The quality of the lecturers and the tremendous power of the group are factors that stand out as Johnny Stieger describes his experiences from the Executive MBA programme at the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg. He also emphasises his own personal development: “I learned to dare to strive for what I really want.”
After a long and successful career in maintenance and production at SKF, Johnny Stieger wanted to move on, “It was time to try something new; preferably in a role closer to the operational activities where I could provide leadership and energy.”
Every year, SKF nominates employees to attend the Executive MBA programme at the School of Economics, Business and Law in Gothenburg. Johnny Stieger read about the programme, applied and passed both SKF’s and the school’s admission processes. After graduating in 2019 and hosting an internal presentation of his thesis, he was given the opportunity to take on his current position, which entails development responsibility for SKF’s 17 Performance Centers in Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) and operational responsibility for the two located in Sweden.
Gained new perspectives
“The programme is intense. You are under pressure for quite a long time. This leads to change and development. I gained new perspectives, not least on my career. My thoughts about ‘climbing the career ladder’ developed into me asking myself ‘what do I want to do?’. I chose to write my thesis about SKF’s journey from selling products to offering solutions, services and performance. It’s something that really interests me and now that’s exactly what I work with,” says Johnny Stieger.
He emphasises the group’s importance for his own development.
“It was absolutely fantastic to get to go on this journey together with 23 super positive, energised and enormously knowledgeable, older and younger, women and men, entrepreneurs and large company employees from Sweden and several other countries. Our discussions were an important part of the programme and to hear and reflect on how others think and act was hugely rewarding. In connection with the group work, we sometimes met at each other’s workplaces, and this provided further insights.”
Impressively high quality
Johnny Stieger appreciated the structure of the Executive MBA programme, with modules that focus on and create a deep understanding of one subject at a time. He was also surprised by the lecturers.
“I didn’t expect such a high quality and breadth. The lecturers came from different countries, backgrounds and cultures. One of the early modules was about organisational culture. The professor who led that module, Gideon Kunda from Tel Aviv, was absolutely brilliant. At the time, I thought he was an exception, but there was a consistently high level of lecturers. Johan Magnusson, who led the module on digitalisation, was another who inspired me very much.”
The knowledge he gained has been put to good use. HR issues, digitalisation and supply change management are examples of work areas that are constantly relevant for Johnny Stieger, and which he learned a lot about during the Executive MBA programme.
“I gained both breadth and depth. I already had a lot of experience. The programme gave me complementary theoretical knowledge that makes a big difference and helps me see the big picture.”
Became efficient and effective
High demands are placed on the participants in an Executive MBA programme. For Johnny Stieger, the most difficult things were to take in and process so much information and to balance work, private life and studying. At the same time, he appreciated the challenge.
“When I was forced to be fast and rational, I became efficient and effective. It is difficult to maintain that level, even if you want to, without the demands and inspiration of the programme. In my mind, I saw it as though I got to be at the School of Business, Economics and Law every three weeks to be injected with positive energy and new ideas!”
For more information about Gothenburg Executive MBA, contact:
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