I have become more people-oriented.
Why did you choose the TIEMBA amongst all other EMBAs available?
I chose the TIEMBA for several reasons. Firstly, I wanted to get exposure to different environments and cultures, which is possible through the TIEMBA as it provides access to the top two schools in the West and East. Secondly, the programme has a uniquely balanced curriculum with a perfect mix of fundamental business courses such as Corporate Finance and Financial Accounting as well as a wide Key Management Courses portfolio that are strongly focused on global leadership.
The Leadership Development Programme component adds a lot of value to the programme – you even get a personal coach and work closely with your peers to develop your personal leadership style! Finally, the programme is organised in such a way that allows participants to effectively manage time away from work and still combine studies with corporate or entrepreneurial challenges – and most importantly – implement learning in real time.
How would you describe your TIEMBA experience?
For me the TIEMBA is all about expanding horizons, acquiring new knowledge, new perspectives and meeting new people. The TIEMBA encouraged me to become more flexible, more open and more courageous. Sometimes getting different perspectives in our class discussions convinced me to change my mind about certain issues.
What do you think is the benefit of TIEMBA’s dual-degree curriculum and faculty structure?
TIEMBA’s dual-degree curriculum and faculty structure is one its biggest advantages and differentiating factors. Having lived and worked in a Western environment, I personally wanted to get a better understanding of China. With TIEMBA, I had a unique opportunity to learn about Chinese culture, philosophy and business through real experiences as well as through real people such as my classmates and professors who are not just analysing, studying and teaching - but also shaping the Chinese economy.
How has the TIEMBA helped your career?
I was a very results-oriented person and I would always prioritise tasks that I felt had to be done first. I would require perfection from myself and from others, and focus only on successful delivery. After developing a new leadership style through the TIEMBA, I have become more people-oriented.
I have pushed myself to spend more time to develop deeper personal relationships with my clients and teams.
Additionally, through the TIEMBA I got unparalleled access to the expertise of my classmates. As a management consultant, I always need to leverage a broader network to gain insights from other industries and geographies whether it is mining in Mongolia or the food industry in China: and my classmates are there to share their expertise!
You had a baby right in the middle of the programme – do share with us what are the challenges you faced starting a family and doing an executive master programme?
The TIEMBA experience will always be very special for me: my first daughter was born right in the middle of the programme. Initially, it was quite a challenge to juggle my regular work, study routine and a new baby. I took a break for a couple of modules and re-joined the programme once Maya was four months old. She then accompanied me during modules and was definitely one of the youngest participants for programme!
INSEAD has great facilities for kids: they have arranged a room where I could feed Maya, a kids’ room with toys and all the necessary facilities. The environment was friendly and supportive for a working mother with kids. While I had to postpone my graduation for a year it provided me another benefit – I got to meet another cohort of TIEMBAs and 'doubled' networks!
What was one module that made an impact or was exceptionally useful for you?
One module that particularly stands out is the Organisational Behaviour course. The course focused on personal effectiveness, leadership style and group dynamics. The course challenged my effectiveness as a leader and my ability to lead and mobilise teams. As a result, it triggered a transformation in my leadership style, shifting from demanding perfectionism and control to focusing more on building trust and reliance on team members; and from directing to simply listening.
What advice would you give to prospective students who are considering the TIEMBA?
My advice is simple: just do it. I personally don’t know a single person who would regret the experience. There will be times when you will be stressed and challenged, as well as moments when you will be out of your comfort zone. But the payoff is great. The TIEMBA will allow you to broaden your horizons, expand your network, get inspired and develop your leadership skills.