Some people are just driven. Lasse Veng launched his managerial career only a year after graduating from university as a mechanical engineer. Barely into his 20s, he was in charge of moving his organization's production and manufacturing operations from Denmark to Australia, managing the training of a team based in Australia, and ensuring that all the bolts were in place, he says, to, "guarantee high efficiency once everything was set in motion."
Today, the Danish-born director of operations development has racked up over 20 years of leadership experience. In 2015, Veng completed his executive MBA (EMBA) at Copenhagen Business School (CBS). "I wanted to educate myself and go from being a specialist to a generalist,” says Veng of his reasons for enrolling in the EMBA, adding that; “I specifically wanted to focus on improving my finance and marketing skills.”
Flexibility emphasized by CBS EMBA
People who can understand organizations from the bottom up, as well as from the top down are a rare and valuable resource. Veng had a complete understanding of engineering and had picked up his management knowhow as he went along, over a period of 17 years. "My view of the business was not quite complete, however," he reasons. "I needed a proper outside-in view."
One clear advantage of doing an executive MBA over full-time formats of the postgraduate qualification is its flexibility. Copenhagen Business School, which places 12th in QS’s inaugural EMBA rankings for Europe, even puts flexibility into its branding. Its 'Executive MBA with Flexibility' is offered on alternate weekends over a period of 26 months and serves as a useful alternative to the school’s 20-month global EMBA option which rests on a series of week-long modules.
Studying as part of an EMBA cohort, under the direction of professors who live and breathe management, also has the advantage of giving people a valued and fresh perspective. Besides, everything that is learned over the weekend can then be tried out the following Monday morning.
The EMBA experience: Getting that 'outside-in view' in Chicago and Shanghai
Copenhagen Business School also offers its EMBA candidates the opportunity to do an international module in marketing at Kellogg School of Management in Chicago, and a supply chain management module in association with Cranfield University in Shanghai, China. Veng, who had already logged many years experience in supply chain management, states that, "the study trip to Shanghai was magnificent." It was a perfect opportunity for really pushing the boundaries of an 'outside-in view' in which company visits and an induction into China's work culture, was, according to Veng, "a once in a lifetime experience."
Career impact of the executive MBA
Roughly a year after completing his executive MBA, Veng switched to a new company where he assumed his current role, as director. Through Copenhagen Business School, he formed a close network of friends and partnerships that, he says, will be kept for life. He is, for example, an elected board member of the CBS MBA Alumni Society, which is perhaps a reflection of his esteem for the business school he attended, and vice versa.
Insofar as skills learned, he says that, "my strategic capabilities have improved significantly, my tool box of skills is up-to-date, and I am able to see arguments from every perspective, making it easier to present business cases and strategic initiatives clearly to senior management and colleagues."