Esade Alumni Zurich Chapter

Ana Campos von Bock (MBA 98), president of the Esade Alumni Zurich Chapter, joined the Chapter two years ago. Since August, she has been its president with the aim of providing quality content for the human and professional development of alumni, adding value to members, to Esade and to society.

– How did your relationship with the Zurich Chapter begin? What does it mean for you to be chair of the Board?

My relationship with the Chapter began about 3 years ago when I went to a professional development event and I remember that I was very impressed by the quality of the speakers, the organisation of the event and, most of all, I loved meeting old friends from Barcelona. From then on I started going to events in Zurich and after a few months the Board invited me to join them. In August I was asked to chair the Board and I was delighted and proud to accept. It is a great pleasure and honour for me to serve as chair of the Esade Alumni in the Zurich Board. It means working with a wonderful board whose members are leading executives with great experience and enormous potential. Together we are able to bring great added value to our members and foster their lasting and sustainable ties with Esade. Thanks to Azucena, Andrea, Laura, Manuel and Vicky we can offer more and more added value and services to our members.

– How does the Board operate and what are its targets for the Chapter?

We get together at several monthly meetings, through phone calls and a lot of chat. There is no end of fun and close contact between the board members. We split up by topic and type of event. There is always an event leader with one or two co-leaders to support the activities. We are also lucky to have Sara Casadesus in Barcelona who helps us a lot with communication and logistics before and after events from Esade Barcelona. Our local targets are fully aligned with Esade Alumni International’s goals, “Be Connected”, so we focus on encouraging networking among alumni to improve connections with businesses, encourage new ideas and help members move forward in their careers. We also provide quality content for human and professional development, thus adding value to members, Esade and society.

– How do you rate last September’s UBS business school event?             

It was amazing! In all respects. We had identified some key performance indicators (KPIs) for the September event: the number of attendees, the quality of the speakers, social impact, the visibility of schools in the media and the level of networking, as well as opening the door to future partnerships after the event. We exceeded expectations for each and every one of these indicators as well as getting very positive feedback from attendees and planners.

For the first time, some of the finest European business schools (Esade, IMD, INSEAD, St. Gallen and IE) came together to raise awareness, talk about and discuss the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, which is clearly in line with one of Esade’s objectives: to generate social impact.

We managed to gather over 200 people at the Zurich centre to learn, discuss and network. The social factor was crucial and the event was designed to promote and help attendees grasp the need for specific investment in and awareness about the SDGs, specifically SDG number 4: quality education. The proceeds from the tickets were donated to a technology education project in Africa. The speakers were outstanding: academics, foundation CEOs, UBS and Swiss Re executives, Save the Children, senior Swiss government officials and many more. And last but not least, we achieved a high level of online media viewing, thereby promoting and enhancing the schools’ reputations. There were over 20,000 views on LinkedIn alone.

– What kind of events are you planning to run during the year?

We run about 6 or more events a year to help members’ personal and professional development, encourage networking and make it easier to refresh knowledge in high quality content. For this year and in addition to the UN SDGs event at UBS that I mentioned before, a few weeks ago we had a very inspiring session by Alexandra Panayotou called “Finding Balance in an Unbalanced World” which was excellent! In December we will gather, as is now traditional, for a “Gluehwein”: we will meet up at the Christmas market in central Zurich to celebrate the festive season with a good mulled wine from the region. In January we will invite members to a fondue event; we have done this for several years and it is very successful because it is so much fun. In late February we are planning another master class: “Talk like a TED: Women in Technology”. In June, and as is now customary, we will host a career development event featuring headhunters and recruiters along with a master class on how to use LinkedIn effectively. In May we plan to set up a session on entrepreneurship to support alumni who have already undertaken business projects in Switzerland or are thinking of doing so, and to that end we will invite people who have already set up their business in the country. In September we will probably hold another event with other business schools similar to this year’s with the aim of raising the profile of the SDGs dealing with environmental and social impact.

– What benefits do alumni in Zurich get from being part of the Chapter?

The Chapter aims to keep alumni who attended Esade and now live in Zurich in touch with each other and most of all to promote members’ ties with the school. In Zurich there are currently more than 150 professionals from a number of countries who studied at Esade. It also has the role of helping to enhance members’ careers by supporting them with sessions to promote personal and professional development. In addition, it generates high quality networking among alumni and also with alumni from other schools along with individualised career management advice and mentoring. We also help members who have just arrived in Zurich to feel at home by giving them all the support they need, including people who are thinking about moving here.

If alumni become members, they will be part of a vibrant community consisting of over 60,000 professionals. By joining this community, members can expand their networking system, take part in training programmes and events featuring outstanding content, and stay connected and get updates on the latest trends in academia.

– What does Esade mean to you?

Esade means a lot to me, not only professionally and as the driving force behind my international career, but also personally and as a family: while studying for my MBA in Barcelona, I met my husband, a wonderful German, and we moved to Zurich to live, work and raise our family. We have two children who are now teenagers and are great: Julia who is 15 and Nicolas who is 14. We are very happy in Zurich; we love it! I have unforgettable experiences and great friendships from Esade.

Esade has over 60 years of values very much in line with my own, mainly the commitment to build a fairer and more prosperous society through innovation and social commitment, which is essential for me.

Are you an alumnus living in Zurich? Become a member and join us! You can start by joining our WhatsApp chat  group where we announce our activities. We look forward to seeing you!