Guido Schommer, lic.oec. HSG, EMSc USI, E.M.B.L.-HSG

Guido Schommer, lic.oec. HSG, EMSc USI, Executive M.B.L.-HSG 2017, is Consultant / Partner at reflecta ag. He is serving as candidates' representative of the Executive M.B.L.-HSG Alumni Association from May 2017 to May 2018.

Please briefly describe your background?

Born in 1972 and raised in Appenzell A.Rh. in the very eastern part of Switzerland, I earned a Master’s degree in Business Administration (lic.oec.) from the University of St.Gallen (HSG) in 1996. After 12 years at the Free Democratic Party (FDP) as Chief Communication Officer and later as Secretary General, I joined the Geneva offices of the pharmaceutical group Sanofi. Since 2011, I’m active at the Berne-based consultancy reflecta ag where I work on mandates in organisational development, public affairs and management for public institutions, associations and NGOs.

What did you get out of the Executive M.B.L.-HSG program – professionally and personally? How did you benefit from the networking opportunities given (co-students, faculty, alumni)?

The E.M.B.L.-HSG offers a broad overview of relevant subjects on international business law and insights into the diversity of law cultures in Europe, the US, China and Japan. The variety of learning methods and the quantity of preparative individual and group work forced everyone to really get into the core of the subjects.

Professionally, I now feel comfortable, in parallel to economic and political reasoning, to integrate the legal perspective into the advice I offer my clients. This is of particular value when developing 360 degree strategies in shaping and influencing the context my clients are working in. The E.M.B.L.-HSG is particularly helpful to contribute to increase navigation knowledge that reflecta offers.

Personally, I am very thankful for the new horizons that the E.M.B.L.-HSG program offered both in international collaboration and in learning techniques. The opportunity to work with mostly younger co-students helps me to better understand this next generation of professionals. And, what I really hoped to achieve: I’m now able to understand how lawyers, judges and other legally trained professionals think, talk and work.

Regarding networks: The access to and interaction with faculty, alumni and of course co-students is at eye level and particularly easy. Yet, as in every functioning network, the personal value of a network is only as high as what you personally contribute.

You have been candidates' representative to the Executive M.B.L.-HSG Alumni Association. What were your responsibilities and tasks during this role?

I understood the role as one that needs to listen to both the co-students and the “Rennleitung” (the program), to help the flow of information and sometimes to translate concerns and comments into interventions meant to be constructive and always in the interest of further optimizing the program.

What did you particularly enjoy about this role? Can you give us an example of a topic that was brought to the attention of (or discussed in) the alumni board?

The University re-orientated its investment with the E.M.B.L.-HSG profiting of the opportunities that the development in the directorate of the program offered. Of course, the alumni board was broadly involved in this process. It seemed to me important that my co-students get the information about the ongoing process and its eventual consequences on their studies in time. I was particularly thankful that the program finally decided to give the appropriate transparency which helped to maintain confidence and support for the program.

In your personal opinion, what is the benefit of an alumni association in general and the Executive M.B.L.-HSG Alumni Association in particular?

It’s a sort of giving back something to the program that offered us students a unique and valuable experience and so many likeable and interesting encounters.

What are your goals as a member of the alumni board?

If I’m elected to the board, I’d like to contribute my best to the further strengthening and development of the program – and of course enjoy the company of alumnae and alumni who share the same experience.