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Learning through teams is way to go

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 January, 2018, 5:02pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 January, 2018, 5:10pm

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Denis Diop gave careful consideration to the course content, organisation, highly regarded faculty and international reputation of the Kellogg-HKUST EMBA before confirming his application.

He also paid attention to the individuals he will be sharing classes and seminars with over the next 18 months.

“The experience and profile of the peer group is outstanding, and that was a key requirement,” says Diop, who is the managing director Apac and executive vice-president of Fernbach-Software. “Also, this programme has a focus on learning through teams, which is the way business is done in the real world, so the choice was easy.”

His reasoning is based on the expectation that a significant portion of what’s learned will result from group projects, discussions and the interaction with classmates from different industries and backgrounds.

This environment will introduce him to new ways of working, while prompting reflection and offering new insights on less familiar areas. Diop says, “I want to improve my strategic thinking because, in future, business operations are likely to face more uncertainty, particularly around the impact of technology and changing customer behaviour. And, importantly, I expect to meet some lifelong friends.”

Diop is aware of the challenges. He is, though, reassured by the support of his employer, family and friends and, on a personal level, is looking to gain some new insights about himself.

Viewing the global aspect of the programme as one of its key attractions, he sees the electives as a chance to spend time studying in the US and, perhaps, in Tel Aviv and Miami, too.

“This is an opportunity not to be missed,” he says. “Understanding different cultural perspectives and ways of working is a critical part of doing business in the global economy.”

He is also keen to learn more about how AI and machine learning will continue to lower unit costs and boost productivity, while contributing to improved standards of living and well-being for employees, companies, and society equally. The latter is important to Diop as his company provides a fully featured solution for the valuation of financial instruments, accounting and reporting in full compliance with international financial reporting standards. The solution helps banks calculate their provisions for all three stages of the new expected credit loss model on which modern societies and enterprises rely.

“We can see that the importance of ownership of data versus physical assets will increase, and those businesses which can successfully interact with their customers to generate both revenue and data will gain a competitive advantage.”