The Copenhagen Business School Q&A

The Copenhagen Business School MBA has already taught outsourcing executive Rahul Shah a thing or two, even though he's 13 years into a very successful career!

Engineer Rahul Shah was enjoying a winning professional streak as a senior executive at an outsourcing firm, but he nevertheless decided to take time out for an MBA at Copenhagen Business School

Five months into the one-year programme, Rahul is enjoying it as much for the learning as the networking and job opportunities. Read on to find  out more!

Tell us a bit about yourself!
I’m 36. I was born in India and worked for 13 years before going for the MBA. I worked predominantly in the US and India heading corporate strategy at eInfochips, an outsourcing engineering firm. I started out as an engineer and worked my way into managing projects and then into more strategic roles.
 
After 13 years and a streak of promotions, why did you feel you needed an MBA?
I had reached a stage where whatever growth I was going to get belonged in the business domain. I was debating about whether to get an MBA for three years and took some courses. They were so good that they just motivated me even more to get an MBA!
 
What do you say to people who think that nothing trumps hands-on experience?
Experience is good but you only know what you're exposed to and won’t know what you don’t know, if that makes sense. It’s very tricky.
 
The great thing about choosing to get formal business education is that it exposes you to things beyond your immediate scope. I'm more aware of finance, economics, and marketing, and of issues that I haven’t faced but might face in the future.
 
One thing that I’m learning in class is the way people evaluate decisions. We pick up a subject, read the case study and examine it critically. Earlier, if there was a problem I would focus so intensively on finding a solution that I would forget there's more than one way to find a solution. Each decision has its costs and benefits. I’ve learned to not just conslude as soon as I can, but to critically examine the assumptions that have led to my conclusion.
 
What made you choose Copenhagen Business School?
One of the attractions was the small class size of less than 50 people. You can make stronger relationships and get more time from professors. Another is diversity: there are lots of international students, we have 23 nationalities in the class. It helps to see how people from different cultures address business challenges.
 
The third point is average work experience. Copenhagen Business School MBAs have a little more work experience than at other business schools [nearly eight years] and, I think, have broader points to share.
 
Would like to go back to an engineering firm after the MBA?
My post-MBA role should come as a by-product if I improve my skill set and learning! I might go towards consulting as I feel that with my background I can offer a lot in that industry.
 
Have any of the modules or courses stood out for you?
I really enjoyed the Leadership Discovery programme. In one session we talked about something called Neuroleadership, which is how our brains work and how we come to decisions. We did a survey to profile our personalities, called HBDI (Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument): my profile is of someone who thinks outside the box!
 
It's helpful to be aware of your own personality and those of the people around you. Management decisions are not black and white and the way you look at grey areas depends on style of thinking
 
What is a typical day on the CBS MBA?
Classes start at 9am and I take the metro to school. We usually have classes and group work until 2:.30pm or 4:00pm pm. After that we have assignments to work on and papers to submit every two weeks or so. There are also lots of alumni lectures and seminars, venture capital events and business competitions.
 
At the weekends we are enjoying the evenings relaxing in a bar or playing football!
 
How are you finding your classmates, the weather and the general atmosphere at Copenhagen Business School?!
The class is very energetic and interactive and we get along well. It's a lot colder than where I come from but that's what we have coats for! I’ve really enjoyed living in Copenhagen and haven’t had any difficulties with adapting to the city. I’m also impressed on how the concept of sustainability is very implemented in the style of doing business here.
 
What activities are you looking forward to during the year?
I’m looking forward to the Integrated Strategy Project (ISP) where we work with companies on developing future strategies. We also have a trip to Sweden coming up for team-building activities and in March, we’ll be in London at the Hult Global Case challenge so I’m excited about that.
 
copenhagen.png Raul Shah

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