NZZ am Sonntag Business Editor Daniel Hug expected his MScom8 experience to broaden his career horizons. What he’s found in the first year of the 21-month program is that it also has made him a better and more confident journalist.
“I wanted to expand my career horizons and I was very interested in gaining a strategic overview of communications. There isn’t much available in Switzerland in terms of continuing education for journalists, but MScom’s curriculum fits well with my work as a business editor,” Hug said.
Particularly in the areas of strategy and negotiations, Hug already has been able to apply his MScom education to his work as an editor.
“For instance, as a business editor, I talk a lot with business leaders and sometimes report on corporate takeovers. My MScom education has helped me to understand business situations in a broader, more strategic context,” said Hug, who joined NZZ am Sonntag three years ago. “The negotiations behavior module has also been very useful in my daily work because we all deal with conflicting interests and various negotiation situations all the time.”
Back in the classroom
Returning to a classroom environment 14 years after earning his degree in economics and political science at the University of Bern presented no transition problems for Hug. In fact, he relishes the experience.
“I enjoyed my university years very much, and I really appreciate being back in the classroom and attending lectures. In my decision to continue my education, it was important for me to learn things I didn’t know and to gain a broader view of communications. MScom is meeting these expectations,” he said, adding that he’s able to balance the demands of MScom and his career by reducing his work schedule to 80 percent.
A broad, international view
“It’s very helpful to me that MScom takes a very international approach with a focus on strategic communications management, and I like that the classes are in Lugano because being away from Zurich helps me to focus more on learning without interference from work,” Hug said.
He also emphasized the value of MScom’s English-based curriculum.
“The fact that the classes, assigned reading and tests are in English contributes to MScom’s broader, more international focus,” said Hug. “When we talk about digital communications, branding and other topics important to the field, the discussions aren’t confined to what’s happening in Switzerland. Other universities don’t have this international approach.”
Be ready for the challenge
While Hug encourages other communications professionals to consider MScom when they weigh the benefits of getting an executive education, they also should be prepared for the challenges.
“Do this program if you’re interested in learning both the fundamentals of communications and gaining an international, strategic perspective. The most difficult challenge is to balance your work and the time in Lugano; there are sacrifices to be made,” he said. “But I’m already benefiting from just a year in MScom. I’ve received job offers as a result of my MScom involvement and I’ve found that I’m much more confident in my understanding of communications than I was before I began the program.”
Text based on interview carried out in September 2006.