Building Global Bridges With You

«I am always on the lookout for new challenges»

3/2021 EN
  • Interview
  • Alumni

André Bruggmann is a Geospatial Solutions Expert and Co-CEO of Crosswind, a consulting company in Location Intelligence. The Graduate of ZHAW has just completed his Master’s thesis at the School of Management and Law on the impact of the Corona crisis on the Swiss labor market.

You work for Crosswind in Winterthur. What area are you involved in?

André Bruggmann: Crosswind’s motto is “Unlock the Where.” We offer our customers added value by supporting them in internal and external company data with a spatial reference. For example, a car dealer wants to check whether their point-of-sale network is well-positioned. To do this, we use the car dealer’s internal data on current locations and the socio-demographic characteristics of typical customers. Then, using the vast trove of spatial data available at Crosswind, we analyze where a site is most profitable for the dealer. For example, potential customers can be identified by where they live or where they commute. In addition, Crosswind can use its data to make detailed and future-oriented statements about the assertiveness of e-mobility and identify relevant trends for the automotive industry.

How did you get this job?

I chose Crosswind partly because I have always been fascinated by spatial data and analysis. At the same time, in my geography studies, I got the impression that there is a vast and partially untapped potential in many companies for using geographical methods. So, during my undergraduate studies, I took an elective in business administration to better understand the connections between geography and business. And then, on completing my doctorate, I decided to work for Crosswind, which operates precisely at this exciting interface.

Why did you choose the MAS Business Administration?

After starting at Crosswind, I quickly took on responsibility and got involved in management issues. I was interested and fascinated by this from the outset. However, apart from the theoretical business administration knowledge I gained at the University of Zurich, I lacked a broader business background. So, I came up with the idea of acquiring more in-depth knowledge through the MAS Business Administration – getting to know applications in practice and exchanging ideas with people in a similar position to me.

“I don’t like standing still. Because of this, I try to question my habits and break out of my comfort zone.”

André Bruggmann, Alumnus of ZHAW

Did your employer support you in this choice?

This plan was supported by Crosswind from the beginning and, together, we decided that I would begin my continuing education in the summer of 2019.

How would you characterize yourself?

I am always on the lookout for new challenges and do not like standing still. Because of this, I try to question my habits and break out of my comfort zone. I want to discover new things and get a comprehensive and balanced picture of my surroundings, which is also reflected in my decision to pursue a career in the private sector. I grew up in a family of teachers and politicians, so until I was a young adult, I was familiar with this environment and very much at home there. I have always been attracted to the private sector but lacked direct access to it. Towards the end of my studies, I decided not to pursue a career in teaching but to venture into the commercial world.

In your Master’s thesis, you deal with a current topic, namely the spatio-temporal and sector-dependent effects of the Corona pandemic on the Swiss labor market. What made you choose this topic?

For most people, the impact of the Corona pandemic on all areas of life probably came as a great shock and meant they had to adapt to a new situation in their personal and working lives very quickly. Both the Swiss Federal Council and the cantons were obliged to take various urgent measures to protect the population from the virus. This has had severe consequences for the economy if you consider, for example, the significant restrictions faced by the hospitality industry and airlines or think of the slump in exports in the spring of 2020. However, the impact varied greatly from region to region and sector to sector, and I was not aware of any study devoted to this issue that had examined the development of the labor market in detail.

In my Master’s thesis, I wanted to close this gap and, with my background and know-how at the interface between geography and economics, show political and economic decision-makers how the emergency measures have had an impact regionally and across the various sectors. My thesis should also help anticipate the possible effects of such measures in similar future crisis situations.

André Bruggmann

He grew up in the peaceful town in the canton of Thurgau. On leaving the cantonal school in Romanshorn in 2007, André Bruggmann studied geography at the University of Zurich and earned a doctorate after completing his Master’s degree. He merged approaches traditionally used in geography with data science methods in his work at the University of Zurich’s Geographic Information Visualization and Analysis Department. Since 2017, he has been working at Crosswind GmbH, a consulting company in Location Intelligence. André Bruggmann wrote his Master’s thesis for the MAS Business Administration (MAS BA) on the topic “What were the effects of the first year of the Corona crisis on the Swiss labor market? A spatial and industry-dependent analysis.”