I got a better understanding of the big picture

4 May 2016

Since joining the Executive MBA programme in 2009, Julie Maes has accelerated her career within Volvo Group. Today she is responsible for a function employing 60 people.

When Julie joined the programme in 2009, she was a global purchaser. She had shown a great deal of development potential and had the possibility to adjust the work schedule to accommodate the Executive MBA programme. On graduating from the Executive MBA programme in 2011, Julie was offered a first-level managerial position and 18 months later she was recruited as a director with global scope and people reporting to her in both solid and dotted lines.

Julie Maes, Executive MBA graduate 2011 and Director Supply Chain Support at Volvo Powertrain

“Today I am responsible for the material control department at the Powertrain unit of Volvo Group. We are the ones who produce the gearboxes and engines for the whole company. As a functional director, I am head of a matrix with 60 people reporting to me directly or indirectly. My career has clearly been enabled by the new skills gained on the Executive MBA programme.”

Being French, Julie carefully evaluated both Swedish and French business schools that offered Executive MBA programmes. In the end she decided to join the Gothenburg Executive MBA thanks to its global focus. The programme had the edge she was looking for.

Julie stresses the importance for us in the Western world of understanding what is happening in Asia with economies that are developing at a speed that we cannot comprehend from here. This is something that she discovered during the Executive MBA programme and now she has it reconfirmed on daily basis.

“We have so much interaction with Asia in our day-to-day work. The Executive MBA programme gave me the right tools to understand what is happening in Asia. The Asian focus will benefit any company interested in developing or maintaining a global outreach.”

“What I remember most from the programme is without doubt the discussions. Thanks to the diverse group of participants, we had such good, constructive discussions from different angles, with the lecturers acting as catalysts. Each module gave so much thanks to my fellow participants. They represented a broad spectrum of opinions, backgrounds and ages. That created outstanding classroom dynamics.”

Julie testifies to the understanding of the big picture brought to her by the programme, as it covers all the major activities and associated challenges of a corporation such as Volvo Group. Today she feels confident in engaging effectively with managers and employees from any other function within Volvo and she understands why the CEO makes the decisions he does.

“To this day, three years after graduation, my fellow participants and I stay in touch on a regular basis, both professionally and privately. If you have a professional issue you can always call one of your former classmates who is good at handling that particular area. That personal network is an asset which the School helped us to create.”