The core of the MaastrichtMBA programme is our students. Students with a broad diversity on nationality, age and even professional background. The insights and thoughts of our MBA students describe the true experience of MaastrichtMBA. This time we talked to our American student Chris Miller. Chris is co-founder of 6PS Group, an international company that provides a full suite of web development, mobile development, graphics design, and video streaming services. Chris joined the MaastrichtMBA programme in February this year.
I am a software developer, but I’m really an entrepreneur at heart. I’ve set up six start-ups, sold some of them, and also worked as a software engineer and an engineering manager. For me doing an MBA is an important step in my professional and personal growth.
The interesting thing about an Executive MBA over a traditional MBA, is that the student body tends to be older and bring skills into the classroom that they have acquired through experience. Therefore, with an Executive MBA you refine those skills rather than learn the skills for the first time.
I have managed people since I was 17, because that is when I started my first company. I came in with the intention to refine my management skills and to learn not just from the professors, but also from my fellow students. Of course, I also bring to the table what I know and what I have learned.
A few years ago, I lived in Maastricht together with my then partner. I wanted to join an MBA for a long time and realised there is a beautiful and reputable university in this town. I reached out to the admissions office and started to learn more about the programme, and it seemed like a really good fit. Nowadays, I live in Shanghai again. Because of the modular system of MaastrichtMBA, the distance to Maastricht doesn’t cause any problems.
Apart from refining my management skills, I hope to expand my business network and create new opportunities for my company. If fellow students need software development services, then I am on their radar.
Definitely the September module on Corporate Finance and Accounting, which is probably unexpected for a software developer. I have a bachelor’s degree in accounting, so a lot of this is stuff I have already heard, touched and worked with. I find it nice to have a refresher and learn about it on a more advanced level.
For my bachelor’s it was more about learning the skills about debits and credits. Now, as a professional with management experience in a room full of people who are equally as experienced, the conversation takes place on a higher level: how do you view the financial information and use that to make decisions? That’s really cool.
When I joined MaastrichtMBA, the International Week had not yet been announced. So I didn’t know where it was going to be. I knew that they had been to Shanghai before, so I didn’t expect that it would be Shanghai again. When the news was announced, people I know from the programme were apologising to me. But I am actually looking forward to it. The thought that ‘my’ MBA is coming into my backyard is really nice. I just have to hop on the train for 20 minutes and I’m there, without a jet lag or anything. I can speak Chinese so I’m looking forward to being a tour guide.