“A wide range of effective tools for management, strategy and business development”

Azadeh Pourjanaki, Division Manager at Consafe Logistics and recipient of the Executive MBA scholarship awarded by EFL and HD-Sydsvenskan, reveals what she learned from 18 months in the EFL Executive MBA program.

Azadeh Pourjanaki received the EFL and HD-Sydsvenskan rising-star scholarship (”Nästa skånska stjärna”) and embarked upon the Executive MBA program in 2017. She completed the program a month ago and participated in a graduation ceremony with the other 24 program participants. We interviewed her about the lessons and experiences she accumulated in the past one and a half years.

Azadeh Pourjanaki receiving her Executive MBA diploma from EFL CEO Henrik Lundgren

How does it feel now, a few weeks after graduation?
I have mixed emotions. Of course, I am relieved to have completed the program, but I am also a bit sad that the exciting journey I went on with so many amazing classmates has now come to an end.

What would you say are the most valuable lessons from your 18 months in the EFL Executive MBA program?
That’s a tough question. The list is so long. In general, I would say I have gained a more complete view of how companies work, from marketing and branding to organization, strategy and financial tracking. Seeing the relationship between the parts and the whole is the greatest lesson.

Then, the opportunity to work together with 24 experienced and highly skills leaders for 18 months has been extremely valuable. This gave me greater insight into my strengths and challenges as a leader.

Appreciating and, most importantly, learning to manage my work-life balance has also been a major part of my Executive MBA journey. I have two small children and a packed calendar both at work and at home. Combining this with studying has obviously required that I prioritize and adapt to achieve my goals. The process also reinforced my belief in the value of setting clear goals (for yourself or for your organization and team) while being prepared to adapt and to adjust plans along the way. I have also learned to step back and reflect (when things are most hectic) and use this as a means toward advancement, both for myself and my team.

Finally, I have acquired a broad range of effective tools for management, strategy and business development that, combined, serve as an excellent foundation for my career going forward.

Executive MBA class of 2019 graduation

What value does this bring to your career?
It has given me greater understanding for the various aspects of business development. Now I can help my company achieve its goals much more effectively in my day-to-day activities.

What aspect of the EFL teaching method has been most effective?
Working on real-life cases that participants have brought from their companies has been most effective. Thus combining theory with practice has been a very powerful tool for me to gain greater insight into the problems presented, the possible solutions and the related methodology.

Experience sharing among participants is an important part of the EFL teaching method. How has this benefited you personally?
I see great value in experience sharing. Learning about 24 other companies in a wide range of industries and sectors has been amazingly beneficial. It has given me a broader perspective, especially in management and strategy.

What about the network you have built during the course of the program?
My network has been enriching on several levels. I have made several new friends for life and at the same time found a large support group I know I can turn to, test ideas on and gain inspiration from in my professional life. It provides a sense of security, which I value immensely.

Leading IMPACT – Executive Management & Leadership Program
In October, EFL will launch its new executive management program, Leading IMPACT, which builds on the successful teaching concepts developed and refined over more than 20 years of Executive MBA education.

Executive MBA at www.executivemba.se
Leading IMPACT at www.leadingimpact.se
Azadeh Pourjanaki interviewed (IN SWEDISH) in HD-Sydsvenskans 8till5