Suzy, how why did you choose to enrol on the Henley Business School Executive Management Programme, and what did you expect from it?
‘I have a legal background, but my role in the company has been expanding, and I was keen to find out what I needed to know about the more general aspects of management in order to fulfil a broader role.
‘I did consider a couple of courses, but my CEO and two other members of our management team had been on the Henley programme and recommended it highly, so it was a clear choice.
‘I hadn’t done any formal management training for a while, and expected a lot of classroom learning and theory, but I couldn’t have been more wrong!’
So in what ways was the programme different from your expectations, and what were the highlights?
‘The academic side of the learning was still there, but the expert practitioners were fantastic, and the amount of practical and interactive involvement was a welcome surprise.
‘I also hadn’t expected my connections with the other people on the programme to be so profound or long-lasting. When we first met, it was clear that they came from a wide range of backgrounds, countries, disciplines and roles, but as the programme progressed it became evident that we all shared exactly the same experiences and challenges.
‘Often, a few of us would go running together early in the morning, and it was a rare opportunity to chat, think and reflect. It just doesn’t happen in our normal work lives.
‘We became a very close-knit group, and two years on, we are still in touch regularly via our Whatsapp group; we’ve had as much value from that network as from the content delivered by the faculty.
‘Other highlights included the case study exercise we did on a local business as well as the coaching and presentation skills training, which I still refer to regularly.’
What impact has the programme had on you, personally and professionally?
‘It’s given me lots of confidence and self-belief. It’s reinforced what I already knew, and I think it has made me easier to deal with.
‘In particular, I’ve changed the way I operate when faced with new or additional responsibilities. Previously, I probably would have focused on action and output. I’ve learned the benefits of thinking, planning, consulting and reflecting more.
‘My role has already expanded further again, and I know that this wouldn’t have happened if not for what I learned on the programme.’
And finally, what advice would you give someone considering the Henley EMP?
‘You need to be at the right stage in your career to get the best from this programme, taking on new responsibilities and moving up to a senior management role. If that’s you, embrace it, and give yourself permission to be curious and grow.’