Work country: UK
Job: Global Marketing Director, Regus
I wanted to have classes in different environments with different cultures, and to meet leaders from all over the world. That’s exactly what I got.
Why did you decide to do an EMBA?
I was a consultant looking for a change. The main driver was to find an industry I really enjoyed, and in due course, move into general management. An EMBA seemed the best way to achieve all of these career objectives.
Why did you choose INSEAD?
It has an amazing reputation and it's also a general management school, rather than focused on functional areas. However, the main reason was that INSEAD truly is the "Business School for the World" with a global diaspora. I didn’t want someone to teach me, say, the American way of thinking. I wanted to have classes in different environments with different cultures, and to meet leaders from all over the world. That’s exactly what I got.
How has your career progressed as a result of the GEMBA?
Everything has changed: industry, location and function! I finally chose the hospitality industry because it’s fast-moving and fast-growing, despite the effects of the economic crisis. It took me six months while I was doing the EMBA to decide what I wanted to do… and another six to nine months to find the right job in the right place. Thanks to INSEAD, I went through numerous interviews from informal chats with head hunters to final interviews with employers. The process was time consuming, but it was also great training and absolutely worth it in the end.
Did the Leadership Development Programme (LDP) make an impact on you?
Oh my goodness, yes! The LDP is the huge strength of the programme. We should shout out about it much more. My wife did an EMBA at another school and we both agree that INSEAD and its EMBA programme offer a truly powerful experience like no other. The coaches have amazing backgrounds and create the transparency and trust in the small LDP groups to change your way of thinking completely. It’s because of the LDP that I was empowered to discover my own leadership style. My five group members and I are still in contact. Every time we meet, I’m reminded of how powerful the experience was.
Can you describe the classroom experience?
The INSEAD professors set the bar high from day one. They know how to make dry subjects entertaining and useful. I went through surprise after surprise. My favourite courses were Strategy and Strategic Marketing because it’s the area I wanted to go into. There was also the ‘First One Hundred Days’, an interactive, role-play experience of turning around a company. I use the learning from these all the time.
Was it hard juggling family, and work with study?
It was pretty intense. My wife gave birth ten days before the Singapore module, so by the time I came back, my daughter was three times older than when I left. I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that… but my little girl is a great souvenir of the EMBA!
How did you fund your EMBA?
I was self-funded but my employer gave me unpaid leave to attend the modules and also paid for my expenses. I think I was able to commit myself more to the programme, as I funded it myself.
What advice would you give future applicants and participants?
Choose your school based on your own personality and ambitions. If you really want to change your career and grow fast, INSEAD is the school for you. Once you’re there, be as open as possible. INSEAD will help you build your thinking and offers you many options, but ultimately, the choice is yours to make that change.