It's very important to understand what is your role as an individual in the bigger system of things.
What made you embark on an EMBA programme?
I arrived at a point in my career where I really wanted to make a change. I wanted to challenge myself, both from a personal and a professional perspective. An EMBA has always been a dream of mine. I believe in education and always learning every day, especially from different people. So an EMBA at that point of my life was really what I needed to be exposed to new perspectives.
Why the Tsinghua-INSEAD EMBA (TIEMBA) programme?
I found the TIEMBA programme extremely unique. It's for individuals who want to explore diversity and expand their mindset. I come from the IT sector and China is excelling in this sector. TIEMBA puts you in contact with peers who are coming from extremely different backgrounds with different cultural and professional perspectives.
You started the programme when you just became a mother. What made you decide to enter the programme with a young child?
Becoming a mother really changes your perspective. I asked myself what is the legacy that I want to leave behind? What is the model that I want to be to my kids? And I want my kids to know that it is important to always educate and challenge yourself. Of course, it was not easy as a mother of a 1-year-old at that time but I'm very glad I did it. For me, it is very important to set the right priorities and to be a good model for my children.
You had a second child during the programme. How did you manage family and studies, and work?
I had my second kid halfway through the programme and of course, this puts even more pressure on balancing work, family and studies. I think one of the most important aspects was support. I have an incredible support system at home and I delegate a lot. So you need to exercise leadership in a way that you know that you cannot do it all but you need to surround yourself with people whom you trust and can really help you.
Can you tell us more about your class experience?
The first time I entered the campus, I was so happy. It was a sunny day and the energy in the classroom was incredible. It was a great environment – extremely open and respectful. Everybody was very keen to learn about each other. I was impressed because many of my classmates were already in very good positions in their career. You might think that they would be more closed up but on the contrary, they were really eager to learn and share.
How was the faculty?
We were exposed to many different teaching styles. There was a lot of interaction with the faculty and also access to research and case studies on different companies. It was incredibly rich and I experienced a wide variety of teaching methods.
What is the biggest takeaway from the programme?
For me, the biggest takeaway is that
leadership is not a lonely-hero business. It's not about one person leading everyone else. It's about practice-leadership and that everybody is a leader, regardless of which position you hold in the company. It's very important to understand what is your role as an individual in the bigger system of things and learn how to interact with other people that could be very different from you.