Søren completed his Masters in Management degree in 2012. He used the programme to successfully transition his career to China and currently works in Shanghai for a quality management company that manufactures a range of consumer commodities.
I chose London Business School’s Masters in Management (MiM) programme for a number of reasons, but largely because it seemed the best place to combine a top-tier education with international exposure. Everyone I talked with had great things to say about the programme, and the diverse spectrum of participants really appealed to me. Studying alongside classmates from different professional backgrounds and nationalities added a whole new dimension to my learning experience. And because London Business School has a wide-ranging portfolio of programmes, I was able to interact and engage with more experienced students too.
My main challenge going in to the programme was determining which direction to take my career, so for me, the other great thing about the MiM was the broad management curriculum. I was provided with a superb grounding in business fundamentals – I loved the fact that I could study everything from Organisational Behaviour to Corporate Finance. I particularly enjoyed the Marketing, Macroeconomy and Entrepreneurship core courses and graduated with a skill set that enabled me to apply to positions across a number of different industries.
London Business School helped me identify the career opportunities available to me, and at the end of the MiM I decided to centre my job search in China. My undergraduate degree focused on China and the study of Mandarin; the country is a dominant market force and I believe it is increasingly important to understand the local language and business culture. The School’s strong global reputation was a major help in my job search here.
My role at Sinex is very diverse. I’m involved in everything from B2B sales to setting up an online platform for B2C retail sales, so the technical toolkit I brought with me has been extremely useful. While I was studying in London I also joined up with an Executive MBA student and began working on a business plan for a start-up. This involved developing financial plans and proposing ideas to attract investors; we are now talking with those investors. In addition, we recently launched a new e-commerce platform at Sinex where I’ve had to use all those same skills again. We have also just designed a new marketing strategy and results measurement system, which closely reflects what I learned on the MiM programme. Bruce Hardie’s class on Market Analysis and Planning focuses on segmentation, targeting and positioning, and I’ve found that knowledge very helpful.
Throughout the programme, I took professional and personal inspiration from faculty like Hélène Rey, who was teaching me Economics at the same time as she was advising the former President of France, Nicolas Sarkozy! All my professors offered great business insight, but it was my fellow students (representing 38 countries and speaking 46 languages) who provided the real learning curve. I gained an understanding of different cultures, different ways of doing business, and successfully completed projects with classmates despite a variety of approaches and expectations. I also loved the opportunities for social interaction. In addition to what was happening in class, there was a constant stream of events on and around campus. Tattoo, a multicultural festival celebrating the diversity of the School, really stood out as a great experience for me, particularly as I love learning about other cultures.
The MiM is challenging, but it is also great fun. It helped me improve my professional profile and it gave me the ‘hands-on’ study experience I was looking for. Studying with such an international cohort has definitely enabled me to engage more effectively with my global client base in Shanghai. I’m passionate about transferring knowledge and implementing ideas across different cultures and contexts: thanks to the MiM, I now have the skills and knowledge to drive my career forward in exactly the way I want.
After Sinex Solutions, I joined Nova Founders Capital, a venture builder – I was their first employee in London and helped to set up the company’s headquarters there. I was part of establishing new ventures and raising funds for companies across our portfolio, focusing on companies in the startup or scale-up phase.
Following Nova Founders Capital, I decided to join Ziik as a co-founder in 2017. At Ziik, we developed an internal communication platform for companies - a modern take on an intranet. We have been fortunate to maintain very high growth over the last three years, and today we are a full Nordic solution working with companies such as 7-Eleven, McDonalds and Subway, while also helping hundreds of SMEs.
Part of our successful growth is the choice we have made around keeping our solution scalable - we have essentially tried to create a plug-and-play product that is useful to companies of all sizes and industries, which requires very few touch points and limited training to get started. In a startup, everyone wears a lot of hats, but as COO I have responsibility for our financials, marketing and the overall operation, where many elements of creating a scalable business lie – this is where the foundation I built at LBS has been a great help.