Ruth Kläver

Our students are the core of the MaastrichtMBA programme. 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 with our German student Ruth Kläver. She works as Project Manager – Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs) at Grünenthal Group, a global leader in pain management and related diseases. Ruth joined our Online track in September 2020.

FAST FACTS

  • Nationality: German
  • Start programme: September 2020
  • Entry age: 35 years
  • Track: Online MBA
  • Company: Grünenthal Group
  • Job title: Project Manager – Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products (ATMPs)

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO PURSUE AN MBA?

After finishing my PhD, it was clear to me that I wanted to move to the biotech industry – while still keeping a focus on R&D. Once I transitioned, I quickly realised how many more exciting topics there are in a company (outside of R&D). In the last few years, I have already acquired solid experiences in business and leadership topics (learning-on-the-job).

 

However, the more I learnt about how businesses are run, the more thoroughly I wanted to understand it. Over time, I began to realise how much my scientific background had left me unprepared to hold a senior leadership position in the highly competitive biotech industry. Therefore, I decided to pursue an MBA to close that gap and begin to truly understand the different aspects that form a company’s decisions.

WHICH SKILLS DO YOU WANT TO REFINE DURING THE ONLINE TRACK?

I want to gain solid knowledge in business, especially in the area of business decision-making. Furthermore, I would like to understand better my own way of leading and find out in which direction I would like to develop it further.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE FOR THE MAASTRICHTMBA PROGRAMME?

Over the years of working in international teams, I have learnt how much value is added from interacting with people with different views and backgrounds. Therefore, I was actively looking for an MBA programme that is not all about watching study materials online but also about discussing topics and issues with my classmates. In addition, I searched for a programme that offers me high flexibility in the outline of the courses allowing me to combine a demanding job and MBA studies. Thus, I have chosen the online track of MaastrichtMBA.

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THE ONLINE TRACK SETUP OF THE BLENDED EDUCATIONAL FORMAT WITH THE TEN ONLINE COURSES AND THREE EDUCATIONAL WEEKS?

I like that the programme focuses entirely on one topic for two months. This is easier to combine with the job than dealing with several topics at the same time. I also like the flexibility that the online track offers me. If I have a stressful week at work or in my private life, I can schedule the tasks for the MBA accordingly. To be honest, I am positively surprised by how well and intensively the interaction with the other students works, even though everything only takes place online. Unfortunately, I have not yet been able to participate in a educational week, but I am very excited to finally get to know my fellow students live.

HOW DO YOU THINK YOU WILL BENEFIT FROM THIS ONLINE EXECUTIVE MBA?

Regardless of the business knowledge I gain in the course, I will undoubtedly benefit from the interaction with the other students. Since we all have different professional and cultural backgrounds, you learn many new perspectives through the exchange that happens during the lectures, group assignments and forum discussions. I find this very enriching because you broaden your horizons and learn to question your own view critically.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE MOST ENJOYABLE PART OF THE COURSE SO FAR?

My last course was Human Resource Management, the sixth module for me. In this course, I found the exchange with the other students particularly exciting because cultures strongly influence how employment and leadership are practiced in companies. We talked a lot about our own experiences and it was very interesting to hear how others deal with certain situations, what happened to other students and how certain things are handled differently in different countries.

AND HOW DO YOU EXPERIENCE THE MAASTRICHTMBA PROGRAMME DURING THESE DIFFICULT TIMES CAUSED BY THE CURRENT CRISIS?

Especially in the current crisis, I am happy that I chose the online track because I don’t have to worry that my courses will be cancelled – they were all meant to happen online from the start. The only disadvantage is that I haven’t been able to attend any educational week and get to meet my classmates in person because of the pandemic. Nevertheless, I am optimistic that it will be possible this year or the next.

ANY TIPS FOR SOMEONE THINKING ABOUT APPLYING FOR MAASTRICHTMBA?

There is a regular offer to participate in a webinar of the MaastrichtMBA Online track. I would recommend interested candidates to participate once to assess how such a module is set up and get an idea of what it is like being in an online classroom.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR TIME RUTH. WE WISH YOU ALL THE BEST WITH YOUR MBA LEARNING JOURNEY!

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