“You couldn’t find a more diverse group of people. We learnt how to deal with different personalities and characters and how to have a productive debate. We also learnt when to contribute and frame a conversation to add value, which is a useful life lesson.”
For Miguel Calello, the EMBA Dubai programme came at a challenging time in his career. One year after joining London Business School (LBS), he left his strategic planning finance role at oilfield services company Tenaris for Etihad Airways in Abu Dhabi. The job sees him assessing and optimising the airline’s costs related to man power, fuel and procurement and special projects involving real estate initiatives.
Taking the EMBA Dubai has given Miguel the expertise and insight to handle such complex projects. “I’ve taken the models and expertise from the elective on financing entrepreneurial business and applied what I’ve learnt to the work we’re doing at Etihad,” he says. “I’ve gained the skills to structure a joint venture, engage a bank and secure financing for new business initiatives.”
Juggling a new role with his studies has been tough. After leaving Tenaris, he had to adapt to a finance manager position in a new company and industry. In that time, Miguel had done 24 modules and electives, 20 exams and around 75 assignments on the programme. “None of this would have been possible without my wife’s support and patience,” he says.
“I’ve had to deal with stress and complexity. I was handling a huge workload on the EMBA programme, while building a team at Tenaris and travelling for work, forcing me to push myself to the edge. The EMBA programme taught me how to adapt and be agile, which is what I needed when changing roles.”
Miguel has also discovered how organisations survive in volatile regions or markets during the EMBA Global Business Assignment (GBA) in his home country, Argentina. He and his classmates gained insight into how companies achieve success in challenging environments. The trip was led by Dominic Houlder, Adjunct Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship, who, Miguel says, brought together an “incredible” group of speakers from the oil and gas sector, agriculture government and tech industries to share their expertise.
Working with around 70 fellow students from diverse background and representing 20 nationalities was another highlight. The EMBA programme introduced Miguel to people from a range of backgrounds and industries. His study group of six were Lebanese, Egyptian, Emirati, Kazakhstani and Russian. Their experience ranged from construction and FMCG and to banking and finance.
“You couldn’t find a more diverse group of people,” Miguel says. “We learnt how to deal with different personalities and characters and how to have a productive debate. We also learnt when to contribute and frame a conversation to add value, which is a useful life lesson.”
He adds: “Etihad is a multicultural company – I have Italian, Emiratis, Indians and Serbian colleagues, for example – so spending time with people from diverse backgrounds helps me to appreciate and understand cultural differences and working methods.”