I became a Partner right after my graduation
What made you decided to do an EMBA? Why the INSEAD Global Executive MBA (GEMBA)?
As a Strategy Consultant, I felt that I was missing the tools that the MBA gives, particularly in management and leadership. As I was already a country head for two offices, I felt I needed to sharpen my leadership skills to be a better manager for my teams. Also, I had some gaps in other business skills such as finance and operations, and I really wanted to fill those gaps.
I was also admitted in other global EMBA programmes but the INSEAD GEMBA was the best option for me. It has the best modular format for working professionals to study while working. It’s focus on general management really made a difference for me compared to other EMBA programmes which are more focused on finance, for instance.
Diversity is a key criterion for me and I found true diversity at INSEAD. Participants hail from various countries and backgrounds: from Fortune 500 MNC leaders to entrepreneurs, NGO leaders, bankers, PE professionals, consultants from all other the world, and more.
How has the GEMBA benefitted you?
The GEMBA affirmed my strengths as a leader but also uncovered my weaknesses and areas of improvement that I was unaware of.
The 360-review and the leadership coaching were pivotal to understand the type of leader I was and what could be improved and perfected.
It also exposed me to new subjects such as entrepreneurship, with the ideation of new concepts, how to make it work and translate it into something that we could use in our business.
What was also valuable was the networking and the opportunity to spend a day with a classmate in his role, to understand his industry, company, function, everyday tasks. We often have pre-conceived ideas on how a title can translate into a role, and being on the ground with a classmate helped me to better understand the challenges he faces every day. As a consultant providing advice to companies, it was an enriching experience for me.
Do share with us your multi-campus experience!
We had a week in Abu Dhabi which was very enriching because I had very little knowledge about this part of the world. The classes we had there were specific to the Middle-East region and a real eye-opener. Additionally, mingling and exchanging ideas with our classmates from the Abu Dhabi campus gave me a lot of insights on the industries thriving in the region. As I was very interested in the healthcare industry, I realised there are a lot of developments and needs for healthcare solutions in the Middle East, with consulting work opportunities for us there. As we opened an office in Abu Dhabi six months before I attended the class, I have benefited greatly from my INSEAD experience and it provided me ideas on where to expand our business in this region.
How has the EMBA made a difference in your career?
I became a Partner right after my graduation, which boosted my career and status in the company. I am now the Partner for the South East Asian region.
You are located in Thailand. How has the GEMBA helped you with your work in this region?
INSEAD GEMBA has been very useful for connections and therefore, business. I sold three consulting projects to classmates of the same batch and an alumnus that I contacted through the INSEAD network. Without these INSEAD GEMBA connections, I would not have been able to engage in discussions with these company leaders.
Beyond the business aspect, I still meet regularly with my classmates. We share the various management and business issues we faced in our respective companies, ideas, and advice.
This is the strength of the network; it allows continuous learning and exchange on business matters, and in my case, it is specific to South East Asia.
Was there a particular module that you enjoyed most, and why?
The Management Accounting class from Hayden Pound was the best class for me. In the beginning, I thought the subject would be difficult and unpleasant. He made it exciting, fun and extremely useful and relevant. I was waiting for each session in anticipation. I still use what I learnt on the course today. It is a goldmine of knowledge.
Did the Leadership Development Programme (LDP) make an impact on you?
It allowed me to uncover who I was as a leader, my strengths and weaknesses, blind spots, and define my management style. Moving from being a manager to a leader is a gradual development and the LDP gave me a lot of insights and support to improve myself. It was clearly one of the highlights of the programme. It certainly exceeded my expectations.
What advice will you give to potential participants looking to do an INSEAD EMBA?
Set yourself the goals you want to achieve before you start the programme, what you want to improve and get out of it. Be ready to be challenged but also surprised: several participants made a complete career change during or after the programme. Many left large corporations to become entrepreneurs. The programme provided them not only knowledge but also confidence in trying something totally new.