For Mr. Sørensen the idea of going back to school was a bit far away. But after discovering the IME Mini MBA he decided to give it a try – and found the perfect combination of upgrading his skills and at the same time balancing work and family.
It was "by accident" that Jesper Sørensen, Sales Manager at KPI Bridge Oil in Singapore, stumbled across the IME Mini MBA executive course. Sitting at the Danish embassy, waiting for his passport, he was killing time reading a Danish magazine. There was an interview with Asger Daugbjerg, Director, IME Singapore, and Mr. Sørensen started thinking to himself that this might be a good option for him.
”Having worked abroad for many years and in the same company for 20 years, I felt I needed a better theoretical understanding of management. A lot has happened in business over the course of those years, also in terms of leadership styles, and while I for the past few years have had a good manager that I could ping pong ideas with and learn from, I lacked some theoretical knowledge,” Mr. Sørensen explains from his office in Singapore.
A country which he describes as lovely and where he has lived on-off for the past 16 years with his wife and two daughters.
”In Singapore office hours start later than in Denmark, but we also stay longer in the evening. It would have been difficult to balance work, family and a study outside office hours. So, for me if was perfect that the Mini MBA was one entire day every three weeks.”
Skills that can be used every day
Jesper Sørensen (on the photo), began The IME Mini MBA in August 2017, but the 39-year old Dane wasn’t sure what to expect from the concept of returning to school.
”I knew that I lacked theoretical understanding, but I wasn’t sure how hungry I would be to study or whether it would be any fun,” he says, knowing that the commerce classes he attended years ago, just after finishing his degree in the business school, were boring him to death.
Luckily, studying for the Mini MBA was nothing close to this. And Mr. Sørensen spent four months enjoying the intensive learning.
“It was hard to know beforehand what to expect, but it has given me a really good knowledge foundation. I definitely got what I came for. I’m not an expert now, but I have upgraded my skills in a way where I can use it on all levels – every day at work.”
For him it was also positive to experience how professional the Mini MBA instructors were. They gave him a good introduction to the subject and how to progress beyond the class curriculum.
Insight and understanding
Mr. Sørensen emphasizes the fact that he now has a better insight in the decision-making process. “I have a much better understanding of what is going on the levels above me – both strategically, in Marketing, with Change Management, HR and optimization in general. I now recognize aspects of the processes that I learned in the program and have a greater understanding of certain decisions and actions being made in my company as well as the motivation behind them.”
After finishing his IME Mini MBA, he recognizes many models used in business including his own. He also has a better understanding of HR and marketing, and he can see many of the things he studied are being repeated in his company. In general, he brings back a lot of small things from the different subjects. And a higher level of understanding.
”I now have a better understanding of why decisions are made. It’s rare that company leaders explain to you why they do the way they do.
But in the Mini MBA he was also challenged. Especially the course about Process and Lean was a tough nut to crack. “Preparing for this was the worst for me. The book was like reading recipes, only the ingredients were not named in any sensible order – and the amount wasn’t mentioned. I honestly did not know what to expect,” says Mr. Sørensen.
But then in class, when all was explained and put together, he was really surprised by learning how much you can actually optimize by planning – and also all the problems you can avoid.
Ready for a new position
For Jesper Sørensen another great thing came out of his Mini MBA: He learned a lot of management skills – and he reports that he now feels ready to step up the management ladder if presented with an opportunity.
”Before I felt like I would have lacked skills on the managerial and strategic level, but I no longer feel that.”
Jesper Sørensen’s only regret about the IME Mini MBA was his lack of time. He would have loved to have delved even deeper into the subjects that he found to be most interesting. ”Even though the limited time was suitable for me, there are still things I wish I could have spent more time getting to know better.”
For Mr. Sørensen this means that his appetite for studying has only grown since he finished his IME Mini MBA in December 2017.
”It has been a really good catalyst for my onward studies and given me an upgraded skillset,”
- Jesper Sørensen says.
Even though he does not yet know exactly how or what it should be about –The Mini MBA will not be the last time he seeks to upgrade his skillset.