Laura Formigo, Full-Time MBA (Class of 2021) is a Senior Finance Partner for Changing Diabetes in Children at Novo Nordisk – a leading global healthcare company and headquartered in Denmark. She reflects on her experience at CBS and how her concentration and leadership discovery process impacted her career.
What were the benefits of studying your MBA in Copenhagen / why did you choose the Copenhagen MBA?
Studying the MBA in Copenhagen enabled me to get closer to a different way of doing business, in which sustainability plays a big role. It gave me access to a broad and diverse talent pool which has enriched and furthered my professional development.
Do you feel that the Concentration in Digitalisation is relevant/helpful to your role now? Why did you choose this Concentration?
I chose to do the Concentration in Digitalisation as the course we did on the topic during the MBA was very interesting. Learning about platform business, discussing the power of data in enabling new perspectives towards an issue and debating on how to manage a team remotely were so on-point towards the reality we’re moving into. So I’m glad I took it as my concentration.
What did you find particularly challenging about the MBA and how did you successfully manage this challenge?
A key challenge during the MBA was time management throughout the year. There were many interesting business cases, papers requiring significant reflection, immersive team projects, and exams to complete in a timely manner. What was useful for me was to establish a marathon mindset, rather than a focus that functioned like constant sprints and to discuss and learn from my classmates. I managed to allocate time to recharge accordingly and ultimately keep a steady pace.
What skills did you earn in your MBA that you currently apply to your role as Senior Finance Partner at Novo Nordisk?
A key element of the MBA is the Leadership Discovery Process, which in a nutshell, keeps on inviting you to reflect on yourself as a leader and enables you to practice and fine-tune your leadership skills in different and even extreme environments. During this process I learned to improve my self-awareness, to rely more on my team and to leverage the awesome potential of receiving feedback to improve my leadership tacts.
What tips can you offer MBA participants when it comes to balancing an MBA and extracurricular activities?
As mentioned before, time management can be a key challenge during your MBA year. My advice is that when it comes to engaging in extracurricular activities, you should know what truly interests you and what you are most passionate about, so when it gets busy (as it inherently does) you will always have that baseline of high engagement and enthusiasm to return to. It is also helpful to do your best in communicating well with other participants on group assignments because it goes without saying that each participant comes into the programme with different skills and expertise. It’s helpful to set individual and group expectations that way the final product delivered and the process to get there are ideally what everyone is looking for.
What is one piece of advice you would give to those considering an MBA or embarking on an MBA journey?
For those embarking on an MBA journey, my advice is to enjoy it, to not be afraid to take risks, to keep challenging your own beliefs and to be curious – keep asking those questions! The year will go way too fast so as mentioned before, it’s a time to leverage the opportunity to meet people and expand your network in the direction of your desired career and goals.
How did you come to find your position at Novo Nordisk?
During the MBA we had several speakers from Novo Nordisk in class, which included the previous CEO and the Head of Global Access department. It triggered my interest in the company, and their work. When I saw my current position listed on LinkedIn I promptly applied to it and here I am. I will also add that the careers team at CBS did an excellent job at guiding me through the interview process.
You collaborated with Novozymes on your thesis. What was that experience like?
Collaborating with Novozymes was such an enriching experience. I had the opportunity to work with a knowledgeable and engaging team, to get insights from different parts of the business, and to put in practice the concepts learnt during my MBA, all while contributing to a strategic priority within the company.
What’s a quote that you live by?
“If there’s a will, there’s a way.”
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