A few weeks ago, I graduated from Antwerp Management School’s Executive MBA program. After two years of hard work I finally reached the finish line of this unique experience.
When we embarked on the first weekend of the Executive MBA class, all we knew was that there were 32 students from six different countries, with an average of 11 years’ work experience. We started the weekend with lots of questions, and we came home fired up with determination. Healthcare, banking, textiles - whichever industry we came from, we all agreed: “We are all in this together and we will succeed together!”
During the MBA we learned new things, travelled the world and experienced other cultures. In Guangzhou we learned about the challenges of doing business in China. At MIT, we were in the middle of the Kendall Square innovation district, which made for a unique learning experience. And I’ll never forget exploring the city with my fellow students. This is part of what doing an MBA is about: sharing experiences and having lots of fun!
"We learned that doing business isn’t the only thing that matters. In addition to making our own dreams come true, we can also help others on their own paths."
And of course there were our Russian EMBA colleagues from the Institute of Business Studies in Moscow. You could say that we went through all the classic group development phases with them: From forming and storming, through norming toward performing… Nazdrovje our Russian friends!
AMS taught us to observe, find out about ourselves, experiment and have fun. They forced us out of our comfort zone. For us, change was part of development.
But we also learned that doing business isn’t the only thing that matters. There are 22.5 million refugees worldwide. In Belgium, 15% of the population lives below the poverty line. These are a couple of the facts that we were confronted with while working on our community projects. So, in addition to making our own dreams come true, we can also help others on their own paths.
We can be proud that we left our comfort zones and that we are now EMBA graduates. But we couldn’t have done it alone. The class would like to thank the Antwerp Management School and all the professors who opened our minds.
Moreover, I would like to thank my fellow students. You made me bloom! You helped me search out my dream. With your support, I was able to leave my comfort zone and broaden my vision. Travel broadens the mind.
"Now it's time to start opening minds, touching souls and energizing business."
And we are nothing without our friends and family. They were our support and without them we wouldn’t be graduating.
I would like to thank my family, friends, Antwerp Management School and fellow graduates once again. Thank you for teaching me to search for my dream! Now it's time to start opening minds, touching souls and energizing business. Thanks to the EMBA and thanks to you all. My dream starts here!