ESSEC Global Master of Business Administration (GMBA) program is known for its transformative experience. To Jeff Fraser, a Michigan-native from the GMBA class of 2019, that meant developing a smarter, sharper, and more succinct way of thinking.
Today, almost anything you want to know, whether about marketing, finance, or management, can be accessed with a stable Internet connection and the click of a few buttons. Indeed, this self-learning was something Jeff Fraser, a Digital Strategist at B2B marketing agency MOI Global, was adept at doing over his ten years working in non-profits and social enterprises.
But while he was able to gain a wide range of experiences and skill sets, he was also struggling to create a new approach each time he had to solve a problem.
In hindsight, he says: “I realize just how inefficient the process was. I would try to solve the problem, and because I didn’t spend enough time defining the issue or identifying other potential solutions, I would end up having to backtrack.”
This is where ESSEC added the most value to his career, he shares. The school drilled in frameworks and approaches that helped “augment our perspective, making problem-solving faster and more intuitive.”
SLICING THROUGH BUZZWORDS
Take, for example, one of the most popular buzzwords bandied about: digital disruption. How many times have we heard about the need to “navigate the challenges of digital disruption”?
Matter-of-factly, Jeff states: “disruption has been an ever-present force shaping businesses around the world. It’s about identifying what the features are, the pace over time, and breaking disruption down into more meaningful, actionable topics.”
The Strategy & Digital Leadership track at ESSEC helped him view digitalization differently. Today, he is fluent at asking a range of questions: “What does digital disruption mean to your customers? Is it a tech problem? A front end or backend problem?” Being informed in the nuances of digitalization has helped him dissect and define the problem — and solution — better.
This portfolio of skills is what helped him secure and excel in his current job, and if, if the interest in his LinkedIn profile is anything to go by, it is also exactly what recruiters are looking for.
BEING AT THE RIGHT PLACE AND TIME
Jeff’s story may be of how the GMBA was a good investment, but he is quick to add that it was a carefully calculated decision to relocate to a country he believed would give him the opportunities he craved for. Networking with like-minded individuals also re-forged the way he thought.
“When you’re making big changes, you don’t necessarily want people who are going to tell you that you’re doing the right thing. You want people to challenge you, and you want these people to be smart,” he advises.
So should you do an MBA? Well, “If digital is important to your future, the question is not if, but when,” Jeff declares.