“Closely linked to current hot topics”

Anders Yngwe Söderstjerna, Strategy, Business Development & Marketing Leader at Tetra Pak Processing Systems, applied to the EFL Executive MBA program aiming to broaden his horizons, acquire new, up-to-date knowledge, and learn to be more reflective, innovative and forward-looking.

“I’m given great opportunities to integrate what I learned from the program into my work, especially with my individual project,” says Anders Yngwe Söderstjerna, Strategy, Business Development & Marketing Leader at Tetra Pak Processing Systems

The first four months of the Executive MBA program are completed. This means that Anders Yngwe Söderstjerna and his fellow participants have now finished the initial residential session, the Micro-Bachelor, and are now working on the Business Fundamentals part of the program consisting of 10 residential sessions on a variety of subjects.

“Ever since the first preparatory reading materials arrived on my desk in the summer, everything about this program has increasingly strengthened my curiosity,” says Anders Yngwe Söderstjerna. “In addition, I have had the privilege of much more reflection time than I may have had normally thanks to the textbooks, our instructors and especially the other program participants. We started off with a business simulation back in September, which provided great insight into the importance of strategic clarity and a well-functioning team to achieving successful outcomes,” Anders explains. “We also received a quick review of financial control and value creation. Competing in the simulation was rewarding – a little fun and games never hurts.”

The most recent residential session for the class of 2019 participants was about business intelligence.

“Business intelligence carries great importance at this time, considering the major changes occurring throughout the world, environmental issues and the rapid progress of digitalization. The preparations for the business intelligence module, and the module itself, helped open my eyes to new horizons and see things from a broader historical perspective. Additionally, we looked into scenario planning as a method for exploring the future, which I thought was effective. One of the participants brought a case to the class for us to work on together, which was educational and fascinating, especially because it raised the issues currently critical to that company. The participation of the company’s CEO was an exciting bonus I found rewarding. I gained many new contacts, including one of the program experts on issues similar to those I face at my job. This underlines the strength of the program in terms of networking.”

The design of the program provides great scope for experience sharing, which is something Anders considers a big plus.

“Our Executive MBA program brings together an outstanding group of knowledgeable people who are very open to sharing their experience and reflections, which I find stimulating. We hail from different companies in a wide variety of industries, which is enriching and something that I had hoped for. Networking is a key part of the program and something I value highly.”

The background to Anders taking the Executive MBA program lies in a position he took a couple years ago combined with a personal drive to continually keep his education updated.
“Education demands constant renewal.  I have regularly sought to keep my education updated since I graduated from university. A couple years ago, when I was offered a new job with a focus on strategy, business development and innovation from a broad perspective, it seemed only natural to strengthen my theoretical knowledge, but also to seek to better understand what is happening in other industries and parts of the world. In addition, I wanted to employ theories for reflecting on my past experience so I could find even better ways to get things done in the future. I especially wanted to adapt things to the large-scale changes of the present time, especially in digitalization, which is progressing at such a rapid pace.

Anders Yngwe Söderstjerna at the Executive MBA residential session

The reason Anders chose EFL was in large part because the program integrates the specific business challenges of the participants into the teaching methodology, and because the tools, theories and models are immediately applied to direct business development. This is done by providing opportunities for practice in a highly specific context.

“I chose EFL because I liked how the program is closely linked to current hot topics, especially in the form of the cases the participants bring to the table. I also like the model of spending 18 months focusing on one subject per month, preparing at home and then meeting for an intensive residential session. This fits in well with my responsibilities at work and provides scope for the reflection I consider an important prerequisite for subsequently incorporating things into my work. I’m given great opportunities to integrate what I learned from the program into my work, especially with my individual project.”

Anders had the following to say about his expectations for the remaining 14 months:

“I’ve gotten into the rhythm of the program. I like how the preparations, comprising theoretical reading and preparatory assignments, link theory to practice in my company’s current situation and my past experience. I eagerly look forward to each upcoming module, curiously wondering what I might discover. So far, many parts have been much better than I thought, while others were perhaps not quite as good. This has taught me that I don’t really know what to expect, except that I will learn a lot. That is one thing I can be sure of. In addition, our class is a down-to-earth and helpful group rich in experience, and I look forward to learning more from the rest of the class.”

Anders seeks to broaden his horizons, obtain new knowledge, and learn to be more reflective, innovative and forward-looking from the program.

“I want to broaden my horizons with input from other industries, the instructors we meet and all the other participants. I seek to obtain the latest knowledge in strategy, business development, marketing and innovation. I also want to gain access to models and tools I can apply at my job to help me and my company do an even better job. I would like to become a more reflective and forward-looking employee and leader who fosters change for future success.”