Andreas Wirbser was already familiar with the snow-covered mountain landscapes Switzerland has to offer. As a member of a German national Alpine skiing team, he raced down the slopes in the Swiss Alps about ten years ago. Wirbser, who grew up in a quiet mountain village in Germany’s Black Forest region, has now left competitive sport behind him, but has returned to Switzerland to study at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts.
"Do something unusual"
Having left the idea of becoming a professional athlete behind him, Andreas Wirbser started a banking apprenticeship in Lörrach (Germany) which was coupled with a university education. Each semester at the university was followed by a practical assignment at a local savings bank, where he has been permanently employed since finishing his bachelor's degree. Practice-oriented learning has always been a top priority for him - which was also the case when he decided to start the MSc in Banking and Finance at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts: The class schedule at university enables him to remain employed in Germany at a 70% workload. Moreover, Switzerland as a location for education further convinced him of his choice: "Of course there are also Master's programmes in Germany that would have interested me. But I wanted to do something unusual. Something that would make me stand out."
A lot of variety and real projects
Wirbser is now in his third semester of the Master of Science in Banking and Finance. He says it was a good decision to go to Switzerland to study. What he appreciates most is the mix of European flair and international orientation, as well as the proximity to the financial and business centres of Zurich and Zug. "That makes it entertaining and exciting. The modules are structured in such a way that they offer a varied mixture of established specialist topics and innovative approaches," he says, also with regard to the lectures, in which researching professors at the HSLU often alternate with representatives from the practice. The focus on the aspects of digitisation in finance and banking is particularly exciting, he says: "We can work on real digitisation projects during our studies and thus gain valuable experience in various areas". This gives him the opportunity to consider activities outside the traditional banking environment in the future.
Crossing borders: Between the city and mountains
Working in Southern Germany. Study in Rotkreuz. Andreas Wirbser travels a lot. It can be exhausting from time to time, he says, but it also brings a lot of variety to everyday life. How did he experience the move to Switzerland? "Leaving your familiar surroundings always requires some effort in the beginning," says Wirbser. But the short distance to his workplace in Freiburg im Breisgau and the similar mentality made the change easier for him. The country's topography also helped him to acclimatise. "I still go to the mountains as often as possible, be it for skiing, mountain biking, or hiking. The location here in Central Switzerland is, of course, perfect for that," says Wirbser.
Master of Science in Banking and Finance
The Master of Science in Banking and Finance is an academically based and at the same time practice-oriented programme. The specialist skills include a sound knowledge of banking and risk management, corporate finance, as well as FinTech, data analytics, and blockchain. The Master's programme prepares students to perform demanding tasks in the financial sector. Further information can be found here.