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Alumnus Showcase: Karl Tischlhauser

Today, we bring you a captivating account of the remarkable odyssey undertaken by Karl Tischlhauser, a graduate from our business school, DaVinci's BCom programme (class of 2020), who is presently pursuing a Master's degree qualification. Karl's unwavering commitment to lifelong learning has not only shaped his personal growth but also positioned him as one of the exceptional ambassadors of the DaVinci educational brand. Join us as we delve into Karl's captivating narrative, highlighting his journey, illuminating the transformative impact of a DaVinci education.


Karl Tischlhauser can be described as someone with an affable character and is fascinatingly an insightful person to engage with. He likens himself to an obsessive perfectionist and appreciates how committed he can be to any given task that he may be engaged with. “I have this need for routine, it is very important that my day be structured”, Karl concedes.


Perhaps acknowledging his tendency for orderliness, Karl says, “I like having a plan – having a planned approach allows me to work around my own reward system. I am also very curious; I find myself often postulating the perceptions of those around me – and not in a negative way – I love to gain insight into how an individual might have reached a particular conclusion.”


The inquisitive Karl accords that when reflecting on who he was before his academic journey started, he realises how far he has come, stating thus: “When I was 19 years old, and looking at possible universities to go to, my dad recommended DaVinci. He recommended DaVinci because he had completed his doctoral qualification with the business school. I remember asking my dad about DaVinci, he told me that studying with this business school would allow me to have a flexible schedule, which would not require me to only study, because, as my dad relayed the story, students who attended the business school often had some work experience. I then realised the possible opportunity to learn a few tricks of the trade from them. Doing the BCom degree through DaVinci was life changing!”


Moreover, as Karl states, having had “a conversation about academic pathways with my dad made it easier. We were planning my career path, it helped so much having someone who has also inspired me so much and pointed me in the right direction. Signing up with DaVinci was a big step, and I think back to the first time I had ever gone to the campus for class. I felt this strange nervousness, but meeting some of the remarkable people at the business school, this had me feeling like I had made the best possible decision for my academic development.”


Inquired about his experience and educational path, Karl artfully expresses that his academic journey with DaVinci was truly remarkable – as he notes: “It was not devoid of challenges, but it encompassed everything I required. I embarked on the BCom degree at the tender age of 19 and, at 22, I proudly crossed the graduation stage. The key to my success lay in the exceptional team of lecturers who tirelessly supported me in unlocking my potential. They guided me in comprehending my own thinking processes and equipped me with the necessary tools to express myself effectively in writing."


This has been an academic voyage filled with new encounters and formation of new friendships and networks, Karl shares, adding in detail, “I had the pleasure of meeting Alex, who became like a big brother to me. Over the course of three years, I witnessed his life undergo a complete transformation, yet he remained unwavering in his dedication. He saw his BCom degree through till the end, even when it was no longer necessary for him. Then there was Thembi, a petite yet incredibly resilient woman. I observed her overcome setbacks with remarkable strength, effortlessly conquering every challenge that came her way. And let me not forget Heidi, whose heart overflowed with compassion. She always took the time to lend an ear to my wild anecdotes, and I admired how she spoke so proudly about her children. Honestly, I could talk endlessly about the wonderful individuals I encountered through DaVinci. This journey connected me with a multitude of people on various levels, leaving a lasting impact.”


Significantly, we note this to make the point that Karl stands out due to his acute listening skills and attentive disposition. He emphasises the significance of having paused to listen to each person he encountered at DaVinci and further notes that they all had something valuable to share.


When asked about the three most prominent attributes or characteristics that may have facilitated his journey towards obtaining his degree, Karl highlights his unwavering determination to succeed. He elaborates, stating, “I never, ever wanted to feel like all the odds were stacked against me. I also aspire to establish my name and create a legacy that far surpasses my own existence. I have come to realise that I will do everything within my power to make it happen.”


Karl also acknowledges his strong routine, noting that even though load shedding has been disruptive lately, "I have developed quite a routine for managing all the work. My strong, disciplined approach to routine has meant that it's not work all the time – I make time for play too! My sense of humour helps as well; the easiest way to connect with people is by making a couple of jokes every now and then. Now, I'm not a comedian, I just happen to be observational – I'm always trying to see the humour in a situation. Having this approach has made it easier to connect with others."


Karl is a firm believer that when people are in their formative adult years, they are often very nervous about who they are, who are they going to be and their places (where they fit) in the world. He supposes that the journey provided him with some structure and further elucidated a medium to long term goal for himself. Focusing on one’s own development was his mission, he says.


Speaking about his experience with DaVinci staff and lecturers, Karl reflects on conversations that left him with a desire to do better. Feeling inspired rather than merely acknowledging any personal shortcomings, he describes lectures where he departs with a motivation to push himself a little harder. To Karl, DaVinci stands out as a business school which gathers individuals rich in experience and knowledge within their classrooms. Karl says in his experiences, he has encountered lecturers who consistently exceeded expectations and surpassed requirements. The exceptional quality of learning sessions, as well, still compels him to ensure he does not miss one.


Turning his attention to the rest of the staff, Karl emphasises the familial treatment he has received at DaVinci. He highlights a receptionist who holds a special place in his heart and the extraordinary conveners who consistently go above and beyond. According to Karl, the staff at DaVinci hardly view individuals as mere numbers within their systems; instead, they treat everyone with utmost respect and honour.


Karl shares a recent incident involving his twin sister's visit to the DaVinci campus, where she was warmly greeted by name and made to feel at home. These cherished moments exemplify how the DaVinci experience has the power to transform lives, he says.


It is no surprise, therefore, that Karl continues to be an integral part of the DaVinci community. He is presently engaged in pursuing a Master's degree at our business school. With his keen observational skills, Karl notes that within the Master's degree journey, there is a significant emphasis on transdisciplinary thinking. Through this experience, he has come to appreciate how DaVinci influences one's thought processes. The teaching methodology at DaVinci, better known as the mode 2 learning approach, encourages individuals to leverage the strongest aspects of their thinking, to capitalise on them.


Looking ahead to the future, Karl aspires to follow in his father's footsteps by pursuing the pinnacle of academic achievement—a Doctoral degree. He is determined to ultimately undertake the apex qualification, driven by a desire to make significant contributions in his chosen field of co-creation and to the body of knowledge.

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