We’re halfway into the Full-Time MBA at Vlerick! It was time for a week-long elective on digital leadership – a hot topic in the business world at the moment. Exciting, right? Well that’s not all of it. More interestingly, the elective was in Dublin, Ireland – one of the most promising digital hubs of the world with a growing technology workforce and a global outlook.
Bag packed, checklist done and there I fly seated next to an Irish heading home for a break. 15 minutes into the flight and no communication – what an introvert I can sometimes be. However, it was not long before my MBA learnings took charge. Vlerick’s strong focus on networking, and where networking wasn't just about talking business, came into play. I took the initiative and we started chit-chatting. She turned out to be a polyglot. Within an hour, I was acquainted with 4 different languages - French, Irish, Korean, and Japanese. What better start could one have expected - an interestingly unique flight with a friendly welcome to Ireland.
The next morning, I was back to business and we kick-started the elective. The group participating was a blend of Full-time MBA participants and Executive MBA Participants together. Just to give a feeling of what it was like, I, with three years of professional experience was beside the CTO of Deloitte Belgium. And that’s just one example! There were many more similar prominent company executives. Two days of business insights into big data and then an ‘On the spot’ data-driven innovation pitch to end the subject. Each team presented their idea, the top three progressed to the next round and finally one idea was left. And guess what, it was our team who won the award for the best innovation pitch! The day had started with a birthday song sung by my colleagues at the bus stop and it ended with us winning the best idea pitch – Ireland really had the best birthday gift ready for me!
The next two days were packed with digital strategy - a course that was very relevant to me with respect to future opportunities. From big data analytics to business strategies for digital future - this was just the kind of elective I had been hoping for. Looking at career opportunities in the field of digital strategy, the elective laid a good foundation for the in-company project, starting next month, on formulating strategies for companies undergoing digital transformation.
And while this was all about the study programme, Vlerick took care of the fun part as well by providing us with passes to the Alltech Craft Brews & Food Fair, one of the biggest craft beer festivals in Ireland. From cycling around the city of Dublin to travelling to the edge of the world - Cliffs of Moher, and from visiting Gurudwara, a place of worship for Sikhs, having the best Indian food after six months to visiting the Irish Whiskey museum and tasting some of the Irish classics - just a glimpse of some of the great memories made in this week-long elective.