With 12 years of experience in the life sciences industry, including operational experience in corporate marketing, marketing communications and corporate communications, Stefanie Lauber says her decision to join MScom is about much more than gaining an academic credential. It's about bringing latest trends in integrated strategic communication planning into daily business practice, said Lauber, Director Media and Public Relations with Serono International SA.
“I wanted to expand on my practical experience along the entire scope of communications and gain more flexibility, to build a network of communication managers and ultimately lay the foundation for the next step in my career development focusing on strategic communication planning,” said Lauber, who has been with Serono for seven years. “MScom is preparing me for that.”
A true management perspective
Lauber believes MScom provides the comprehensive overview essential to effective leadership. “MScom includes corporate, financial, marketing and financial communications ue management perspective’puts it into a true management perspective,” said Lauber, who has a degree in economic sciences from the University of Applied Sciences, Ludwigshafen; Germany. “In many of the courses, there are hands-on tools for strategic planning and technical implementation, and these have been valuable to me in my daily professional life.”
MScom’s international scope is evident in its multinational faculty and student body, as well as the international study opportunities it affords participants, Lauber said. For example, each MScom class spends two weeks of the program studying at the Anderson School of Management on the UCLA campus in California, and beginning with MScom9, participants will take part in session at the Copenhagen in Denmark and those sessions are open to MScom alumni.
A great opportunity
“MScom is definitely a great opportunity if you want to specialize in any area of communications because it’s so targeted and focused, and there are very few programs at the master’s level in Europe,” said Lauber. “To be able to get the international perspective from faculty members from many different countries is very important to me because I’m working at the headquarters of a global company. I wouldn’t have chosen MScom if it weren’t such an international program.”
She also gives MScom’s curriculum high marks.
“The quality of the courses is very high, with good professors, good approaches, and very good background literature to read and for reference,” Lauber said, adding that class discussions and group work with her MScom8 colleagues adds another important dimension to the learning experience.
“For me, managing the workload has been the most challenging part of MScom: maintaining the required energy level continuously. I’m working full-time and there’s a lot of reading and preparation to do.You stay focused and organized, but you also need to set aside some time for yourself away from professional obligations and class preparation, so it becomes manageable long-term,” she explained. “It’s definitely a demanding program, and you must have full support from your professional colleagues and superiors, family and friends.”
Text based on interview carried out in October 2006.