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Business in the networked era Networks that lead to space inventions An interview with NASA The changing digital workplace New Global AMBAssadors



Contents 2&3 News 4 NASA interview – networked collaboration 5 Careers Fair - recruitment advice 5 Global Leadership Conference 6 Business in the networked era 8 Book review: The Management Book 9

A View From Trinidad & Tobago

10 Inside Johnson & Johnson Q&A with an MBA graduate 11 Working in a digital world Q&A with a Global AMBAssador 12 Diary of 2013 events View MBA Refresher online If you missed our events from January to March 2013, you can read them on pages 10-11.

Getting in touch We welcome your feedback and ideas. Please contact the Ambition editor. Membership enquiries Membership Manager contact: Events enquiries contact: All event information is updated regularly online at

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Welcome to the April edition of Ambition In today’s networked era we require a new way of thinking and a new style of business to stay ahead. With the dramatic closure of familiar UK retail stores such as HMV earlier this year and the massive impact digital is having on the workplace, we decided that ‘doing business in the networked era’ should be the theme for this edition of Ambition. The new connected era means business and governments have to change their traditional methods of operating, marketing, productivity and creating value. The workplace is no longer just an office and boundaries between competitors are breaking down with a new generation of ‘mass collaborators’. This is a topic that featured at our recent Global Leadership Conference in South Africa where we heard from NASA on how innovation means engaging with your competitors and collaborating cross borders and cultures to create ideas. We have an exclusive interview with Nicholas Skytland, NASA’s Open Innovation Program Manager on page 4. Another speaker at our conference held at the University of Stellenbosch Business School was Thea Aldrich from SecondMuse in the US. She has seen firsthand how technology can lead to some unusual collaborations and she shares this in the article on the changing workplace on page 7. We are thrilled to enter the second year of our Global AMBAssador programme and to welcome the 2013 AMBAssadors to the AMBA family. The AMBAssadors offer an opportunity for our growing

international membership to find new ways to connect and network locally, regionally and globally. Coming from every continent these MBA students and alumni are based in countries including Australia, India, China, New Zealand, Africa, Trinidad, and across Europe. Fayola Nicholas, our Trinidadian AMBAssador, offers her view of the economy and employment in her native twin island state on page 9. Remember to make use of your membership benefits and in particular our comprehensive Career Development Centre for advice and MBA jobs at Enjoy this edition of Ambition and please share your feedback and ideas with the editor. Best wishes

Vanessa Harwood-Whitcher Chief Operating Officer, Association of MBAs Vanessa Harwood-Whitcher Chief Operating Officer, Association of MBAs

MBA interest grows in Asia

Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Last year was a record year for students taking the GMAT ® exam, according to new research from GMAC ®. The research also highlighted a growth in candidates taking the test in Asia. China is now the second largest group to sit the exam after the U.S., followed closely by India. The research also showed that GMAT ® testing outside of the United States grew by 19% between 2011 and 2012 and represented 59% of global GMAT ® volume. A record number of 43% women sat the GMAT ® in 2012, and the majority of non-US candidates were based in the BRICS regions.

Are you running a successful start-up? Have you used your accredited MBA to set up an Entrepreneurial Venture? If so you could be the next winner of our MBA Entrepreneurial Venture Award. Nominations are now open for business schools to put forward MBA alumni who have demonstrated success as entrepreneurs. To find out more about the MBA Entrepreneurial Venture Award and also our MBA Innovation Award go to Nominations for all awards are only accepted from accredited business schools.



Nominations open for Student of the Year Award 2013 AMBA is on the lookout for highly motivated and skilled MBA students who are on the path to becoming tomorrow’s leaders to enter our sought-after MBA Student of the Year Award. Do you have what it takes? The Award is open to MBA students from the 2012/13 academic year who have shown entrepreneurial initiative and boast an excellent academic record as well as demonstrating extraordinary achievements in the face of adversity. The winner will receive a £1000 cash prize. Three runners up will receive £500. All applications must come from your business school. To find out more and to apply for the MBA Student of the Year Award, please visit: and Entrepreneurship

^ Last year’s winner Husameldin Elnasri with guest speak Kris Akabussi

Career Women AMBA’s 2013 Careers Survey showed continued improvements for women in the workplace, with the median postMBA salary for women reaching £62,000 – an 11% increase from 2010. Other improvements included a 10% increase in the number of women in strategy and planning roles, at 29% as opposed to 19% in 2010. There was a 5% rise in women working in marketing and sales. The number of females in research and development also increased by 5%, and women in finance and control increased by 4%, from 28% in 2010 to 32%. The public sector has one of the most balanced gender ratios reported, with 41% female MBA graduates. Another sector with strong female representation was the legal profession, with 67% of those surveyed being female.

New Global AMBAssadors We welcomed 13 new Global AMBAssadors to the AMBA family at our Global Leadership Conference held at the University of Stellenbosch Business School, South Africa in February (see page 5 for full coverage). ‘Together the Global AMBAssadors will create a platform for collaboration, knowledge sharing and engagement with MBAs, business leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators across the world,’ said Vanessa Harwood-Whitcher, AMBA’s Chief Operating Officer who attended the conference in South Africa. ‘They will also champion the benefit of quality business education and accredited MBAs.’ At the event our AMBAssadors committed to building a global MBA to network and to promoting the value of accredited MBAs of accredited MBAs to employers and MBA seekers. The

passionate group of 33 students and alumni coming from 24 business schools worldwide exchanged ideas around the theme of responsible management and collaboration during the conference. Global AMBAssador, Anca Mandruleanu, an MBA student from Kingston Business School said “The conference has revealed the Global AMBAssadors’ commitment towards responsible, values based leadership and our common engagement to make a change in the business environment across every country.” To find out more about our Global AMBAssadors, visit /the-mba-experience/global-ambassadorsprogramme

Survey shows global outlook

The power of LinkedIn

The Global AMBAssadors were surveyed about their viewpoints at the Global Leadership Conference in South Africa in February. The 33 AMBAssadors predicted that on average over the next five years they would hold two jobs in two different sectors and work in four different countries. When asked what their biggest challenges post-MBA had been, change management and restructuring came out on top, followed by managing conflict. They felt that global business was likely to be the most important subject for future MBA students to study, with responsible management and strategic thinking closely behind.

LinkedIn is fast becoming the go to point for professionals seeking their next career move. Your location dictates how useful LinkedIn is likely to be for your job-search. Before spending hours sifting through adverts, consider that in the US there are 130,000 jobs advertised, UK 13,000, China 3,500 and France 2,000. LinkedIn is primarily a business tool and your profile remains beyond your next career move therefore it is important to work on the professionalism of your profile. careercentre



Fresh bread in space: Innovation from networked collaboration NASA’s Innovation Program Manager, Nicholas Skytland, is passionate about the power of mass collaboration and innovative ways of working in the future. He shares his thoughts on the networked era with Ambition. The new world of work, according to NASA’s Nicholas Skytland, has no boundaries or borders. If a 16 year old at an English school can invent a new way of baking bread in space for NASA, then how can others in government and the commercial world benefit from the input of people outside their own organisations and even their own countries? To what extent are NASA’s Open Innovation Program and mass collaboration projects a precursor for future patterns of work?

“I truly believe collaboration breeds better products than competition does.” NASA’s International Space Apps Challenge is an example of both innovative thinking and the influence technology is having on work, as it is being used as a platform to engage people from far outside NASA’s direct workforce. ‘What technology allows us to do is aggregate the contribution of people outside our immediate circles and put that together in useful and relevant ways.’ From developers across the world to school kids, everyone has an opportunity to contribute new ideas to aid space exploration missions in the future. The 2012 Space Apps Challenge involved people in seven continents and aged from 16 to 71 years and they gave their time and their ideas free of charge. ‘A lot of the participants are professionals with jobs elsewhere, but they’ve always wanted to work at NASA. It’s not an education focused event it is everyone focused.’

Sixteen-year old Sam, an American at school in the UK entered the 2012 Space Apps Challenge and applied his classroom chemistry teachings to invent a way to bake fresh bread in space. This sixteen-year old citizen scientist was just one entrant in a massive event hosted in multiple locations across the world. The event, created by Skytland’s team at NASA is a unique platform for international technological cooperation. As well as developing software apps, they have included open hardware, citizen science, and data visualization. Skytland says mass collaboration takes NASA’s work beyond the usual networks and enables the government space agency to look at ‘procurement, law and how we cultivate technology in different ways.’ ‘We’re now taking the approach from the inside and also offering the challenges NASA is trying to solve to people outside of our own organisation, , by using open innovation platforms with the goal of aggregating those solutions for the benefit of NASA.’ He believes mass collaboration projects such as the Space Apps challenge and other hackathons are changing the way of business – even if this is a challenge in itself. ‘Changing the way we do business is hard as people have an ingrained view of what has worked in the past. Our success is hard coded into our business process.’ ‘Right now our potential is only limited by our org chart,’ says the innovative thinker who has been with NASA for 13 years. ‘Traditionally, we think about the world as a big organisational chart.’ Skytland believes that leaders and organisations need to think about how to break down work and be less traditional. ‘Every organisation would like to have an additional 10,000 people working for them. But you don’t want to pay for all

Nicholas Skytland NASA

that time if they aren’t contributing ideas. So why don’t you pay for the ideas that they can contribute and nothing more. ‘Engage them in your mission – that is the power of mass collaboration.’ As NASA’s rockets have broken free from the pull of gravity, Skytland believes the next generation is breaking free of the traditional forces that impose borders and boundaries and this leads to collaboration. He sees a new world order where competitors could be collaborators rather than compete the whole time. ‘I truly believe collaboration breeds better products than competition does.’ Skytland says he believes in a future where we can ‘modulise our work’. Based at NASA’s headquarters in Texas, he says ‘as an employee you don’t have to work for one organisation. You can apply your passion, skills and talents to whatever project is needed despite the brand name or organisation.

The International Space Apps Challenge is an international mass collaboration focused on space exploration that takes place from 20-21 April in 75 countries around the world. NASA is leading this global collaboration along with a number of additional government collaborators and 150+ local partner organizations. For more information go to:



Employers at AMBA Careers Fair reveal top job skills for MBAs

AMBA hosted its first Careers Fair at Asia House in London on 25 January 2013. We welcomed over 150 students from a number of AMBA-accredited business schools to meet with top employers and consultancies including Lloyds, GE, FSA, Wood Mackenzie, Hudson & Yorke, Mindbench and Silu. The event was a great opportunity for students and employers to network and discuss potential job opportunities. Abintegro, the online careers service who also provide AMBA’s Career Development Centre, presented a well-attended Career Development session which focused on working in different sectors and organisations and offered career tips. Richard Stewart, Managing Director at Mindbench, a specialist management recruitment consultancy, exhibited at the fair and emphasised that candidates with an MBA degree teamed with relevant experience can boost career options. Stewart highlighted that along with professional skills, employers look for MBA

graduates with strong soft skills gained during their studies. ‘It would be useful for MBA students to demonstrate workshop facilitation or change management experience; this is what employers are seeking in candidates’, he tells Ambition. ‘The majority of our clients look for candidates who can show a range of functional experience, such as strategy and IT,’ he adds. For more information go to Hudson & Yorke, the international management consultancy, also exhibited at the fair. Kate Michell, Head of Operations says Hudson & Yorke has recruited MBA graduates who are able to clearly demonstrate their ability to make a well-rounded contribution to businesses. One of the key attributes Hudson & Yorke are looking for in employees is a strong understanding of the world of communications and technology: ‘Our consultants need to be able to understand current and emerging ICT issues alongside the issues facing large

global organisations’. She adds that they are ‘also seeking candidates with strong presentation skills and the ability to network,’ and an ability to demonstrate ‘an overall understanding of business issues and market trends. For more information go to For more information on careers and a comprehensive international job search go to our Career Development Centre at

The power of networks on a global scale The Association of MBAs welcomed back 2012 AMBAssadors and introduced this year’s new recruits at the 2013 Global Leadership Conference, which took place in February at the University of Stellenbosch in Cape Town, South Africa. The Global Leadership Conference introduced attendees to thought leaders, business school deans, entrepreneurs and innovators and engaged in discussions on topics ranging from sustainable leadership through to innovation in MBA education. We were thrilled to have Nicholas Skytland, Programme Manager at NASA and Thea Aldrich, Consultant at SecondMuse, presenting at the Conference. Both gave the AMBAssadors a comprehensive overview of mass collaboration, how it can work and what it can do for a global network. They inspired the Global AMBAssadors and challenged them to use their network for the greater good. This message was reinforced by Sameer Hajee, CEO, Nuru Energy and Professor Walter Baets, Cape Town University, both of whom declared the importance of realising your true potential and understanding the capacity of one person to change the world for the better and affect the environment we live in. Kim

Norgaard, CNN’s South Africa Bureaux Chief spoke to the AMBAssadors about the best tools to use to communicate their messages to the media, giving them real life examples of how to get this right. The conference theme of sustainable and responsible leadership was reflected by the keynote speaker Vernon de Vries on the first day when he said ‘values are at the core of humanity and values based

leadership must permeate all areas of business.’ These sentiments were echoed by Shona McDonald of Shonaquip and Will Coetsee of Mogalawena Art Craft and Development, when they spoke about their social enterprises changing their communities in Africa. Watch the panel session on ‘Increasing Global Influence’ with the layar app.

View online now with Download the Layar app onto your mobile device, hover your device over this image and you can view the panel session on ‘Increasing Global Influence.’



BUSINESS IN THE NETWORKED ERA Technology at work Ambition looks at the top workplace technology products on the radar Best technology for Webinars

Best technology for Internal Communications

CITRIX GoToWebinar


With business becoming an increasingly online transaction, having the tools to hold meetings anywhere in world has become a necessity. Citrix, the technology brand who provide GoToWebinar, says it offers the opportunity to ‘penetrate new markets and engage with new prospects’, by enabling businesses to conduct webinars, give presentations, deliver company-wide messages and perform product demonstrations.

Following the boom of social networking sites such as Facebook, Yammer believes it is essential for businesses to embrace the trend in social networking, as the next generations will enter the world of work with social networking ingrained in their everyday lives.

Citrix says that enabling employees to connect, collaborate and share information easily is key to fast decisions and better results in business. ‘The world of work is becoming increasingly non-routine and fluid… work is not about location, it is about having the right resources in place to achieve business goals’.

Yammer tells Ambition their software was ‘founded with the intention of fundamentally changing the way people work through social collaboration.’ It’s capability for file sharing, team efficiency and knowledge exchange allow colleagues to discuss, create and communicate content without the use of email. It also allows employees to extend beyond internal work communications and connect and collaborate with customers, business partners and suppliers.

Social media and marketing – maximising ROI in a networked world Oliver Holliday, MBA graduate from Kingston and Global AMBAssador has conducted extensive research on marketing in the digital age. He shares some views on marketing in a changing digital landscape and how to get return on investment. The rapid growth of social media has altered the marketing landscape beyond all recognition. The traditional notion of push advertising for promoting brands is no longer sufficient in a world that is always on. Consumers now have the power to act as creators, critics and curators. Therefore, marketers and brands must now understand and be able to act upon the synergies between paid, owned and earned media. The relationship between brands and consumers has become more complex due to social media. A way of explaining this current complex relationship is by utilising a paid, owned and earned media

strategy. “Paid” as any promotion a brand pays for; “owned” as any asset including retail stores, though it is most often used to refer to digital space and/or content, e.g. websites and apps; “earned” media emphasises “brand-related consumer actions or conversations” rather than unpaid television or print coverage. The new paradigm of marketing utilises paid media campaigns to build awareness and drive consumers to “always on” owned media such as websites and Twitter feeds. Success depends on using these owned media hubs wisely to listen, interact, respond and problem solve. Earned media can be either positive or negative, and engaging consumers on owned media or through social channels can be used as a tool for damage control or as a megaphone to amplify consumer anger. Rigorous planning and a clear social media usage policy are essential.

Brands need to think carefully about what they want to communicate, how it will be perceived, and the role of employees as brand ambassadors. Despite the critical importance of owned and earned, paid media is far from being obsolete. It provides the spark of awareness and interest that drives conversation and moves people to act. Key strategies for optimising paid media include adding Facebook and Twitter links, using QR codes to foster interaction, and taking advantage of new technology to tailor paid advertising to increasingly niche audiences. What earned media offers brands is a potentially far greater return on their paid media investment than was possible in the past. An initial investment in paid advertising can generate far more impressions and create more opportunities than ever before if it is repeated and amplified in the earned media space.


Best technology for Conference calling Powwownow ‘The changing face of the workplace and the constant evolvement of new technologies underpin the importance of quick, frequent and fast communication’ says Powwownow one of Europe’s fastest growing conference calling providers. The software enables organisations to hold conference calls in a simple, affordable way, saving time by allowing companies to connect with their stakeholders without the need to travel to a specific location. With conference calling becoming an office must-have Powwownow tells Ambition they ‘recognise the need to move away from traditional structures and tools to find new ways to get people better connected and achieving more’


Something different Can you imagine your CEO on wheels? Technology start-up company Double Robotics have created an iPad-based telepresence robot, known as ‘Double’. Described as ‘the simplest, most elegant way to be somewhere else in the world without flying there,’ the device attaches an iPad to a set of wheels with an intuitive touchscreen and displays the users face, enabling them to communicate without being in the room and allowing them to travel around the office, hold meetings and interact with colleagues in real-time. Users can adjust their height and control their movement around the office. The ‘Double’ CEO can be used anywhere. What are your views on a virtual CEO? Is this the next shift in business in this constantly evolving networked era?

The workplace, recruitment and the future of global business The new digital world is changing the way organisations work, opening up traditional recruitment processes and offering new opportunities to collaborate and change the face of global business. Ambition catches up with three executives who offer their perspective of business in the networked era. Clare Kelliher, Professor of Work and Organisation at Cranfield School of Management says: ‘New technologies such as video conferencing provide greater flexibility over where and when people can work, which provide benefit for the individual employee and for the employer. Of course using these facilities is not the same as a face to face meeting in terms of the quality of interaction and the ability to develop empathy. The key question to ask is when this type of interaction is adequate for the task involved, and when is it important to meet face to face.’

Kelliher who recently published a book called New Ways of Organising Work: developments, perspectives and experiences adds, ‘developments in technology allow for ever increasing connectivity and this is likely to continue to influence working patterns. Greater global integration is also likely to result in greater prevalence of globally distributed teams and so greater numbers of employees will need to adjust to working virtually. The future challenge for many organisations is to look for ways in which these differing needs can be reconciled and the benefits of greater flexibility achieved by both parties.’ When it comes to MBA recruitment the dynamics have changed. Richard Stewart, Managing Director of Mindbench says, ‘Our candidates make extensive use of the web to search for relevant opportunities and to find out about the market. They also use social networking platforms such as LinkedIn to create a

professional profile which allows potential employers and recruiters to look at candidates and contact them.’ Technology can also be a powerful force for good in the world says Thea Aldrich, consultant with SecondMuse. ‘Technology, specifically communication tools like the internet and mobile phones, have been incredibly effective tools for the democratisation of information, collaboration and innovation in the sphere of business operations.’ SecondMuse saw the world’s biggest technology and development organisations put aside their individual interests to collaborate and create technology solutions for the betterment of humanity with the Random Hacks of Kindness project. ‘I believe it will be increasingly crucial for established industries to more concretely understand the new economy and the role technology will play in it.’


Webinar catch up

We have had a packed quarter of webinars. If you missed out - here is a summary.

Preparing and re-vamping your CV Advice on creating a job-winning CV was offered by recruiter and outplacement consultant, Paul Comben. He shared insight on how to communicate your unique selling points and transferable skills within the limited space of a two-page CV.

After the offer: negotiating around your next role ‘You’ve made it through interview process and have been offered a job – what now?’ This is the question specialist negotiation advisor, Anthony Drew, posed in his webinar. Studies show that individuals who negotiate on starting salary end up 7.4% better off from the outset.

Life after redundancy: Making change work for you Change is situational, transition is internal, and new beginnings are accessible to everyone. Jenny Garrett, author of Rocking Your Role, discussed the various stages of the redundancy transition process and their accompanying emotions. She offered advice on the move from feeling powerless, to feeling in control and then shaping a positive new beginning.

Landing your first CEO role Dr Douglas Board offered advice for successful mid-ranking executives and those in top tier positions within large public or private sector organisations competing for their first CEO role. Listen to the webinars online at: pastnetworkingevents


Book Review: The Management Book By Richard Newton, FT Pearson Hall Richard Newton competed with some 140 books on various aspects of management to win the third Management Book of the Year awarded by the CMI and British Library. This was no mean achievement as some 40 reviewers were called upon to judge an exceptionally strong field of contenders involved in this prestigious competition. Why was The Management Book successful? Three factors contributed to the book’s success. First, the intellect of Newton himself – drawing on his polymath academic background of mechanical and software engineering, economics and philosophy. Second, his wide international consulting experience and third, his writing ability shown in his seven earlier books which have been translated into 13 languages. AMBA members will appreciate that the combination of management knowledge and practical experience is the key to managing successful enterprises. Add the gift of lucid writing and Newton justly leads the field. The book is organised into nine sections each examining four critical issues that managers face on a daily basis. Each issue

is analysed in 6-7 pages and an approach outlined. His aim is to enable readers to achieve the best outcomes from challenges facing them and their teams in their own workplace. The book starts by looking at the roles of managers and teams and subsequent sections develop themes related to each. With section titles such as The Sophisticated Manager, The Working Manager and The Complete Manager, Newton digs down into the issues that managers face, bringing novel thinking to bear. Each issue examined concludes with a Manager’s Checklist and suggestions on how the reader can improve their management skill. The text is highly focused and practical which ensures the content is not simplistic. It will be refreshing for those mired in theory or confused with the day-to-day reality of the workplace. The CMI and British Library have found such a work for discerning management readers. Reviewed by Andrew May, a consultant specialising in human resource management. A fellow of the CMI, he was also one of the judges for the CMI Management Book of the Year 2013.

Book Feature: e-Negotiations By Nicholas Harkiolakis, Daphne Halkias and Sam Abadir, Gower The virtual arena can be a good negotiating medium. To fit with the theme of this issue of Ambition – ‘Doing business in the networked era’ – we share some advice from a chapter in the book, E-Negotiations: Networking and Cross-Cultural Business Transactions, published by Gower. Author, Nicholas Harkiolakis says: If you are developing your presence as an e-negotiator, you would be well advised to spend time creating and enhancing your virtual presence on websites or social media platforms such as LinkedIn. These provide a short cut for other negotiators to establish rapport and offer a vehicle for building reputation and creating expectations.

Social networking also provides e-negotiators with two further advantages. You may be able to influence a negotiation by directing the communication, in the first instance through a third party to the negotiation; someone whose reputation or recommendation may enhance your initial position in the negotiation. You may also be able to mobilise networks in support of your position through carefully placed social media interventions. A word of warning: make sure that you are appropriate in your use of these networks and be careful to be alert to issues of privacy.


A View From Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago has a reputation as an excellent investment site for international businesses and one of the highest growth rates and per capita incomes in Latin America. Global AMBAssador Fayola Nicholas shares her view on her country’s economy, the need to diversify and the government’s emphasis on tertiary education. The basic economic indicators for Trinidad and Tobago are stable with GDP per capita of over US$17,000, unemployment of 4%, debt to GDP ratio of 54% (of which 9% is foreign), and a Standard and Poor’s credit rating of A. This small twin island state emerged from the global financial crisis better than many countries.

“This small twin island state emerged from the global financial crisis better than many countries” However these figures mask a heavy dependence of the economy on the energy sector over the past four decades. The energy sector accounts for almost half of the GDP, over 80% of exports and 60% of government revenue, yet employs only 4% of Trinidad and Tobago’s workforce. Despite the effort that every administration has put into diversification of the economy, this dependence has persisted and deepened. We have seen evidence of the spending effects and resource movement effects of the Dutch disease, thus marginalising other once large sectors of the economy, such as agriculture, manufacturing and tourism, which have all seen significant declines over the past fifteen years.

Trinidad and Tobago is now at a stage where the need to diversify is becoming increasingly urgent. Internationally, we see rapid expansion in the supply of natural gas (shale gas, entry of the USA as a natural gas exporter and the sheer size of proven reserves in places like Qatar). Domestically, our production costs for natural gas are likely to maintain an upward trend as we need to develop fields in deeper waters. Trinidad’s crude oil production has fallen by 30% over the past ten years, so the increasing dependence on the energy sector has been an increasing dependence on natural gas and downstream industries (with falling prices and rising costs). Investments in natural gas and related industries continue, and for the medium term this sector can still provide the country with a good base from which to diversify. The state is placing greater emphasis on key sectors for diversification. One such initiative is the development of targeted high value agriculture, such as Trinidad and Tobago’s cocoa and coffee, which are internationally renowned for their quality. In the 1950’s the annual output of cocoa averaged 35,000 tons. Today, the figure is less than 800 tons per year. Similarly, the diversification agenda now targets niches in tourism (such as eco-tourism), in the creative industries (to leverage our culture and creative talents) and in light manufacturing. A fast growing financial services sector also represents a substantial diversification opportunity, and also provides opportunities for businesses and employment. All of this activity from both the public and private sectors to develop these key sectors for diversification places the


Fayola Nicholas Global AMBAssador

MBA graduate, Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business

Fayola Nicholas is the Director of HR, Advancement and Alumni Relations at Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business.   With a strong background in marketing, she has worked previously as the Director of Market Development Centre at Lok Jack GSB, Coca-Cola Caribbean as Marketing Activation Manager (Jamaica and Trinidad), Unilever Caribbean Ltd as Brand Manager (South Caribbean), and Carib Brewery Ltd as Brand Manager.  She is a proud graduate of the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business - International MBA Programme (2005) and enjoys travelling, reading and spending time with her son, Elijah.

education sector in a great position to play an important role in the economic development process. The last three successive governments have placed great emphasis on tertiary education, including financing, subsidies and technical support. Enrolment in tertiary education in Trinidad and Tobago is now 47% (up from 6% in 1991). This is a very interesting time for Trinidad and Tobago as many new opportunities arise for businesses and individuals seeking employment. The challenge for them will be to ensure that they are adequately prepared for future employment being created in the up and coming industries.


Events MBA Link …. in Birmingham On 28 January, Professor Leslie de Chernatony delivered a dynamic and interactive presentation on the importance of growing value through brands to MBA alumni and students at Aston Businesss School. Appreciated by marketing professionals as well as those with a general interest in business development, it looked at why brands are such a valuable asset and the need for creativity when growing brand value. The presentation also covered the usefulness of frameworks to strengthen the value proposition of brands. Using a wide range of examples, Chernatony demonstrated the power in communicating effectively and tailoring your campaigns to your audience. He also explained why some of the biggest brands such as Coca Cola and Apple grow from strength to strength. …. in Southampton Southampton Management School hosted a well-attended MBA Link event on the subject of entrepreneurship and innovation on 12 February. The management school’s Director, Professor Malcolm Higgs, chaired the evening event. Alberto LopezValenzuela, CEO of Alva with an MBA from Cass Business School, opened the event. As a finalist in AMBA’s MBA Entrepreneurial Venture Award in 2011, Alberto shared his personal experience as an entrepreneur. Social entrepreneur Iain Lucas gave his personal perspective on the challenges and rewards of social enterprise and his thoughts on how to make a successful career out of social entrepreneurship. Paolo Bertolero of, the job platform that works with over 4,000 businesses, presented on the importance of gaining experience within start-ups and SMEs before starting out on your own. Group Managing Director of Survitec Group, Chris Taylor, closed the panel discussion with a fascinating presentation on creative intrapreneurship within an established entity by using three examples from his own organisation. His message was that organisational culture was the most important aspect of creating enterprises that will flourish.


Experience: From inside Johnson & Johnson

Ines Aguas talks to Ambition about joining Johnson & Johnson’s International Recruitment Development Program after completing her MBA. Ines Aguas

MBA, IE Spain Why did you choose to work at Johnson & Johnson? After my MBA I wanted to change industry, specifically to the medical/ pharmaceutical industry where I could leverage my consumer knowledge and learn new things in a sector that inspires me. I am truly passionate about bringing health to patients which is the culture at J&J. During my internship, I saw a high level of commitment and caring from J&J employees towards their professions, their customers and peers. That inspired me and made me certain that I was in the right company with right work environment for me. What challenges and highlights have you experienced during your time at J&J? The highlight has to be the J&J culture. The day-to-day atmosphere in the office reflects the passion and excitement that everyone feels for working in a company like J&J – from the focus on our patients and customers to the way J&J supports its employees– there’s a genuine care for each one of us. As for the challenge, I would say that being in a regional role where you need to drive the business across different countries and different teams adds a layer of complexity, but also of excitement, to the job. The diversity of cultural backgrounds requires a high degree of adaptability, self-awareness and understanding of priorities. What lessons have you learnt about the corporate world? Focus - you will only drive a business and a brand strategy if you focus on your priorities, not on the thousand “fires” you are asked to put out in a day. Create calculated mechanisms to reply to nonpriority emails or requests. Confidence rather than control - your company will rely on you and your peers will be inspired. But don’t be mistaken, confidence has to be accompanied by humility to learn. However the path to true authentic confidence is being comfortable in your own skin. To be comfortable in your own skin you’ve got to know who you really are beyond the

Ines began her marketing career at L’Oreal in the Luxury division as a product manager for Lancôme. After five years with L’Oreal she chose to study for an MBA at IE business school in Madrid. While studying full-time for her MBA in 2010 she applied for a marketing internship within Johnson & Johnson’s International Recruitment Development Program, a program that prepares recent MBA graduates/students for leadership roles in Johnson & Johnson. She is currently based in London working as Johnson & Johnson’s Regional Brand Manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa within the Vision Care business.

labels the corporate world gives you. Never lose sight of that. How do you see business changing in the networked era and how has it impacted J&J? Social networking has changed the way we do business - It has morphed from a personal communications tool for young people into a new vehicle that companies use to reach tailored demographics with targeted messages and where customers are free to talk/ advertise their preferred brands. At J&J Vision Care, digital is a big part of our marketing strategy both to our professional customers as well as to our patients. For patients, digital is our most important communication vehicle at the moment. As for our customers, digital plays an important support to their professional lives. To find out more about J&J’s International Recruitment & Development Program, visit: files/ldp/pdf/IRDP_FAQ_2012.pdf



Experience: Working in a digital world

Vibhuti Singh has worked with leading companies in India, Europe and the US including WPP, eBay and Groupon. He talks to Ambition about his experience working in e-commerce and technology.

Vibhuti Singh


Vibhuti started his career working for WPP in India. He then moved to Sweden to work as a consultant with Teleopti. In 2007 he joined eBay as a Software Engineer, and worked for them in the US, United Kingdom and Germany. He left eBay in a position of Product Manager to pursue his MBA from EMLYON, where he also did strategy consulting for Bioderma’s digital strategy. Post MBA, he joined Groupon based in Berlin, Germany as Senior Product Manager. He is currently leading cross functional teams to develop strategic product for the company.

Why did you choose to work at Groupon? One of the main reasons I was drawn towards working for Groupon was due to their successful local e-commerce approach and the technologies that they are continuing to build around it. In your experience how do big brands compete, create value and keep consumer loyalty in the networked era? In an ever more connected world, consumer loyalty is a sensitive issue as problems get highlighted and amplified at an exponential rate. Companies who are prevalent in the online world such as eBay and Groupon need to monitor customer experience continuously, as its impact can directly lead to the rise or the fall of a business. Businesses can compete in the networked era by providing the best possible experience to their end-users. What trends do you see in business with mobile, web and technology? One of the longer term trends I see is a seamless transition between devices and services. In the near future, I see devices

such as mobile, PCs, SmartTV and the technologies of the next generation being connected to one another. Businesses which respond to this by successfully managing their multi-channel strategy will thrive in the business world. How does Groupon innovate and continue to keep up with the fast paced technology-driven world we now live in? Groupon has an agile approach towards product development. It means the products are built faster and tested for their success. The only way to thrive in the fast-paced technology-driven world we live in today is to be open to several possibilities which we encounter on a regular basis. How has your MBA helped in the way you now approach your role and responsibilities at Groupon? My MBA has helped me to become more self-aware. It has also helped me to gear myself towards senior positions. Studying a range of current business topics during my MBA courses gave me an holistic view for solving business problems.   What advice would you give to an MBA student looking to work for a global company like Groupon? I would advise those who are looking to work for global companies and brands such as Groupon to demonstrate skill and passion in a specific domain whilst showing that they acknowledge that businesses today are constantly adapting and shifting in response to the changing technological world we live in.

Share your MBA career experience with other members. We are interested in featuring members who have worked post MBA for at least two years. To feature in Ambition email the editor at:

Events REFRESH YOUR MBA A packed room of MBA alumni were updated with the latest ideas on personal branding, valuation of IPOs, personal development and sustainability at our MBA Refresher held at Hult International Business School in London on 20 March. Meziane Lasfer, Professor of Finance at Cass Business School, opened the first session with an overview of why some companies fail after their initial public offering (IPO). Using Facebook as a case study, Meziane highlighted the difficulty of valuing companies and analysed how well known brands can rise and fall depending on investor sentiment. The second session was presented by Chris Dalton from Henley Business School and focused on personal development and how it can help managerial effectiveness. Chris highlighted the need to ask questions and ‘get curious’ about the world around us, particularly when it comes to making decisions in business. Following a break for alumni to network, the Director of the Ashridge Centre for Action Research, Gill Coleman, kicked off the afternoon’s sessions by presenting on the contested term ‘sustainability’ and highlighted the growth of its importance over the past decade. Gill considered the different types of leadership in business and raised the question on how we can learn from the past. Professor David James from Hult International Business School presented an energetic final session, which focused on personal branding. David asked attendees to consider their own brand identity and how they see themselves as a product. He stressed the importance of having a unique ‘value proposition’ to help build a better network and stand out from the crowd. View the MBA Refresher online at pastnetworkingevents The next MBA Refresher event will take place in the autumn. More information on dates and content will be available online soon.




Book online

April MBA Link: Strategic Leadership

25 April, 2013 | Glasgow University Business School | 18.00-20.30 GMT This MBA Link event is open to MBA students and alumni who are interested in learning more about strategic leadership. The panel will give an informative speech followed by questions . There will be the opportunity to network with other MBA students and alumni over refreshments

May MBA Refresher webinar series: Personal branding- the truth told better 29 May, 2013 | Online | 13.00-14.00 GMT

Following the great success of our regular CPD certified MBA Refresher events we are introducing a series of CPD certified MBA Refresher webinars. In this session, professor David James will introduce you to some fundamental concepts around ‘my-audiences’, ‘my-segments’, ‘my-positioning’, ‘me-messaging’ and ‘my personal value proposition’.

June Brand Breakout: How Emerging Market Brands Will Go Global 18 June, 2013 | Online | 13.00-14.00 GMT

In this webinar, Professor Nirmalya Kumar will set out a cutting-edge plan for emerging market brands to achieve success in international markets. Brand Breakout outlines eight strategies – including the Asian tortoise route, from B2B to B2C, brand acquisition and leveraging cultural resources – that will take brands from domestic dominance to worldwide triumph.

July MBA Refresher webinar series: Logistics and Supply Chain Management 3 July, 2013 | Online | 13.00-14.00 GMT

This presentation will review the growth and evolution of logistics and supply chain management, discuss their importance to business in a modern industrialised and globalised world and their subsequent impact on the Yorkshire region. It will highlight some current issues such as major trends, the environment, changes in technology, and the need for increased collaboration.

Your Membership Benefits As an AMBA member, you have exclusive access to a range of membership benefits and discounts. You are invited to regular global events which provide networking opportunities with fellow MBAs along with sessions on today’s business topics and trends presented by industry thought leaders. Watch this space: Keep an eye out for the launch of our new website which will provide you with an enhanced user experience. More information in the next issue of Ambition.

Career Development Centre Are you seeking your first role postgraduation? Or are you considering a change in career? AMBA members have exclusive access to our Career Development Centre, which includes a CV builder and comprehensive job search tool, giving you access to thousands of career opportunities with a range of employers. Members can also take a series of aptitude and personality tests which are designed to prepare for similar tests you may be presented with when applying for roles.

Build your network AMBA’s LinkedIn membership is a great place to find out what your peers are discussing. Hear the latest AMBA news and updates @Assoc_of_MBAs

View the four presentations at our March MBA Refresher online at: pastnetworkingevents

Build your network and keep up to date with the latest MBA trends by joining our Facebook group AssociationofMBAs

Ambition Issue 26  

Association of MBAs

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