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Cristina Savian

Italian/British. Judge Business School, University of Cambridge, 2018. Founder and chief executive, BE-WISE, London

How did the EMBA change your professional life?
The great thing about the EMBA is that because you study while you work, you can apply what you have learnt right away. The course had an immediate impact, giving me the edge I was looking for.

If someone had told me when I started the course that I would set up my own business by the end of it, I would never have believed them. But the support of my peers, along with the skills I learnt, gave me the confidence to launch BE-WISE, a consultancy that brings new technology and innovation to the construction market.

Meeting people who have run businesses for many years, and others just starting out, helped me because unless you meet someone who has been there, you do not think you can do it. When I meet people now, I try and give them this confidence, as well as an impression of my experience at Judge because every business school is different and it is important to find a good fit.

Guénolée de Lambert

French. Insead, 2018. Paediatric and liver transplant surgeon, Paris

How did you think the EMBA would advance your career?
I had been practising as a senior paediatric surgeon for 10 years, but I wanted to do more and help in a different way: I wanted to take care of patients on a larger scale, not on a one-to-one basis, and to deal with the problem of cost-effectiveness in healthcare.

I needed a new toolbox for this and thought that studying for an EMBA would get me to the right point. This path is a surprising one for a doctor at my level in a French public university hospital: few French practitioners consider this kind of executive education.

It was a big leap, but it proved to be beneficial. After 14 months at Insead, sharing with business women and men with so many different horizons, and being led and coached by a truly international faculty, I felt equipped with a new set of competencies — including strategy execution, finance and marketing — and ready to help.

John Park

Korean. Ceibs, 2018. Chief information officer, Chanel, Seoul

Did the course live up to your expectations?
I started my EMBA after moving to AB InBev’s Asia-Pacific headquarters in Shanghai. I had begun shaping a new innovation function for the region; I felt I was at the peak of my career and was looking for extra challenges to push myself.

I also wanted to connect with other executives with different perspectives and backgrounds to exchange and discuss management lessons.

The course provided me with constant opportunities for self-reflection and leadership training, which has changed my everyday approach to work.

This started from the first week, with the leadership module, where I met world-class faculty and classmates who challenged, supported and coached me intensively throughout the year. Undertaking the EMBA programme at Ceibs has been transformational, reshaping me to be a better manager and professional.

Edurne Benito

Spanish. IESE, 2019. Corporate director of digital media, Falabella Retail, Santiago, Chile

Did the course meet your expectations?
My main reason for pursuing an EMBA was to broaden my areas of expertise and acquire a holistic view of business. I wanted to learn more about finance, logistics, innovation and entrepreneurship. I got much more than that, however.

The combination of leading professors, company visits and guest speakers allowed me to understand problem-solving from a well-rounded perspective. Having access to a wide range of viewpoints trained my critical-thinking skills, allowing me to see beyond the obvious.

I didn’t expect a transformation in my personal life, but when I started my EMBA our daughter was three months old and it was a challenge to commit to my family, work responsibilities and the programme.

This experience empowered me in time management, commitment and effective prioritisation.

Antonio Escandón Lizaur

Mexican/Spanish. IPADE, 2019. Chief financial officer, Inmobiliaria Esmali, Mexico City

How did the EMBA change your approach to work?
In many ways, my EMBA did not change my day-to-day approach to work that much — it just made me more efficient. In strategy and organisational focus, however, it had an impact. My classmates became my personal board and I was able to build a new strategy for my business with their input and perspectives. With their help I became aware that financial markets and services are far bigger than I expected and understood some of the risks.

When choosing an EMBA course, it is important to ask: where do I need my network? You may fancy an international experience, but you need to consider what will give you the best experience for your business. You are already working, you already know your market, and you know where you want to be in 10 or 15 years. A local EMBA could allow you to build a network in the place where you are — or will be in the future.

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