Thérèse Burke, EMBA 2015
Thérèse, students often say that the Network Weeks at Kellogg during the summer of the first year of enrollment are transformational, a turning point in the EMBA journey. What was your experience with the Network Weeks at Kellogg?
The Network Weeks are truly a turning point in the EMBA journey! Up until then, the program has been quite intensive and challenging. Students are getting to grips with a new schedule, trying to balance family, friends, work and study and spending a lot of time with their study group. Network Weeks are all about getting to know the Global Network and the emphasis is firmly on having fun and meeting as many of the international cohorts as possible. The learning experience is also completely different with the global perspective in the classroom and in the different study groups. But it doesn’t just end with the Network Weeks – you also have the opportunity to continue to build relationships during the electives and, as I’ve found, outside of the classroom - when members of the global cohort travel, they use the opportunity to meet up. In the last few months alone, we’ve welcomed colleagues from the Tel Aviv, Miami and Evanston campuses in Amsterdam.
How many global electives did you do during the EMBA? Which ones/ which locations did you pick and why? What did the global electives bring you? What is so special about them?
I decided to do two global electives – Miami and Beijing. I would have loved to have done more but unfortunately work commitments would not allow it. I chose Miami for two reasons - it is a fun location and the cohort has a reputation for making it a very memorable experience (which they definitely did). Also, I was very interested in developing a Latin American network for future business opportunities. There are many Latin Americans who take the EMBA there, either travelling up from countries in Latin America or who live in the area.
Beijing was an obvious choice for me. In my opinion, understanding China and how to do business successfully there is a must for anyone in international business. This was the first year of the Guanghua-Kellogg partnership and it was my favorite elective. The class was small with about 40 people but the composition was really interesting. About two thirds were from the international cohort and the remainders were alumni from Miami, Evanston, Hong Kong, and Vallendar and that brought a unique perspective to the discussions. The classes were also extremely good and the company visit brought everything together.