For most students, going to business school with your father sounds like a terrible idea. But for Malene Eiksund, the experience opened new doors. While her classmates looked for part-time employment, she networked with senior execs.
Malene relocated to Hult International Business School’s undergraduate campus in London, as her father, Ole, entered his second year as an Executive MBA.
For Ole, going back to business school was about keeping pace with the millennial generation. Before his EMBA, he was a company man, working for GlaxoSmithKlein for almost two decades.
After two years rotating around Hult’s international campuses - in London, Dubai, Shanghai and San Francisco - he landed a new job, heading up global sales at a specialist food supplement startup.
At Hult, the Norwegian father-daughter had the chance to explore entrepreneurship, share their networks, and gain access to some of the brightest minds in business.
Why did you decide to pursue a business degree?
O: During my career, I’ve witnessed rapid changes to the traditional way of working. Compared to 20 or 30 years ago - when students basically completed university, started work and stayed put in the same organization - there’s a lot more flexibility.
I’ve gained great experience in my career, but I think younger generations are better adapted to the changes of the globalized work environment. I wanted an EMBA to get a firmer grasp of it.
M: In today’s world, particularly in a business setting, everyone needs a global perspective. I wanted a global perspective of business.
What stood out about Hult International?
O: The global campus rotation program was a fantastic opportunity. I also liked the setup with the weekend courses. We studied from Thursday to Monday. I could organize modules around my work schedule and choose electives to tailor my interests.
M: After seeing what my Dad experienced, I knew I wanted to study at Hult in London as well.
Hult is a good option for a BBA because it provides compulsory courses designed to create awareness about global issues. I liked the practical angle of the course and the focus on real business cases.
How have you profited from your experience studying at Hult?
O: I would not be where I am now without the EMBA.
Getting a global network through my classmates meant getting better insight into different business areas. You really had to work on your teamwork and leadership capabilities, within a multicultural and multinational team.
After the EMBA, I changed job to lead global sales for a startup in the supplement industry. I’ve utilized the relationships I made with my classmates, faculty and professors to work out different global marketing strategies.
M: While I didn’t rotate across campuses, I was still able to develop in a multicultural setting. The Hult BBA provided a very strong foundation to go into business because of its global perspective.
What was it like both being students together at Hult?
O: As a parent, it was nice having Malene in London. We could meet when our courses coordinated and socialize together. She also attended dinners with my classmates, so she got the added experience of talking to EMBAs.
If students like Malene have an open mindset to the global environment, they can gain a lot from the teaching, networking and career opportunities offered at Hult.
M: It was great because when we studied the same topics, I felt comfortable asking my dad questions. He knew what I was talking about and could provide solid advice. Looking at things from different perspectives is always beneficial. And I was able to understand the core course content on a deeper level.