My Executive MBA: A journey within and beyond
Executive MBA / 20 January 2023
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Executive MBA Class of 2024
Shuo holds a PhD in Medical Physics from the Max-Planck-Institute in Göttingen. He is originally from Shanghai, China and has had in different roles in the healthcare branch. Currently, Shuo works as Senior Corporate Scientist in Philips and is managing research and technical development projects in Europe.

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The motivation to attend an Executive MBA (EMBA) came from within. With a PhD in medical physics and after staying in my area of expertise in the healthcare technology industry for over 10 years, I chose to pursue an EMBA programme because I believed it would help me learn business insights, gain new perspectives, strengthen my leadership skills, and become more effective in managing challenges in my future professional lives.

A journey of self-reflection

It has been almost 4 months since the Opening Day of the programme. However, the journey started even before the application process, as it raised many questions at first. To answer those questions, I had open and sincere discussions with my supervisor in the company, with my friends and family and I also had to look into myself deeper than before. These have not only changed my perspective of my own strengths and weaknesses but also changed my view on the career that I am pursuing or have chosen to pursue.

It is this process of self-reflection that has, even more, ascertained the reasons for my decision to step out of my comfort zone and explore the unknown by pursuing an EMBA programme.

A journey of interdisciplinary learning

Every subject of the EMBA programme, including lectures and workshops, has a mixture of both theory and practice, all touching upon multiple areas. We are forced into situations where there is no right answer or right way. Instead, there may be many options available. We are exposed to new ideas and concepts, which are not part of our day-to-day life.

For example, one of the key topics so far is Strategy, where we discussed methods, tools and approaches on how to formulate good competitive organisational strategies, from industry analysis to value proposition, from activity analysis to goal setting. These may even go beyond simple internal or external factors from one single institution’s point of view, but trigger managerial considerations involving macroscopic economic scale and geographic scope in the contemporary world after the COVID-19 pandemic.

In this way, the learning path has been enriching in new dimensions and has made me look at things from different perspectives, which expands my horizons. It is not about the destination; it is about the journey.

A journey of collaborative learning

Ever since the first module, it became clear that we were going to work with people who are specialised in various fields and have different perspectives than ours, both during and after the class.

Indeed, most of my classmates are from different countries and cultures and come from diverse industries, either private or government. Despite having different views on various topics and having unique backgrounds and experiences, we share a common goal: to obtain business insights and deep dive into business concepts in an engaging way.

In addition, I can see that we are not only happy about coming together in person after the pandemic, but we are also enjoying working hard as a team and looking forward to the challenges in this journey.

A journey of leadership learning

The topic of leadership is not always easy to discuss. Many of us in the EMBA class would like to reach beyond the confines of our professions as experts and into the leadership world.

As part of the learning journey, leadership training plays an important role. It reflects and shows how to be and become more effective as a manager. After all, leadership is not about a title but more about a mindset – a way of thinking in which we approach our work with others with an open mind, ready to listen and learn from other’s perspectives while demonstrating confidence in ourselves and communicating clearly according to different situations or environments.

In addition, from tunnel vision to a broader horizon, leadership is not just about setting an example but also about creating an environment where everyone can grow.

Looking ahead

Being a father of two, I have learned how to keep a new balance between work, study, family and personal time since applying to the programme.

The EMBA is a journey beyond the journey; you will never expect what you can learn before you try! This journey is a ride, and it has just begun. It may not be an easy decision to make, but it is worth every second of it.