International Women’s Day 2019 - Better the balance, better the world


On International Women’s Day, we at MSM celebrate the achievements, courage and persistence of the women in our educational programs. They are all making significant sacrifices to prepare themselves for their future leadership roles.

Coming from all corners of the world, the women in our full-time MBA and Master in Management programs often leave their homes, families and jobs behind to fully dedicate themselves to their studies for one year, while the Executive and Online MBA women are faced with the challenge of balancing work, family and social life. These women all invest in their education because they want to prepare themselves to make a difference for their family, their community and their career.

A promising balance
The fact that more and more women have the ambition to grow in their career and move to leadership roles, is reflected in the statistics of our current full-time MBA class which shows a historical female/male ratio of 52% vs 48%! Better the balance, better the world!

As often stated, women make great leaders for several reasons: women are empathetic, great listeners, strong communicators, they control their egos, focus on teamwork and are good at multitasking – to name a few.  (17 reasons women make great leaders).

The art of multi-tasking is certainly a skill the women in our Executive MBA and Online MBA programs master. They often juggle motherhood, social live, job responsibilities and their MBA studies to better themselves in their current jobs or to grow in their career.

On this International Women’s Day, it’s time to put a few of these strong women in the spotlight!

Take Lucia Pastoor, proud mother of three sons and one daughter in the age of 22 to 28. Her children have all left home and studied either a Master or Bachelor degree. So, Lucia decided to start a study again herself and enrolled in the MSM Executive MBA in 2017 after graduating 30 years ago with a Bachelor in Sports.

Why? “I started my MBA to reconnect with the newest insights regarding marketing, finance, economics, change management, cultural diversity, supply chain management etc. All those important areas in which I had some interesting work experience but actually never really studied it before.”

During her study, she faced several challenges as at the same time that she started the Executive MBA, she also started a new job. Very courageous! “And heavy”, Lucia says, “Especially when I found out that it was not the job for me and therefore I had to change jobs again after one year.

The individual assignments of the Executive MBA program helped her to get to know new companies thoroughly. Eventually writing her thesis for Becton Dickinson (BD) resulted in an invitation to join BD’s talent pool. She is now working at BD as Sales Manager Diabetes Care for the Benelux and she is accountable for € 17.5 M and a team of five account managers. “This is a one year special project to develop myself in order to get ready for the next opportunity within BD.”

Beatriz Miron de Cano has actually gone through quite a challenging career in different countries. With her husband working for an international company for 25 years, she had to relocate with her family to several countries. Consequently, Beatriz had to quit her job regularly and try her luck seeking a job in the new country. As a mother of two, that resulted in additional concerns for Beatriz.

“This constant relocation experience got me mulling many times whether career and family are compatible”, she explains, “that is for me, the most challenging trade-off a woman has to deal with. Worries about how children will cope with the move, will it be possible for me to find a new job with small children, should I better stay at home taking care of the children and give up my career. Getting the balance right is tricky.” To cope with this, Beatriz follows an inspirational rule of life: “I do what I can, with what I can, while I can, and success is inevitable (Steve Maraboli)”.

With a background in electrical engineering, Beatriz is currently working as a quality engineer, but she would like to take her chances in a different field and prove herself in a business-related position. That is why she decided to follow the Executive MBA at MSM: “I am confident that my MBA education will leverage the experience required to change my career path,” she says.

How does Beatriz combine her Executive MBA studies with the care for her now 19-year old daughter and 17-year old son, and her job responsibilities? “With discipline and time management” Beatriz states, “I try not to think of the effort it takes getting things done but, in the benefits I will perceive at the end of the road. My daily routine starts at 6 o’clock in the morning when I get up, fix breakfast, get ready to work. Usually, I come back home around 18:00. Then, I spend some time with my children while fixing dinner or doing some housekeeping. Around 21:00, I start working on my MBA assignments and now on the thesis too.”

Born and raised in India, Rama Santhanam moved to Germany when she was 22 years old to work at a bank. In January 2019, she started working as Release Coordinator at Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherlands, where she is overseeing the software release updates on major applications used by the university.

Rama started her Executive MBA at MSM for several reasons: “I decided to do an MBA as I felt that I didn’t have a good understanding of how organizations function. What are the different entities involved in running a company. It felt like I missed knowledge on how economies and businesses function. Additionally I would like to use the knowledge gained in the MBA to work more in causes and ideas I believe in. That is also one of the reasons I started working for TU Delft. I would like to work in the education sector understanding its challenges and using my expertise to help TU Delft achieving their goal. Furthermore, in the future I want to help start-up businesses that I believe in, as a consultant. I am aiming more to work for non-profits.

As a young mother of a nine months old daughter, she is certainly experiencing the tough job of combining motherhood, studies and work. “When it comes to assignments, I must say it’s challenging. I mostly try to finish the assignments before the deadline, but with pregnancy and a small child, I haven’t been successful in that. However, that does not dither me from continuing the MBA study. My husband has been extremely supportive. When I need to work on assignments, he takes care of the kid and does the house chores.”

During the one-week classes, Rama tries to immerse herself fully to the subjects being taught. That helps her in gaining insights from not only the lecturers but also to learn from her fellow students about the challenges they are facing in their industry. Despite the challenges, Rama is very positive of what the Executive MBA contributes to her life: The overall MBA experience is something I would recommend to everyone, even for those who are not keen on entering a business or management position. Because the MBA gives you overall life tools in some aspects. For instance, when I order some stuff now in Amazon, I think about supply chain management and consequently about the environment and carbon foot print etc. I would not have been able to think this way without the MBA.”

These three women are true examples to many women who might be considering taking their career to the next level and pursuing a study to achieve this. At MSM, we would be more than happy to welcome women to help them better the balance and as such better the world.

#BalanceforBetter  #IWD2019