Year Graduated: 2017
Current Role: Global Programme Head, Novartis
I am now a much well-rounded leader with the mindset of a CEO.
What made you decide to do an EMBA? Why the INSEAD EMBA?
I had been thinking of an EMBA for some time, but being on the more scientific side of our business, I often wondered if it would be worthwhile. In discussion with my boss, we agreed it would be useful for future more senior roles as it is increasingly important to understand the full business context of the whole corporation, even if leading scientific disciplines. I chose INSEAD because of its great reputation and because of its high focus on social entrepreneurship. This matched my needs as I was exploring how to achieve better health outcomes and broader access to medicines in Africa.
Do share with us your class experiences.
Every class had so many great experiences. The interplay of the class with the professor is always fun, and the various professors all have pretty unique styles so you never get bored! The inflow of new learning during the core courses is intense, and while it remains intense through the electives and KMC stage the pace feels different as you are diving deeper into topics of special interest.
How has the EMBA helped you in your career?
I am now a much well-rounded leader with the mindset of a CEO. I understand business better, I understand the world better, and I have great friends and contacts that can help me do amazing things.
How did you juggle studies and your busy work schedule at the same time?
I put a lot of effort prior to the course on empowering my people at work so they could step up and assume more responsibility. This paid off as I did need the extra time to focus on the studies. Nevertheless, it was intense through the whole course. Around 15 hours a week on average, so it's also vital that your partner and family are in full support. You will be pretty absent during this intense learning year.
How has the INSEAD EMBA helped you changed your life/perspectives?
With great knowledge comes great responsibility and self-confidence. I am ready for anything ahead of me and am in the driving seat.
What are your thoughts on the multi-campus experience during your electives and KMCs?
The diversity of classmates and campus experiences is a big plus. Most of us are in a globalised business world so learning about alternative perspectives is really valuable.
Did the Leadership Development Programme (LDP) make an impact on you?
LDP was a good addition to the class. It sets a tone for peer feedback and coaching that was a great support to the whole learning experience. It also develops close connections to those in your LDP group. If you open up as a group these relationships will be lifelong.
What is one key takeaway you have gotten from the programme?
Don't make bets with Professors of statistics! They can fool you with randomness. Jokes aside, the key takeaway is to keep learning. The more you challenge yourself and your perspectives with new learning, the stronger your leadership will become.
What advice will you give to potential participants looking to do an INSEAD EMBA?
Don't wait too long. Your abilities will be vastly increased and you will want to have maximum time to exploit those new capabilities.