After the first year of the Executive MBA

24 June 2013

By Christian Nilsson, Executive MBA Class: 2012-2014

Finishing the first year of Executive MBA I wonder what I really have put me into. It is such a broad program and I could not even imagine all the aspect a general manager confronts in the daily work. For me the Executive MBA programme gives me this theoretical insight, because general management is what it´s about. If you see yourself as an engineer for life, finance as your soul mate, or HR as your core business, then I suggest you focus on those areas. The Executive MBA is fantastic and few things in my life have been as stimulating and inspiring as this programme. It covers much more than just business and leadership. Leaving the Executive MBA for summer break is needed since it both demands energy and consumes time. Mostly the summer break is needed for reflection of what you really been through. This gives new thinking patterns and insights. One example of this new learning is when we had our Chinese culture studies in Hangzhou, and we met Professor G. Zhang. He got flooded with questions about China from our MBA class. Yet, I realized afterwards during discussions with my classmates that the questions we asked were just to confirm our own prejudices. Such a narrow mind! First after a lot of discussions and reflections we changed our ways of asking and studying Chinese culture that was much more of learning from a neutral aspect.

Prof. G. Zhang, Zhejiang University, got questions from the class.

The Executive MBA programme has an Asia focus, and it is a fantastic learning experience to conduct researches about another culture, to travel to Asia, meet interesting teachers, and then to summarize the findings. I would claim that if I did this in my own home country I would likely see my own culture differently. This method is a very good take away from the Executive MBA, and the coming semester we are planning for the same experience in India.

I think many students, including myself, have thought that if I just do this programme or get this title my career will be fantastic. I believe it is a huge overstatement. It is not about the title or the theoretical knowledge. Your personal character will still be what mostly decides your future, and the Executive MBA programme gives you the tools to reflect.  Classes, lectures, teachers, literature, and the entire new network you gain. That is hard to find elsewhere. It is all about learning to reflect.

Group projects – the new network you gain