Management skills constantly evolve daily, and so does the need for global managers who understand a broad spectrum of business dimensions. Hailing from Ireland, Maeve Lynch had the thirst to upskill herself, bringing her to the classroom after years of corporate experience.
Based in Singapore, Maeve decided to pursue her Executive MBA from SP Jain’s Singapore campus while working as a Plant General Manager for the Concentrate Manufacturing facility of Coca-Cola. Post the program, she gained the necessary skills and transitioned into a new role as a Global Supply Chain Director for nutrition at Coca-Cola.
Way past her corporate years, Maeve knew she wanted to earn an EMBA as it would be the right choice to further advance her career. However, she was already quite preoccupied with work and couldn’t find the time to pursue her studies.
At a business conference, Maeve happened to meet Ms Anu Madan (Deputy Director – Alumni Relations, SP Jain), where she was introduced to SP Jain’s Executive MBA program. She was intrinsically intrigued by the broad nature and curriculum of the program and felt that it was in sync with what she had been looking for. The modular and flexible structure of the program greatly caught her attention. This made her realise that she could balance her studies with her ongoing work life.
Upon further research, Maeve was delighted to learn about the reputation and accreditations SP Jain holds as an institution in the international business education sector. She believes, “Employers first look for an EMBA from a credible business school with good accreditations and then at the specialisation one has chosen.” Seeing all her criteria being ticked off her checklist, Maeve finally decided to enrol for SP Jain’s EMBA. Above all, Maeve says, “My personal interaction with Ms Anu played a significant role as I received a warm welcome which made me want to find out more about the institution, and the rest is history.”
Previously, Maeve’s expertise lay in Supply Chains and Manufacturing Operations. When she began her SPJ journey, she was in the mid-level senior management position as a General Manager with significant experience in running the enterprise and operations. This position provided her with in-depth functional knowledge of supply chain and manufacturing.
With significant expertise already on her plate, Maeve found the EMBA to be an ideal fit for her career as it has broad business-based learning sessions covering all the integral functions. Irrespective of her functional expertise, she had the opportunity to learn all the other areas which she hadn’t touched upon previously. Maeve believes that the program is structured to mould T-shaped leaders, which is achieved through case study discussions and simulation cases in the classroom. To break the glass ceiling and become a broad generalist from a specialist, Maeve had taken the plunge to complete her EMBA to enrich her professional expertise.
One of the specialties of the EMBA is the cumulative wealth of professional experience of the cohort. Every student has a diverse work experience based on their background. Maeve had come with immense corporate experience in her field, which benefited all the other students in the classroom. The discussions through group projects and understanding of perspectives through peer learning is something that isn’t usually seen in the workplace with co-workers.
“Working in small groups for projects with people from completely different backgrounds and levels of experience brings a fresh dimension on how to approach a problem”, she shares as it challenged her to reflect on how she had been troubleshooting and solving problems at work.
Maeve observed a change in her perception; she started looking at things from the perspective of different industries rather than constantly viewing them from her paradigm. “I was lighter on the tech side, but there were amazing tech students in my cohort with whom I truly enjoyed working in groups. We could learn so much from each other, which made the learning fun and beneficial”, she added.
In particular, Maeve was enthusiastic about the Finance modules in the curriculum as they were very relevant and complimented her daily work life. Even though she had no backing on financial or in-depth marketing concepts, the 18-month study greatly covered these topics and helped her build on her skills even further.
Maeve added that her secret to a good work-life-study balance is planning her calendar and conveying it upfront to her family and friends, letting them know her availability but only for special occasions. When she makes a commitment, she makes sure to put the necessary time into it. With the flexible program, she could plan her social, family and study life. She shares, “I thought of it as a gift for myself and realised that I would have to make some compromises along the way.” Although her days were long as she was balancing work and study life together, the process was exhilarating.
Maeve pointed out that studying an EMBA is a prerequisite today, unlike in her time when such a degree would be only a beneficial learning one. Once a professional gets placed in general management, director or executive-level roles, it becomes essential to upskill oneself and become an effective leader. In Maeve’s opinion,
“An EMBA does not define or create your career pathway; rather, it enhances your career greatly”.
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