My name is Carla Thaper, and I graduated from the NHTV in 2009. It already seems so long ago that I was studying at the NHTV and writing my bachelor thesis. I’ve had the chance to experience so many new things since! I would like to share with you the experiences from my applications for master studies to my current student life in Lugano, Switzerland.
In my final year at the NHTV, I chose to do the specialization in marketing as I wanted to combine tourism with the field of marketing. Therefore, I knew that I would like to pursue a master in marketing after my graduation. I knew that I wanted to learn more and that I needed to deepen my knowledge in order to be successful in my future career.
When I was writing my bachelor thesis, I started to search for universities which offer a master in Marketing or business studies with a major/minor in Marketing. I was looking at universities in England, Germany and Switzerland. I was especially interested in pursuing a master in Switzerland, because this country has an excellent reputation for management studies. Therefore, I applied to universities in Bern, St. Gallen, Zürich, Olten and Lugano. I paid special attention to the master in Lugano, because it was a pure master in Marketing with an interesting course offering (more details later).
Looking back on the time when I had to write all the applications, I remember that each university in Switzerland has different admissions requirements. Each canton decides what students need to fulfill in order to be accepted. Writing a letter of motivation, sending the transcripts and the bachelor diploma is the minimum. If the language of instruction is English, you also need to show a certificate of your English knowledge (however most of the time it was enough to prove that the bachelor studies were held in English). As I already mentioned above, the admission requirements depend on the university and the canton. Therefore, the Swiss system is a bit confusing. I was admitted for example to the university of Bern, but not to the university of St. Gallen. This university does not accept students with a bachelor from a University of Applied Sciences. However, I was also admitted to the University of Lugano.
Since the university of Lugano (called Università della Svizzera italiana- in short: USI) was my favorite, I decided to move to Lugano. Besides the fact that the master course here especially appealed to me, this would also give me the chance to learn Italian, since Lugano is located in the Italian speaking part of Switzerland. Furthermore, the masters at USI are mainly international, with students from the US, Africa, Asia and Europe.
My master course in more detail
Having a closer look at the master in Marketing at USI, the course consists of four semesters. The first semester focuses on general business knowledge. Since a lot of people with different backgrounds pursue the master, the first semester consists of management courses such as Industrial Organization, Corporate Strategy and Accounting. During the first semester the three masters, Marketing, Corporate Communication and Management study together. In the second semester each master has its own courses, such as B2B Marketing, Advertising and Branding or Service Marketing. From the second semester onwards, it is possible to obtain minors e.g. in Corporate Social Responsibility. The third semester focuses on Commercial Law, Digital Marketing and Marketing Research. Another reason I decided to study at USI is because of the fourth semester. The first part of the fourth semester consists of a field project. Students in a group of 5-7 work on a consulting project for companies all over the world. It is possible to search for a company (this year e.g. students worked on a branding strategy for Audi in China), or to receive a project from USI. The last part of the fourth semester focuses on writing the master thesis.
I successfully completed my first year at USI. I do not regret coming to Lugano, because I have been able to deepen my knowledge in Marketing. Some of the material was already covered during my bachelor studies, but nevertheless the courses have been very interesting to me. Furthermore Lugano is a beautiful city. You are able to learn Italian, to swim in the Lago di Lugano and to enjoy the Mediterranean weather. Cities such as Milan, Como and Zürich are very close. However, Lugano’s nightlife and student life still leaves room for improvements !