Alumni of the month is a news series of interviews where we feature Henley Business School alumni from various fields of business. In the interviews, our alumni share what were the most important lessons they learned during their studies and how studying at Henley has impacted both the career and personal life. In addition, you will also get insights on what are the keys to success in each alumnus’ field of business.
1. What were the most important lessons you learned at Henley Business School?
Compared with basic studies, studying alongside work merged theory with practice in a new way, which benefitted both my work and my studies. It was challenging and useful to think about business life from a broader perspective, not just on the basis of my current job. On the other hand, studying allowed me to focus on areas that interested me personally and to approach them both theoretically and through my work. After all, we never truly finish learning and we can always develop ourselves and learn new things. Henley emphasised the global perspective and the importance of having good networks and an open mindset. Henley is a truly international study environment that brings global thinking from a theoretical concept to a concrete level.
2. In what ways did studying at Henley change your life?
Of course, I had been dreaming about an international career ever since I was a student, but the doors to making that dream a reality were opened by Henley. Henley’s MBA is internationally acknowledged and renowned, which has surely facilitated my career in international environments, such as China, Pakistan and, of course, Europe and North America. I have over 17 years of experience in international roles.
3. What is the importance of networks in today’s business?
Networks are crucial, and they should be as extensive as possible. Not just with colleagues and people of the same generation, but globally, across sectors and with people of all ages. We can learn and receive support from others, and others can challenge us to step out of our comfort zones. Interacting with different people is a guaranteed way to broaden one’s perspectives.
4. What is happening in your field at the moment, what are the keys to success?
The retail sector is undergoing a transformation, digitalisation is making great progress and people can change their purchasing behaviour really quickly, as we have seen in the past few months. Retail has become international, and online stores give consumers access to a vast, global market. The winners know how to adapt to changes quickly and proactively. On the other hand, it is important to believe in what one is doing and not rush to change simply because others do so. Physical shops fight their corner against global e-commerce by serving different customer groups, specialising, acting locally and offering experiences instead of mere goods.