With an equal focus on both depth and breadth, the ESSEC & Mannheim Executive MBA (EMBA) program was both a practical and transformational experience for Stephenie Teo.
Ask Stephenie Teo if her younger self would have imagined her take on the role of Head of Learning and Talent Management at the Bank of Singapore, and the answer probably would have been no. Back in 2014, she wanted to be a consultant in her field, not a manager.
She was close to her goals. At that point in her career, she had accumulated over a decade of experience and established herself as a specialist in the field of learning and development. What she wanted was something to complement her expertise.
“I wanted something that could deepen my thinking skills, help crystallize my thinking process, and build more confidence in how I conducted myself,” she shares.
With its part-time arrangement and an all-rounded curriculum that covered the different pillars of doing business, the ESSEC & Mannheim EMBA program was perfect.
EXTRACTING THE ESSENCE OF COLLECTIVE EXPERTISE FROM PEERS
One of the biggest advantages Stephenie found was being exposed to peers from diverse nationalities, ages, industries, and careers. The fact that everyone was a seasoned professional meant that classroom discussions were “concentrated”, allowing her to “extract the essence from the broth” and gain a detailed understanding of different fields.
The diverse perspectives also led her to see familiar things in a different light. For example, “As a domain-expert, I might see a square as a square. But at the EMBA level, that square becomes a three-dimension cube. It might even become four-dimension,” she exclaims.
This helped her connect the dots between the different facets of an organization. Post-EMBA: “I didn’t just come across as another learning and talent development person. I could now speak the language of business and see things from the business perspective.”
“In any job, it’s important to master the skill set of understanding how our expertise translates to the business,” she adds.
CHANNELS OF INSPIRATION AND SUPPORT
Her career is a testament to this, and she shares that the benefits have only accrued with time over the last six years. For one thing, being imbued with the necessary skills piqued her interest in management, so when the opportunity for her current role arose, she boldly took up the challenge.
Today, as she heads a team responsible for the transformation of the workforce, she is confident in her expertise in the field and as a leader who can help others grow and develop, making an impact in their lives.
The ESSEC network of new graduates and experienced alumni is also a support source — willingly sharing their insights and forge new connections she needs.
So this may not have been where Stephenie envisioned herself a few years ago when she first stepped through ESSEC’s doors. Still, it is clear that the “well-curated curriculum that elevates pertinent thinking relevant to today’s world” has given her a springboard to exciting things. Growth, it seems, is the only constant.