Earn an international executive MBA while working as an expat in Switzerland

How to increase your working and hiring potential as an expat in Switzerland

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Grow your career and increase your employability as an expat employee by earning an international executive MBA while working in Switzerland through the top Executive MBA programme at Rochester-Bern. [Contributed by Rochester-Bern Executive Programs]

Expats are naturally curious people and many find themselves often wondering about whether it’s possible to earn a degree from a top Executive MBA programme while working in a foreign country. They know that it is of utmost importance that they find an educational programme offering them an internationally acknowledged degree, an advantageous network of local and international contacts, as well as the right contents and a flexible format allowing them to combine job and studies. This wish list used to be near impossible but not at Rochester-Bern Executive Programs in Switzerland.

Take past student Juhyung for example. When Novartis offered Juhyung from Seoul a job in Switzerland, he didn’t have to think twice. Working for the office headquarters was a huge chance for him professionally. Moreover, he and his wife liked the prospect of working and living in Europe.

The plan turned out well. Both Juhyung and his wife  integrated successfully into Novartis’ workforce in Basel and made friends easily. However, two years after moving to Switzerland, Juhyung began to think about his professional future. He knew that his family would eventually want to go back to Korea, especially because of his newborn son. But before doing so, he wanted to benefit from his time in Europe, not just professionally but also education-wise. Being an engineer, he wanted to broaden his horizon by doing an executive MBA programme in general management.

Searching for the right EMBA programme

So, Juhyung started to look around for an international executive MBA programme that he could do while still living and working in Switzerland, one that would offer him both a European and an American degree.  It was also very important to him that the programme had the following: a good reputation in quantitative disciplines (e.g. finance or economics), classes he could attend while keeping his full-time job, opportunities to meet interesting international participants and expand his network beyond Switzerland. And, being an expatriate, English as a language of instruction was naturally a must.

He was thrilled when he was accepted to the Rochester-Bern Executive MBA programme, a joint venture between the University of Rochester in the United States and the University of Bern in Switzerland. By the time he joined the programme, the two universities already had a continuous partnership for almost 15 years, allowing the programme to establish an excellent reputation in Switzerland and the world. Part of that reputation was based on the fact that the U.S. partner had been fully accredited by AACSB since 1966 and had been ranked among the top 10 business schools in finance and economics in the specialty rankings by the Financial Times for several years in a row. The University of Bern, on the other hand, has a distinguished reputation in economics and is the only Swiss university to offer a U.S. MBA degree in Switzerland.

How to increase your working and hiring potential as an expat in Switzerland

Key learnings from the programme

During his studies, Juhyung got to know not only the most important tools of general management but also the mind-set of successful leaders.

“Today, I no longer make decisions based on ‘good gut feelings’, but following economic, financial, and social considerations I learned from the programme,” he says.

He adds that he now knows how to lead his team to its best performance and can discuss at equal level with the financial, marketing and human resources experts in his company.

“Rochester-Bern’s programme has successfully broadened my horizon and this has become most evident since I am now able to apply the course contents directly to my work life,” Juhyung states.

The suggestions and ideas he brings to the table today are based on his experiences as an engineer, his knowledge from Rochester-Bern’s EMBA classes and discussions with his classmates from all kinds of industries.

“I enjoy bringing new ideas into the company and being able to question existing processes, but before the Rochester-Bern Executive MBA programme, I would not have thought about many of these ideas,” he says.

The additional degree has made a significant impact in his career like it has with most Rochester-Bern EMBA students. So it comes as no surprise that Juhyung is now back in Seoul, working in a general management position for a U.S.-based pharma company.

How to increase your working and hiring potential as an expat in Switzerland

Studying while abroad can improve your career

Many expatriates want to use their time abroad in the best way possible. An international part-time executive MBA can be the right choice for them because despite joining a demanding post-graduate educational programme, they do not have to give up on a successful career. Instead, they are able to demonstrate their ability to perform under pressure to their company and develop a — potentially important — second professional leg as well as a valuable network of colleagues in their own and other industries within Switzerland and all over the world.  All these can only lead to better job opportunities within their current companies or, at some point, another company.

How to increase your working and hiring potential as an expat in Switzerland


Facts about the Rochester-Bern Executive MBA


The programme begins in January and takes 18 months. Courses are held biweekly on Fridays and Saturdays in Switzerland. The part-time format of the program is designed for executives who do not want to interrupt a successful career and need a schedule compatible with their business responsibilities. All courses are taught in English.


The general management programme provides a holistic understanding of all aspects of business and the interconnections between them; courses are well-integrated and grounded in economic principles. Throughout the programme, participants develop their personality and leadership skills.


Most courses of the Rochester-Bern Executive MBA are held in Thun(Switzerland). During the summer of the first year, there is an intense four-week summer session at the Simon School in Rochester (USA), followed by an optional one-week trip to Silicon Valley. In the spring of the second year, a study week in Shanghai (China) completes the curriculum.


Rochester-Bern builds on an open architecture and works with outstanding professors from well-known business schools world-wide that combine impressive achievements in academia with extensive business experience and didactic excellence.

Application and support

Applications shall be handed-in until end of November at the latest. Early applications benefit from a discount of CHF 5,000. All forms as well as detailed information about the programme can be found on the webpage www.rochester-bern.ch.  In case you want to discuss your educational needs with our admission team, please drop an email to info@rochester-bern.ch.  We will be happy to support you.


The Rochester-Bern Executive Programs is a Swiss foundation offering high-quality international further education to executives and companies from all over the world. More information on& Rochester-Bern Executive Programs can be found on www.rochester-bern.ch.

Contributed by Rochester-Bern Executive Programs
Earn an international executive MBA while working as an expat in Switzerland


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