I work in Corporate IT at Novo Nordisk and I completed my Diploma Programme in Management in June 2018. I started the programme in 2015 and took a short break for about a semester, before returning to my studies again.
Focus on distance management and virtual co-operation
As IT-System Manager/Operational Team Leader, I am responsible for the operation and development of an IT system together with my Indian and Danish team and a QA.* I also collaborate with a small group of surperusers of the system and together we plan and drive the development of the system. I work virtually with co-workers in India and Denmark via mail, Skype for Business, and video conference.
It is a challenge being physically distant from the Indian team, since I do not have any personnel responsibility. As such, I am very aware of our virtual co-operation running smoothly and that everyone working on the same task, has the same information regardless of their physical location.
Advantages of studying while also working
It was a conscious choice that I did not want to take a leave of absence for perhaps years or leave my job. I chose to attend classes in the evenings, because that way I could write exam papers on current situations at work and also test theories in a specific framework. It has been really hard at times, having a demanding full-time job, being a mom to a little boy who just started school, and studying at the same time, but the reward of working my way through the theories, while being able to test them at work, has been worth it.
Better understanding of management
I have an Academic Foundation Degree in Business and have worked at Novo Nordisk for almost 11 years, so I thought that it could be exciting to do some further study. Initially, I wanted to get a better understanding of specific management tools and my own style of management, so that I could improve myself and become a better manager. I got that, but I also gained a lot of knowledge of management theories and an understanding of how management as a discipline has evolved.
Degree as stepping stone to next job
I have also definitely become more aware of my personal development opportunities and limitations through the exam papers I have written. I have especially developed my capacity to reflect upon certain situations by using management theories and tools to understand and develop myself and my team. I have also gained a deeper insight in my own possibilities and limitations as manager. The programme is very relevant to my job as operational team leader, as I can use it as a tool to further develop myself, my team, and as a stepping stone to my next job.
I want to use the Management Diploma Programme as an add-on to my career as a manager. Also, I would consider doing single courses at Cphbusiness, if they offer relevant topics, such as virtual management, long-distance team management, globalized process management, etc.
How I use the Alumni network
I want to keep updated on management as a discipline with others, who have done the same or a similar diploma programme, so that we can have a similar frame of reference.
For those considering studying while working: make realistic plans
You have to be very aware of what you want to achieve from the programme. I recommend investing time to make a realistic plan for you and your family, so you do not have to compromise that much during the programme, in regards to participation, studying, assignments, etc. Also, be very aware of which courses you choose and how you specifically will use them in your current/future job.
I did both online classes (through SmartLearning) and regular evening classes. I gained the most from the evening classes, because that way I could network with my fellow students and exchange ideas.
My recommendation is to take one course at a time and make sure you spend enough time studying, so you really get a sense of how to use the theories in real life. The courses in the Management Diploma Programme can be very hard to complete, if you do not have a management practice to link them to.
*QA: Quality Assurance. In this context, it is a co-worker, specialising in quality assurance.