Ten years ago, the concept of using Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and AI to verify handwritten mathematics solution paths would have seemed far-fetched to some, maybe even alien to others! However, today, thanks to entrepreneurial pioneers like EMBA UZH graduate Ramona Schindler, through her application ModusOperandi, such technology has become a reality.
Ramona is originally from Germany and, following an enjoyable time in the digitalization field at Siemens, which exposed her to international projects in places as diverse as Seoul and Chicago, she arrived in Switzerland. One of the constants throughout much of Ramona’s life has been her passion for mathematics. As a tutor for several years, she had fine-tuned her approach to helping students solve problems – without simply providing them with the actual answer!
A sure way of knowing that her methods worked were the constant stream of WhatsApp messages she received from perplexed students seeking continual guidance.
Ramona began to consider if there was a way that she could apply her digitalization and innovation skillset to help these students, and possibly others, more efficiently. It just so happened that at around this time she joined the UZH EMBA program. “Funnily enough, my decision to enroll on the EMBA was more about preparing for future roles: developing myself, learning new skills, and building a network – that sort of thing,” Ramona explained.
As it happened, the EMBA experience proved to be even more valuable than she had anticipated. Ramona found herself surrounded by a diverse group of highly qualified professionals who served as an ideal sounding board for her ideas. Ramona’s enthusiasm is evident as she recalls, “We didn’t concern ourselves with hypothetical scenarios, we actually used ModusOperandi within our program!”
Ramona highlighted some of the modules that were hugely applicable, such as Marketing and Leadership, the latter of which provided insights into building engaging relationships with colleagues and employees – an aspect she found useful when assembling her own virtual team.
In line with Ramona’s principle as a tutor, ModusOperandi does not just give students the answer. “It serves as a valuable tool for instant feedback and helps identify areas where students may be struggling. This feedback is also shared with teachers, enabling them to pinpoint the underlying issues and provide targeted support to their students.”
In a somewhat similar way, the EMBA did not immediately reveal the answer to Ramona’s musings. Rather, it provided a hotbed of new knowledge, skills, and sophisticated exchange with peers and faculty, which she then combined with her own entrepreneurial flair and unique expertise to come to an extremely impressive solution!