Testimonies - EMBA
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Working in the telecommunications industry for over 18 years has enabled me to acquire extensive experience in both IT and business roles. I began my career as a CRM Project Manager, before moving to a more technical field as a Back Office Director, and was then promoted to the position of Chief Mobile Operation Officer at SFR. My main responsibilities as COO are to manage all mobile operations, especially in terms of new products, offers and launches.
I decided to follow the Global Business Management program in Brazil for three main reasons. The first one being the highly international profile of the participants in the program. Secondly, the in-depth focus on how to do business with South American countries was particularly relevant since my company was pursuing an acquisition in Brazil. Thirdly, not being able to speak Portuguese or Spanish and knowing very little about Latin American culture, was a way for me to step outside my comfort zone and take risks.
If I were to describe my experience of the program in one word, it would be ‘great’. Everything from the courses to the academic and cultural visits was extremely well organized. The other participants and the staff at FDC were all friendly and made me feel a member of the group immediately. Brazilian hospitality is certainly not a legend.
Networking is one of the key assets of this program. Although my classmates were all Brazilian, their profiles could not have been more diverse – my group benefitted from the wide-ranging expertise, insights and experiences of an IT specialist, an operations manager, a logistics director, a sales director, a lawyer and several senior consultants.
I was also struck by the quality and relevance of the teaching during the program. I found the session on best practices for doing business in multicultural contexts very useful, especially the dos and the don’ts. The expert feedback from a professional working in operations management and the opportunity to share business practices was another highlight. I also enjoyed our visit to a local car hiring company, where the customer experience director shared his current strategy and vision of business model evolution.
For me, the key takeaway was the importance of having comprehensive cultural awareness. Understanding that certain types of behavior can be an asset in a specific situation and an obstacle in others is crucial in a multicultural business context. This program has transformed my view of Brazil – the people of this amazing country are incredibly gifted at doing business in the face of challenging local administrative barriers and never cease to find creative and agile ways to reach their goals.