Jim Curtis

Country of origin: United Kingdom

Global Marketing Director, Abbott Laboratories

I am a Global Marketing Director working for a pharmaceutical company based in Paris and Chicago. When I undertook the EMBA programme I was working in the Middle East and Africa as a Territory Director for AstraZeneca, who sponsored me on the course.

I chose the Lancaster Executive MBA as the course is structured and geared for people who want to learn, improve their skills and stretch themselves through study whilst having to maintain a professional (mortgage-paying) life. The modular nature of the course allowed me to focus and plan ahead.

On top of a basic understanding of sales, marketing and general management, I wanted to learn more about the factors and functions that go towards the making, developing and running of a successful business. Additionally I wanted to improve my understanding of business models and their application.

The fundamental learning gained in the classroom from my fellow students and through my tutorial group remains the highlight of the course for me. Their wide range of organisational and professional experiences challenged my perceptions, thinking and approach to many issues.

The high quality of lectures, interactive tutorials and expert guidance is only part of the Lancaster Executive MBA experience. Exposure to different learning methodologies and being pushed and encouraged to thoroughly examine a problem, not merely to come to a simple solution, taught me a great deal.

There is no getting away from the fact that the EMBA is hard work. The fact that the learning can be applied directly and immediately, often in a practical, solution-based way, to the business environment is very useful. Improving and developing my own self-discipline and focus have proved to be additional long-term benefits. The course encouraged me to develop my critical thinking, my tactical and strategic planning and my overall understanding of business.