I have honed my skills and knowledge to another level, and I have a whole network of classmates whom I can rely on.
What made you decide to do an EMBA?
I think an MBA or EMBA has been at the back of my mind for years but I never really got around to it. I had a very international career – I have worked in the Middle East and in Russia, and at some point, I got the opportunity to come to China, which was a new area for me. I was looking at ways to learn how to do business in China and somebody gave me the idea: Maybe you should consider an EMBA. Since I am too old for an MBA, I thought it would be a good idea to start looking at the different EMBAs around. This would provide me good insights into the Chinese way of doing business and build a network of Chinese peers.
I am an expat and I will one day go back to Europe. TIEMBA is a combination of Tsinghua and INSEAD, so I actually get two networks for the price of one! This was a deciding factor for me in the end.
How has the TIEMBA helped you in your career so far?
I am still with the same company but I changed my role. This was also a reason why I did an EMBA, because I had a very operational background. I was a project manager and I wanted to grow beyond that. Now I am in business development and sales, and I think TIEMBA helped to grow my confidence to succeed in this area. Also, I have a lot of friends from the programme whom I can fall back upon if I have any questions or any insecurities about what I'm doing.
Could you share more about your classmates?
In my class, there were 37 people and all 37 of us are friends and have built a very close network. We know each other very well, and so I believe that I will be able to fall back on them in future on any questions regarding my career such as changing to another company or role, and even for matters about my personal life.
Could you share more about the faculty?
We were exposed to a variety of faculty because we had classes at Tsinghua in Beijing, and also at INSEAD’s various campuses. I was very positively surprised by the quality of the professors from both INSEAD and Tsinghua. They are very top-notch professors and I really felt that I was being taught the different subjects to the state-of-the-art.
Can you share more about the Leadership Development Programme (LDP)?
During the LDP, you will be grouped with three or four people. With the help of a professional executive coach, you will dig deep into yourself: Where am I with my career? Where do I want to go? And this becomes a very personal and even emotional journey because you will need to open up to each other. I started questioning everything and at the end, I had a much clearer vision of where I want to go and what is important to me, not only in my career but also in my personal life.
What is the biggest takeaway you have gotten from the programme?
Personally, I am a lot more self-confident. I feel like I can take on different roles in the organisation. I have honed my skills and knowledge to another level, and I have a whole network of classmates whom I can rely on if ever I feel like I got stuck or needed advice in my career.
In one sentence, how would you describe your TIEMBA experience?
It was the best decision of my professional life, and also a very rewarding journey for my personal development and growth.