INSEAD Participant Interview
Interview with a holder of the INSEAD Certificate in Global Management: A Window into a World of Opportunities
Operations Manager – Beyond Nicotine at British American Tobacco
Holder of the INSEAD Certificate in Global Management
Basile Chouéri has enjoyed a long career with British American Tobacco where most recently he transitioned into the role of Operations Manager – Beyond Nicotine – an End-to-End Supply Chain role. Making this transition meant mastering new areas of knowledge as Basile Chouéri’s previous responsibilities had been largely in the area of procurement, and it was this need that initially brought him to INSEAD.
He explains it like this: “Coming to INSEAD in 2016 was something that had been on my bucket list for years. I chose not to pursue an MBA earlier in my career, and this was the realisation of a long-standing ambition to engage with Executive Education as a means of pinpointing the specific needs and learning goals I was experiencing in my career.”
Starting out with the INSEAD Supply Chain Management programme, he discovered the INSEAD Certificate in Global Management, a unique Executive Education qualification bestowed on participants who complete a combination of three or more programmes, responding to their own career needs.
”As I was settling into my new role, I could see other challenges emerging on the horizon around things like Mergers and Acquisitions and Operations Due Diligences. So discovering that INSEAD offered a certified qualification aligned to taking two more programmes felt serendipitous – I began to look at other programmes I could pursue that aligned to my needs and would confer the Certificate and INSEAD alumnus status.”
Two more programmes followed as Basile made the journey towards his INSEAD certification: the M&As and Corporate Strategy programme and Leading for Results. Each of these learning journeys gave him something unique, he says.
"You get very concrete strategies and tools with Supply Management, while with the M&A programme there was this breakthrough understanding around Mergers and Acquisitions as tools to deliver a strategy, rather than an end in themselves, that and the critical importance of companies’ strategic and cultural fits. Leading for Results was “mind-opening,” particularly because of the way that programme coaches were able to empower even the more introverted members of the cohort to open up, and the enhanced group learning that resulted from this."
He has gone on to use this experience and the techniques deployed in his own work, coaching colleagues within his organisation, and maximising moments of personal reflection to accelerate his own growth and development. Each of the three programmes had the effect of setting off what Basile Chouéri describes as a “big spotlight” in his mind.
”INSEAD really changed the way that I thought about different things. Take networking. Before INSEAD, I’d always thought of networking as being something vaguely selfish that people did in order to attain their own personal goals. But INSEAD faculty really uncluttered this thinking and helped us to reframe networking as relationship-building in the service of a bigger strategy, and it’s a two-way street that can help everyone involved. We used simulation tools to get to this kind of understanding and it was very powerful.”
Pursuing the Certificate in General Management at INSEAD accomplished a long-held ambition – a bucket-list goal, says Basile Chouéri. The experience opens a door wide to a wealth of opportunities, he adds. Part of the “magic” is the very expert way that INSEAD brings together faculty expertise, the diversity of its cohorts, the learning mechanisms and the environment – whether programmes are experienced face-to-face, virtually or asynchronously and online – that forge a unique experience, one that resembles no other, he says.
”Even when you take a virtual programme at INSEAD, you still get that closeness. Faculty and the programme designers have this skill of empowering everyone to open up, to connect deeply and to share. They make you feel special, and that’s really quite unique.”
Basile Chouéri remains strongly connected to his peers and fellow participants. They have forged a “safe” network where they can share insights, ideas and support. The Certificate has also given him access to the INSEAD alumni network and a universe of tools and resources, that has become his “go-to reference.”
”The INSEAD Certificate in Global Management opens the door not just to one group but to rather a community that is widely diverse. Because you build your own learning journey and that journey is spread out over time and across your different needs and objectives, the experience is just that much broader and deeper. It’s a unique window into a world of opportunities that you are not even conscious about yet.”