Mag. Thomas Heissbauer, M.A.
Graduate year 2009
Why did you decide to attend the master degree program Sports, Culture & Event Management? What makes it such a special program in your eyes?
Due to my experiences as both a professional musician in a classical symphony orchestra and an ambitious marathon runner, I thought that a study program that combined these two fields sounded extremely interesting.
At first glance the differences between sports and culture might seem greater than their similarities, but there are in fact many intersections. For example, one aspect that the two fields have in common is emotions, and emotions play an important role in the minds of both the performers and the audience or spectators. These kinds of similarities capture my interest. Anyway, this sort of networked and interdisciplinary thinking is becoming increasingly important in our world. So there is a lot to gain from being able to examine, for example, if certain management strategies from one field are also applicable in another.
Which courses have you attended so far and what have you learned in or through them?
Thanks to the three integrated fields of sports, culture and events, the program’s curriculum is naturally multifaceted and colorful. Some of the courses convey expert knowledge and others support students in developing their personality and soft skills.
The lecture Strategic Culture Management held by Dr. Wolfram and Dr. Scheytt was very impressive. While Dr. Wolfram covered the more scientific and theoretical aspects of this subject, Dr. Scheytt – Managing Director of the Culture Capital Ruhr 2010 – consolidated this knowledge with the help of explanations and examples taken from professional practice. What I actually want to say with this is that the program not only teaches theory but also demonstrates how this theory can be applied in practice.
Have you already worked on any projects at the FH Kufstein? What did the projects deal with? How did you contribute to the projects?
As part of a case study, four colleagues and I carried out a research project on EU culture subsidies, and the results will be published in book form by a renowned German publishing house. We were responsible for creating and analyzing a questionnaire, which we sent to 300 cultural institutions in the German-speaking countries.
In addition to that, we carried out interviews with the persons in the institutions who are responsible for completing the subsidy applications. The objective was to analyze their experiences with regard to the difficulties and special situations encountered when submitting applications to the EU.
In your opinion, to what extent is it possible to combine one’s studies, job, and private life?
I have to say that working full time and studying part time is certainly a challenge for students. To a great extent part-time students are dependent on the concessions made and support given by their employers, partners, family, and so on.
Nevertheless I want to emphasize that the challenges are balanced out by the lively discussions among the classmates. Everyone brings with them a tremendous amount of life experience as well as professional experience that can be shared. Some really great friendships have developed over the semesters.
What career prospects do you have as a result of your studies at the master’s level?
Because I have worked in a cultural organization for many years, I have acquired a good amount of expertise and have made many contacts in the branch. In my studies I have learned the skills I need to switch into the field of cultural management when I end my active artist career.
I am actually aiming to get a position in orchestra management. However, when I finish my studies I would like to establish music agency. Specifically, my clients would be adults, but I will also target the creative industries, which are becoming more and more important.