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Brunella, you have to commute to Germany from the US, can you please tell us a bit more about your commute and why you had to commute that long?
I decided to commute that long because I found that the Kellogg-WHU EMBA Program better fitted my aspirations than other EMBA programs closer to me.
In addition, what appealed to me most was the desire and curiosity to learn from a different culture and system. For me, it was crucial to expend my network globally so that I could broaden my professional and personal opportunities and perspectives.
What are, for you specifically, the benefits of attending the Kellogg-WHU EMBA Program as opposed to other US-based EMBA Programs?
The Kellogg-WHU Program brings the best of both the European and North American continents, but one significant advantage is that the program leverages my opportunities in the European market. After learning more about the curriculum, faculty, program culture, and internationality of the student body (we have 13 nationalities represented in my class), I knew I had found the right program for me. The Vallendar campus and the perfectly balanced cohort size allowed me to get to know all my classmates in depth and build strong bonds with them right away. In addition, the Kellogg-WHU team is constantly looking for opportunities to improve the program. They listened and welcomed all our suggestions from the get go and what I find remarkable is that after only one year the team implemented most of our suggestions. For instance, they created an EMBA career service which is really valuable especially for those seeking new opportunities within the European market.
Juggling such a long commute, the EMBA, and your professional and personal life sounds extremely challenging, how do you manage?
Yes, it has been extremely challenging but certainly not impossible. Before I enrolled, I carefully assessed my strengths and realized that I had what was needed to succeed in the program. Additionally, among other things, the modular structure of the program greatly helped me manage my time and achieve my goals.
Do any of your classmates have long commutes as well?
Yes, one of my classmates commutes from India, with an 8-hour flight.
How easy is it to reside/ be accommodated on the Vallendar campus during modules? How does it work exactly? Is the Kellogg-WHU EMBA Team supportive in that regard?
The commute to Vallendar is very easy; I take the ICE train to Montabaur located just 30 minutes from Frankfurt airport, from there it's a 10-15-minute taxi ride to Vallendar. Accommodation is easily available and affordable; you have many housing options, but I usually choose the ones that are within walking distance of the campus. I enjoy the personalized and pragmatic service which helps you disconnect from the “fast-moving and modern world”. Everyone in Vallendar always made me feel very welcome!
The Kellogg-WHU team was also very supportive in that regard from the very beginning. That is a fact that I have to highlight and be thankful for. They provided us detailed information about housing and transportation options and they made sure we were always informed of any arising logistics issues.
What advice would you give to someone considering the Kellogg-WHU EMBA Program but who is hesitating to enroll because of a long commute?
The amazing experience and program benefits definitely make up for the long commute!
I started working for Siemens in Peru as Commercial Project Manager overseeing projects in Power Transmission; I was then promoted to Commercial Head for the Power Transmission and Oil and Gas divisions. Four years ago I was transferred to the headquarters of Power Generation for the Americas in Orlando and took on the role of Sales Account Representative for Latin America. I recently became Projects Procurement Manager for the Americas.
Traveling, reading, world cinema, and cycling
Strategic Innovation and Corporate Renewal by Professor Holger Ernst
My mother just finished her master’s degree in Education Management in Peru; she had to commute by bus every week from Lima to Huancayo for 8 hours. My brother is a lawyer and he is currently doing a master’s degree in Corporate Law in Lima; he commutes from Ayacucho to Lima by bus every second week for 9 hours. My journey to the Kellogg-WHU EMBA is definitely a piece of cake compared to theirs! “Where there is a will, there is always a way.”