5 Rules for Success

4. know your target group
If you know your customer well,  you will understand his needs better.  Concentrate on a specific target group with similar  needs, similar situations, similar aims and problems.

   Till Lokai: Successfully bridging architecture and Business Administration

Intensive Course of Study in Business Administration

"To simply do something for the mind again," was Till Lokai initial motivation. In this context he regarded Business Administration as an interesting complementary field to the area he had trained in. In December 2007 the 34-year old architect and project manager from Lucerne completed his Distance Learning Course with a Business Economist Diploma (BI) with the mark "very good".

Being an architect and project manager he has to deal with economic problems on a daily basis. What would be closer to his heart than to delve deeper into the subject matter? "When studying architecture you learn nothing about company management, just about building construction," Lokai says. Especially because he is toying with the idea of starting his own company he wanted to know about the "commercial side of things".

Project Management or Own Company as Objective
After graduating from the Aachen Technical College with a degree in architecture Lokai who was born in Freiburg had several jobs before joining the company of Bühlmann Architects AG (plc) in Hergiswil in Switzerland in 2002. In those days it was much more difficult to find a job in architecture. He found that, " In Switzerland building contractors are much more open to modern architecture." He had enjoyed realising such projects. He was motivated to take a Distance Learning Course as his ultimate objectives are "Project Management" and "Starting his own company". In addition to furthering his career options he was also enticed by the possibility of earning higher wages in project management.

Company Management, Financial Accounting and Investment Planning- during his Distance Learning Course Lokai had always shown an interest in such subjects which are directly related to the real estate business. But the areas of Marketing, Controlling and Economics also gave him a general overview. In the first year of his course he managed to reconcile his studies with his working day which he reduced to 80%. "That was easy to manage." The time he spent preparing his diploma thesis were much harder. After having taken three months out he began to tackle his thesis. He worked full-time and with a new baby on board it took him two months to complete the thesis.

His diploma thesis dealt with the subject of "Project Management for Private Building Contractors". In his work he was able to link the rather "dry" theory of Business Administration to his practical experience. Among other things he examined how modern project management methods can be applied on the construction site. His idea was to devise a guideline for building constructors with a catalogue of questions to gain a rough general view. "Many building constructors have no idea about what architects do." The work should serve to demonstrate which partners are needed at which stages of the construction process. "I learned a great deal writing my diploma thesis," Lokai said.

New Perspectives
Having successfully bridged architecture and Business Administration new professional prospects have opened up for Till Lokai both in Switzerland and his home country Germany. He wants to work as a project manager or bravely venture into self-employment.

Till Lokai, CH-6003 Luzern