is a Marketing professor at a public University in Western Switzerland focusing on branding, personal communication and leadership. She loves her job for the freedom that comes with it: most of the time she has the freedom to decide when, with whom, from where, and on which topic she wants to work. Who can say that about their job? For Felicitas Morhart every day is different due to the many faces of her job: teaching classes on different levels (Bachelor, Masters, Executive Education), leading and conducting research at the desktop, in the field and in the laboratory (yes Marketeers also do research in the lab!), writing articles, and doing administrative work. Consulting can also be part of her job when somebody from the industry needs academic marketing muscle. She is also giving talks at academic and industry conferences. Currently Felicitas Morhart is proud to edit a Research Handbook on Luxury Branding.
Thank you for taking the time to talk to us today! First of all, please let us know how traveling is related to your job.
Traveling is the core of my job. Apart from the fact, that most of my colleagues (including myself) have to commute from their homes, as the number of universitites is limited in any country, travelling is important to stay connected to the international community. The most important conferences are mostly in the U.S.. Visiting co-authors, travelling to seminars, talks etc. just comes on top of that. I guess I am currently travelling 15-20 days per month. But I am currently on sabbatical, which means a bit more travel than normal.
What are three things you can’t travel without?
My mascara, a second pair of shoes (mostly > 9 cm :)), and my third pair of shoes (running shoes).
What do you enjoy doing on the plane?
I like just being in the moment. But this can be very intense and disturbing. It just happened to me lately that I sat in my seat on my flight from Munich to L.A. and I started crying, when I looked out of the window and saw this white, icy, untouched beauty of the Arctic sea and mountains. I think this was a moment of „awe“; when you feel so small and unimportant compared to this vastness and perfection, this divinity of nature.
What’s most important to you when you travel?
I do like travelling alone, but I need to feel secure and taken care of, otherwise I feel lonely. Hence, friendly and caring personal interactions with staff, co-travellers, service providers and people at the destination are most important to me. And efficiency, of course. I really can’t stand losing time waiting in unattractive places.
As you’re traveling so much – do you have a specific travel motto?
Together lonely – that speaks to the point above. Travelling is oftentimes loneliness, but you share it with all the others doing it. I think this motto is most often practiced in hotel bars, breakfast rooms, and shared cab rides.
Now with all the trips you’ve taken so far – please tell us your craziest travel story!
I don’t talk about crazy travel nightmares in terms of things going wrong etc., because everyone has them. But I had a taste of the classic American dream experience. This dates back when I was 23 and spent 3 months in New York for an internship. First time really on my own, my mum was suffering a lot of personal nightmares imagining her girl in the Spanish quarter in Brooklyn… One day, I was standing at the subway and a guy, probably 25 years older than me, gave me his business card, and told me: „You MUST become an actress“. He was an agent for actors and artists who had worked with real big shots in the industry. Even today we are in touch, he sends me flowers every year for Valentine’s day, no matter where I currently am, trying to convince me that acting is the path I should follow. Well, to some degree I follow his advice, because I started singing in a jazzband again. 🙂
Thank you so much for sharing your insights and stories with us today! We wish you a lot of awe-inspiring travel moments in the future!