Poia Jabbari, participant of Executive MBA graduate class 2014, tells his story.
Santa Maria is a leading food company in the Nordic and Baltic countries. With a history of spice trading that goes back to the early 1900s, it now has sales of EUR 200 million and more than 1,400 employees. With production facilities in Sweden, Estonia, Belgium and the UK, Santa Maria’s products are sold in more than 30 countries. Poia Jabbari began his career with Santa Maria ten years ago, working part-time while studying at university. After joining the company, he advanced within the organisation and was recently promoted to Key Account Manager.
“The Executive MBA programme is part of my personal development plan. Both my manager and I see the Executive MBA as an obvious step to support my future career with the company. My manager has been highly supportive ever since I raised the idea and is very curious about what I learn in class. We have an ongoing dialogue about how we can implement the novel ideas that emerge.” Today, halfway through the programme, Poia is pleased with what he has achieved, although he admits that it is challenging.
“Compared with other training programmes I have attended, the Executive MBA is more comprehensive, with top-flight lecturers and high academic standards. My role is more of a general management function and where business intelligence is the key. In that sense the Executive MBA suits me perfectly.”
Poia likes the philosophy behind the programme, starting with strategic management, followed by organisational structure and culture and then moving on to understanding different management functions.
“There’s a good balance between soft subjects such as leadership and hard subjects such as accounting and corporate finance. The Asian focus adds a positive dimension and going to China with the class was definitely an eye-opener for me.”
“Combining studies with work and family life is tough and I’m glad I have the full support of my wife and my employer. The group dynamics in class are fantastic and I learn a great deal from my fellow participants. The programme provides all the tools you need to be a successful manager. You just have to find your own way of using them.”