For Piyush Upadhyay, the LBS Sloan Masters in Leadership and Strategy came at the perfect time. Two years ago, as a senior HR professional in his native India, Piyush wanted to broaden his career horizons. Today, as a leader responsible for more than 20 locations across Europe at Tenneco, he credits the Sloan Masters with giving him the tools to rise to the top.
It didn’t take him long to know he’d chosen the right programme. “Almost immediately, I started to realise that the global perspective and the network I was developing was helping me achieve my goal,” he says. “When I look at where I am today, I feel the programme has given me the strong business orientation I needed.
“It’s given me a lot of self-confidence, more awareness, more global perspective, and a sharper insight into various things. I now see myself as more of a business manager and partner than a HR specialist. If it wasn’t for the Sloan Masters, I wouldn’t be in my current role.”
Although he is now based in Germany, Piyush never intended to work in Europe. After the programme he planned to return to India and work for the same organisation. “It just happened,” he says. “Everything started falling into place. The time that I had spent in London and the advantage from the Sloan Masters meant it was a win win situation. Both I and my new company now benefit from the renewed academic insights I gained in the international environment of LBS.” Piyush is thankful to Tenneco for choosing him for the job he describes as “a big, international role”, and is relishing the expansion of scope and vision it has brought to his career. “It’s a wonderful opportunity”, he says.
He describes the Sloan experience as unmatchable, and unparalleled in its balance of academic rigour with extra-curricular activities. This, coupled with the School’s London location, made Piyush choose the Sloan Masters at LBS. “No other top business school has this advantage,” he says. “London is more international, and the class profile that LBS had was more international too. I researched the options for nearly a year and found that my classmates would be at a similar stage in their careers and with an average age of over 35, which was ideal.”
Once Piyush had decided on the LBS Sloan Masters, he contacted alumni in India who confirmed what he already knew: he was on the right track. He says talking to alumni is the best way to get clarity on the experience ahead. “When I was at LBS, I talked to some prospective Sloan students, and lo and behold, they’re now on the programme!” he says. “I think some people underestimate the Sloan Masters. It’s far, far more than an extended Executive Education programme. The rigour and the insights I got from it far exceeded my expectations.”
Piyush’s favourite place on campus – the library – was the scene of many hours of happy and dedicated study. “The library was a wonderful place,” he says. “I spent days and nights in that library. All of the resources and the support that we got at LBS was fantastic. The whole Sloan experience – the kind of networking and mixing you do with people from different countries, backgrounds and experiences over a year – gives you a complete, holistic view of where the world is and how business is. It enables you to start thinking in a different way.”