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Full-time MBA participant, Palak Paurush Sinha, shares how the programme has supported his leadership development.
“Leadership is a journey, not a destination. It is a marathon, not a sprint. It is a process, not an outcome.”
I am a big admirer of this quote by John Donahoe as it shows how leaders have to be constantly on the lookout for new learning opportunities and should not rest upon past laurels.
After having worked in various leadership roles for Tata group and Mercedes for more than a decade, I thought the time was ripe for an MBA from a reputed business school.
This thought of improving upon my leadership skills led me to Warwick Business School (WBS), as their CORE values of curiosity, openness, excellence and restlessness really struck a chord with me and encouraged me in my pursuit of completing an MBA.
My personal leadership journey started with Tata group, India’s oldest and most respected group. After graduating in engineering from Birla Institute of Technology in India, I worked at Tata Motors as a Graduate Engineer Trainee. I began my professional journey in the channel sales function in India and I was fortunate to be selected for the Fast Track selection scheme (FTSS). This scheme identifies future leaders within the company. Post-selection I had the opportunity to work in several challenging roles in international markets. After a successful stint of close to six years at the Tata group, I then moved to Mercedes Trucks as an International Key Account Manager for the Gulf region. During my professional career, I have had the opportunity to work with Tata and Mercedes in multiple territories, such as Myanmar, Kenya, South Africa, UAE, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Japan. While Tata group instilled in me its values of “Leadership with trust”, working at Mercedes fostered within me the spirit of the “Best or Nothing”.
Having undertaken assignments with Tata Group and Daimler AG, I already had some exposure to leading diverse teams but I was completely amazed at the diverse pool of MBA candidates that WBS had to offer. In my syndicate work groups at WBS each of the individual members were from different countries and had a unique view point to offer in the group tasks. I was able to appreciate how each member had some extraordinary insights to offer owing to prior industry knowledge and expertise.
In the study environment, WBS has given me multiple opportunities to lead. In the first term, I was elected as a member of Student Staff Liaison committee. This allowed me to serve as a medium for the exchange of information and concerns for both students and staff on the MBA programme.
The MBA programme has also been beneficial in my leadership development. There are multiple modules in the curriculum which explore skills and knowledge that future leaders in this (VUCA) volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world require. For instance, in one of the leadership workshops, I was explained the importance of ethical leadership in today’s rapidly changing business environment through different case studies. The modules continuously help me leverage my old skill-set in channel sales and business development, and supplement it with a grasp of new skills such as marketing analytics and strategy. The modules enable me stay relevant as I advance upwards in the corporate hierarchy in my leadership journey.
As I am halfway into the MBA programme, I realise how quickly the last six months have gone and I am already getting nostalgic about the stimulating classroom environment. However, as WBS continues to shape future leaders, I am delighted that I will always be part of the Warwick Alumni group even after my studies are over.
Find out more about the Full-time MBA programme here.