The empowering message of music & role models: How they inspired me to study for Executive MBA
Executive MBA / 2 October 2023
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Executive MBA Class of 2024
Tina is currently working as Global Senior Channel Manager Organized Chains in Foodservice at Arla Foods, the world's fifth-largest dairy company. She studied Business Management with a major in Marketing at the University College Ghent. Tina started her foodservice career 15 years ago while living in the Netherlands and moved to Germany in 2017. She has worked in various sales positions within Europe.

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Music is a universal language that has the power to inspire, empower and bring people together. For me, music has always played an important role in my life. As a young girl and teenager, I remember listening to songs by powerful female singers, such as Aretha Franklin, France Gall, Tina Turner, Pink and many more. At that time, those songs were just great-sounding tunes, but as I got older and started singing as a hobby in a cover band myself, I realised the powerful messages behind them.

The importance of female role models and mentors

Music has given these female singers a voice; it empowered them to seize any chance, face any hurdle and become the best versions of themselves, making them role models for many of us. This also resonates with me, as I have always had a drive to personally and professionally develop myself, explore the world out there, step out of my comfort zone and grow.

Today, I have the privilege of working in one of the most exciting industries: Foodservice, which I am truly passionate about. Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to meet strong and inspiring female foodservice leaders who have become my role models and mentors.

These examples are crucial, as they help create an environment where women can feel more comfortable stepping into leadership roles. Despite the fact that we still have a long way to go, with only one-third of women represented in leadership positions, we have already made good progress toward gender equality and diversity. It’s also powerful and inspiring to see how more men are stepping up to support women in becoming leaders. As allies, they set an example for the next generation of men.

Advice to women building their careers

I realise that many women still struggle with self-doubt and insecurity when building their careers, even if they have already achieved great things. I therefore want to offer three pieces of advice to all the women out there:

Firstly, don’t fall for the impostor syndrome. Show your skills and expertise. You are excellent at what you’re doing; demonstrate it. Don’t put yourself in the background; step into the foreground — you are worth it!

Secondly, we all have a voice, and we should use it. Speak up for yourself, be a role model for others and express your opinions, but always stay authentic.

Finally, whatever your passion is, whatever industry you work in, give your best. If you have a goal, work hard for it, stay focused and be proud of every milestone you reach along the way.

To all the men out there supporting women in their growth, I want to say ‘thank you’! We need you as allies; your support is essential in creating an inclusive and diverse environment. We can only achieve this if we work together!

The empowering spirit of our Executive MBA cohort

I have the privilege of working in an environment that allows me to develop myself and supports me in studying an Executive MBA at Frankfurt School of Finance & Management. Before taking the next step in my career, a senior leadership role, I wanted to develop my personal and professional skills on top of the industry expertise I have built over the years.

The Executive MBA was exactly what I needed; it offered a deeper understanding of various topics, such as corporate finance, digitisation, leadership, global economics, strategy and many more. Two highlights stood out: the personal development weekend and the summer elective abroad in Tel Aviv, ‘New Venture Creation.’

Studying for the Executive MBA has been one of the best decisions I have ever made, and I strongly recall my first day of this exciting journey. I immediately felt the empowering spirit of our cohort. I met great men and women working in diverse industries and roles, but all had one thing in common: strong, ambitious individuals with an open mindset to inspire and support each other through our journey. I can honestly say that I’ve made friends for life.

Now, put on your favourite music and let’s empower each other!

I have gained so much knowledge and grown significantly over the past year. I have also just entered a new role as a ‘Global Senior Channel Manager Organized Chains’. As I continue on my personal and professional growth journey, I am eager to be a role model and mentor for others. I believe that we can all empower ourselves and each other to reach our full potential, and one way we can do that is through the power of music. So, put on your favourite music and let’s inspire and support each other toward achieving our goals!