After many years in IT and software development, Anne Nørklit Lønborg’s constant thirst for new knowledge took her to CBS. Four years after graduating, Anne looks back at the network, the new perspectives, transformation and unexpected skills she gained from the EMBA programme.
“After completing a Masters in Mathematics and Physics, I presumed I’d go into teaching like my parents but also happened to successfully apply for a job as a software developer at IBM. Then stayed there for 18 years! That was the start of my career as a ‘learn-aholic’.
“In 2010, I was working with pension company ATP to complete a large transformation from the IBM side. When that was about to end, ATP asked me if I wanted to go to the other end of the table and finalise the transformation. So I took off after 18 years at IBM and became the Vice President for IT Development at ATP.
“I made a lot of changes and oversaw a huge transformation in the company. Then when things started to calm and the new processes were working well, that’s when my thirst for learning started pushing for greater challenges. It’s when I started searching for an EMBA. I have this inner drive to always be better.”
Putting the theory into practical use
“I did a wide search to consider where I wanted to study. My criteria included the quality of learning but also the opportunities for network building and a course that’s recognised internationally.
“I liked the idea of doing short assignments based on data from your own company. That way, you put the theory straight into practical use. My company paid for my EMBA so, in a sense, the final assignment is like a gift back to the company in return for their investment in you.
“One of the things that slightly complicated things for me was that I was headhunted and switched companies during the programme. After the first year of the EMBA, I joined Tryg Insurance as Vice President for IT Development. This wasn’t a big hassle and I actually turned it into a positive. Getting data from different departments of Tryg allowed me to expand my network in my new company before I had even started. It was also an opportunity to get into areas of the business that I would never normally have contact with.”
Gaining a holistic view
“I thought that the quality of learning and my personal development would be the main thing that I got from the programme but I also got a new perspective on my own job and the company I was joining.
“From an IT perspective, my new job had a flatter structure and so I had greater access to the board. I needed to learn how to communicate with them, understand their challenges and tell them what they needed to know to make informed decisions. The EMBA helped my analytical approach to go from purely IT-focused to a whole business perspective. I think this was eye-opening for the board at Tryg too. I have a lot of trust in my job, and they are expanding their communication with IT in a way that is impacting the whole company’s strategy. These are valuable skills that I didn’t realise I would gain when I applied for the programme.
“I feel that I naturally had soft skills in leadership but the EMBA at CBS gave me a more structured way of using these skills. They developed my toolbox, allowed me to understand some of the skills so that I am more conscious of how I am using the different elements. I now feel there is a higher quality to my leadership and I have greater insight into how this is impacting my employees. I definitely gained these valuable lessons from CBS.”
A network for life
“Networking was also an important part of the course. I’m a team player and it was important for me to join a class rather than complete the programme virtually. CBS gave me that team spirit. Even when my fellow students were from different backgrounds and career stages, being ‘at the school bench’ discussing the same page of the same book was important. It meant that we could all intellectually be in the room, gaining new perspectives. I think that’s where the real value and team spirit of the course lies.”
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