Executive MBA strengthened an already successful career

14 February 2022

When Dina Petranovic started on the 2016-2018 Gothenburg Executive MBA programme, she was already the associate professor of cell and molecular biology at Chalmers University of Technology and CEO Global of the international Molecular Frontiers Foundation. She had plenty of experience in leadership, several periods as a visiting researcher and faculty at institutions such as MIT and Harvard, and lifelong international experience including studies in Croatia and France. Still, she chose to attend the Executive MBA programme in Gothenburg and says that it has been of vital importance for her continued career.

Today, Dina Petranovic is Chief Partnership Officer (CPO) and Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability. The foundation, which is located at the Technical University of Denmark outside Copenhagen, tops the list of the world’s largest foundations* along with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

”I believe my Executive MBA degree played a major role when I was first recruited to the Novo Nordisk Foundation in 2019, and when I became CPO and CSO last year. My degree and the master thesis I wrote during the last term of the programme, gave the management team clear evidence about my ambitions and my interest in the relevant issues,” says Dina Petranovic.


More confident and articulate

Dina describes herself as a person who always wants to develop and learn new things. She is very well read, with shelves full of books. She also wants to continuously develop through education, which led to her decision to join the Executive MBA programme, despite all her previous experience and a demanding job with lots of traveling.

“I was looking for theories and structures that could help me navigate and gain a deeper understanding of what I was experiencing,” says Dina Petranovic, who also believes that the programme has made her more confident and articulate within her leadership roles.

“I have become better at explaining things, giving examples and putting the ‘right’ words to the concepts. The theoretical framework, together with concrete factual knowledge, has made it easier for me to convey what I want to say, so the credibility and confidence does not only come from having a degree, but from actual knowledge and experience. The increased clarity means that others understand my message more easily and have confidence in me.”

In addition, the programme helps her to continue learning new things.

“I have been given a framework that I can build on whenever I read a book or listen to a lecture. I am very happy about that.”


Summer camp vibes!

The best thing about the Executive MBA programme is the fellow participants in the group, according to Dina Petranovic. She was deliberately looking for an educational programme with qualified participants.

“At a young age, I was advised by my father to choose the schools that have the best students. This is a piece of very good advice that I have continued to follow,” says Dina and continues:

“I was very inspired by the other participants and learned a lot from their experiences and thoughts. I’m still often in contact with several of them to discuss a challenge or just to unwind when I’m frustrated about something. It’s great to have these wise and experienced people as my friends and personal advisors!”

Dina Petranovic believes that anyone who leads other people or runs extensive projects will significantly gain from attending an Executive MBA programme. She also thinks that you should try to enjoy attending as well.

“Everyone who attends this education programme already has demanding day jobs. It is important to enjoy the process and to find the right balance. The programme is both demanding and like going to summer camp at the same time, since the studies provide an opportunity to step out of the everyday routines.”

“You get energised from doing something that is so fun and developing. I remember those Saturday mornings when I got up early and went to the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg. The streets were empty. As I approached the School, I could see some other people on the streets, and it was my classmates who were coming in from all directions! It was a wonderful feeling!”


* List of wealthiest charitable foundations – Wikipedia


Dina Petranovic


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