When her employer, DCL International, Inc., asked Tawnya VanGroningen to move from Canada to Germany to develop and grow the European business, she already held a bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering and had 7 years of work experience at the company in technical, sales and management roles. Still, she felt that she lacked a solid knowledge of business concepts which were necessary to succeed in this new position.
Tawnya VanGroningen, who worked as Sales Manager for Europe at DCL at the time, evaluated different schools and programs and chose the ESSEC & MANNHEIM Weekend EMBA. It appealed to her as it not only provided courses on every important subject related to business but also different methods and ways to present the information, including leadership camps, seminars, lectures, workshops and a variety of lecturers from both academia and business. Tawnya VanGroningen was convinced that the strong focus on multi-cultural and multi-competence group work would further enhance her leadership skills as businesses become more international and working with colleagues of different cultural background becomes more important. In addition to this, the three residencies located in France, USA and Asia appealed to her as it was an opportunity to gain hands-on experience for learning business concepts from different cultural backgrounds.
Tawnya VanGroningen also appreciated the time format:
"Another advantage of the program is the length of 18 months and scheduled classes every other Friday and Saturday. This was a schedule I could sustain in my personal life and my company could agree with while I was working a full-time position."
The EMBA provided her with personal and professional benefits:
"Since the EMBA I have more confidence in myself and my leadership abilities. It is sometimes challenging being a younger woman in a leading position, and I feel the EMBA provided me with a solid base of business concepts, presentation techniques and leaderships skills which gave me the confidence I needed to discuss, negotiate and interact with a variety of business professionals in high level positions. In the leadership workshops and exercises I also gained experience and tools to be a good leader and motivate my employees."
She regards the program as one of the best experiences of her life:
"It was a challenging 18 months but I learned a lot about myself. It helped me identify my strengths, improve my weakness, fine-tune my time management and organizational skills and build relationships with classmates of different cultural backgrounds and professions. The skills, contacts, and memories I made during the ESSEC & MANNHEIM EMBA program will stay with me for the rest of my life and guide me through the remainder of my career!"
Today Tawnya VanGroningen is Managing Director of the European subsidiary of DCL International Inc., DCL Europe GmbH.