Fredrik Ahlström

Fredrik Ahlström

Nationality: Swedish
Programme: Modular Executive MBA, 2016
Head of Service, Siemens Enterprise Communications, Malmo, Sweden
VP Global Business Operations, Atos, London, UK
Current industry: IT/Telecoms
Transitions made:
Function, Location

Before I pursued the Modular Executive MBA (MEMBA), I lived in Sweden and worked in the telecommunications industry. I originally joined Siemens Enterprise Communications as a consultant and had progressed to head up the Swedish service function. Due to my own aspirations and career goals I wanted a wider role that would set a starting point for my international career. I managed to secure an internal transfer, relocation to London and the opportunity to undertake an Executive MBA.

When it came to narrowing down my choices, I knew that I had to maintain my work responsibilities while studying. I was intrigued by Cass’ Modular approach, being taught part time over a long weekend once month, as this worked well for me from a work, as well as personal, perspective. Cass’ international profile, high global rankings and academic standards were also deciding factors.

I did not know what to expect when returning to the academic tenure, after being in a professional work life for many years. Even though I was well prepared for the intensity and long hours, it was how quickly we bonded as a cohort that made the transition easier and created some great memories.

The key academic learnings from the programme were acquired through lessons, assignments and group exercises. However, my greatest learnings came from the cohort as we continually challenged each other for personal self-development and further self-insights. This growth can only be attained by experiencing a supportive and collaborative environment. When it came to implementing the academic learnings, we leveraged each other’s skills which made the total Executive MBA experience even better.

My academic ambitions, as well as expectations, were set very high when I enrolled in the Modular Executive MBA. Astute faculty, who are a mix of knowledgeable industry experts and high-profile professors did not let me down. I feel Cass has a good mix of practical and theoretical bodies which creates the foundation for excelled learning and real-life applications of thought theories.

The modules I appreciated the most were in finance and strategy; areas we were pushed to explore further during our international consultancy week in Vietnam and the elective in China. The international experiences also created opportunities to be exposed to new cultures, different business values and ways of conducting business. It was truly enlightening and good preparation for becoming a more global citizen and for an international career path.

The MEMBA, first and foremost, provided me with a solid knowledge base to build on. It also gave me the confidence to pursue my next career goals and has actually led me onto new roles and opportunities. Today I head up our service function in UK/I as well as Business Operations and Transformation and am part of the global Atos CCS leadership team.

My own personal development is something I reflect upon regularly; the MEMBA gave me the needed insights, tools and the opportunity to grow as a leader, to gain a profound knowledge base and capability to excel even further. This is only the start of the journey.