Jordana Blanchet Director
EMBA Dubai Programme – Dubai Centre
I jumped at the chance to work for LBS
I’ve always been interested in higher education. I believe that everyone should keep challenging themselves and keep developing their skills. I jumped at the chance to work for LBS; it’s a top business school that attracts interesting people who are looking for answers. I knew people who had studied here and had amazing experiences. I wanted to come here and learn more about what makes it so successful, and to contribute to that success. My job now is to enhance the student and faculty experience – it’s hugely gratifying.
It’s amazing to be part of our students’ experience
I meet our students right at the beginning of their journey. The experience they have on the MBA is a transformational one, but it’s very intense. Many of them have jobs and families, so it’s not easy for them. I see most of them about once a month; we have an informal chat, and I find out how they’re doing and if there are things on their mind that they need help with. Ours is an ‘open door’ policy, where students are encouraged to drop in and share any concerns they have. They’re also invited to sundowners, where they can unwind in a relaxed networking environment.
Our team is diverse and collaborative
There are nine of us and each is a different nationality. We love the diversity and we work well together. Some come from a management consultancy background, others have worked in programme management before. We don’t necessarily look for people from the higher education industry – it’s about having transferable skills and being able to bring something new to the team. We all get the autonomy to come up with new ideas; it’s a flexible culture with space to grow and change things.
I get lots of opportunities to improve
I’ve had the chance to take workshops on everything from leading teams to presentation skills, and I’m about to take one in media training. Everyone here is encouraged to attend any of the faculty lectures that come to Dubai. Recently I saw Professor Lynda Gratton give her talk on the 100-year life. Most people make career decisions based on the next five years, but the reality is that as we start living for longer, we have to think about the skills we might need and about what careers we might have in the future.
We don’t rest on our laurels
It’s important to keep asking questions about how we can improve. We’ve had really great feedback from students, but the world of business keeps changing and we have to change with it. It’s up to us to make sure that we adapt to the needs of our students and stakeholders to provide the best programmes that we can.