Format of the Rochester-Bern Executive MBA
The program begins in January and takes 17 months. Students meet biweekly in Thun (Switzerland) on Fridays and Saturdays until mid-May. Participants then spend an intensive educational residency of four weeks at the University of Rochester. This international trip can be extended with an optional one week seminar in Silicon Valley. After the summer break in July, instruction continues in Switzerland from mid-August until graduation in May of the following year. In spring of the second year, a study week in Shanghai (China) completes the educational experience.
Class weekends in Thun
Most courses of the Rochester-Bern EMBA are held every second week on Friday and Saturday at the Congress Hotel Seepark in Thun. Whenever possible, two courses are held simultaneously and taught in turns in the morning and in the afternoon.
The biweekly format of the Swiss part of the program is designed for executives who do not want to interrupt a successful career and need a schedule which is compatible with their business responsibilities. Moreover, the format enables program participants to critically review, assimilate, and apply what they have heard in class. Learning requires time and perspective, which is what the format is designed to provide. Some class sessions can be attended online to reduce the time out of the office.
On Friday, the lunch break is generously timed and students may use the occasion to do sports or to work on team assignments or papers. Time before / after dinner is used for guest lectures, networking, and/or private study.
As accommodation can be booked in the same facilities, courses start early on Saturday morning (08:00) and are tighter scheduled. Classes are thus finished earlier (15:15) and students have the chance to spend the rest of the weekend with their family.
Congress Hotel Seepark Thun
This four-star hotel right next to the lake provides an ideal setting for intensive study away from the hectic pace of day-to-day work. Located south of Bern, the Seepark is easily accessible by car or train. The hotel offers all the usual amenities and recreational facilities such as a whirlpool and sauna. Accommodation (optional) and all meals during class days are provided by the hotel.
The intense summer session in Rochester allows participants to replace the rigors of daily managerial life with full-time study. It promotes an international experience by joint activities with the participants from the parallel U.S. program and interesting company visits in the area. Moreover, participants develop a strong network with their peers. While staying in Rochester, the students devote their efforts to full-time study and self-improvement. Many participants consider the time in Rochester the most valuable part of the program.
As opposed to the weekends in Switzerland, courses in Rochester are held three times a week. The time in between is dedicated to individual studies and group work. In the first part of the Rochester summer, participants have class with the U.S. EMBA students.
Partners and children
Every year, several students take their partner or family with them to Rochester. Some join the class for just a few days, others stay for the entire four weeks. In Rochester, partners and children have the opportunity to choose from a wide variety of different activities, for adults as well as for children of all age groups.
The accommodation arrangements in Rustic Village make it easy for the family to join the student. Instead of sharing the apartment with a class mate, participants share it with their partner or family (additional cost applies) and are nevertheless close to the rest of the class.
Accommodation is arranged close to the campus, at the Rustic Village Apartment Community in Rochester. There as well as at the school, students find the necessary infrastructure for their studies. The university is also well equipped for a variety of individual and group sports. Breakfast and lunch are provided for students on all class days.
This optional one week seminar introduces participants to one of the hotbeds of innovation and entrepreneurship in the world. The objective is to show (corporate) entrepreneurs and managers how to initiate and implement the innovation process from both a strategic and an operational perspective. Participants will have the unique opportunity to enhance their knowledge about latest technology trends (such as digitalization) and gain inspiration through guest speakers and company visits. Read more about the Rochester-Bern innovation journey on our blog.
An educational trip to Shanghai completes the curriculum. This seminar is intended to enhance students’ knowledge of Asian ways of doing business and to give them a better appreciation of cultural differences. Students discuss the opportunities and challenges of doing business in China, address the competitive strategies of Chinese as well as Western firms, visit local companies, and listen to presentations by Asian managers, academics, and expatriates.
Accommodation is arranged at the the Le Royal Meridien Shanghai in the center of Shanghai. Students will be given the necessary infrastructure for their studies as well as facilities for sports and recreation. Transportation to the various sites is provided.
Website of the Le Royal Meridien Shanghai