Success Stories of Business School Lausanne’s Mentorship Program Alumni

BSL business school’s Academic Direction Office and Student Conduct Coordinator

As a key mechanism for promoting professional growth and career development, the impact of mentorship cannot be overstated. Mentorship programs, such as the one offered by the Business School Lausanne (BSL), provide vital opportunities for aspiring professionals to connect with accomplished professionals in their fields and tap into the wealth of knowledge and experience they offer.

Over the past several decades, BSL has cultivated a sterling reputation for facilitating the success of high-achieving professionals who have gone on to make significant contributions in their respective fields. We’re proud to announce that three of these high-flying achievers, some of BSL’s finest alumni, will participate in our mentorship program. 

In this blog, we’ll explore the success stories of three of BSL’s finest alumni, examining how the program helped them achieve their career goals and the insights they gained through the experience. Through their success stories, we will demonstrate the importance of BSL’s mentorship program in fostering the career development of the next generation of accomplished business leaders. Ultimately, we hope that the success stories of our alumni spur the current set of participants in our mentorship program to even more remarkable achievements.

About BSL’s Alumni Mentoring Program

BSL has implemented an Alumni Mentoring Program to support students in their personal and professional growth. This program aims to create a bridge between BSL’s current students and its alumni, who have already established themselves as globally renowned business leaders and innovators. 

Our mentorship program’s goal is to connect fifteen students with fifteen experienced and carefully selected alums. These students (in the final lap of their BBA, MBA, and Master’s programs) team up with mentors with relevant industry expertise to match their learning backgrounds and career trajectory. The program is scheduled to provide 5 hours of mentoring time within three months and with meetings held virtually or face-to-face (if possible). 

This pairing enables the student to receive guidance and advice on industry trends, job opportunities, networking, and general career development. The program’s main objective is to foster a culture of learning and development beyond the classroom and provide students with access to mentors who can provide valuable insights into their future careers. The Alumni Mentoring Program operates voluntarily, and the participants are matched based on their preferences and objectives. Mentors and mentees are encouraged to establish clear goals and expectations for the mentoring relationship and to commit to regular meetings and communication.

On the part of our mentors, this program also offers them an avenue to further personal development while rubbing their minds with prospective employees. Upon completion of the program, both mentors and mentees are expected to have achieved their personal growth objectives. 

Meet Our Mentors

We’re excited to introduce our mentors! Business School Lausanne’s Alumni Mentoring Program provides students with access to a diverse group of mentors with relevant experience and knowledge in various industries. The program’s mentors are BSL alumni who have achieved success in their respective fields and are committed to giving back to the BSL community.

Without any further ado, let’s meet them.

Paul Binsfeld

Paul Binsfeld, BSL business school alumnus and one of our mentors.
Paul Binsfeld is an alumnus of our business school and the founder and CEO of Company Nurse, LLC

Paul is the founder and CEO of Company Nurse, LLC, which he established in 1997. These days, his primary responsibilities include strategy, core values, and overseeing finance, but, like all entrepreneurs, Paul had to wear various hats in the company’s early days. 

Paul’s journey began in 1987 when he earned a degree in Finance from Arizona State University. Rather than following the well-trodden path to corporate finance, Paul decided to chart a different course, embarking on a six-month backpacking trip through Europe, covering Norway to Morocco. This trip contributed significantly to broadening his horizons, shaping his mindset, and strengthening his resolve, qualities that would prove invaluable further along the line.

At the end of his trip, Paul decided to register for an MBA degree at our BSL, another decision that positively altered the trajectory of his life and career. During the program, and over the course of several interactions with our mentors, Paul found sufficient encouragement to pursue his passion for uncovering needs in any market and putting forth valuable solutions for all stakeholders. And that was how Company Nurse, LLC, came to be.

Company Nurse’s Exclusive Solution and Overcoming Challenges

Paul discovered that the provision of telephone-based triage by a nurse at the time of injury not only facilitates prompt access to appropriate care for employees but also facilitates the collection of detailed information that can be leveraged by various stakeholders in the system for proactive management of claims and safe return to work of injured employees. 

The information obtained could also be utilized by claims adjusters, risk managers, and medical providers to offer compassionate assistance to the employee. Company Nurse’s exclusive solution ensures that injured employees are directed to suitable care promptly and that claims adjusters receive quality information within a few minutes of the injury. Employers are thus able to provide high-quality services to injured employees while also saving costs associated with claims.

Paul’s approach has proved successful over the years. From being a one-man startup, Company Nurse has become a colossus currently serving over 100,000 injured employees across the US each year. The company is also experiencing double-digit organic year-on-year growth. 

Company Nurse’s progress is forged from overcoming obstacles and hurdling difficult challenges. Crucially, Paul has trained his mindset to see challenges as opportunities to excel and move forward. In a recent instance, he lost 40% of his revenue stream in March 2020 due to COVID mandates. Rather than cutting payroll and expenses, he chose to keep his team intact and pivot. They asked clients how they could help during COVID and created an application for managing screenings and vaccinations in 45 days, using existing clinical resources. This solution allowed clients to accomplish both tasks easily, with detailed reporting.

Paul’s experiences, coupled with positive, impactful mentorship from our business school, have made him a firm believer in the fact that anyone can achieve anything as long as they think it is worthwhile. From being a fresh graduate who didn’t have any idea what he wanted to do with his life to owning a successful business and enjoying a fulfilled family life, Paul has come a long way. And he’s just getting started.

Charlotte Kristjansson

Charlotte Kristjansson, BSL business school alumna and a key facilitator of our mentorship program.
Charlotte is an alumn of our business school and one of the mentors in our program.

Charlotte Kristjansson works in the Finance and Operations department at Kinetic, a strategic consulting group. Her work involves helping people to make sense of and find value in their data. 

At the age of eighteen, Charlotte had already set her sights on a career in finance. In furtherance of her dream, she went on to complete a degree in Business and Economics from Lund University in 1997 before completing an MBA at our business school in Lausanne.  Since she took up her first position in the industry in 1997 and throughout her career, she has encountered numerous challenges that have enabled her to grow professionally and personally. Charlotte’s experience spans various finance roles and companies, including non-profit organizations, start-ups, and large corporations. Her work for smaller organizations has also exposed her to other responsibilities outside of finance, such as managing HR, Legal, Procurement, and Administration, which she considers a unique skill set. In addition to her professional accomplishments, Charlotte has a passion for helping others develop and is a caring individual, which has undoubtedly contributed to her success.

Working at Kinetic and Overcoming Unique Challenges

Although Charlotte had always dreamed of having children, the reality was more complicated than anticipated. Following the birth of her son Gabriel, Charlotte found herself confronted with the task of reconciling her professional career with the demands of motherhood after receiving a promotion to the position of Finance Director. This unique challenge necessitated some adjustment, and after much deliberation, Charlotte resolved to leave her role as Finance Director and transition to consulting. While this was a risky decision, she is content with her choice. It enabled her to spend more time with her son while retaining an engaging and intellectually stimulating position. This transition provided Charlotte with the flexibility to balance her personal and professional lives and achieve a greater sense of fulfillment in both spheres.

Kinetic’s key objective is to facilitate its clients in creating sustainable business impacts and achieving better results at an accelerated rate. In line with this objective, Charlotte, a member of the Finance and Operations department at Kinetic, is committed to supporting clients in delivering greater value. Charlotte has a particular interest in data and sustainability, and many of her projects revolve around converting data into value, assisting clients in deriving insights from their data and striking a harmonious balance between the economy, environment, and people. As the significance of sustainability continues to rise, Charlotte has endeavoured to expand her proficiency in this area. She aspires to work with clients to find the appropriate equilibrium between the economy, environment, and people, as she believes it is the sole method to attain long-term sustainability.

Nowadays, Charlotte is focused on helping aspiring professionals navigate the complexities of their careers by giving them quality mentorship. She is keen on giving back to the system that helped her in the early stages of her development. And as a key member of the mentoring program at BSL, she is committed to using her wealth of experience and expertise to help the program’s enrollees succeed in their various endeavours. 

Konstantin Mochalov

Konstantin Mochalov, another BSL business school alumnus and mentor.
Konstantin, entrepreneur, CEO, and proud ambassador of our business school.

Working with food has always been one of Konstantin’s greatest passions, and he started following his dreams at a very young age. He started cooking at the age of six and working in the HoReCa industry at the age of sixteen. Currently, Konstantin is the founder and CEO of Food Is Good SARL.

As an entrepreneur, Konstantin handles the full gamut of responsibilities, which requires a comprehensive understanding of all facets of his startup. This includes organizing and streamlining all business processes, such as procuring ingredients, identifying the most favorable prices, planning deliveries, developing packaging, adhering to deadlines, managing social media platforms, interacting with customers, and even undertaking janitorial duties. Konstantin’s responsibilities as an entrepreneur necessitate a range of skills, including business acumen, organizational prowess, and an unwavering commitment to achieving success in all aspects of his startup.

Working hard is Konstantin’s superpower. Bringing forth new creations and witnessing the joy and satisfaction on the faces of his customers are his biggest motivations.

Establishing a Startup and Overcoming Challenges

Konstantin’s company produces 100% natural snacks using local apples and eggs as the primary ingredients. The primary objective of this company is to develop a snack that does not include added sugars while utilizing readily available ingredients from Swiss grocery stores. 

A significant aim of the enterprise is to reduce sugar consumption amongst younger Swiss demographics. The ingredients for the K’Apples snack are uncomplicated, comprising solely apples, egg whites, and other fruits and spices, without any sugar, butter, flour, or salt. Konstantin assumes various responsibilities, including recipe development, technological pathway creation, and work process organization. He also spearheads the company’s marketing efforts, encompassing search engine optimization (SEO), social media marketing, public relations (PR), newsletter composition, interviews, and appearances on Swiss television.

Konstantin encountered several obstacles during his entrepreneurial journey. While devising his business strategy, he acknowledged the COVID pandemic as one of the most significant threats. However, he had not anticipated the swift escalation of military conflict in Eastern Europe in 2022, which led to a two-fold increase in raw material prices and electricity costs. Additionally, he had to navigate unexpected challenges, such as the delay in receiving new equipment due to the Evergreen container ship’s stranding in the Suez Canal, which resulted in unforeseen delays and costs. Despite the challenges, Konstantin remained committed to his vision, utilizing his problem-solving skills to overcome hurdles and maintain the continuity of his operations.

Konstantin employs the Onion scheme–1-10-100 to address external factors directly impacting his business. This approach involves focusing on the center of the business, listening to the 10 individuals that are most influential, and applying the lessons learned from those individuals to the first 100 customers to assess the results. An instance of using this approach was when the average pay-per-order declined by 20% due to increased food and product prices. Konstantin spoke with the top 10 customers and identified a need to develop a new product at a more reasonable price point. This led to the creation of Nuage aux pommes, a marshmallow made from a puree of baked apples.

Konstantin’s biggest secret is working hard all the time and always delivering on promises made: “Having a business can be compared to running a marathon. It looks easy; one just has to move one’s legs forward. After 20 km, one starts to be out of breath, one’s legs start to become sore, one does not feel good, but one has to keep pushing; after 30 km, the greatest competitor is oneself.” 

In Conclusion

There you have it: BSL’s lineup of enterprising, high-achieving business leaders. During the course of our mentorship program, our students will have an interesting and potentially crucial opportunity to interact one-on-one with our alumni and garner useful insights and career advice firsthand. The BSL Mentorship Program is a further demonstration of the commitment of our business school in Switzerland to facilitating the all-round development of the next generation of global business leaders. 

Are you interested in attending a top business school in Switzerland?

Contact Business School Lausanne for more information.

Maya Ramati, Head of Careers and Industry Relations
Alumni interviews conducted by Maya Ramati, Head of Careers and Industry Relations.