Exactly one year ago today, my MBA journey reached its conclusion. I vividly recall stepping into a room pulsating with jubilant cheers, a collective celebration of our hard-earned achievement. And now, a year later, it’s the turn of the next EMBA class to revel in the culmination of their academic endeavors. Marking the commencement of a new chapter in their lives.

As I witness their joyous graduation festivities, I find myself pondering: What lies ahead for these fresh graduates? How will their EMBA degrees shape their professional trajectories? While the pursuit of knowledge is undoubtedly enriching, its true value lies in its application to the realities of everyday work life.

In today’s article, I aim to delve into these questions. Furthermore, exploring the tangible impact of an EMBA on career progression and workplace efficacy.

Graduation party 2023 – ESMT Berlin

In 2021, I reached a pivotal realization: to advance in my career. I needed to embark on a journey of further development. At the time, I found myself occupying my second leadership role. Supplementing my knowledge through external avenues, primarily delving into articles and short courses. Among these educational pursuits was the Essential MBA program offered by the London School of Economics and Political Science.

I remember going through the programs content. Lounging in my hammock and just soaking up the information as if it were just yesterday. Ten weeks passed in a blur, each session enriching my understanding of company management. Yet, as beneficial as it was, I found myself craving more. The program had unveiled the intricate facets of company management, leaving me with an insatiable thirst for further knowledge. It was akin to encountering a brief article on AI—informative yet insufficient to grasp the entirety of its complexity. Similarly, while the Essential MBA provided valuable insights, I recognized the need for a deeper dive into the realm of business administration.

If you haven’t heard about my MBA journey yet, I would recommend my blog series. In addition to that, I shared my experience within a recent podcast episode.

How have things changed?

Transitioning from a relatively straightforward startup career. Brimming with founding options and innovative ideas, to the structured landscape of the corporate world marked a significant shift for me.

In my view, education serves as a potent tool, its value contingent upon one’s willingness to wield it. With this principle in mind, I aim to address several questions that prospective applicants to such programs may find insightful. Understanding these considerations can help individuals make informed decisions about their educational journey. Thus, its potential impact on their professional endeavors.

Bankim Desai – Unsplash
  1. Do I think it was worth it?
    • Definitely yes, I wholeheartedly believe in the transformative power of the EMBA program. It not only equips individuals with a broader, more holistic approach to decision-making but also fosters personal growth through enhanced self-reflection and expanded networks.
  2. How have I applied the knowledge and skills gained from the EMBA, in my professional role over the past year?
    • Armed with the knowledge and confidence gained from the MBA program, I pursued a global product management position within the marketing department. Today, I proudly oversee a product that has revolutionized the dental industry, becoming synonymous with the brand, much like o.b. for tampons in other sectors.
    • To address the question directly, my EMBA experience has empowered me to apply marketing principles, conduct comprehensive business analyses using tools like the BMC, and evaluate pricing strategies effectively. Moreover, my newfound passion extends beyond my professional domain, as I find enjoyment in exploring company valuations and diversification strategies beyond the confines of my workplace.
  3. How has my perspective on leadership and management evolved since completing my EMBA?
    • It is a complex construct but everything depends on how you frame it. At the end it is all a matter of the right mindset and perspective. We do things wrong, we are human beings, but the way we tackle topics changes during the time. I’ve noticed a significant shift towards being more data-driven in my approach. However, I’ve also come to appreciate that even with data at our disposal, there may be multiple paths to success. Embracing openness becomes crucial in making informed decisions. This quality is particularly vital in networking, where it fosters connections and ultimately contributes to leadership and management success.
  4. What networking opportunities did the EMBA program provide, and how have those connections benefited in my career?
    • I would say it is not only what the EMBA program provided in the past but still provides in the present. There are several options even after the graduation to connect with others. Last year, just some months after the graduation I already attended the Annual Alumni Meeting. We had not only the option to connect with other alumni but also attend short courses.
    • Besides the alumni meetings, I occasionally met some of my former classmates.
      Indeed, having a reliable network is invaluable. Knowing that if I encounter a tricky business question, I have trusted contacts to reach out for guidance is immensely reassuring.
  5. Have I pursued any further professional development or certifications since graduating from the EMBA program?
    • I am a strong believer, that a person should learn lifelong. Being in my early 30th, I obviously have still a big portion of my life left, but my mind is strong. After the EMBA program I gained smaller certifications like “product marketing mix” by a Coursera program as well as a product owner certification within the company I am employed now, just to point out two.
    • For me it doesn`t need to be a certificate, it is not essential that I can show what I learned on a paper. I put more importance on the knowledge I gained. Which is why I am on a regular hunt for informative paper, books and articles or just a good conversation.
  6. What advice would I give to someone considering an EMBA program?
    • Read through the curriculum. If you are interested in some topics and you really feel committed, then apply. Think about the future, where do you see yourself and would this program be helpful or not?
  7. Looking back, what aspects of my EMBA experience do I feel were most instrumental in my personal and professional growth?
    • I believe the most valuable experiences for me during the program revolved around strategic thinking. I intentionally chose subjects that expanded my analytical abilities and decision-making skills. This enabled me to grasp competitive dynamics and market trends more comprehensively, empowering me to shape my perspective on market changes confidently.
    • Additionally, the global perspective gained from interacting with classmates from diverse cultural backgrounds was immensely beneficial. It has enhanced my approach to global situations, allowing me to navigate and engage with different cultures more effectively in my current global role.
Graduation ceremony @ESMT Berlin

In conclusion, I would say my mindset was sharped within the EMBA program. During the interview the professor asked me what the goal of a company is. I answered “earn money, make profit”. Well, this is not wrong but it is also not correct. Now I would answer that the companies goal is to create or increase value. No matter if the company is a commercial enterprise or a non-profit-organization, the goal is to accomplish the goal set.


Comments are closed