FROM REGENT’S WITH LOVE RUSSIA: ON THE WAY FROM ‘NYET’ TO ‘DA’? LIVING THE DREAM
CONTENT 2 Vision
6 Russia: On the Way from 'Nyet' to 'Da'
9 Why Choose to Study Russian?
10 Alumni: Michael Kravchenko
14 Russia Today and Its Future
14 Dr Nick Bowen Retires
16 Alumni: Tobias Mews
20 What is the Value of Executive Education
22 Alumni: Philipp Woitscheck
EDITED BY Andy Harris
EDITED BY Khen Nirnfeld
HEAD OF ALUMNI RELATIONS David Whitaker
CONTRIBUTORS Tobias Mews Natasha Lipman Lorna Walker Professor John Drew Olga Helly Josef Mueller
12 Don't Patronise Us
18 Alumni: Dilruba Chowdhury
26 Your News
EBS LONDON MAGAZINE EBS London Magazine is produced by the Alumni Relations Team, keeping you in touch with EBS London. ÂŠ EBS London Magazine. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction in whole or part of any photograph, text or illustration without permission from the publisher is prohibited. Due care is taken to ensure the content of EBS London Magazine is fully accurate, but the publisher cannot accept liability for ommissions or errors. This magazine can be made available in larger print or alternative formats for people with visual impairment or dyslexia. Please contact the Alumni Relations Team for further information, on +44 (0)20 7487 7793 or by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
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VISION NEW HORIZONS Welcome to the fourth issue of EBS London Magazine. In this issue we’ll bring you insight into the new Russia and great news from here at Regent’s College. REFLECTING YOUR SUCCESS Following five years of sustained work, we are delighted to announce that The Privy Council has granted Regent’s College London Taught Degree Awarding Powers, giving the College the right to accredit its own degrees from 1 September 2012. This is a great milestone on the way to achieving a full University title, which owes much to the success of our students and alumni. You can read more about this achievement in the following pages and we look forward to bringing you more news of our ambitious plans and what the changes mean for you in the near future. Stay tuned. We look forward to celebrating more news with you very soon.
IN FROM THE COLD An economically and politically resurgent Russian Federation is emerging from years of post-communist instability. With the rise of an increasingly confident world power come new opportunities for business, co-operation and solutions to the economic difficulties of the West. This issue of EBS London Magazine celebrates all things Russian. You’ll read about alumni based in Moscow; the forthcoming Europe in the World Lecture at Regent’s College, examining prospects for co-operation between the Russian Federation and the European Union, at which a keynote will be given by the Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom; and much more besides.
As we take our next steps, join us by taking part in our alumni census: www.regents.ac.uk/census2012 STAY IN TOUCH I hope you’ll enjoy all our news and views. Don’t forget to stay in touch. You can now share your news for the magazine at the same time as updating your details via our web pages. We look forward to hearing from you. 2012 saw the completion of our reunions for three decades of EBS London alumni. The reunion dinners brought back nearly 500 alumni from all over the world. Relive them by looking at the photos on page 24. But don’t worry if you missed the dinners, there will be more to come and plenty of opportunities to connect away from the College too through Regent’s Clubs springing up in cities all over the world. David Whitaker Head of Alumni Relations
A VERY SPECIAL ANNOUCEMENT I am delighted to be able to let you know that the College has been granted Taught Degree Awarding Powers. This could not have been achieved without a concerted team effort from everybody at the College and our alumni all over the world over the last five years. The granting of degree powers confirms our first class student experience, the commitment of staff, engagement of students and the significant success of our alumni. This is a watershed moment for Regent’s College and offers real benefits. Gaining degree awarding powers opens doors to so many new opportunities for us and enhances our reputation globally. It increases our ability to offer student visas and rights to work while studying – a key element of our programmes of study. International partnerships and collaborations too, will be greatly aided by our new status. Further, at their Board meeting on July 18th, the Trustees agreed unanimously to apply for full university title at the earliest opportunity. We now meet all the required criteria to do so
and work has commenced to change the College’s name to ‘Regent’s University London’, preserving the names of our individual schools. This is a substantial ‘upgrade’ for your alma mater which reflects not only the professionalism and distinctiveness of the student experience you enjoyed but also provides a platform for our ambitious plans for the future. I hope you will join us in advancing those plans and I look forward to letting you know more in the near future. We will relaunch Regent’s with a major event in June 2013 and we would like you to be part of that occasion. We aim for all our UK degrees to be the College’s/University’s own from August 2013, though some students will graduate with a Regent’s degree before that time. If successful, Regent’s will be the first private university to have been established in Britain in this way for several centuries. This will provide an even brighter future for our staff, students, partners and alumni, and I extend my thanks to every member of our community for being a part of the success of Regent’s College.
This is a watershed moment for Regent’s College and offers real benefits. Gaining degree awarding powers opens doors to so many new opportunities for us and enhances our reputation globally. 4
Professor Aldwyn Cooper CEO and Principal Regent's College London
ON THE WAY FRO
OM ‘NYET’ TO ‘DA’ We have all seen the world change almost unrecognisably over the past two decades, but nowhere have these changes been as momentous and controversial as in Russia. The country’s transformation from a closed, centrally-controlled economy to a market economy generated a whole new set of economic, social, environmental and demographic challenges, which have had a profound effect not only on the country itself, but also on the wider international community. It is well to bear in mind that Russia’s current economic growth is based primarily upon exploiting its natural resources sectors, and is strongly dependent on high oil prices. This dependency creates uncertainty about the country’s economic future, and this is acknowledged by the Russian President Vladimir Putin. Unfolding Russia’s budget policy for 2012-2015, Putin emphasised Russia’s need to stimulate economic growth, embark on large-scale social programmes and at the same time protect the budget from sharp fluctuations in energy prices. Russia is thus trying to establish itself as an energy superpower, while being mindful of the need to find new sources of energy in the future. As a member of the BRIC nations – the grouping of leading emerging economies – Russia’s influence stems from having the world’s largest gas reserves and being one of the top producers of electric power
in the world. Russia’s special position within the BRIC countries is also attributed to the fact that it is one of the 5 permanent members of the UN Security Council and a member of the G7 and G20 groups. While at the height of Soviet power Soviet foreign minister Andrey Gromyko famously was given the nickname 'Mister Nyet', ('Mister No'), Russia now co-operates with the international community, but some differences remain. Close to home, Russia has a number of ambitious domestic projects. One such project, Skolkovo, nicknamed 'The Russian Silicon Valley', aims at creating a state-of-the-art centre for research and development. The project will be supported by five different scientific communities, the Moscow School of Management and a top-level business school founded by leading Russian and international companies. It will attract the brightest scientists, researchers and business people from all over the world who
will be working on cutting-edge technologies in a variety of fields. Another ambitious project for Russia is the 22nd Winter Olympic Games, which will take place in Sochi in 2014. Recently Russia has also made an important move to become a member of the World Trade Organisation, although some problems with its membership still remain. It is clear to see from the above summary that Russian companies, particularly those within the energy sector, are becoming global players. It is therefore essential for the international community to keep up with new developments within Russia and the new conditions under which business is being conducted. Knowledge of the Russian language and intricacies of the Russian society, culture, traditions and history is becoming an increasingly important tool for foreign companies wishing to work in the Russian market.
GROWING IMPORTANCE OF THE RUSSIAN LANGUAGE IN THE WORLD Knowing Russian has always been regarded as a specialised skill for those working in the diplomatic service, tourism, politics, law, human rights, international relations, etc. With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the establishment of a market economy, Russia has become a magnet for foreign investors and entrepreneurs, driving the value of Russian language skills ever forward. However, Russian language skills alone are insufficient to conduct business in Russia; foreign businessmen need to understand the complexities of Russian society, its traditions, culture and business etiquette, if they are to move their Russian counterparts from ‘nyet’ to ‘da’, from ‘no’ to ‘yes’. The Russian programme at the European Business School London fills precisely this role: it provides a key to the world of the Russian language, culture and history, thereby equipping its graduates with the necessary business tools necessary to operate in the Russian market.
It is well to bear in mind that Russia’s current economic growth is based primarily upon exploiting its natural resources sectors, and is strongly dependent on high oil prices. This dependency creates uncertainty about the country’s economic future, and this is acknowledged by the Russian President Vladimir Putin. TEACHING OF RUSSIAN AT EBS LONDON Russian is one of nine languages offered as part of the BA programme in International Business at EBS, and as an evening class for all students, staff and the general public. Students can start at different levels, as complete beginners or with previous knowledge of the language. The courses students take before they go on their Study Period Abroad (SPA) programme in Russia are designed to prepare them for that year-abroad experience and introduce them to the Russian society and culture. Recent developments in Russian politics are naturally reflected in the way the language is taught at EBS. Students prepare a presentation on a topic connected with the present-day situation in Russia. Recent topics include: 'Russia and the former Soviet Republics', 'Skolkovo The Russian Silicon Valley' , 'Olympic Games in Sochi in 2014', 'Russian gas and oil companies', “Political Parties in Russia” and many others. The final year course is designed for students who
have completed their year-long study period abroad in Russia, and is aimed at consolidating their knowledge of business Russian and helping them reach effective operational proficiency at Level C1 according to the Common European Framework of Reference. Over the last academic year, as part of the Business & Management faculty's Activity Week, a variety of Russia-related activities took place. A successful British businessman with many years’ experience of organising English language training for Russian employees of big multinational corporations came to talk to students and share his insights into working in Russia. A group of students visited the BBC Russian Service where the Head of the BBC Europe Hub gave them a talk on the role of the Russian Service against the background of profound changes in the country. Students were also invited to a talk on the Russian gas and oil industry, given by a senior research fellow at the Oxford Institute for Energy. These enrichment activities gave our students valuable insights into potential career paths involving their Russian language skills after graduating from EBS. Olga Helly Lecturer in Russian
WHY DO EBSL STUDENTS CHOOSE TO STUDY RUSSIAN? Here are some of the reasons they gave in a survey carried out by Russian lecturers on the BA International Business. This being a business programme, it comes as no surprise that there is often a business motive behind the choice of Russian. 'Russia is a leading cultural and economic power. Learning Russian would enable me to benefit from many opportunities now, and in future.' Especially Russia as a growing market exerts a pull: 'Russia is a fast developing country and I think it would be good for business.' 'I know that many firms, businesses expand to the Russian market and they need employees with knowledge of Russian because in order to work effectively you need to understand the thinking of Russians. It means knowing Russian and Russian culture.' However, often the appreciation of the business opportunities is coupled with an interest in the language itself: 'I think it is an important language for business as well as interesting and challenging.' Moreover, the different script makes it more intriguing compared to other European languages, which is reflected when students talk about their learning experiences: 'It is â€˜coolâ€™.' 'Everyone is so impressed when they see that I am studying Russian', says another student. Or 'It is like a secret code.' And 'It is cool to write an SMS in Russian.' 'Russian stands out in a resumĂŠ.' Other reasons include the wish to work in Russia, or personal reasons such as friends speaking the language, or having a Russian girlfriend - still perhaps the most powerful driver in creating interest in and enthusiasm for another language.
Josef Mueller Acting Associate Dean, Faculty of Business and Management
MICHAEL KRAVCHENKO What are your favourite memories of studying at EBS London? Well, there are many memories from my time at EBS London. From my dorm days living on campus to leadership weekends in Oxford to Monday morning lectures to socialising in the on-campus pub (which, to my dismay, has turned into an artsy 'cafe' now!) or simply the majestic location and layout of the College's buildings. All this and more I remember fondly and I would not try to rank them as favourites; any memory, whether good or bad is worth more than its weight in gold. Even remembering feeling unjustly done by when I received a shockingly different result in one of my exams than I had expected! So, the question here should be rather - did you amass enough memories during your time at EBS? And I would answer yes, there are plenty and all are worth remembering!
What have you been up to since you graduated? I've been pretty busy ever since graduating really. I began learning Russian at EBS. So, naturally, after my study period abroad, which I spent in Moscow, I realised I should try and make use of my newly learnt language. So I headed out to Moscow. But unlike many expats who end up here, I didn't have any particular lead or job that was waiting for me. And this was the challenge. At first, a couple of entrepreneurial ventures went bust, after which I had a shot in the telecoms business. But that didn't seem like the career move for me at the time, so I continued looking and found a position as a business development
I know I should always have a five year plan of sorts, but right now I'm pretty content riding this media wave. manager at a commercial real estate company. But after selling investment grade hotels and helping companies relocate
their offices I realised my calling lay somewhere else. And that's when RT came my way. For the last three years I've been writing news and reporting on various business and sporting events. Is this the career you envisaged when you were a student? Absolutely not! It's a complete surprise, but one I feel would not have come about had I not had the life, upbringing and education that I've been privileged to receive! Thanks first and foremost have to go to my parents, but also thank you to all the family, friends and enemies for their input as well. How is the media different in Russia compared with the UK? This is a rather outdated question, to be honest. Media as a general rule is becoming more and more international, thereby making it more accessible to everyone, via the internet, cable TV, etc. If you're talking about the equipment used to create media, I see no difference between the UK and Russia. But it also means the programming and overall approach has to become more streamlined and universal. If we talk about the content, then there is a difference. Russia is coming out of a dark period in time. It has no desire to be bogged down by the vested interests of a select few. People are hungry for knowledge. The UK on the other hand, as well as the EU and the US, seem to be heading into an uncertain period of time. And people tend to bottle-up and keep to themselves in such times. Maybe that's the difference... What is your next goal? Where would you like to be in five years’ time? I know I should always have a five year plan of sorts, but right
now I'm pretty content riding this media wave, pardon the pun! Somewhere down the line I could see myself leaving television, in order to pursue a more niche vocation, such as being a press attaché for a corporate entity, or a spokesperson for a multinational corporation. But I find one should never count one’s chickens before they hatch... if I did, I wouldn't be where I am today! How has networking helped you develop your business? The world of networking is a funny old thing. It can be fun, but it's usually tedious and rather shallow. I've been to so many networking events and soirées, but did they actually help me advance what I was doing or hoping to do? I don't think so! I think people overestimate the power of networking. Don't get me wrong, it’s essential to doing business. But let's face it, those who need to get to know each other - will. And without actual 'networking'! Having said that, if I didn't chat with a friend of a friend, I would never have landed my job at RT! Michael Kravchenko BA International Business Studies (Class of 2003)
DON'T PATRONISE US - WE DON'T A Everyday the media decries the lack of positive role models for young people, citing a never-ending cycle of press attention directed towards Kim Kardashian's bottom and Wayne Rooney's latest haircut. Why is there always this assumption that young people are so enthralled by the razzle-dazzle of celebrity, and that they are unable to find their own role models? Of course, these celebrities are constantly in the public eye, and we cannot deny that there will be some people who aspire to be like them. But it is a patronising and unfair assumption to believe that the overwhelming majority of young people find inspiration and direction in the pages of a glossy magazine or on the gossip page of a website.
Dr. Helen Wright, headmistress of a leading girls boarding school, stated last week that almost everything that is wrong with western society today could be summed up in a photograph of a scantily clad Kim Kardashian. Her point, that physical attractiveness, wealth and celebrity have become the benchmark for success and hold a higher value than character or substance, is important to the broader conversation about the aspirations of and the opportunities for young people.
At a time when youth unemployment is at staggeringly high levels, and educated university graduates are struggling to get their foot in the door, it is important to remember that the positive role models that we so desperately need are out there. We just need to look for them. And we need to look a little closer to home than Hollywood or the pools of 'Marbs'. I have never aspired to be a WAG. I have never aspired to be famous for my bottom. I am sick of hearing that I am part of a 'lost generation', that there are no jobs out there for me and that there is no one of value to look up to.
ALL ASPIRE TO BE KIM KARDASHIAN I have always (excuse the clichĂŠ) wanted to play a role in making the world a better place. In the summer of 2009, I had the honour of being one of the British representatives to the Africa Youth Summit in South Africa. The summit hosted around one hundred Global Changemakers, members of a programme for future leaders and youth activists from around the world run by the British Council. I learnt more and was more inspired in those six days than I had ever been in my life. Gathered together in a hotel in Cape Town, I talked to youth activists who had dedicated themselves to effecting positive change in a region that many in the West write off. Their projects, which ranged from climate change activism to education programmes for the poorest in their communities, showed what can be achieved if you work hard enough. I found inspiration and strength in their courage, intelligence and determination, and to this day get some of my biggest inspiration from friends that I met there.
We are engaged, we are interested, we are ambitious and we care. We care deeply. Unfortunately, we are frustrated and scared about our future. The entry-level jobs of old are now unpaid internships, the job market is flooded with people who are all as qualified as each other and student debts are set to treble. When do we get our chance? It is time that the media shifted its approach in the way it presents the views and future of young people. Don't tell us that there are no jobs; it only perpetuates the cycle of despair that many of us feel, and makes many give
up before they even start. Tell us how to take our future into our own hands. Help us start our own projects. Give space to the people who have managed to do this, to the people who really have something to say, to the hidden role models in our society. It may not be as sexy as Kim Kardashian's bottom, but it's so much more important. Natasha Lipman studied International Relations at Regent's College and is the founder and director of the International Political Forum - www. internationalpoliticalforum.com
Please do not underestimate the intelligence of the 'youth' population. The vast majority of us are not so enthralled by the culture of celebrity that we are entirely blinded to the realities of the world. 13
RUSSIA TODAY AND ITS FUTURE The Russian Federation is a big country in many different ways. If it seems to have problems, as seen from the West, it could be worth first considering what the West looks like seen from Russia. Aside from the United States, how does Russia relate to the European Union?
Professor John Drew Director, Institute of Contemporary European Studies, Regentâ€™s College
DR NICK BOWEN RETIRES Dr Nick Bowen has recently retired after 32 years of loyal service at Regents. He has been involved with the creation and delivery of international business and language studies programmes from the very earliest days of the European Business School London, joining the institution even before its arrival at Regents College. Over the years he has undertaken many different academic and managerial roles in the organisation, latterly as the Programme Director for the BA in International Business in the Business and Management faculty, guiding the flagship course through a very successful revalidation process gaining the maximum five year stamp of approval. During his time with the College Nick 14
has been an inspiration to those around him. Due directly to his sterling hard work and leadership on the various programmes he has been involved with, thousands of students have successfully graduated with honours degrees. With these qualifications they have been well equipped to begin careers in international management, with many going on to become important business leaders and captains of industry as a result. His wise words of support, his patience and his kindness have helped countless students cope with the many stresses and challenges posed by studying abroad and adapting to new cultures and lifestyles.
Nick has also been a great role model and mentor to those many colleagues who have had the pleasure of working with him during his tenure. His keen intellect, common sense, eloquence, good humour and wit have been greatly appreciated during the many meetings and exam boards at which he has been present, always enabling the right decisions to be arrived at more smoothly and effectively. He has made huge contributions to the development of the college from encouraging innovative business forums to championing the importance of scholarships and the equality agenda. In recent years he has headed the International Centre for European Studies and has been heavily involved in the European Ad
The recent EU/Russia Summit in St Petersburg featured two ‘European’ Presidents: the European High Representative for Foreign and Security Affairs, and the EU Ambassador and his delegation to the Russian Federation. Also prior to the Summit there will have been many bilateral inputs from the 27 EU member states, all wanting to explain to President Putin, from slightly different view points, what is and what is not important in EU/Russia relations and what Russia should do. Some might argue that the western media, who are largely critical of how Russia is governed, the shakiness of its democracy, its questionable rule of law, its civil rights shortcomings and its administration riddled with corruption, have influenced the view expressed by other western opinion formers, including politicians, that Russia would be better off without Putin. Russia at this time in its history probably needs a Putin, which is the impression I gained during a
recent visit to Moscow, meeting a wide range of commentators with different political, economic and social views. Meanwhile Russia has work to do. It is perhaps two nations - if you consider Moscow and the rest of the Federation, or three if you count St Petersburg or many more if you consider the different languages and relationships and cultures and religions with which Russian government has to deal. It has to live with its soul. It has to live with its recent history – the 20th century and the tens of millions dead, its 70 year history of centralism, idealism, failure (or part failure), its lost empire, its image in the West, its literature and philosophy, its material successes and failures, its improving standards of life and community and its need to aspire to manage a complex existing nation which - like all vast world spaces - cannot be perfectly managed. What does the future hold? Russia can learn from its past; it can learn from the past; and present of others; and it can get on with living and improving
the lives of its citizens. In terms of democracy it is a century or more behind many Western democracies. Many Western democracies have had their failings too over the past 100 or 200 years as they stumbled towards their present situations. Perhaps in the West we tend to underestimate the real progress that has been achieved since the dissolution of the Soviet Union, when nobody knew how to solve the problems of transition, neither the Russians nor the multitude of advisors from the West. Inevitably many mistakes were made. 'Politics is the art of the possible', wrote Machiavelli, while others write 'all things obey money'. But the one quote I keep in mind when it comes to EU-Russia relations is: 'A finger is useful for pointing at the moon, but woe to him who mistakes the finger for the moon'. Perhaps today there are many political, economic and social fingers in Russia and Europe pointing at one another. They may want to consider that the moon is common to them both!
Hoc Council, roles in which he has acted as an excellent ambassador for the college, promoting our views, values and beliefs in the very highest circles of European political and business decision making. Nick has embodied the spirit of languages and international business that is at the heart of Regent's thinking. Samuel Johnson once said, ‘Don't think of retiring from the world until the world will be sorry that you retire’. Nick, you will be sorely missed and we wish you all the best for a happy, fruitful and well deserved retirement. Richard Mannix Senior Lecturer, European Business School London
I LOOK AROUND It must end soon. How high can this hill be? My heart's beating like a hunted deer. I hear a rustle behind me. I look round to see one of the local Peruvian runners speed past me, grinning. ‘It’s OK for him,’ I mutter, ‘he bloody well lives here’. I hate being overtaken, but if I go any faster, my chest will explode. Wiping the sweat from my eyes, I plough on, thinking that just maybe, this might be the toughest day of my life. But the truly depressing bit was that I'd not been 'running' for more than an hour and I still had 220km to go. My editor at Men’s Fitness magazine loves a dramatic start to a feature. The idea is to grip the reader’s attention and then plunge them into your world of suffering and pain. At the time the Peruvian overtook me, I truly thought that I’d never pushed myself harder, despite having previously taken part in races that had me running across deserts and mountains, swimming in freezing cold fjords or mountain biking across the scorching planes of Africa. But if I’d known what was in store for me during the remainder of the 230km inaugural Jungle Ultra, I might have removed my trainers and hung them up for good. Indeed, the ordeal that I put my body through in the days that followed bordered on insanity or at least it would appear to be insanity, if your idea of exercise is hailing a taxi. I’m often asked how do I do it, how do I keep going when every fibre in my body is screaming at me to stop? Well, I once read in a book by American author and fitness educator Stu Mittleman that, ‘Expanding the boundaries of what you believe to be possible is critical in putting yourself in a position to go the distance and do the extraordinary.’ I couldn’t agree with him more and my answer to those that ask is ‘I don’t think about the pain, because I choose 16
to be here. I’m doing what I love to do - and that is to run.’ I have discovered (rather late in life) that running is as natural to me as putting on my socks in the morning. When I graduated from EBS London in 2002 clutching a plastic tube, a 2:1 in International Business and a handful of languages, I didn’t know what I wanted to do as a career (let alone knowing that I could run). I had the vague notion of becoming a private banker, but jobs in the banking industry were hard to come by, especially if you weren’t passionate about money. Indeed as far as I was concerned, money was simply useful for hailing taxis. So there I found myself: 25 years old, no job, no clue what to do with my life and to add insult to injury, no more student Railcard. Consequently, I did what any self-respecting Englishman would have done - I joined the British Army. It was the best decision I’ve ever made. After a year of officer training at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst I was commissioned into the Royal Artillery as a Second Lieutenant, a leader of men, a reluctant trained killer of sorts, and the proud holder of an HM Forces Rail Discount Card and I also left with confidence. It was thanks to the discipline
and training that I received at Sandhurst that the boundaries of what I believed to be possible started to stretch. Fast-forward a couple of tours of Iraq later, and I began to have the self-belief that I was capable of anything and that in the words of Adidas – ‘impossible is nothing.’ But if joining the British Army was the best decision I ever made, the second best was deciding to leave. One minute I was sipping my tea pondering upon life and the next minute I was handing in my letter of resignation. And so in 2008, after five glorious and exciting years, I left the security and relative comfort of army life to pursue a new career – one as a television journalist. By some good fortune, I had gained a place at City University to study for a Masters in TV Current Affairs Journalism – one of the best ‘broadcast journalism’ courses in the country. However, before I had even started the course, my best friend Phil, who I had served with in the Army, persuaded me to join him in signing up for the 2011 Marathon des Sables (MDS). At the time, I’d only run one
Six weeks and yet another ironman commission later, I’m swimming down the River Thames in the inaugural Challenge Henley long distance triathlon. I even managed to come 7th in my age group despite being a terrible swimmer! What I was quickly discovering was that my ability to write, mixed with the fact that I can take on epic challenges with little or no targeted training, means that I’m the guy the editors call when they want someone to write about a race - wherever it might be. This works just fine with me!
marathon, a triathlon and a few cross country races – so it was a fairly large undertaking, to say the least. For those not aware, the MDS is a 250km six-stage, seven-day ultra marathon across the Sahara Desert. It’s billed as the ‘toughest footrace on the planet’. Now, if anyone from EBS remembers my podgy resemblance to one of the Teletubbies, never in their wildest dreams would they have believed that I would not only do this race, but successfully finish as the Top Brit and 21st out of 850 competitors. I also left with my first commission to write a monthly column in Triathlete’s World. And so, by accident or perhaps a twist of fate, I had started to turn what was previously a hobby and passion into a career that will take me all over the world. It also marked the beginning of a series of sponsorship deals with
brands such as Adidas, Salomon, Buff, Tribesports.com and various others, as I developed my own personal brand – that of Tobias Mews: the Adventure Sports Journalist and Athlete. Indeed, the week after I finished the MDS I ran the London Marathon, albeit not very quickly as I was also filming it for a client. I was then commissioned to write about a new ironman distance triathlon on the Costa Daurada of Spain called Extrememan. I had five weeks’ notice to train for it. One month and another marathon later, I found myself jumping from the back of a car ferry into a Norweigan fjord to compete in and write about the world’s toughest ironman race: the Norseman Xtreme Triathlon. Here the goal was simply to survive and obtain the coveted Black Finisher’s T-Shirt!
In April this year I flew to Cape Town, South Africa to compete in the Cape Epic - an 8 day, 800km mountain bike stage race in the Western Cape. Having learnt to mountain bike 7 weeks earlier, it was a baptism by fire but one of the most incredible experiences of my life. And then there was the Jungle Ultra in Peru – probably the most challenging, and yet incredibly beautiful race I’ve ever done. I hope it doesn’t end soon, because I’m having the time of my life and it’s only getting better. I am, quite literally, living the dream.
What are your favourite memories of studying at Regent's College London? I have so many fond memories while studying at Regent’s that it is rather difficult to choose my favourite one. A lot of people I knew back then could not wait to leave after the lectures or seminars were over. I think I was one of the few who just loved to stay back and relax with my friends and my professors either in the refectory or out in the court at the very centre of our College. I never thought I would meet some of the most gracious and generous individuals with whom I would become friends for life. Some of my close friends and I were very active in the Arts and Drama Club. We staged a play as well as a much talked about Black and Red Charity Ball which jointly raised more than £ 30,000 for Save The Children UK. I think that was one of the highlights for me; I really felt as though I was making a difference. Being at Regent’s College really inspired me to come out of my shell. Before I joined, I was very shy. After my graduation, by the time I got back to my home country, Bangladesh, I was wholly changed or rather reincarnated person who was confident, determined and ecstatic. I was full of life. 18
What have you been up to since you graduated? It’s been about three and a half years since I joined our family company, East Coast Group, which has a host of subsidiary companies, sister concerns and many corporate investments including joint ventures in Norway, Singapore, USA, London, and Myanmar. East Coast Group has been an organisation for more than 30 years and it specialises in shipping, trading, distribution, gas, oil & energy, as well as solar energy. Since my appointment there, we have added a couple of new subsidiaries to our group, one of which is in the manufacturing division. We built a plastic container manufacturing plant called Parkesine Products Ltd, where I am currently employed as the Managing Director. We were the first plant to have fully automated machinery and use recycled plastic raw materials utilising wastage after production. I also joined a well known insurance company, Green Delta Insurance Co. Ltd, which has been valued and rated by the FTSE 100 and KPMG. This year in June, I was elected Vice Chairman of the company. Apart from the former, I became a permanent Director of a tourism company, Tiger Tours Ltd. This organisation specialises in remote rivers and other destinations which are very beautiful, but difficult to access for tourists.
Do you have a favourite out of the many companies you are involved with? Does one have more exciting projects or greater potential to expand? My family company has numerous businesses that have a lot of exciting and trendy projects in the pipeline. Most of them are in motion already. One of them is the Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) Terminal project, which is a venture by one of East Coast Group’s corporate invested companies called Mobil Jamuna Bangladesh Ltd. Mobil Jamuna is a joint venture between Exxon Mobil of USA and Jamuna Group of Bangladesh. They distribute and sell branded engine oils and lubricants all over the country. I would say that working at the company headquarters gives me a great advantage. I get to work on many projects and I have the option to choose the ones I find the most exhilarating and competitive.
Your new company, Tiger Tours, focusses on providing ‘sustainable’ tourism. Do you feel this style of travel has a greater appeal for the modern tourist? Since Bangladesh has a vast coastal area and is mostly riverrouted, there are many areas which are left undiscovered and uninhabited. Nowadays, most tourists prefer hiking and cruising in the rural areas rather than the traffic congested city which is becoming very metropolitan. At Tiger Tours, we are focusing on making those remote areas more accessible for these tourists so that they get to see the ‘real’ Bangladesh. We try to provide reasonable accommodation, transportation and all kinds of tourist guides to sustain and develop this growing interest. What is your next goal? Where would you like to be in five years time? My next goal is to work more and more in rural areas to diminish illiteracy and increase job opportunities so that the less fortunate do not have to migrate to the already over-populated commercial capital to support their families. In five years time, I would like to have achieved enough to take a break and travel the world and meet up with all my friends. Dilruba Chowdhury BA International Business (Class of 2009)
WHAT IS THE VALUE OF EXECUTIVE E The psychologist Erich Fromm questioned why society should feel responsible only for the education of children and not for the education of all adults of every age. Employers are now increasingly seeing education as something which does not only benefit people at the start of their careers. Many universities saw a significant increase in applications for executive education programmes during 2011 and that trend looks set to continue in 2012. This may seem counterintuitive at a time of recession. However, recession is often the best time to invest in education. It helps individuals gain skills and knowledge which will enhance their employability, whilst for organisations enabling staff to study can be a highly cost-effective way of bringing in new skills and ideas needed to build their competitive advantage in difficult times. In my own career I’ve benefited on numerous occasions from taking the time to do relevant professional qualifications and executive programmes – a marketing diploma, an MBA, a teaching qualification and a management programme for academics. I’m now running one of Regent’s College’s first dedicated executive education programmes – the MA Business Management in International Travel and Tourism – aimed at people already working at management level within the travel and tourism industry. My experience of running this programme, as well as of studying on executive programmes myself, has shown me that there are many ways in which executive education can help established professionals and the organisations for which they work. 20
Executive education programmes give participants a dedicated space for thinking about their work, about their careers and about their decision-making. Participants are able to bounce ideas around and play with them in a way that often isn’t possible in their daily work. They can indulge in ‘blue sky thinking’ and get feedback on ideas from other participants and academics in a safe and non-judgemental environment. This provides the opportunity to hone and develop ideas in such a way that they can be presented back to sponsoring organisations with confidence.
Organisations can often suffer from ‘groupthink’ and find it hard to break out of established patterns of behaviour and ways of doing things. As the psychologist Abraham Maslow said, if the only tool you have is a hammer you tend to see every problem as a nail. Executive education enables managers to develop a wider range of tools and helps them gain new perspectives on their problems. Studying with a range of people from other organisations and backgrounds gives participants a chance to encounter different approaches to the same challenges which they face.
Executive education isn’t learning just for the sake of learning. It has real practical applications. they want the programme they study to help them solve. Good executive education programmes enable participants to return to their jobs with very clear action plans and strategies to implement what they have learnt in building their own careers and the success of the organisation. However, it is not always practical to measure the results of such programmes in purely financial terms. Benefits such as increased confidence, motivation, credibility and the feeling of being valued are less tangible but equally important.
Executive education can deliver a real confidence boost to people who may have been promoted to managerial level but feel that they need more support developing the skills and expertise needed to do their new jobs effectively, or people who are well established in their own fields but want to develop their understanding of other functional areas of the business. Part-time programmes enable companies to invest in people who have been identified as having the potential and motivation to progress faster up the organisational ladder with the right additional
training, but who the company cannot afford to ‘lose’ from the workforce whilst they are studying. Executive education isn’t learning just for the sake of learning. It has real practical applications. Executives generally come to learn with a very clear set of objectives in mind. Investing in executive education is a big deal – it takes a great deal of commitment on the part of the participant and their sponsoring organisation, family and friends, to successfully complete such a course and get the most out of it. The best results come when executives have in mind clearly defined problems which
As well as benefits to participants and their organisations, executive education programmes also brings benefits to the academics running them. Teaching on such programmes can be extremely rewarding as it gives academics the chance to influence management as it is being done in the real world, and enables them to keep in touch with the concerns of practitioners in their fields. Regent’s College recognises what a contribution executive education can make to the success of organisations. Our hands-on, ‘boutique’ approach to education lends itself particularly well to the highly demanding executive market and that’s why we’ve developed exciting new programmes such as the MA Business Management in International Travel and Tourism. Lorna Walker Senior Lecturer - Marketing Programme Director - MA Business Management of International Travel and Tourism
What are your favourite memories of studying at Regent's College London? The international feel of the campus has always impressed me the most. Regardless of origin or background, I have managed to establish a great network of friends from around the world. Since I have left, I have met up with people all around the world, from New York to Hong Kong, and many of us get back together in London on a regular basis. The best on-campus memories are the casual, yet professional lectures and vivid discussions among students and professors, debating different viewpoints on business-related issues. What career ambitions did you have when you were a student? The main focus was to get into a finance-related business. This however changed when I graduated with my BA in 2008, in the middle of the recession. I was faced with a number of challenges, and since I have always wanted to do a Masterâ€™s degree the time seemed right. I started the International Marketing course at EBS London because my focus shifted from finance into strategy and working with people. Dominic Laffy is probably the main influence behind my decision to join the programme and I have always
thoroughly enjoyed his courses. I then decided to go into strategic consulting. However it wasnâ€™t until my last internship at an executive search firm that I discovered my passion for recruitment. What have you been up to since you graduated? I have started in the recruitment industry in London as I wanted to work with international people on finance-related matters. I have always wanted to work with various cultures and have a strategic scope on various elements within the business world. Having started my own market and finance (DACH) desk, I got headhunted myself and I am now working in executive search for Chapman Black, building an international team and managing around four consultants at the moment. I have now focused on senior executive appointments and building an HR Directors network. How has the executive search market changed in the last few years? The market has become a lot more competitive where many companies have clear segments they cover. The big names such as Hedrick & Struggles or Michael Page have lost significant market share to many of the smaller niche boutique firms. Almost two in three board level positions are nowadays filled by headhunters. The demand for talent has increased significantly. Many companies find it difficult to hire on their own or to compete in the war for talent. The main reasons are skill shortages and the change in demographics, as well as getting the employer branding right.
What one piece of advice would you give to a recent graduate starting out in their career? The most important thing is to start early with the search and take time to find the right job. Do not sign the first best offer, but speak to professionals, friends and family about their opinions. The more information one acquires the better the chances of making the right decision. Use your network and search firms but be selective to whom you submit your profile. When working with recruitment companies, keep in regular contact with the consultant to avoid becoming just a database entry. You should always try to create high-level relationships if possible. What is your next goal? Where would you like to be in five yearsâ€™ time? Having recently traveled extensively in Asia I can see myself out there in the future. My plan is to build an office from Hong Kong within the next five years, operating in the Asia Pacific executive search market. The combination of new challenges and high-level work is what interests me the most. The current challenge is to get foreign talent with Asia experience into HQ. Industry experts predict this will be a reverse trend in the coming years as the Chinese economy will continue to grow. Philipp Woitscheck BA Business and Management (Class of 2008) & MA International Marketing Management (Class of 2009)
ALUMNI EBS London Reunion â€“ 2006-2011 In the third of our major series of EBS London Alumni Reunion Dinners we brought alumni back to Regent's College for a memorable evening of celebration. This exclusive event was for alumni who graduated from EBS London between 2006 and 2011. Once again this event was sold out as we welcomed over 150 former students through our doors to reminisce about their days at the College. The champagne reception was punctuated with squeals of delight above the buzz of conversation as old friends greeted each other. As the room began to fill the guests were entertained by a charity auction run by current EBS London lecturer Ed Gonsalves. This was followed by a speech from CEO Aldwyn Cooper which connected alumni to the present and future of Regentâ€™s College. From here the alumni enjoyed a sumptuous dinner in the College refectory which had been transformed for the evening. Lively conversations continued throughout the meal until Dr Nick Bowen stood to praise the assembled graduates. His speech was well received and the announcement of his retirement was greeted with a standing ovation. Despite being a hard act to follow, the reply on behalf of the alumni was delivered by alumnus Michael Huertas with equal warmth. Although our guests for the evening left shortly after this the party was far from over. Many alumni accepted the invitation of Theo Manninen (EBS Class of 2007) to continue the party at the exclusive club he runs in Central London, the Rose Club. We imagine that many alumni were still partying when the sun came up the next morning. We thank all the alumni who made the effort to attend this reunion and we hope to see more of you at our events over the coming months.
Alumni Dragons’ Den Earlier this year we hosted our second annual event showcasing student entrepreneurs - the Alumni Dragons’ Den. Once again a panel of successful alumni carefully listened to the ideas of student entrepreneurs to debate whether or not these ideas could become reality with the help of their advice. The six competing students had three minutes each to pitch their ideas to the Dragons followed by a sevenminute interrogation. The ordeal in front of a packed audience made several students nervous but all of them impressed the judges with the creativity of their ideas. The three dragons (Judy Piatkus, Hardeep Rai and Jason Drew) were not going easy in their judging and went straight to the point with their analysis. “I think everybody had interesting ideas and had worked really hard on their pitch, but all entrepreneurs have to know that the road is hard and you will fail sometimes,” said Dragon Judy Piatkus when explaining their strict but fair judgements.
Jens and Roel have recently launched their fast cuisine concept, O-food, as a pop up restaurant in East London. We are proud to have played an early role in supporting what we hope will become a hugely successful chain of restaurants over the next few years. Alumni Golf Tournament This year’s alumni golf tournament was won by current Regent's College student Luciano Garcia. This talented golfer was confident from the start and made short work of the course at Highgate Golf Club. We will be announcing full details of next year’s tournament shortly so if you are interested in playing please email alumni@ regents.ac.uk
This hard road is what student entrepreneur Jan Sapper had to experience. He only got support from one of the Dragons yet was happy about his contribution. Only minutes after the event was over he was on his computer working on the webpage for his idea like a true entrepreneur. This year’s winners were Entrepreneurial Management students Jens Hannibal and Roel Philippart, who managed to impress all of the judges. A very excited and happy Jens added, “I’m ecstatic about winning and obviously very happy. We worked extremely hard on this presentation and all the planning that went into it.” As a prize for winning, Jens and Roel had an intensive session with former Alumni Dragon and Regent’s College mentor Stewart Baird. Established venture capitalist Stewart was able to interrogate their business plan and help them establish next steps.
YOUR NEWS 2006 / Griselda Ceveli I have been living in Dubai for the past five years, working at management consulting firm Accenture. Throughout this time I have had amazing opportunities to travel to over 50 different places and still counting!
1988 / Willem Mulock Houwer 2012 has been an exciting year of change for me. Not only was my second son born in February, but in January I became a Partner at the Simplicity Partnership, responsible for the European continent. We specialize in diagnosing and removing value-destructive complexity in large organisations - a key challenge for business today.
1997 / Jacques Roider I am an international citizen (sad we need visas to travel) and I have worked in many industries in both Central Asia and Europe. FMCG (fruit juice with a JV with Coca-Cola), tobacco industry (British American Tobacco), construction firm (operations), representing foreign hotels in French and German speaking parts in Europe, and then owning a consulting business in the tourism sector in Central Asia. I had a severe accident following a robbery in October 2003 and had to be repatriated by plane. However my way is upwards and I’m now working for Sky Chefs at Munich Airport. I have also shown Kyrgyzstan that it will be difficult to get rid of me, marrying a local lady in July.
2003 / Michael Katina I have lived in Israel for over five years and I am now working in a very exciting and challenging role at Tradition Financial Services in Tel-Aviv.
1991 / Kate Schwartz (Wilson) The last 24 years have been busy! I started off working in Marketing in London, then married and moved into high tech consumer products advertising in San Francisco, California. I was an Account Supervisor and then became a Consultant. We later moved to Boston and had six children (can’t take credit for all as we’ve adopted two!). I long for the peace of 12 hour working days in advertising, as being a parent 24 hours a day is the hardest job you’ll ever do. However seeing the kids smile is a pretty fantastic compensation!
2008 / Guillaume Maréchal I am now Head of Fundraising and Partnerships at Musée d'Orsay, one of the most popular museums in France.
1993 Isabel Christen (Höner) After EBS I completed a Masters in Arts and Media Management (MAS) and worked for almost 20 years in various leading international strategy and marketing companies. In May 2012 I founded a management consultancy firm called Business Consulta (www.businessconsulta.ch) and our main focus is strategic change. I am married to Eric, who is a pianist, and we have two wonderful children: Antonia (2008) and Julian Eric (2010).
1993 / Sarah Jochums (Lüttgen) I am married to Klaus whom I met at EBS in 1989 and have three kids aged 21, 18 and 16. I have started a new company called Sarah Jochums Internatsberatung (www.sarah-jochums.de), placing German students in British boarding schools.
2007 / Miguel Riera I manufacture design furniture at www.maximoriera.com and this November I will be opening a new Spanish concept restaurant in the City of London called Toma Que Toma.
2009 / Maria Florencia Otero I did an exchange semester in winter 2009, and I had the best time ever. I am looking forward to moving to London soon. When I got back to Argentina I found a job as a senior financial analyst at The Topps Company, the leading company for sports and entertainment products and confectionery brands such as Ring Pop and Push Pop. I got married and together with my husband and father we are starting a manufacturing company called FEETLOSOPHIE. We are making shoes for women and we plan to launch men and kids collections.
2010 / Stephanie Gasche I am now doing something I would have never believed possible: I am working in the IT sector and loving it. I have recently joined the bor!sgloger team as a Scrum Consultant. I am now not only spreading increased productivity and higher ROI in German companies, but also joy amongst agile teams. Thanks to the international environment I have enjoyed at EBS, I specialise in introducing Scrum to geographically distributed teams.
2010 / Syed Rafique After completing my last 10-month business development project for a Saudi company in Dubai, I have taken the new challenge of leading the Export department for Bunzl Greenham in London. Having an MBA in international business had paved me the way to get this remarkable position in a ÂŁ6.2 billion English company. The Careers & Business Relations department at Regentâ€™s College paved the way to my getting through four rounds of interviews!
2007 / Talal El Hajj I run a portfolio of approximately 10 properties in prime central London. I have also established a complimentary subsidiary that is a full 'boutique property solution' company based in the UK, which is basically a one-stop shop for anything to do with real estate for high net worth clients. Away from real estate, we are introducing and franchising the worldâ€™s largest falafel fast food chain, called Just Falafel, across the UK. Originally from the UAE, we are opening our first store in central London in September, and another 5-6 to come by the end of the year.
1998 / Michelle Jaye (Boronad) Between 2000 and 2011 I worked first for a TV audience measurement and survey company, followed by eight years as the Manager for an international interactive television channel. After I had my children I realised that I was no longer progressing up the corporate ladder as fast and I decided to take a year off to be with my young children. I had always wanted to start my own company, so I tried to launch one within the organic food industry, and I heard about a network marketing company providing a new generation of nutritional products designed to make the body function at its best. I am now an Independent Distributor for them, meaning I basically run my very own nutrition based company, but with the support of their very experienced team.
2010 / Luiz Fernando Abel After I returned from London, I continued studying at FGV University in Sao Paulo. Once I graduated, I started working at an investment bank called Banco do Brasil and then at a local consultancy firm called Prospectiva, where I am currently working. My job consists of building business strategies for multinationals coming to Brazil or operating in the country in highly regulated sectors, such as healthcare, food and beverages, banking, telecommunications, and oil and gas. Apart from that, I continued my French course and started to play the guitar!
EVENTS EVENT ALUMNI V STUDENTS 5 A SIDE FOOTBALL TOURNAMENT DATE SATURDAY 13 OCTOBER 2012 LOCATION REGENT'S COLLEGE LONDON TIME 11:00 As the football season gets into full swing, we are inviting all alumni back to Regent’s College to take on our current students at the beautiful game. This year we will be hosting a five-a-side football tournament at Regent’s College featuring both student and alumni teams. Games will be played in a tournament format with the best placed teams playing off in the final game. Everyone will get a game and most players will get to play several matches. We are hoping to field more than one alumni team so we need as many players as possible. If you would like to dust off your boots and join one of the alumni teams then please email us now at firstname.lastname@example.org. EVENT THE REGENT'S LECTURE 2012 - THE RUSSIAN FEDERATION AND THE EUROPEAN UNION AT THE CROSSROADS: STRATEGIC ISSUES FOR ECONOMIC, POLITICAL AND SOCIAL POLICIES DATE TUESDAY 1 NOVEMBER 2012 LOCATION TUKE HALL, REGENT'S COLLEGE LONDON TIME 18:30 We are delighted to welcome HE Alexander Yakovenko, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the Court of St James, to Regent’s College for a panel exploring the options after the Russian elections for developing relations between the Russian Federation and the European Union. He will be joined by a distinguished panel of speakers including Serge Arsenev, Managing Director of Goldman Sachs, Moscow, and Roger Munnings CBE, Chairman of the Russo-British Chamber of Commerce. The lecture will be followed by a reception in College and an opportunity to meet with the speakers and other guests. To confirm your interest, please email email@example.com. This event is supported by the European Commission Representation in the UK.
EVENT REGENT'S CLUB LONDON DATE THURSDAY 8 NOVEMBER TIME 18:30 We have launched a new series of events in London and we’re calling it Regent’s Club London. London remains one of the most popular cities in the world for our alumni to work and live in so we’ve decided to give London alumni the opportunity to share some of their favourite spots with alumni at informal monthly get-togethers. Each month we’ll ask a different member of our community of London alumni to propose a venue (from trendy wine bars and clubs to quaint British boozers off the beaten track). We’ll then feature the former student in our promotion of the event. If you live or work in London or plan to be here during 2012/13, why not get involved? Just drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll see you at your favourite haunt! Regent's Club is also due to launch in Sofia, Geneva, Milan and Moscow. Full details of these landmark events will be published at www.regents.ac.uk/alumni_events EVENT ALUMNI DRAGONS’ DEN DATE WEDNESDAY 13 FEBRUARY 2013 LOCATION HERRINGHAM HALL, REGENT'S COLLEGE LONDON Our alumni Dragons are already warming up to judge the next batch of student entrepreneurs. Join us to watch them in action, enjoy the fresh ideas of our students and network with alumni after the event. EVENT ALUMNI GOLF TOURNAMENT DATE FRIDAY 5 APRIL 2013 LOCATION HIGHGATE GOLF CLUB Our golf tournament is now in its third year and will be searching for the next name to put on the trophy. All alumni are welcome to compete against the best golfers in the Regent’s College community. If you are interested in playing please email the alumni team at email@example.com
Travel and Tourism professionals Return to Regent’s and enhance your employability
MA BUSINESS MANAGEMENT IN INTERNATIONAL TRAVEL & TOURISM – Designed for experienced industry professionals – Flexible delivery methods – Networking opportunities with industry experts – Academics with industry experience
ATTEND OUR OPEN EVENING – 14 NOVEMBER 2012 CONTACT US TO REGISTER
T +44 (0)20 7487 7505 E firstname.lastname@example.org W regents.ac.uk/rbsl This award is currently validated by The Open University.
The new MA Business Management in International Travel & Tourism is all about creating the industry leaders of tomorrow. John McEwan, ABTA Chairperson
The question should be - did you amass enough memories during your time at EBS London? And I would answer yes, there are plenty and all are worth remembering! Michael Kravchenko, BA International Business Studies (Class of 2003)