In 2016, Anne-Catherine Thore Olsson graduated from the Executive MBA programme at the School of Business, Economics and Law, University of Gothenburg. At the start of the programme, she was working with purchasing at Volvo Cars and is today Head of Special Vehicles at the same company. Anne-Catherine Thore Olsson describes the programme as a very valuable development platform and considers the main advantage for employers the holistic perspective that the programme delivers. “I gained a much deeper understanding of our management’s decisions,” she says.
Deciding to embark on an Executive MBA programme became relevant for Anne-Catherine Thore Olsson when she felt it was time for something new.
“Something needed to happen. I wanted to get to the next level and challenge myself. The Executive MBA was one of several options and today, I am very happy and grateful that I got the opportunity and I took it,” she says and continues…
“In addition to adding to my professional skills and knowledge, I have gotten a sense of security and confidence to act in different situations. It was a very challenging time with a lot of work, but I had so much fun! I didn’t regret it for a second even when it was really tough. ”
When asked about the value the programme has for her employer, Anne-Catherine Thore Olsson responds quickly:
“To learn to think like a CEO. That is the main thing I’ve taken with me from the programme. To see the big picture and include all aspects in development and decision-making. Now, I have a much deeper understanding of management decisions and can act on them faster and easier. I see my own role in a wider context. I think all companies benefit a lot from having employees who see the big picture and understand why they make certain decisions.”
How can employers whose employees are pursuing an Executive MBA programme get the best possible return on their investment?
According to Anne-Catherine Thore Olsson, “They should create a structure to anchor and provide feedback internally after each programme module. By having a dialogue with colleagues in, for example, HR, finance or law, programme participants can learn more on how their company works in those areas and, at the same time, share fresh knowledge gained during the education. You should also create opportunities to share ideas and insights with your closest colleagues after each module, so that more people gain more knowledge.”
Important insights during dissertation writing
A few years have passed since Anne-Catherine Thore Olsson graduated, but she still refers back to some parts of the programme:
“Organizational Behavior and Leadership, Strategic Management and Innovation Management are modules that have stuck with me. In certain situations at work, I can realise that this is exactly what we were talking about during the programme. Then I can refer back and get support for how to manage or think about that situation,” she says and adds:
“And the dissertation! It was incredibly rewarding! The work process itself and also the dissertation topic provided very valuable insights. I have used the conclusions and methodology from the dissertation in numerous work situations.”
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