, is attorney at the Munich office of Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP.

Why did you choose to do the Executive M.B.L.-HSG program?
What was your motivation in applying for the program having a law degree already?

My motivation in applying for the program was that, on the one hand, I already had vast experience as a litigator in international law firms, and, on the other hand,  wanted to broaden my horizon and "update" my legal skills in a truly international environment. With the executive master program at the University of St. Gallen I found such an environment, which perfectly mirrored my position as attorney in an international law firm, which likewise has a strong international "footprint".

What did you get out of it – professionally and personally?
You being a team leader at a law firm - what was the additional benefit for you?

The additional benefit for me professionally was that I gained a good insight into some fields of law which were not in my daily focus when working as lawyer, allowing me to improve the ways of communication with my colleagues specialized in such fields of law. It was a very good opportunity to conveniently get access to the most recent developments in highly relevant fields of law; this would have been impossible for me just by reading law journals or court decisions. Also was it very helpful to learn how to distinguish relevant legal issues from less relevant ones. All this being "embedded" in a broader business/economics perspective - one of the "unique selling points" of St. Gallen - made this program a valuable experience for me. Personally, the E.M.B.L. program certainly is a great networking opportunity. I also learned what a high reputation the University of St. Gallen has in an international business environment.

How did you benefit from the different professional, educational (lawyers, business people, public administrators, engineers) and national backgrounds in the course?

Being an attorney at an international law firm, I certainly was already familiar with an international environment; however, the special combination of experiences, nationalities, national backgrounds and professions gives the program a very special flavor.

You worked 100% during the program. What were the challenges of combining job and studies?

I was surprised that I was able to complete the program as scheduled and without having to skip certain modules and postpone them to a consecutive year. Although, it may certainly appear burdensome to complete this program while working 100% - I hardly went on vacation during that time - the program itself provides excellent compensation, given the exciting locations that are part of the program and the opportunity to build a network with colleagues from all over the world.

Would you recommend the program to colleagues/friends? If yes, why?

Yes, I would recommend the program because it is a highly motivating post-graduate add on course, which allows you not only to continue to pursue your professional career while participating in the program, but also to give a boost to that career given the skills you are able to develop during the course.

What did you particularly like outside the classroom (e.g. field trips, free time with students, receptions, dinners, cultural events, city tours, course locations)?

Outside the classroom I very much enjoyed the locations and also the good organization of out of classroom activities by the University (with receptions, dinners, field trips to businesses e.g. in Asia). Looking back, it is hard to believe that it was possible to combine classroom education, teamwork, tests etc. with the opportunity to get to know the course locations and participate in the out of classroom program, just in one-week-modules!

How did you benefit from the networking opportunities given (co-students and faculty)?

I am still in contact with a number of friends from my class. I also regularly attend alumni meetings/events even after completing the program, which are likewise well organized.

Which was your favorite module and why?

My favorite module was Shanghai, because I was pleasantly surprised by the dynamics and modern shape of that city and therefore will never forget that exciting week in China.