INSEAD Participant Interview
Boosted confidence as a senior leader
General Manager of Sales and Marketing
Collège du Léman
"You have the chance to really dig deep into the critical issues while keeping a focus on real-world application."
The B2B Marketing Strategies programme is “simply unique”
Benjamin Rankin, General Manager of Sales and Marketing at Switzerland’s Collège du Léman, was looking for validation of his international leadership competencies and the credibility of a world-class business education. What he got was far more than that.
Benjamin Rankin has a passion for learning that underpins what, by anyone’s standards, is a multi-faceted and unconventional career. Across a number of leadership roles in fields as diverse as classical music, luxury goods and international private education, he has spent significant periods of his professional life in the different geographies, from the US, to the Netherlands, France, the United Arab Emirates and, most recently, Switzerland.
Currently General Manager of Sales and Marketing at College du Leman International School, Benjamin has inside-track understanding of the importance of education – an understanding that brought him to INSEAD to pursue the Certificate in Global Management, which included undertaking the B2B Marketing Strategies programme.
“I’ve moved around in business a lot, working in different roles and sectors in diverse places around the world. As you experience new challenges and grow professionally, you acquire a good deal of skills. At the same time, there is a desire to question and validate these competencies to ensure that you are on the right track. Stepping into a new role in private education, I was looking for that validation and also for the kind of credibility that only a school with the kind of calibre that INSEAD has can offer.”
INSEAD’s Global Management Certificate also afforded him what he describes as “fast and furious” access to the full benefits of INSEAD’s global alumni community – a key resource for someone looking to build and enhance an international business network.
“INSEAD’s offerings are unique. You reap immediate and extraordinary benefits, including alumnus status, by taking the Certificate in Global Management, meaning that you pursue the programmes that adapt to your own precise needs and objectives. For me those programmes were B2B Marketing Strategies, Leading Across Boards and Cultures, and Leading Digital Transformation and Innovation, as these programmes aligned closely to my field and interests. So it’s a bespoke learning experience that gives you the flexibility to focus on what’s useful to you and learn at your own pace.”
Another key draw for Benjamin was the chance to interact with and learn from industry experts – “phenomenal people” – and explore case studies that helped situate the conceptual elements of the learning experience in a more practical, real-world context.
“A real highlight of my time at INSEAD was exploring new ways of innovating, and new thought processes around areas like intellectual property through the lens of discussion and debate with industry experts. Particularly in the B2B Marketing course, you have the chance to really dig deep into the critical issues while keeping a focus on real-world application.”
Peer learning was another dynamic that enriched the learning experience for him exponentially.
“Being from an international background, it was important for me to experience real diversity of culture and experience in the classroom, and here the different programmes delivered well. It’s absolutely critical to have the exchange of perspectives with peers to challenge your own long-held assumptions and approaches.”
So rich was the peer dynamic at INSEAD that Benjamin maintains close and regular contact with fellow participants via WhatsApp groups. “We regularly touch base with each other to compare notes on new strategies and innovations. It feels as though the learning has continued long after the programme. We are still very much connected to each other around the world.”
Going into INSEAD, Benjamin believes he had already developed an international marketing mindset. Coming out of the school, he says, has taken that mindset to “the next level.”
“I’m definitely better equipped with the resources and the insights to engage with our international partners more effectively and to leverage the kinds of next-generation digital tools that can drive growth and empower engagement across borders. And crucially, I also now have access to a worldwide network – INSEAD’s digital community – for support and the on-going exchange of ideas.”
The B2B Marketing Strategies is an experience that he would recommend to other international business executives without hesitation. He was impressed by how the programme gave insight into new business models, new approaches to acquiring world-class know-how, and what customer obsessions truly means.
“It’s just a phenomenal experience. And INSEAD is alone in offering the full package in terms of academic rigour, excellence, flexibility and focus. I would recommend the programmes and certificate to anyone looking for a world-class business education.”
Find out more about the B2B Marketing Strategies programme.