Interview with our EMBA UZH graduate Stefan Kuster

Interview with our EMBA UZH graduate Stefan Kuster

Stefan Kuster will become Head of the Division of Infectious Diseases and Hospital Hygiene at Kantonsspital St. Gallen in August 2021. He earned his PhD in Medicine from the University of Zurich in 2004 and completed a Master’s degree in Clinical Epidemiology at the University of Toronto in 2010. His habilitation at the University of Zurich on the topic of infectiology then followed in 2013. In 2019, he successfully completed his EMBA at the University of Zurich. Stefan Kuster is married and has two school-aged children.

What was your motivation to do an Executive MBA?
As I moved up the clinical career ladder, I developed a desire to understand how hospitals work from a business administration perspective and to improve my leadership skills. I also felt it would be beneficial to expand my horizons by forging contacts with other leaders outside the healthcare sector. An Executive MBA seemed like the ideal way of achieving these goals.

Why did you choose University of Zurich’s Executive MBA?
On the one hand, I found the content of the various modules and the breadth of the program very appealing. The student exchanges, especially the one at Yale University, also seemed like an attractive additional option. On the other hand, the format with the three-day modules in Zurich and the one-week student exchanges proved ideal in terms of fitting the program around my job as a hospital physician.

What competences from the EMBA could you apply to your current job?
I apply what I learned in the EMBA program every day in my job. The solid base it provided enables me to take part in and shape discussions at executive level in a well-grounded, confident manner. The course opened doors to responsible leadership positions and gave me an opportunity to develop at senior management level. If I discover gaps, I am able to close them in a targeted way and I know where I can get support. The network I have established enables me to exchange views and experiences with others, get advice, and offer support.

How did you balance family, job and EMBA?
Balancing my family and work lives and my studies was certainly a challenge. However, the structure of the program makes it possible to find a good compromise between these aspects. During the semester, it is best to focus on the EMBA, but there is plenty of time between semesters to set other priorities. As is the case in all areas of life, the adage “Nothing ventured, nothing gained” holds true here. It is certainly worth the effort!

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