Shruti Saxena’s background is in electronics engineering – and she’s already held positions in global organisations including Tata Consultancy Services and IBM. But she’s always wanted to boost her professional skillset with an MBA.
She says: “I’ve always wanted to be a manager – and when I was given the chance to lead a small team early on in my career, I realised I already had some of the skills I needed. But I wanted to learn more. Experience is important – but to really aim high, you need a qualification. And an MBA opens doors to multiple careers.”
After six years in the workplace, Shruti moved from India to Brussels and enrolled on Vlerick’s Full-Time MBA.
“I went through the curriculums of different schools and made a shortlist. Vlerick had some great selling points – the location, the focus on entrepreneurship and of course the diverse group profile. I asked a friend who is an alumnus about whether I’d really have an international experience – and he said yes, you really will.”
Developing skills for her dream role
Shruti’s aim is to find a role in supply chain management – and the MBA programme is already giving her the skills she needs to get there. She says: “I need strong people management skills – because when you work in supply chain management, you deal with all types of people at all difference levels. I’m already gaining these skills – particularly when doing group work and hopefully even more so when I start my projects. Another quality I want to develop is being efficient at every business area I work in. For this you need to have mastered the theory – and have the confidence to put it into action. Confidence-wise the MBA has already given me a huge boost.”
Drawing on the experiences of others
Shruti has already established a network of peers. She says: “I never imagined I’d have so many friends from all over the world. There are always different perspectives when we talk – both inside and outside the classroom. Sometimes the faculty join in too and share their thoughts.
“The best thing about the MBA group is everyone has enough professional experience that we really can get inside all kinds of industries and sectors. This mix of experience is so valuable because there are many ways to approach a challenge – and exploring them all means you can refine your own approach. It’s great to get the best minds working together on a problem.”
Turning knowledge into action
Shruti says the hands-on approach Vlerick takes to learning is the best part of the MBA experience. She says: “Everything we learn comes with a practical element. When we finish a programme, we do a business simulation straight away. For example, after our negotiation course, we did a role play to test our negotiating skills. I’ve never experienced this type of learning before. In India, learning is less practical oriented. Here we implement theory immediately – which really reinforces it. It’s the perfect way to learn.”
Gaining the confidence to succeed in business
There are still seven months to go, but Shruti has already recommended the Full-Time MBA to others. She says: “I was a different person when I came to Vlerick four months ago – and I’ll be a different person again by the end of the programme. I’m already so much more confident in my skills – and I have seven more months to boost my confidence even more.
“The most valuable thing is being able to learn from so many different people – your peers, the faculty and also Vlerick alumni. When I go to alumni events and hear from people who’ve been in my shoes and gone on to build successful careers and businesses… I think, one day, it could be me standing there.”