Master's in Physics/Applied Physics, KTH Royal Institute of Technology
Service Business Contract Specialist, Hitachi ABB Power Grids
I have been close to the utility sector ever since I acquired my Master’s. Early on in my career I also discovered the power of collaboration; working closely with customers in the development of service teams that support them in the post-delivery phases of country-wide power grid control systems.
Through this process, I am most proud of my track record, getting many things right in terms of establishing a culture, drawing up processes and outlining strategies. Today, I am most thankful for the Wallenberg Foundation, who gave me the opportunity to carry these experiences forward into studying for the Executive MBA, where I have developed further learnings from my classmates’ similar journeys. As a result, I can now look forward to providing even more business value with the combination of a science Master’s with an MBA.
Choosing the Imperial Executive MBA
I targeted studying an MBA because I wanted to grow intellectually and compare my thoughts on leadership and strategy with others. I was also interested in the subject areas being taught at top-ranked business schools. In pursuit of my goal of becoming a more qualified business professional, I quickly honed in on London, knowing that the city has been on the world map for centuries as a centre of commerce. Besides being a top-ranked school in London, Imperial College Business School had an appealing sense of modernity, encapsulated in a statuesque legacy and with the added elements of entrepreneurship and innovation at its core.
Funding my MBA
I was fortunate enough to be spotted by the Wallenberg Foundation. The senior management of my company had always supported my ambition, but I had to solve the financials myself. I subsequently applied to the “Dr.Tech. Marcus Wallenberg Foundation for Education in International Entrepreneurship” and received full funding to study my Executive MBA. As the saying goes - where there is a will, there is a way.
A unique opportunity to learn
The Executive MBA programme at Imperial is a perfectly balanced mix between online and on-campus, which is supported by having an appropriately sized cohort that is neither too big, nor too small. The interactions with peers, tutors and lecturers are continuously rewarding. It’s a privileged opportunity to exchange thoughts, learnings, and insights with fascinating people, in a forum where several centuries of cumulative experience is gathered together in one amazing place.
My key takeaway from the programme so far is a deeper understanding of the power of culture, together with learnings on the wide spectrum of unconscious biases that permeate many business interactions. My favourite module has been the elective ‘Digital transformation: leading real world change’. It ranks highest for me because it made me realise the power that comes with looking for unintended exclusions and unwanted effects.
I’ve found every lecture to be useful in some way or another, since they have all been tailored to encourage maximum interaction among students, and every exchange of experience is a useful learning opportunity. Many modules have also included world renowned leaders, which again represents a unique opportunity to tap into their experience in search of additional learnings.
Applying my learnings in a professional environment
My role has directly benefited from the MBA, given that I now feel comfortable tackling a higher level of complexity in business strategy planning. I also feel I am generally much better at monitoring and controlling the narrative in a wide variety of situations, both in and out of work, thanks to my MBA learnings.
My cohort and working in groups
I would best describe my cohort as an international collection of individuals with the most diverse spectrum of knowledge, skills and backgrounds imaginable. It’s a delight to collaborate with them, and to continually learn that on every occasion, everyone always has a valuable contribution to make.
I also became a Student Ambassador, which allows me to share my experiences of the Executive MBA journey with others, in particular how I got to where I am.
I have one international residency behind me, done in collaboration with European School of Management and Technology (ESMT) in Berlin, entitled “Managing Technology the German way”. And one residency still to come, to be done virtually in collaboration with Chinese University of Hong Kong Business School , entitled “Doing Business in China”.
The experience with ESMT brought me close to Industry 4.0 and the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft Institute, which was very enlightening and inspiring. I expect no less from the Hong Kong residency, and I’m very confident that the hybrid infrastructure will make the experience memorable despite this not being an in-person experience.
Being part of the wider Imperial College community
Having Imperial College experience in common with others is an icebreaker that has global reach and appeal. The Executive MBA programme has a strong mix of international students and the College hosts students from all corners of the world. The likelihood of running into an alumnus is thus very high, in almost every business sector, and has already proved to be a valuable networking tool.
My Career and the Executive MBA
My career goal is to continuously grow, add more value, and expand the amount of responsibility I can carry. I am now taking on more complex and long-term strategy problems as a direct result of the growth I have achieved while on the MBA programme. The Executive Leadership Journey module is enriching and challenges you to practice self-reflection. The benefit I found with the module is that the process of self-analysis is done with the support of skilled coaches, which in itself is a unique opportunity.
In addition, the Careers service has been of tangible benefit during my time at Imperial, providing hands-on support in areas such as sharpening my CV and pushing me to reflect on where I’d like my career to take me. Following graduation from Imperial, I intend to utilise the network I have developed for tackling lesser-known issues in the business world, and make use of the strategic learnings to more effectively deconstruct business challenges.
I chose London because I reasoned that it would be second to none in terms of being a centre of commerce. I have found my reasoning to be accurate, and it is indeed a city rich with opportunity. My favourite thing about London is that its historical heritage can be found everywhere. Having the Natural History Museum next door to Imperial College Business School is hard to beat as an activity after a long day of lectures.
Overcoming the biggest challenge
The most challenging part of the programme for me has been the exams and study periods running in parallel with my paternity leave. As a parent of three children, I must admit it has been challenging. Without the buy-in and support from my family and extended family, this would not have been possible. My advice to candidates is to broadcast your aspirations as wide as you can and cherish all the help that comes along as a result.
Advice to prospective students
My advice to prospective students would be this - ask yourself the question “Why?” With a response to this, the rest will follow.