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“A holistic view of business management”

Lena Smeby-Udesen, Second Swedish National Pension Fund – AP2, Executive MBA class of 1991

I was a participant to the Executive MBA Programme 1989-1991. Today, I am the Chief Financial Officer of AP2, The Second Swedish National Pension Fund, which manages national pension reserve assets with a global investment portfolio. At the time of applying, I had six years of professional experience following my BSc degree in Economics.

I had already been a trainee within the Ericsson group, which meant I was able to benchmark the Executive MBA programme with corporate management development programmes.

The Executive MBA programme had the benefit of combining academic rigour with admission of participants based on individual merit. This way, the pace and quality of the programme was kept at a consistently high level. On submitting my programme application, I actively looked to reconnect with the University and get an update of current research, models and best practices within management and leadership. That objective was fulfilled.

What I appreciated while on the programme was how the School made sure to form heterogeneous groups of participants, from a personality point of view, to deliver on group assignments. Driven by a strong personal sense of competition and striving for excellence, we all developed as individuals.

My fellow participants and I enjoyed the balance of applying theories learnt on the programme to group assignments that more often than not were tightly linked to real life challenges of companies.

With hindsight, the Executive MBA programme gave me a holistic view of business management and an insight into the vital importance of strategic planning. Successful companies all excel in executing on their strategic plans. These insights have served me well ever since.

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