Interview with the graduate of the EMBA program GM10 and Vice-President CJSC Transafe Logistics Denis Veraksich about his studies at the Stockholm School of Economics in Russia.
Did you ever do sports? What kinds of sport do you prefer: individual or team sports?
In childhood I was enthusiastic about cross-country skiing, but I always dreamed of playing hockey...
You will ask me what this has to do with the Stockholm School of Economics Russia and you probably will be right, but there is an analogy.
Teaching process in the Executive MBA is structured in such a way that students prepare to thematic modules individually by studying the material and doing home assignments. How tasks are checked exactly when stated by the program coordinator. Actually combining work, home and studies students organize their time in such a way so that they could revise the material and send their home tasks on time by pressing ENTER key, penalties for those who do not meet deadlines are very strict.
The School carefully monitors the organizational process: and students top-managers feel themselves sprinters and then stayers who have to jump above their heads in a certain sense, reach a milestone, clear a height, reach, read up, type up, count up before the deadline.
For the Russian mentality this process is a real ordeal, but those who managed to survive these two years transform! Structure in approaches and organization are quite formal things, but they are absolutely essential in business and studies.
And what about team sports, team spirit, etc.? There is more than enough of all this in modules. Before a module students break up into teams and for five days from morning till night they work in a team, and teachers, stimulating and stirring interest in the topic, set up competitions between teams with rewarding places afterwards. In addition to this the teaching process contains various simulations where again leading teams are determined. I avoid calling other teams defeated, as in these competitions absolutely everybody learns and gains invaluable experience, including lecturers!
The Stockholm School of Economics, Russia gives great attention to abilities and skills of working in a team, that is why a sport analogy is appropriate here, however, since the School deals with business education, students top managers in fact find themselves in an environment that imitates a business community or a company where individual actions and leadership qualities should combine with an ability to be a member of a group, team, company.
Actually in such teams and in individual work people gain what they come to SSE for. Some of them get missing knowledge in a certain area (marketing, finance, management strategy, etc.), others deepen the knowledge they possess. In any case with time you realize that business is done between people, and not between companies, as a result you get business relations with people from your group, some participants start a new business together, others unexpectedly find customers among group mates or, the other way round, Inside the group everybody’s competences are clearly defined and people generously share their competences in the form of recommendations, advise, etc. and he horizon expandsи народ!
For two years you feel yourself in the mainstream, set yourself higher tasks, develop and introduce knowledge in practice, you find friends who think like you...
And what about skiing and playing hockey? If you carefully plan your time, you can even play sports. And if there is absolutely no time for that, many lecturers from Sweden like cross country skiing and at least you can discuss sport off-line!