A conversation with new IBS Director of Studies Peter Dietrich
In the following interview, he reveals what motivated him to take on this responsibility, why and for whom IBS is the perfect program, what he expects from his students and what one can expect from him.
- What motivated you to apply to become the new director of studies?
We have a good mix of great people in the International Business Studies programs - by this I mean the teaching team, which teaches, researches and publishes in a very competent and highly committed manner; our alumni, who have successful careers all over the world; and of course our students. I am very happy to be able to work with all of these individuals on a daily basis.
Furthermore, we have the great privilege of dealing with highly exciting business issues in an increasingly international and digitized environment. This is enormously challenging - old solutions are no longer effective, new ones are just starting to arise: Sometimes we do not even know what our playing field looks like and what the rules are. To stay in the game metaphor: I am looking forward to taking on responsibility and leading this great team onto the field as captain - let the games begin (laughs)!
- Could you tell us about your background?
I was born in Innsbruck and have lived in Vienna for the last 24 years. After studying communication studies, business administration and psychology, I worked in various positions in marketing and communication and started my teaching career at the FHWien of the WKW, first as department head for strategic communication management and during the last years as Director of Studies.
Last year, we moved the center of our lives back to Tyrol. Here I teach and research in the field of Strategic Communication & Stakeholder Management and am thrilled to have found a new professional home at the FH Kufstein Tirol.
- What do you value among your students?
I have been working in the university sector for many years and know the needs of students and teachers alike. I am aware that there are times when these needs fit together better or worse. I therefore always tell my students that we can, no, we MUST talk about everything and at the same time we must be honest with each other and - very importantly - be honest with ourselves.
- What strengths and interests should a student have to study International Business Studies to be the right degree program?
In principle, a degree program can either take the path of specialization or generalization. Both competence profiles are necessary, but we certainly stand for the area of generalization, the view of the big picture and strategic management responsibility. The international context in which all entrepreneurial activity takes place is crucial nowadays and therefore we do not just bear the word "international" in our name. For us, the teaching of international competencies is a central and integrative component of this program that is mainly taught in English: Full-time bachelor students therefore spend up to three semesters of their studies abroad and the master's program is taught 100 % in English, whereby the number of students from abroad is very high. International study trips, excursions to top companies and a great cultural program round off our offer.
- Why would you recommend prospective students to choose International Business Studies?
The development of technologies, markets and society as a whole is so dynamic and unpredictable that the half-life of specialist knowledge is declining faster than ever. Nobody knows what is coming and therefore people who have the strategic acumen to identify and use options will be ahead of the game. People who have strong leadership skills to balance conflicting expectations of their spectrum of stakeholders and those who excel at moving confidently in different cultures. For these managers of tomorrow, we would like to be the training ground.
- What would you like to implement next year? What do you want to achieve?
I will do everything I can for our students to provide them with the best conditions to prepare them for a great international management career.
At the same time, the revision of our degree programs is on the agenda. This process takes place every few years to update the curricula. This is a great opportunity because it sets the course for the long term. I love this phase – the entire IBS team researches, analyses and converses; we discuss, argue, and conceive and then bring everything together. I can already announce now: there are some wow-effects in the pipeline!