CEMS DACH Forum 2018

The CEMS DACH Forum is a yearly rotating event between Vienna University of Economics and Business (Austria), University of Cologne (Germany), and the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland). The CEMS DACH Forum 2018 was hosted by the University of St. Gallen from the 24th until the 27th of October 2018.
2018 CEMS DACH Forum Banner

The CEMS DACH Forum was built around a 3 ECTS course on International Corporate Governance, and included lectures by leading professors from the University of St. Gallen, practical insights from the corporate world, challenging case studies, networking opportunities and social activities.

Regional CEMS events offer the perfect opportunity to connect. They are the ideal place to come together, live up the CEMS spirit and broaden the academic horizon. At this year’s edition of the CEMS DACH Forum, 60 students from 18 different CEMS schools, eight Corporate Partners represented by 28 professionals and two leading professors gathered in the charming city of St. Gallen, Switzerland.

At the core of the Forum was a 3 ECTS course on International Corporate Governance, complemented by various networking opportunities with Corporate Partners and social events for the students to get to know each other. The course included thrilling lectures on the challenges that organizations face in the context of International Corporate Governance and was further complemented by practical insights from the participating Corporate Partners on their respective organizations.

Throughout the four days, the students had to solve real-life case studies in teams of five, examining certain Corporate Governance topics of EY, METRO, Swiss, or Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield. The projects did not only offer a unique learning experience for the students but also resulted in interesting insights for the companies.

“[…] The CEMS DACH Forum was a very positive experience. As we were present at all four days, we had the prime opportunity to interact with the students in an in-depth-way. On top of that, the results and recommendations from the students working on our business case were quite impressive”, said Florian Senft, Human Resources Manager of Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield in Germany.

Along similar lines, the representatives of EY stated to be “a proud Corporate Partner of the global CEMS network and attending the DACH Forum 2018 has proven to be very enjoyable and fruitful.” The company representatives particularly highlighted the “enthusiasm, ambition and diverse backgrounds of the CEMSies, which is absolutely inspiring and an enrichment to our organization”.

In addition to the academic program, the participating students got the chance to interact with all Corporate Partners in more informal settings. In the course of sponsored lunches and over exclusive dinners they could find out more about career opportunities at the attending firms and get to know the corporate culture of the companies. Borislav Djordjević from the University of St.Gallen particularly highlighted the exceptional complementing program, saying that "the amount of work the organizing team put into creating a huge supporting program for the conference, ranging from countless company interactions to entertaining and delicious social activities, really paid off. It complemented the conference in a way, which reminded me of the key aspects of being part of this unique CEMS community: meeting inspiring students and companies from around the world.”

The extensive supporting program was not only highly appreciated by the students, but also by the Corporate Partners. The representatives from BCG underlined that they “absolutely enjoyed spending the evening in an informal atmosphere with CEMS students from various European universities. It really gave proof again how international and diverse the CEMS network really is. Thank you for inviting BCG as Corporate Partner to take part in it!”

Staying true to the CEMS spirit, the students also made sure to get to know their fellow CEMSies. On the very first evening, they gathered to enjoy one of the most traditional Swiss meals – a Cheese Fondue from a local dairy – and shared their perspectives and experiences from their various home universities. To put it in the words of Katrin Ortbauer from Vienna University of Economics and Business: “Meeting great minds from all over CEMS, spending four exciting days together, creating connections to Corporate Partners in an informal setting and simply having an amazing time – that all was possible through this year’s great DACH Forum Team in St. Gallen. Next year, we have the honor to organize the CEMS DACH Forum at WU Vienna. The bar is set high – but we will try our best to put together an amazing event in Vienna 2019!”

This kind of feedback and seeing that all the participants had a great time, are incredibly rewarding for all the effort that we put into organizing the event. The next edition of the CEMS DACH Forum will take place at the WU Vienna, and both the students and the Corporate Partners are thrilled at this prospect: “Great DACH-Forum with very engaged, diverse and interested students actively living the CEMS spirit. We from Simon-Kucher & Partners immediately connected and had very interesting conversations with the attendees. We are looking forward to next year’s DACH-Forum edition in Vienna!”

The organizing team of the CEMS DACH Forum 2018 would like to thank all CEMSies for their motivation and exceptional spirit, the participating Corporate Partners* for their insights and support of the DACH Forum, the lecturers for their interesting academic program, Mercator Switzerland for rewarding the students travelling by train and making the DACH Forum a sustainable event, and the CEMS Office St. Gallen as well as the CEMS Global Office in Paris for their valuable help and support throughout the whole organization. See you in Vienna in 2019!

*A big thank you again to our Corporate Partners for making this event possible: Daimler, EY, H&M, METRO, Simon-Kucher & Partners, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield, Swiss.