Well prepared for the Executive MBA – and pleasantly surprised

11 March 2022

“Extremely useful” is how Mattias Nilsson, Director New Growth Areas at Stena Recycling AB, describes the content of the Organizational Behavior and Leadership module, which he recently got to grips with in the context of the Executive MBA programme at the School of Business, Economics and Law in Gothenburg.

Mattias Nilsson is a person who likes to be well prepared. As such, he knew quite well what to expect when, in the autumn of 2021, he began his 21-month Executive MBA programme at the School of Business, Economics and Law at the University of Gothenburg.

“The programme meets all my expectations and more. But I was surprised by how quickly we as participants became such a well-functioning group, in spite of the challenges the pandemic brought with it. The group is very diverse, dynamic and exciting. And I’m struck by how much of the programme content I can apply directly,” he says.

Mattias’ family and employer were involved in the preparations for his participation. He has cut back on other private commitments to create space for the programme, for example, his role as a coach for an Under-11s football team is temporarily put on hold. So far, he is happy with his efforts and thinks that the work the program requires is as extensive as he expected. Before signing up for the programme, he spent time learning from previous participants’ experiences, and the conversations and interviews he had in connection with his application helped him to get a realistic picture of what to expect.

“The course content is on an advanced level. There is a lot to take in and a lot to deliver. The pace has been intense from the start,” he says.


Professionally packaged module

At the end of January, it was time for the programme module Organizational Behavior and Leadership led by Frank Stenman, psychologist and organisational consultant. To achieve the best results, the module is carried out as an off-site. The participants gathered at the Nääs Fabriker conference facility just outside Gothenburg. A rented mobile test lab established that no one had covid.

As prep work, the group met with Frank Stenman a few weeks before the off-site.

”He asked what we wanted to get out of our days together. And we really got what we asked for, maximally professionally packaged,” says Mattias Nilsson. He continues, “Theory sessions were followed by cases and tasks that we had to work with directly. There was a wide breadth of content; from difficult conversations and coaching, to being on stage and giving an inspiring and convincing speech. In addition, we had some more reflective and personal exercises. They were also very useful and insightful.”

“I was familiar with some of the theories from previous studies. Now, I got updated, coached and a hands-on opportunity to apply them in practice. For example, we learned a method to nip difficult situations in the bud and work with them before they become a big problem – very interesting. The content of the module was generally extremely useful. ”


Deeper understanding of and for other departments

Mattias Nilsson is attending the Executive MBA programme for several reasons. It’s not about his career as such; his focus is on developing and being able to deliver even more value for his company.

“I want to learn new things and gain access to new methods, not least in general management, and at the same time develop, both as a person and in my professional role. The programme enables me to step up and become a broader resource for my CEO. In my company management role, I have benefit greatly from the deeper understanding of other departments that the programme’s various modules are giving me. I agree with our owner who has said that if you do not constantly work to get better, you will soon cease to be good.”


Mattias Nilsson


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