Why did you decide to go for an EMBA?
There are 2 answers to this question. The first is that I wanted to learn. After 20 years of experience in the automotive industry, I had been fairly successful in each of the functions and missions I had been involved in. Whether in technology, processes, finance, people management or many other fields, I had acquired enough knowledge to allow me to deal with everyday challenges. But you only deal with what you know and I felt the need to learn more. The second element was a personal challenge. The challenge for me was not so much the degree itself as to show that I was capable of completing it.
What were the most important aspects you considered when choosing an EMBA course?
The first aspect was the course content. The more global your view, the more you realise how little you know. This is a lesson I learned from working in global environments. The scope of the EMBA was the widest I identified among the available Master's degrees. The second aspect was the opportunity to integrate this course into my activities at that time. I am fairly committed to my teams and it was important for me not to let my absence be to their detriment, in other words to ensure continued fulfilment of the objectives. The EMBA allows this. The third aspect was the diversity of alumni. The different functions, sectors, languages and cultures gathered together in one single class promised an interesting exchange for those who are ready for it.
What was the most difficult part in getting the EMBA degree?
In my case, the most difficult part was managing the workload and the frustration and stress generated. I simply did not have enough time to deal with the details and ensure the accuracy I usually expect. Fully maintaining my professional activities at the same time did not help, despite the adaptation in the organisation.
Why did you choose IESE Business School?
Several factors contributed to this decision. The first was related to the scope of the Global Executive MBA offer proposed by IESE. The second was the bi-monthly formula offered. I understood that it would be easier for me to organise myself for 7 intensive 2-week periods rather than monthly periods. Needless to say I underestimated the amount of preparation and distance learning that would be required between periods. But I still believe that the bi-monthly formula was more convenient in combination with my full time job. The third was the ranking of the school in specialised magazines. Despite the fact that ranking criteria may always be questionable, the fact that IESE consistently ranked among the top 10 schools ensures an outstanding course.
How did your Global EMBA help you after graduation to climb the career ladder in your organisation ?
I think it helped me in two ways. On the one hand, GEMBA develops entrepreneurship. You have enough choice to decide on your next steps and master your future. On the other hand, your peers know the performance of executives who have gone through such courses. This delivers the signal that you will even be more valuable to the company after graduating. It then provides your company with a period of 18 months to identify career opportunities for you. In my case, I was offered a career one month after the start of GEMBA 2011. A powerful tool!