Fleur Sluijter could be described as a serial entrepreneur – and a successful one at that. A trained lawyer, she has previously owned – and sold - two companies, writing a book about her experiences.
Even with an LLM to her name and two successful companies behind her - she’s now running her third company - Sluijter still found a need to turn to the Executive MBA. “A law degree is a very useful study if you are an entrepreneur. I ran my companies with common sense and I mostly followed my ‘gut feeling’, but I felt the need to get a more theoretical background and more in-depth knowledge of subjects such as marketing, finance and strategy.”
Sluijter says the standard subjects she studied as part of her EMBA were very useful, but the best part of the program was learning more about cultural differences. “This was not only by listening to the lectures. The people in the program are from different cultures and have different backgrounds, which made it a very unique experience for me. We had to work in teams with people from other parts of the world and it made me understand their views, values and beliefs better.”
“What I learned in the classroom, and as part of a group travelling abroad, Sluijter adds, I was able to implement into my business immediately.”
“If you work in a corporate environment, it [an EMBA] will certainly help you to get promoted, or it can give you a head start. As an entrepreneur, it has helped me in general, and mostly in areas such as negotiation skills (especially with people from different cultures), change management, finance and strategy,” she says.
Sluijter has been able to successfully implement her EMBA learnings into her entrepreneurial work and as such, it’s an experience she would encourage others to pursue. “Naturally you learn a lot from the program itself, and furthermore, you learn a lot from your classmates by sharing experiences, not only business experiences, but personal experiences,” she says.
“I would definitely encourage others to pursue an EMBA.”