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INSEAD Participant Interview

Gain International Recognition With the INSEAD Certificate in Global Management


Andy McNicholl

Group Sales and Marketing Manager at Elastomer Products Limited

Andy McNicholl is Group Sales and Marketing Manager at Elastomer Products Limited, a New Zealand based international injection moulding manufacturer.

He recently received the INSEAD Certificate in Global Management for completing three programmes: Powering GrowthManagement Skills for International Business and the Strategic Marketing Programme (formerly the International Marketing Programme).

Could you please introduce yourself?

Elastomer Products Limited (EPL) is a New Zealand polymer extrusion and injection moulding manufacturing business. I am responsible for global business development, business strategy, the regional sales teams, the technical development team and product development. I have over 25-years’ experience working with New Zealand manufacturers actively exporting to global markets. My post-graduate MBA is from Massey University and I have a diploma in Design and Specification of Plastics. I am publicly active, with involvement on the Canterbury Regional Advisory Board for Export New Zealand and am President of the Highland Piping Society of Canterbury.

Was it your intention to undertake the Certificate from the outset?

In 2012, I was offered a Prime Ministers Business Scholarship to study internationally with a focus on internationalisation. I considered a number of options and in recent years, having completed an MBA, felt that the INSEAD Executive Certificate in Global Management programme was more focused to the areas of learning I was most interested in. After selecting two of INSEAD’s courses relevant to the scholarship I was awarded, I noted the Executive Certificate in Global Management option. With this in mind, I felt that recognition of the work completed had value and so selected a third course relevant to the scholarship which was being conducted at a suitable date to allow me to extend my stay at INSEAD in France.

Why did you choose to do the Certificate?

I chose to pursue the Executive Certificate in Global Management option because I felt that it would provide credible recognition of the courses and learning undertaken at INSEAD. The flexibility to select courses was excellent, relevant to what I required and the course options were varied and useful.

Which programmes did you do and why?

I undertook three executive education programs aligned to the terms of the scholarship I received and which were focused on increasing the internationalisation of the business I am involved in. While I noted a number of other options which I would also have been of interest, I was able to bundle these course into two trips to France from New Zealand:

  • Powering Growth (PG)
  • Management Skills for International Business (MSIB)
  • Strategic Marketing Programme (SMKP)

Why did you choose INSEAD?

The New Zealand Prime Ministers Business Scholarship requires successful candidates to study internationally and will financially support travel, study and accommodation. Any internationally recognised university or business school is acceptable so long as the study is completed within one year and the courses undertaken contribute to the New Zealand business in terms of leadership and internationalisation.

When I looked at the options, American business schools felt too American centric and I was impressed with the international focus INSEAD promoted. I spoke with a couple of people who had previous attended INSEAD and made the decision to select INSEAD based on its international standing, location and international flavour.

Did doing three different programmes give you a much broader outlook?

I enjoyed immensely the three programs I undertook. Not only were the courses very focused and delivered by highly respected professors, who I felt themselves had global experience, but the course material and delivery made the program information highly transferable to the workplace. Any time you are placed in a learning institution there is the formal and the informal. INSEAD manage to blend delivery of the two through classes mixed with a wide variety of lecture, interaction, case studies, exercises and discussion both in the classroom and outside of it.

The international nature and eclectic mix of participants provides a magnificent opportunity to discuss some of the learning for a firsthand perspective. You cannot help but leave with a broadened outlook and a wider vast international network of lifelong contacts. 

So, would you say that the programmes have had a tangible impact on your work?

The study undertaken has been useful from a number of perspectives and I have been able to apply a lot of it on an everyday basis, often as background to a situation or as a guide toward decision-making. I found that portions of the course work were a review and either an update or extension of previous study, but with more up to date and contemporary thinking. With regard to the course information provided, it is extremely relevant for businesses participating in a global environment and provides a positive impact to the international context we are required to manage.  

What did you like most about INSEAD?

There were many things I enjoyed about INSEAD and the courses undertaken. The location is fantastic with a small village atmosphere. The INSEAD facility itself is impressive, with new buildings filled with the latest technology in order to deliver courses of value in an excellent learning environment. The facilities beyond the classroom are slick, with on campus gym, pool, restaurant, hostel and the town of Fontainebleau itself is a delight to explore. The dinner and course awards at Chateau de Bourron were a highlight. The international mix of participants provides real tangible value and was one of the key reasons for selecting INSEAD. Overall a memorable experience.

What do you think the biggest impact of INSEAD has been?

INSEAD has provided up to date, contemporary learning in the specialist areas of interest studied and the confidence to utilise these skills; international marketing, management skills for international engagement both internal and external to the business and thoughts around how to achieve growth through increased focus on discovery, development of ‘power offer’s’ and customer engagement. INSEAD has also provided a significant network of important contacts spread worldwide.

What would you say to someone who is considering doing the Certificate at INSEAD? 

Absolutely without questions select INSEAD as your choice. One or two executive courses will provide some insight and flavour, but for a real taste of INSEAD and what it can offer, take a look at the Executive Certificate in Global Management.

To find out how you can gain the INSEAD Certificate in Global Management click here.

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