Can you please tell me about yourself and your background?
I have a mixed background I worked in consultancy, change management as well as academia. Through all my life, during my professional career, I have partly worked at University and partly ran my own business. I have worked in the non-for profit sector, private sector and government organisations.
I have worked in culture change and leadership projects. I have worked with people who were learning to develop new processes and systems in their organisation and I helped them to understand what they need to do. I ran management training programmes for different organisations.
I have worked in the UK, America, Malaysia, Lebanon and in Austria for the United Nations. I’ve lived in France for 15 years, I’ve lived in Italy for nine months – and here we are! I speak French fluently and a little bit of Italian.
Can you please tell us more about your module :Leading and managing people ?
The leading and managing people module is about thinking; thinking about what’s important for you and what is important for other people. How does the future organisational leader or manager balance all these conflicting demands and expectations? And how do you work with other people so that you can be successful in your career and other people can be successful too.
The module helps you to understand and reflect on how you come across to other people. Many of the people on that programme have work experience. But many of them had not had a lot of feedback. The Leading and managing people module gives you the opportunity to find out more about different working contexts. It also helps you to learn how to work best with other people.
This is a really good module that will take you to that next stage. The module is quite practicable and we are looking at a lot of practical situations. We offer a residential – where you test some of the leadership theories in practice. It’s partly blended learning and you have to write about leading and managing issues. There will be two assignments; one will be much more theory based and other will be much more reflective and be based on your learnings and experiences on the residential and your previous experiences as well. The blended learning will be engaging with colleagues through blackboard, writing blogs and sharing material and information. It’s a very intense module.
What is your view on the MBA program in general?
I think if you choose to do an MBA you have expectations on yourself and on the program. Nobody gets an MBA automatically and you have to work for it. And if you put the effort in, you get back more than you possibly anticipated. It is hard work and it should be hard work. It’s not an easy option but it is a very good option. And it is like with any other opportunity: The more you grasp it with both hands, go forward with it the more you get from it.
It will give you back in terms of career enhancement, network, new friends and new contacts – more opportunities then you can possibly imagine. The MBA opens up doors you did not know existed.
Ruth Sacks is head of the Women for the Board programme at Westminster Business School in the UK. Launched in January 2014, the programme is designed for women targeting a board level role and covers topics such as governance, politics in the boardroom, finance, power, emotional intelligence and how to build and maintain resilience.
Ms Sacks is actively involved in promoting initiatives that support women aiming for board level careers. She has a masters in organisation development from Sheffield Business School, a doctorate in business administration from Nottingham Business School and previously worked as a management consultant.
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