After almost two years of studies the participants of the Executive MBA-programme 2013-2015 at the School of Business, Economics and Law in Gothenburg have graduated. The presentations of the thesis works, with main topics such as leadership and organization culture, were followed by a traditional diploma ceremony. Some twenty managers have successfully completed the programme and honed their knowledge from strategic management to leadership.

The Gothenburg Executive MBA programme is truly international with a distinct Nordic-Asian focus. It is run entirely in English and includes lectures at the School in Gothenburg every third Thursday-Saturday. During the two final terms, the participants focused in greater depth on specific areas as part of a concluding thesis work.

Executive MBA graduates
From left: Roger Schweizer, Programme Director with Executive MBA graduates Erik Lundberg (Husqvarna), Patrick Lexér (Bulten Sweden AB) and Matias Bourdieu (Stena Oil AB)

– We are happy to congratulate the participants of yet another Executive MBA-class on finishing their studies. They are now clearly even more capable in their roles as leaders, with a considerable potential to take the next steps within their organisations. We also welcome the graduates into our Executive MBA alumni network with hundreds of members, comments Håkan Ericson, Managing Director, GU School of Executive Education.

Considerable breadth among thesis subjects and participants
The participants of the Executive MBA programme have varying backgrounds and work in different industries. What they have in common is that they are all managers, holding positions in companies such as AstraZeneca, Stena, Volvo, Bulten, AkzoNobel, IFS and Husqvarna, but also in smaller companies, such as Macforum and Aitellu Technologies. The median age is 42 and the age range is 34-56 years. 30 per cent of the participants are women. On average, the participants have 12 years of managerial experience upon enrolling to the programme.

– It was the first year to introduce elective courses in our Executive MBA programme. These participants are the first batch to experience this development of the curriculum. The participants’ thesis work and electives occurred in parallel. Based on the thesis subject – as always chosen by the participants themselves – they acquired a more wide-ranging and elaborated understanding of their thesis subjects. Participants have attended literature seminars in small groups and have interacted with researchers in their respective fields. One of the positive outcomes of the electives is that the theses’ theoretical contributions have been impressive, without losing any of the practical insights that often are generated in the Executive MBA theses. As in previous years, the participants often choose a topic that would benefit their own organisation. This is appreciated as all the participants have been nominated and sponsored by their employers. In this year’s Executive MBA programme, the participants focused on areas such as sourcing decision making, social media in B2B sales, multichannel retailing, learning processes within repeated projects, selection of leaders, doing business in sub-Saharan African markets and implementation of a new strategic idea in healthcare, says Roger Schweizer, Programme Director.

Ready for new business challenges
– I would say that it has been a very rewarding experience, not only through classes and lectures but also through peer discussions. In general I think the main takeaway is increased self-confidence as I now have a more comprehensive understanding of all aspects of an enterprise, which is certainly beneficial to my position. Put simply, we have not only learned what to do, we have also learned how to do it. I am prepared to take on new business challenges, Patrick Lexér, Purchase & Engineering Manager, Bulten Sweden AB, sums up his study journey.
Matias Bourdieu, Director Business Development, Stena Oil AB, added:
– I feel very satisfied and relieved after the thesis presentation. The past 21 months have been very intense combining study, family and work. Today I feel very proud and pleased that I embarked on the Executive MBA programme. All the new insights and knowledge I have acquired, together with new relations and networks with fellow participants from the programme, will be very useful for my professional career and personal development. Thanks to my Executive MBA I feel prepared for new challenges in a global context.

For more information, please contact:
Håkan Ericson, Managing Director, GU School of Executive Education, +46 31 786 53 81, +46 709 50 63 35, e-mail hakan.ericson@handels.gu.se; www.handels.gu.se/exed

GU School of Executive Education at the School of Business, Economics and Law in Gothenburg offers the only AMBA-accredited Executive MBA Programme in Sweden as well as tailor-made programmes for internationally oriented companies in the Nordic market. Our education programmes are delivered in, among other countries, the US, India, Singapore, Hong Kong, China and South Korea. By combining academic rigour with practical relevance GU School of Executive Education develops their clients’ key employees. http://www.guexed.com/