General Management & Strategy

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General Management for Pilots


Programme Description

Understanding general management basics and strategy fundamentals is the first step for specialists towards a career in the corporate world.  In this programme, professionals with a non-business background will learn the latest and most relevant management concepts, enabling them to engage in business discourses and position themselves in the long term as a competent corporate leader. This programme is specifically tailored to pilots and leading professionals who are planning a career shift or simply want to gain a second foothold in the corporate world. Unique advantages of the programme include peer-to-peer interaction, skills workshops, as well as a personalized coaching session to help participants determine their next career step.


Target Audience

Pilots and leading professionals with a desire to enter the corporate world or make a career transition.


Start Dates
Fully booked
8 Weeks
Application Deadline
Number of ECTS Credits
Level of Experience
Senior Manager
Functional Specialist
Programme Type
CHF 4'200.- / CHF 3'900.- for the first run starting 30 November 2020
Special Discounts
We offer 5 social study grants of 30% discount for those in special financial need. Apply with your CV, your motivation to participate in this programme and a description of your situation to
Individual Modules Bookable
Flexible Entry
Programme Language


This programme helps pilots succeed professionally and reposition themselves on the job market, for example with a middle management or project lead position outside an airline in any industry.

Programme Benefits

You will receive professional training from one of Europe’s leading business schools and tailored support during your personal change process:

  • You will be updated on the latest and most relevant management topics and strategy fundamentals
  • You will receive professional guidance for your career transition through skills workshops with the opportunity for conscious reflection on how to meet new challenges.
  • The programme is structured in seven modules, delivered virtually, plus pre-readings and transfer groups – to enable you to integrate your learning smoothly into your weekly schedule.

In case you decide to write a final paper at the end of the course, you will earn 3 ECTS from the University of St.Gallen for this programme.

Application Criteria

Participants must have a strong interest in acquiring business knowledge and be willing to prepare thoroughly for the sessions. 

Course Structure

The programme is structured in 7 modules with a total workload of 90 hours spread out over a 2-month period. Every week consists of a 2.5-hour online input session, a 1-hour peer-exchange and a 2.5-hour skills workshop. Course preparation and follow-up work will require an approximately equal amount of time.

The modules take place virtually over Zoom and you will get access to the learning platform containing all relevant documents. 

Kick-Off Session

1 December 2020, 10:00-12:00

Management System vs. Aviation System (Week of 7 December 2020)

  • Content Session: 7 December 2020, 16:15-18:45
  • Transfer Session: 10 December 2020, 10:00-11:00
  • Skills Workshop: 11 December 2020, 09:00-11:30

Strategic Management (Week of 14 December 2020)

  • Content Session: 15 December 2020, 14:15-16:45
  • Transfer Session: 17 December 2020, 10:00-11:00
  • Skills Workshop: 18 December 2020, 09:00-11:30

HR Management (Week of 11 January 2020)

  • Content Session: 12 January 2021, 14:15-16:45
  • Transfer Session: 14 January 2021, 10:00-11:00
  • Skills Workshop: 15 January 2021, 09:00-11:30

Marketing Management (Week of 18 January 2020)

  • Content Session: 20 January 2021, 14:15-16:45
  • Transfer Session: 21 January 2021, 14:00-15:00
  • Skills Workshop: 22 January 2021, 09:00-11:30

Financial Management (Week of 25 January 2020)

  • Content Session: 27 January 2021, 16:15-18:45
  • Transfer Session: 28 January 2021, 14:00-15:00

Leadership (Week of 1 February 2020)

  • Content Session: 02 February 2021, 14:15-16:45
  • Transfer Session: 04 February 2021, 10:00-11:00

Networking Event (Summer 2021)

exact times to be announced

Individual Coaching Session


Learning Journey

Content & Faculty

Kick-Off Session (Week of 30 November 2020) with Dr. Andreas Wittmer and Stephanie Schoss

During the first 1-hour session you will get to know the faculty, e-meet each other and clarify your expectations as well as the general learning objectives.  

Management System vs. Aviation System (Week of 7 December 2020) with Dr. Andreas Wittmer and Dr. Lüder Tockenbürger

During the first module you will discuss the basic challenges and questions of managing a complex organization on the basis of the new St. Gallen Management Model.

Learning objectives:

  • Know your strengths and weaknesses as pilots in an organizational rather than operational context.
  • Learn the most important principles of management.
  • Understand strategic management and organizational development in the context of process and people organizations.
  • Be able to reduce complexity and uncertainty in an organization by applying a management model.

Strategic Management (Week of 14 December 2020) with Prof. Dr. Erwin Hettich

This module deals with the question: What is strategy in general? You will learn how to develop and implement a strategy. 

Learning objectives:

  • Understand the factors separating good from bad strategies.
  • Learn the components and mechanics of the strategy process.
  • Be able to apply the following strategy tools:
    • SWOT
    • Five Forces
    • Business Modelling

Marketing Management (Week of 11 January 2020) with Prof. Dr. Christian Hildebrand

You will be introduced to core concepts of modern marketing management which will enable you to develop a customer-centric marketing strategy.

Learning objectives:

  • Understand the definition, tools and objectives of marketing in general.
  • Be able to identify a company's market, its marketing environment and define its position within the market.
  • Learn about the latest developments in marketing resulting from digitalisation and new information technologies.

HR Management (Week of 18 January 2020) with Prof. Dr. Antoinette Weibel

You will learn the most current theories in Human Resource Management (HRM), such as Positive People Management.

Learning objectives:

  • Understand how Positive People Management and Trust lead to organizational excellence.
  • Learn how HRM contributes to employee engagement and happiness.
  • Discover the secret to positive teamwork. Know what roles HR and Inclusive Leadership play.

Financial Management (Week of 25 January 2020) with Dr. Thorsten Truijens

During this module you will get the most current information on key tools and instruments in controlling and finance, including balance sheets, profit and loss statements, cash flow statements and financial key performance indicators.

Learning objectives:

  • Acquire an understanding of the most important financial data used to analyse company performance.
  • Be able to interpret financial data.
  • Know how financial key performance indicators (KPI) are linked to the business model.

Leadership (Week of 1 February 2020) with Prof. Dr. Ulrich Zwygart

You will learn how leaders can respond to new challenges in the age of digitalisation. The Programme addresses leadership from the perspectives of leading self, others and the organization.

Learning objectives:

  • Understand different leadership styles.
  • Learn how to develop your own leadership strengths.
  • Discover how to lead diverse people in different settings, online and in person.

Skills workshops and Coaching with Dr. Mike Widmer and diverse coaches throughout the course on the topics of

  • Creating a CV suitable for the business world
  • Positioning yourself on LinkedIn 
  • Strategies for job finding 
  • Interview skills
  • Elevator Pitch, etc.

The hands-on skills workshops give a structured overview of the job application process by blending practice and theory. It all starts with a situation analysis followed by a wide set of topics related to finding, getting and staying in the next job. Typical areas explored include self-assessment, expectation management, industry/function analysis, search plan, storytelling (CV, LinkedIn etc.), networking, elevator pitch, interviewing, communication, and stakeholder management. After the workshops, participants are equipped with the right tools and processes as well as inspired to set their sights on the next career opportunity.

Networking Event (in Summer 2021 – as soon as the situations allows)

You will get to know “your HSG”, your programme colleagues, art on campus and much more.


Our Faculty 

Discuss with and learn from our renowned professors and industry experts. 

Dr. Andreas Wittmer 

Dr. Andreas Wittmer is Head of International Networks and Senior Lecturer in Management with special focus on Aviation at the University of St.Gallen. Furthermore, he is Managing Director of the Center for Aviation Competence at the Institute for Systemic Management and Public Governance. His research focuses on network industries, such as Aviation. His interests link with a better understanding of efficiencies generated by networks and the impacts on stakeholders. He regularly publishes in international journals and books and he is member of several editorial journal and conference boards.

Stephanie Schoss

Besides being a commercial pilot, Stephanie Schoss is Director of Open Enrolment Programmes at the Executive School of Management, Technology and Law of the University of St. Gallen and founding Director of the Competence Center for High Performance Research at the Institute of International Management.

Stephanie studied Business and Economics at the Universities of St.Gallen, Harvard and the Singapore Management University. Her research focuses on deep-level diversity, conflicts and leadership in teams. Before joining the university, Stephanie has been an active entrepreneur for the past eighteen years besides being a part-time private pilot (SEP, MEP and seaplane) and commercial pilot.

Dr. Lüder Tockenbürger

Dr. Tockenbürger has developed and conducted international management training programmes in Europe, America and Asia in the fields of organizational development and management. His expertise covers several fields, including strategic management, organizational development, communication and leadership. Dr. Tockenbürger is a founding member of several companies and also works as a management consultant. He teaches the EMBA module Integrated Organizational Development.

Prof. Dr. Erwin Hettich

Prof. Dr. Erwin Hettich is Assistant Professor of Strategic Management and Head of the Strategy Lab at the Institute of Management and Strategy, University of St.Gallen. Previously, he worked in various positions and industries relating to strategy development, as well as a principal advisor in consulting. In his last corporate position, he was responsible for the development of the Venturing & Ecosystems division. He conducted his doctoral studies at the University of St.Gallen rest. truuvbeand at Harvard Business School (HBS). His research focuses on ecosystems, collaboration and competition, and the implications of technology on strategy and management.

Prof. Dr. Christian Hildebrand

Prof. Dr. Hildebrand is full Professor of Marketing Analytics and Director of the Institute of Marketing and Director of the TechX Lab at the University of St.Gallen. He teaches at several universities in Germany, Switzerland and the United States of America. Amongst others, he is lecturer at the Master, PhD, and Executive level, specializing in Machine Learning for Marketers, Web Data & Digital Analytics, Smart Data for Executives, and Computational Implementation of Experiments. His research focuses on Human-Computer interaction, consumer decision making, artificial intelligence, and digital voice assistants and chatbots.

Prof. Dr. Antoinette Weibel

Antoinette Weibel is Professor for Human Resources Management and director of the Institute for Work and Employment Research, University of St.Gallen. Her research focuses on Human Resources, Organizational Studies and Organizational Psychology. Her recent research projects center on stakeholder distrust, trust and (new) controls, active trust, and trust in extreme situations.

Dr. Thorsten Truijens

Dr. Truijens has been teaching at the University of St.Gallen since 1995. Additionally, he is currently teaching at several international graduate and executive education programmes, among them Harvard Business School, Rotman School of Management, Canada, as well as Melbourne Business School, Australia. His interests include Value Based Management, Accounting and Finance. He holds an MBA degree of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a doctoral degree from the University of St.Gallen. He is managing partner of a consulting company specializing in financial management. His previous work experience includes management positions in the automotive industry and extensive consulting work in the pharmaceutical and logistics industry.

Prof. Dr. Ulrich Zwygart

Prof. Zwygart is Honorary Professor for General Management at the University of St. Gallen and former attorney-at-law and Major General (ret.). He was Managing Director / Chief Learning Officer for global companies such as Deutsche Bank and Zurich Insurance Group and is author of several leadership books. He now works as an independent consultant for boards and executive committees and teaches leadership/management at the Executive School of the University of St.Gallen.

Dr. Mike J. Widmer, MBA

Mike Widmer is Founder & Managing Partner of Aalto AG – fostering organizational and professional happiness through executive search, leadership and career consulting. He began his professional career by founding an internet startup and thereafter joined the software company BSI Business Systems Integration AG as a Project Manager and Legal Counsel. After complementing his PhD in law with a full-time MBA at the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan he joined McKinsey & Company in the USA. Next Mike returned to BSI to set up the company’s German subsidiary in Frankfurt as Country Manager. Prior to founding Aalto in 2020 he worked for almost 10 years in two top-tier executive search companies at international and local levels.

Faculty and content may be subject to change to respond to changing needs and availability.

Further information

Corporate Partners

This programme is offered in collaboration with the Center for Aviation Competence 

Why HSG?

Executive education at the University of St.Gallen (HSG), one of Europe's leading business universities, provides you with an optimal preparation for the future. The University of St.Gallen is more than just an educational institution; it is a place of inspiration that stimulates you to think. You will acquire up-to-date knowledge that is of great practical relvance, and gain valuable insights. This will enable you to make an important contribution to social and economic progress and to your own personal development. "From insight to impact" is not just our message; it is a promise against which we can be measured. 

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