Nils Hafner
Professor Of Marketing
Karriere Level
Leitende*r Angestellte*r

“If you want to teach people how to do science and research you have to go through all these academic studies yourself.” Nils Hafner is a professor of marketing at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts. The best part? “I think it’s the combination: Talking to young people, I love it, and teaching is one of my favorite things.”


Drei Ratschläge an Dein 14jähriges Ich!

First thing is little Nils learn more, go back to school, go to your university, study something and second thing is talk about it. What you've have learned is maybe valuable for other people and that saying is try to talk to other people in a way they like because otherwise people think that you're arrogant and you're definitely not.

Was steht auf Deiner Visitenkarte?

My name is Nils Hafner and I'm a professor of marketing at the Lucerne University of Applied Sciences.

Was ist das coolste an Deinem Job?

I think it's the mixture of all. It's the mixture of being a researcher, mixture of being a teacher, of being a professor on cool speeches like today with Marketing Natives. I think it's the combination, talking to young people. I love it and teaching is one of my favorite things.

Welche Einschränkungen bringt Dein Job mit sich?

The negative thing is being too much in administrative work. Looking at some exams, looking at some exams, looking at some conferences within the University and so on. This is not so cool but I think it is the minor part of my job so the main thing is cool.

Worum geht es in Deinem Job?

So teaching is mainly about story telling especially in marketing. When you're talking about several marketing methods you have to tell a story to make people curious, curious about the different methods, the different things in marketing and the colorful world of advertising and establishing a customer relationship. So on the other hand, what I do is research and talking about research as a... Sometimes a little bit more quite thing beneath the teaching. Researchers often talking to people, talking to marketing professionals but on the other hand questioning people on the street asking them what have you bought, why have you bought this, where are you going to buy another product or another service? This is quite interesting because it gives you the input for teaching, the input for speeches. Like here in Vienna with Marketing Natives and so it's the basis. So day begins at 8:15 am and you come to class and there are several young people all keen to know about customer relationship management, which is my subject, and the typical talk session is ¾ of an hour then we have a break then ¾ of an hour then we have a break and so on. Normal thing I am talking and they are listening. Sometimes the other way around, I ask a question, they're talking. But it is quite irritating for my students.

Wie sieht Dein Werdegang aus?

I went to school, this was successful. Then I went to University and studied business. This was not so successful so I changed my subject. I changed from business to psychology and philosophy. I love these subjects but then I changed again back to business and management and I finalized my studies in 1997. By then I decided to stay in research, stay in the academic way and started postgraduate studies at the University of Rostock in Germany, Northern Germany. I found my subject by asking big companies how to steer their contact center, their service center. Then I asked several customers what do you expect from a contact center, from a service center and after doing this for three years, I had my PhD and I had to start real work, real work outside of the University which was quite hard for me because I never worked outside the University and so I started to work with a big consulting company called Computer Sciences Cooperation in Berlin, and Zurich and Switzerland. And so I had to move from Northern Germany which was nice to Switzerland which is nice too. But I didn't know it by that time. After being in business consulting for three years, I went back to University. Then the University of Applied Sciences in Lucerne and started my career as a lecturer, then a senior lecturer then a professor since 2008.

Ginge es auch ohne Deinem Werdegang?

No it isn't because if you want to teach people how to do science, how to do research, how to behave in an academic surrounding you have to go through all these academics studies yourself because otherwise you do not have the possible methods or the material to do so. You have to be a little empathetic. Empathetic means you have to know when I tell s good story to gather the students attention when you could go a little bit deeper into the methods which could be a little bit boring but the most important thing is that you have to know when to stop talking because they're full of information and they can't come get another piece of information.