Written on 12 Mar 2020.
Last week was Integration Week for our new Executive MBA cohort. Here we meet the class, find out about their backgrounds, and also discover what they are looking forward to most about the programme.
As many alumni know, life as an Executive MBAs candidate is both rewarding and challenging. Choosing to study a part-time MBA means you have to hit the ground running, juggle intensive studies with work responsibilities, and often family obligations too. But alongside the transformational learning experience gained from both the academic and action-learning throughout the 16-month programme, the EMBA offers participants the chance to develop and learn from a diverse and inspirational network, making it a truly human and personal experience. Yes, it is hard work and intense, but it is also a collective adventure. Here’s why.
You won’t find many stereotypes in this year’s group, who come from all walks of life, with incredibly diverse backgrounds, interests and ambitions. Our well-rounded cohort includes French, Norwegian, Chinese, Nigerian, Russian, and Polish participants with leadership and entrepreneurial ambitions that span a cross-section of industries and functions.
Take Hungarian-born, Slovakian national Beata Suszterova who heads up the Statistical Cooperation Unit at Expertise France. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics and Management of Public Administration from the University of Presov, Slovakia and a master’s degree in European Studies from the University of Sorbonne-Nouvelle in Paris.
“I am most looking forward to the business trips and the personal coaching sessions because one of my goals is to engage in action and personal change,” she says. “An MBA is like leaving on an adventure that will last 16 months. We will all come out of it changed; for me, it is a personal quest, but with the added benefit of team spirit.”
Although EMBA participants often find combining studies, work and family obligations a challenge, Beata adds “joining the EDHEC Executive MBA programme in Paris means it’s a perfect match for my work and home life as the campus is in central Paris, where I am based”.
While some of our EMBA participants are based in France, others are commuting each month from as far away as Russia and Norway to take part in the programme. Take Einar Eilertsen, based in Kongsberg, Norway and Director of Incubator and Consulting at Kongsberg Innovasjon which invests in tech and industrial start-ups. “The Executive MBA is a great programme for building business skills and growing as a leader. I chose EDHEC because you can tailor your EMBA with a large number of electives, and to strengthen business and leadership skills as well as build an international network. It’s fantastic to have found an EMBA based in central Paris and delivered 100% in English”.
This year’s intake also spans a wide range of industries too, including finance, retail, FMCG and transport as well as entrepreneurs in tech and travel and tourism. Lucy Xuan, an International Buyer at Alstom is excited to be joining the Lille cohort. “I want to reinforce my hard skills and also develop the knowledge and theory in finance and strategy that I already have.”
The EDHEC Class of 2022 consists of 34 participants split almost equally across both campuses, 47% at our main campus in Lille and 53% attending classes at our central Paris campus. The two groups come together at key times during their studies, including the two global business trips, such as the recent one to Tokyo, a business seminar in Brussels and the electives. Shared learning is a key aspect of the EDHEC Executive MBA experience, and our faculty of full-time and visiting professors and experts provide the link between the two cohorts, relaying group learnings and sharing ideas and news as they unfold each week.
“This year we are excited to have a diverse group of talented executives from leading local and global companies including Amazon, Kraft-Heinz, Veritas, Booking.com and GE Power, as well as entrepreneurs from small and medium companies and start-ups,” says Denis Dauchy, Professor and Director of the EDHEC Executive MBA programme.
“It’s crucial that our Executive MBA programme consists of participants from many different sectors,” he adds, “however we also ensure that we maintain a cohort size which means that participants can develop a strong network but also gain a more personalised and meaningful experience rather than just being a number. It also had the added benefit of keeping the debate lively.”