German. St Petersburg State University GSOM, Russia. Cems Master in International Management, graduating 2022. Currently in exchange at Cornell University, USA
What made St Petersburg the right fit for you?
I was always curious to go off the beaten path because many of my friends and family studied in places that Germans more commonly choose, such as London. I wanted to go to places where I had not been much before, if at all, to put myself out of my comfort zone and see how things are done in different countries.
And I had a general interest in Russian culture, the language and the people. I have heard that St Petersburg is incredibly beautiful, which it indeed is. The school also has an excellent reputation. It provides an opportunity for foreigners to win a state-funded place, which I did, so I do not have to pay for my study program.
Also, the political situation between Russia and Europe is not always easy, so in the future it would be nice if I could contribute to building bridges instead of burning them. I think it’s important to have this cultural exchange.
Danish / Australian. Copenhagen Business School, MBA. Graduated 2021. Employee, McKinsey, Copenhagen, Denmark
What advice would you give to people considering an MBA?
My advice is to reflect on why you want to do this. Whether it’s building your business toolbox, developing your professional network, moving from industry or work, or moving to a new country, it’s important to reflect on your goal so that you can focus throughout the MBA on what matter to you.
It’s a busy year and staying clear about your goals is the key to achieving them. Do your research on which schools are best suited based on your career goals and your reasons for studying for an MBA. Look at the program, including the core subjects, the leadership and personal development programs, the additional careers, and the size and diversity of the cohort.
On the practical side, examine the school’s location, expected cost of living and the length of the program, and consider the overall cost of the course.
Finally, prioritize which schools you want to apply to and submit your applications. You have an exciting journey ahead.
American / Belgian. Vlerick Business School, Executive MBA Weekend, 2021. Global Head of Cell Therapy Policy, Novo Nordisk, Brussels, Belgium
How do you apply what you learned on the course to your work?
I moved into a new job two months before I started the MBA. It was an advantage to do the MBA at the same time as starting the new job because I applied my coursework directly at the company.
On the financial management course, for example, I studied the annual reports in detail. For other courses, I interviewed colleagues from different departments to understand and analyze our company’s approach.
As a leader of public affairs, it was also critical for me to gain a deep understanding of my new company. The success of the function rests on thorough knowledge of the business and on close collaboration across many departments, including regulatory, commercial, operations and research functions.
The MBA has enabled me to connect and collaborate cross-functionally in a more meaningful way across geographic and departments.
Colombian. HHL Postgraduate Business School, Master of Science, Finance, graduate 2022. Intern at SpinLab – The HHL Accelerator, Leipzig, Germany
How have the masters in management helped your career?
It really changed my career.
I worked at the Colombian Stock Exchange for three years. Doing a master’s degree in management, especially in Germany, changed the idea I had before about a successful future by working in a large, recognized company.
The masters at HHL have taught me that there are tons of opportunities to build a successful career by being innovative and focusing on responsibility.
I’m now aware that I want to generate an impact. It starts with me being a leader now and in the future. It starts by doing something in the present and understanding that it is not just about growing in a big company, but building small companies and helping them grow.
Swiss. Insead executive education, including the driving acceleration program. Medical Director, Anesthesia, Thun and Bern Region, Switzerland
Did anything surprise you about the course?
It amazed me how easy the people are at business school.
Insead is a fountain for business and is the place to be, so I expected more arrogance. But it was really friendly and professors called us by our names.
Another surprise is the diversity of people they choose for the program. There were 34 participants in the course, from 17 countries, and all had different positions and executive backgrounds.
Most people had rather senior roles as the program was paid for by their companies. It was mega-interesting to me as a doctor because I could not understand some of the works they describe. I got a new view of life: it opened my eyes and I’m glad it did.