Category Archives: Alumni News

MBA-HEC Alumni Association

Goodbye, Hello!

Our Alumni community represented by the MBA-HEC Alumni Association is leaded by a small committee that has been chaired by Laurent Wenker (2008) since 2010.

Last April, Laurent stepped down after eight years of Presidency and handed over to Olivier Genton (2016). We take this opportunity to thank Laurent for his great involvement in building a strong EMBA community and welcome Olivier wishing him all the best for this new challenge.

Quentin Ladetto (2010), Joanna Bosredon (2012), Christophe Pollien (2012), Laurent Barsin (2013) and Annelies Garcia (2015) are also retiring from their Alumni committee duties giving way to three new members; Eszter Petrovics (2016) as vice-president, André Reis (2016) and Sergi Fernandez (2017). Thank you to all of them for their past and future commitment to the Association.

Pierre Guillemin (2009), Petko Nedev (2013), Ramin Kaweh (2014), Alexis Zawodnik (2014), David Fonjallaz (2014) and Steven Dornan (2016) are returning and complete the 2018-19 committee. Thanks to them for their enthusiasm and continuous support!

Make sure not to miss the 2018 Homecoming event organised jointly by the programme and the Alumni Association on November 10th.

Alumni Homecoming – 10 November 2018

Book your seat for this year’s Alumni Homecoming event taking place on Saturday, November 10th 2018 @ Casino de Morges! Meet your former classmates, network with great people and party with your EMBA community!

Registrations are now open until October 28th, 2018.

Following the great success of the first Homecoming with more than 100 of you present, the HEC Lausanne Executive MBA programme and the MBA-HEC Alumni Association are teaming up once again to offer you a festive and fun evening.

Last year, Class of 2016 won the award of the most represented class. Who will it be this year?

18h00 – 18h30 : Welcome
18h30 – 19h55 : Networking Aperitif
19h45 – 20h00 : Alumni Association Speech
20h00 – 22h30 : Gourmet Dinner
22h30 – 01h30 : DJ Dancefloor Warm-up
CHF 130.- / person

Let’s keep building a close and active network together!

Paddle for Cancer – 2 September 2018


The Flying HECkers are coming back once again this year to paddle against cancer! Join the team to support this great cause and have plenty of fun with your EMBA community!

The festival is a charity event to support the English Speaking Cancer Association (ESCA), a recognised non-profit association providing emotional support, practical help and information in English to cancer patients.

This is a great opportunity to have fun with your EMBA community, raise funds for a good cause and practice team work as paddling on a dragon boat is all about communication and team spirit!

The event will take place on Sunday September 2nd 2018 at the Lake of Vallée de Joux.

Registrations are open until June 10th. After that, please contact us at if you wish to join the team.

We will contact the team members for further practical information. Please note that if you register to participate in the race, you will also be invited to a training session prior to the event.

You can also support the ESCA by making a donation on the programme’s fundraising page anytime ahead of the event.

We look forward to participating for the third year and representing our EMBA community!

Alumni Story – Olivier Girard (Class of 2016)


Olivier Girard, 2016 alumnus, has an academic background as mechanical engineer specialised in ergonomics. He also followed a paramedical education in posture therapy in Holland before moving to Morocco where he opened his business venture. Unfortunately, it was not successful and he had to find a new job that took him to Switzerland, at the Institute for Work and Health (IST). In parallel and since 2006, he was strongly committed to managing a small clinical practice TRAIN YOUR POSTURE offering B2C services complementary to the B2B ones offered by IST. At this point of his career, Olivier felt the need of undertaking an Executive MBA at HEC Lausanne: “I wanted to gain assertiveness and confidence in my discussions with executives as well as improve my management skills for my intrapreneur job”.

Olivier’s reflects further on his EMBA experience and particularly on his Strategy Consulting Project (SCP), where he acted as an in-house consultant for IST for almost a year. “My SCP was about an M&A project related to the company I worked for at that time. Throughout the months, I developed a 360° understanding of strategy and management as well as a strong sense of coherence.” More specifically, Olivier mentions the Balanced Scorecard as a tool he chose to learn for himself and to apply to all aspects of the project, highlighting the hands-on aspect of the HEC Lausanne Executive MBA: “These newly acquired skills and tools were directly applicable to my professional environment. First, they enabled me to create a novel approach to reposition occupational health as a strategic tool for IST’s client and to contribute to growing my department’s efficiency by 25-30% a year. Secondly, they allowed me to refine the strategy for TRAIN YOUR POSTURE and clearly differentiate its services from IST’s.” He adds: “I believe the Balanced Scorecard can not only be applied professionally but also to all situations of life including in the personal environment.”.

By the end of his experience at HEC Lausanne, Olivier who entered the programme with specific motivations explains that the outcomes were even higher than expected: “More opportunities than I thought arose from the EMBA and I felt I was capable of seizing them and doing more.”.

Just a year after completing the Executive MBA at HEC Lausanne, Olivier, better equipped, gives another try to entrepreneurship and opens his own limited company Erg’OH Conseil Sàrl completing therefore the offer of his still-existing one-man business TRAIN YOUR POSTURE. Both share a common vision: “All businesses must rely on healthy employees if they want to succeed.”, outlines Olivier. “This is where all the EMBA values I developed meet.”, he continues.

The challenge is now to manage the quick growth of both businesses, in particular to pursue his project of developing a franchise system for TRAIN YOUR POSTURE. Olivier is also preparing his presence at the Salon Planète Santé, taking place in October at Palexpo, in Geneva. Thinking of his new entrepreneurial life, Olivier concludes: “Freedom is expensive but has no price!”

Olivier Girard’s story inspired you? Contact him!

New Basel Alumni Chapter – 15 March 2018


The MBA HEC Lausanne Alumni Association is pleased to annouce the first meeting of the Alumni Basel Chapter.

The aim of this new initiative is to bring together alumni and current students from the Basel area.

Alumni from the region, along with their partner, friends and colleagues are invited to join the event on March 15th at Werk8, Dornacherstrasse 192 in Basel, 6:30 p.m.

More information on the Alumni Association website.

Alumni Homecoming – 28 October 2017

Let’s go back!

The first edition of the Alumni Homecoming event took place on October 28th 2017, at the Casino de Morges.

The programme and the MBA HEC Lausanne Alumni Association were glad to welcome one hundred alumni and students, representing almost all classes since the beginning of the Executive MBA back in 2006!

Thank you to everyone for taking part in this special event and we are hoping for an even greater number next year!

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Alumni Initiative – Climate Show 2018

Our Executive MBA greatly values sustainability and actions to support environmental responsibility. In this sense, we are very pleased to share this initiative from a member of our EMBA community.

The first edition of the International Climate Show, organised by alumna Dr. Nadia Plata (Class of 2007), will be held at Palexpo Geneva, Switzerland, from April 6th to 8th 2018. It will be dedicated to the most innovative industrial technologies and solutions for the protection of the climate and the reduction of the carbon emissions. This unmissable exhibition event meets the increasing demand in this sector and will give visibility to new technologies and products that concern the reduction of the carbon emissions and the climate change effects mitigation.

Are you part of a start-up active in green finance or green technology related to climate protection? Contact Nadia for more information about special exhibition rates or how you can sell your products and services during the Climate Show!

More details available at:


Alumni Story – Maria Zarraga (Class of 2008)


Maria had worked in the field of Project and Change Management for organisations such as Nestlé, Swiss Television and the United Nations when she decided she needed to broaden her competencies. “I wanted to have a more global vision of business to complement my skills and experience”, she says.

Quickly, Maria recognised the importance of the human aspect of the programme. “I believed that contributing actively to the student and alumni network would enhance my EMBA experience”, she says. “Not only did I meet interesting and relevant business connections to grow my network, I also found people who shared values and vision”.

After obtaining her EMBA and holding a Licence in Psychology, Maria landed a higher position as Innovation & Human Capital Director in a company supporting SMEs and helping them face global challenges. Thanks to the hands-on aspect of the HEC Lausanne Executive MBA, she was able to apply some recently-acquired skills in her daily tasks. She even continues: “Being part of a company contributing to the local development gave me the desire to share these competencies and make the community benefit from them”.

Therefore, it was no surprise when Maria decided to take it one step further to an even greater purpose. “Although it was not my initial goal, the entrepreneurship dimension of the HEC Lausanne Executive MBA enabled me to launch my own company”, says Maria after having served as International Officer at the World Intellectual Property Organization. ForWaves, based in Gland, is a firm specialised in Change Management, promoting an environment respectful of Innovation and Human Development, active in both public and private sectors. “Working on project monitoring and evaluation, enterprise development, intellectual property and human capital development, different fields of expertise are needed and I capitalise on my network of experts based in 6 countries and 4 continents, the ForWaves Platform, which is partly built of alumni from the programme”, she explains, pointing out the diverse and collaborative features of the HEC Lausanne Executive MBA community.

According to Maria, the HEC Lausanne Executive MBA adventure has given her the tools to turn her professional career around. She served as Vice President of the MBA Alumni Association and as expert in the Entrepreneurship module. She also managed to successfully guide other alumni in their career orientation in order to better match their talents and values. “Courses such as Business & Society taught me to reflect on how I could contribute to society and how society would impact on my work”. The importance of the human perspective enhanced by the programme is still at the centre of her vision and she and her team intend to continue contributing to the society at the country, corporate and individual levels following the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development set by the United Nations.

Maria Zarraga’s story inspired you? Contact her!