Experiences of an Executive M.B.L.-HSG alumnus - Martin Neese

Jul 10 2017

Dr. iur. Martin Neese, LL.M. is Executive M.B.L.-HSG alumnus 2014/2015 and is working as Attorney and Notary at Neese Hagmann Stalter in Zug, Switzerland.

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?


One of our associate lawyers asked me whether he could get 10 additional weeks out of the office for the Executive M.B.L.-HSG program. After having read the brochure, I asked him whether he would accept me accompanying him. Twenty years before, I had attended the first LL.M. program of the University of Zurich, and I had become a little bit "rusty" in international law.

What did you get out of it – professionally and personally?
You coming from a legal background – what was the additional benefit for you?


Working as a lawyer in Zug for nearly 30 years, I obviously have many international clients. Therefore, I wanted to update my knowledge in international business law and take some additional benefits under economic aspects as well.

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

Since I had the chance to meet students with very different professional backgrounds from many different countries, I had inspiring discussions and interactions, not only in the mandatory "group works", but during many after work beers as well. It is one of the biggest assets of this program, to bring different interesting and interested people together.

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

Usually, I work 120%, so it was not a problem to reduce it to 100%... To be serious: It was challenging in fact, because on top of the modules I spent the usual holidays with my family, and due to that I was out of my office 20% of the time during two years. In addition, as I mentioned, the associate lawyer, usually representing me, attended the same modules and could not take over. However, with all these modern communication devices you can manage it.

You have family at home – what were the challenges of combining job, studies and family?

My sons (Jens 20, Lars 17) were a little bit astonished to hear that their dad intended to go to school again voluntarily. However, Jens will start at HSG in autumn as well… To attend the modules was not a problem - you can plan and organise it - but the additional preparation work and especially the elaboration of the master thesis during many weekends was demanding. Without the understanding and big support from my wife that would not have been possible.

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

Sure. The program is a balanced mixture of different topics, the modular organisation allows you to attend beside your job, and the flying classroom is a great experience.

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

I have dinners and receptions all the time, so I was not very keen on that. I liked the field trips, especially in Luxembourg and Shanghai, and it was fantastic to be back in "student's life" with nice friends in exciting cities.

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

In fact, I am still in contact with some fellows, and it is always funny to pass the highlights of our modules in review, and inspiring to discuss serious professional topics.

Which was your favorite module and why?

Difficult to say. I remember highlights in each module. Over all, I think, it was New York. I like that city, and from a professional view, international taxation was especially interesting for me. And: I will never forget a rickshaw ride sightseeing the whole city from MoMA back to NYU - during a veritable thunderstorm!