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Aude, tell us about yourself.
I am a mother of two children and a global leader in Human Resources. After a decade spent in the corporate world, I decided to focus on two passions: business development and bringing top talents into organizations.
How did the Kellogg-WHU EMBA impact your personal life and career?
If you want to reach your professional goals and live life, it is crucial you make the right choices. Kellogg-WHU was the right EMBA choice for me, both professionally and personally.
This established program prepared me for my international job transition, enabling me to become a global leader in a constantly changing business environment. At Kellogg-WHU, you will not only find educational excellence that focuses on team leadership and personal development, but you will find a real business partner in international leadership development, that offers diversity and individual uniqueness – key success factors in both today’s and tomorrow’s business world.
What do you do to stay balanced?
A competitive sporting environment has been a big part of my life. Tennis, soccer and running have given me a competitive edge, which I apply to the way I conduct business.
When I decided to create my business, I knew that it would be a challenging journey. To better prepare myself for it, I had to find the same type of challenge in sports, because practicing sports helps me stay balanced. A year ago, I decided to prepare for a marathon. It keeps me focused, gives me time to think and reflect, allows me to trace a new path and helps me manage uncertainty. Until my first half marathon, I did not know what I was capable of. When I crossed the finish line, I was delighted to see my time of 1h 51min. I had every confidence that my body could handle more, and most importantly, that I was strong enough mentally. This long distance challenge has helped me sustain my professional effort, both mentally and physically.
Boca Raton, Florida
Senior human resources leader with significant global experience: previously Vice President of Human Resources for Club Med –North American region; held progressive Human Resources’ roles at Goodyear and Eaton.
Tennis, running, traveling.
I am a certified tennis coach and do a lot of tennis competitions
Amaka, what motivated you to do an EMBA?
I’m already very technically sound, I’m a qualified accountant and I possess a lot of work experience. But I also come from a family where education is important, so in the back of my head I always knew I wanted to go further with my professional studies.
After working for a few years I thought about doing a full-time MBA, but the timing wasn’t right. In my opinion you need a bit more experience to assess the true value of an MBA, so I parked that idea for a while.
When I eventually decided to do an MBA, it was because I wanted to start my own business. I want to have control of my time and to do something of value. I also have a lot of entrepreneurial ideas that I want to develop. But how do you evaluate and choose the best one? That’s when I realized I needed an MBA. So I looked for one with a strong focus on entrepreneurship, which is why I chose the Kellogg-WHU EMBA Program.
What did you expect in terms of diversity in a European EMBA?
My class is more diverse than I expected. That’s definitely good. The initial attraction of the program for me was the flexible schedule. I certainly didn’t expect that people would fly in from so many faraway places.
I thought people would come mainly from the EMEA region and that I would only meet people from other continents during the Global Electives. But my classmates come from all over the world. That was a pleasant surprise.
What skill set and tools do you expect to gain from Kellogg-WHU?
I hope that once I finish the EMBA I will have more confidence in my decisions and will be able to better evaluate them. I know that making a good decision is a lot about your gut feeling, but you need to have some means of analyzing as well.
The second expectation concerns my work style. Right now I might be doing things the wrong way. Since I am a financially technical person I never dealt with sales or marketing, for example. But these skills are also essential for running a business. Through my Kellogg-WHU network I am surrounded by people with this knowledge, so I can learn from them.
People always talk about the "glass ceiling" that makes it hard for women to reach a certain position. What’s your opinion?
For me as a woman I compete in a world that is dominated by men, especially in finance. Even if you’re good, you always have to prove yourself. So an EMBA is a good stamp to show that I am just as capable as my male colleagues.
What was the biggest challenge you faced when you decided to join an EMBA program?
The biggest challenge was definitely the cost aspect. I applied for one of the Kellogg-WHU scholarships for women awarded by both the MBA for Women Foundation and the WHU Scholarship Fund. These types of scholarships are really helpful.
I also had help from family and friends back home, but it was not enough to cover all costs. I also chose to do an EMBA because it allowed me to keep my full-time job and continue earning money.
Another challenge for me was finding the right time to pursue an EMBA. For quite a while I didn’t feel mentally ready. Then I had a eureka moment and thought "it's now or never".