Congratulations to Dr. Christina Hertel for her new faculty position!
Dr. Christina Hertel will be leaving EPFL and Prof. Marc Gruber's Chair of Entrepreneurship and Technology Commercialization to start a new position as an assistant professor at the University of Geneva, starting in 2023.
Can you describe your career path in a few sentences?
Already during my Master studies at the Technical University of Munich, I worked as a research assistant in sustainable entrepreneurship and after writing my thesis on this topic, I decided to stay at the university and do a PhD to continue my research on how entrepreneurship can be used as a tool for addressing societal challenges. In 2018, I joined the Chair of Entrepreneurship and Technology Commercialization as a Post-Doctoral Researcher working on a SNF project and teaching entrepreneurship. During this time, I also had the chance to turn one of my research projects into a business. Since a couple of months now, I've been working full-time on this business called Levo, which is a methodology and online platform that helps entrepreneurs and investors assess and improve the operational sustainability and external impact of startups. In December, I will then change hats again, starting as Professor of Entrepreneurship at the Geneva School of Economics and Management at the University of Geneva.
You’ve joined EPFL since 2018 in Marc Gruber’s chair, how was your work experience during that time?
My time at EPFL was extremely diverse and full of opportunities. I had to learn to balance tasks around project management, research, teaching, and collaborations with practice, which was challenging but also finally convinced me to keep pursuing an academic career to be able to continue to combine all these interesting aspects. It’s a pity that almost two years of my time at EPFL were marked by Covid and home office and I wish I could have had more time on campus, connecting to people and benefiting from all the offers EPFL is making. Getting the support to turn my research into a product that is now being used by more and more practitioners across different fields is certainly the highlight of my time at the College of Management of Technology (CDM). I am extremely grateful for this chance and also happy that this project will continue to build a bridge with CDM after I leave EPFL.
You’ve just been hired at the University of Geneva as an Assistant professor in Entrepreneurship, how did the hiring process go and what do you wish to accomplish there in the future?
The hiring process was very well organized. It was surprising for me to realize that, although I have quite a big network and Switzerland can at times feel like a village, I did not know any of my future colleagues that conduct interesting research on related topics less than one hour far from CDM. Building more connections between these (and other Swiss) institutions is certainly one of the things I want to do in the future. Through Levo and the research on it, I will stay connected to my colleagues here at CDM and can also imagine starting new collaborations. Hopefully, we will be able to turn this great data into relevant and high-quality publications. In Geneva, one of my main tasks will be to establish a new Entrepreneurship Lab that will provide entrepreneurship education to students from the School of Economics and Management but also from other faculties. In particular, I will closely collaborate with the Faculty of Science to help leverage the university’s great innovative potential. For this, my experience at EPFL where I have worked with all kind of engineering and science students will surely help me a lot.
Besides research, do you have another passion or interest?
Of course! I love the Swiss mountains and spending time outside with my family and friends. That’s also why I’m so happy that this new position doesn’t only allow me to accept a new professional challenge and stay in close exchange with my former colleagues, but also to stay in the region!