EMBA UZH Alumni Stars – Anna-Barbara Schlüer

EMBA UZH Alumni Stars – Anna-Barbara Schlüer

Anna-Barbara Schlüer – Self-diagnosed chameleon or modern-day superhero

Anna-Barbara Schlüer refers to herself as a bit of a chameleon, for the way that she often had to switch her medical scrubs for business attire, frequently in the same day, while studying on the EMBA. In fact, given her full story, she’d be far better described as a superhero with a PhD.

Anna-Barbara started the EMBA UZH with a focus on Digital Transformation, during the Covid-19 pandemic, occupying two roles as a paediatric nurse: bedside and outpatient. Her interview for the EMBA took place in early 2020.


“I vividly remember deliberating whether this virus would spread across the continent,” she recalls, smiling wryly. “Honestly, I had no idea of the journey that lay ahead, spending my days studying for the EMBA and my nights working in the hospital. It certainly wasn’t how I’d envisaged it,” she added.

Anna-Barbara made the best of the situation. She was focussed on a goal. “From what I observed, digitalisation had taken hold in the healthcare sector but had failed to realise the adequate transformation of jobs, service provision, and family guidance,” she explained. “This triggered the itch that led me to the EMBA, to contribute to a better solution, marrying the ostensibly conflicting aims – much sharpened during the pandemic – of the healthcare and finance sectors.”

“I realise, looking back, that I was feeling stuck in some of the projects I was leading,” she recalls. “The EMBA facilitated a much-needed change of scenery and influx of new perspectives, ideas, and insights. It helped me switch to a solution-oriented approach, embracing open innovation, and putting the patient’s need at the centre. Achieving this fundamental shift in thinking gave me the confidence to apply for and secure a new role, upon graduation, as project leader with a remit to define KPIs for paediatric services.”

As a mother of four daughters, aged between 11 to 16, it has become very clear to Anna-Barbara that her EMBA leadership training has not only been useful in her professional life. Commenting on this, she remarked, “I was able to take something for every single part of my life !”


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