Thank you for speaking to us about your experience as an ESCP MBA student during these last months. Could you please shortly introduce yourself?
My name is Josefine Cramer. I am 29, and originally from Copenhagen, Denmark. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Organizational Communication from Copenhagen Business School. Prior to my MBA, I worked in the fashion and luxury goods industry for 10 years, primarily focused on marketing, sustainability and global brand partnerships with brands such as Louis Vuitton and Fendi. In pursuit of expanding my skill sets within leadership and international business, I decided to leave my job in Copenhagen to study an MBA in International Management at ESCP Business School, London/Berlin track.
- How did you experience studying for your MBA during the Covid-19 pandemic?
At the beginning, I was worrying about the consequences of the pandemic; would I be able to finish my degree as scheduled, how this would affect my grades, how would I build personal relationships with my classmates and so on. Although the last few months has been far from what all of us originally signed up for, I feel extremely thankful for having had such professional and flexible professors/ESCP staff to guide us through this unfamiliar situation.
After about 1-2 weeks I had settled in, bought myself a new desk and started to have a daily routine. Despite the challenges and downsides of this pandemic, e.g. not being able to connect with my professors and classmates on campus, I found myself having more time to study and learn things more in depth. Watching Netflix in the evening eventually became boring, so instead of reading books non-related to our MBA syllabus, I would read the additional reading provided by our professors, expanding my knowledge and in-depth capabilities in each topic.
- Which were the biggest challenges that you managed to overcome?
As I am an extrovert who thrives in the company of others, not being able to see my professors and classmates face-to-face was the biggest challenge. As there was not really a solution to fixing this problem, we instead connected via WhatsApp and other online communication channels to uphold the motivation and connection with each other.
Secondly, having online classes in math/finance related topics online was challenging, but with lots of coffee and resilience, I managed to uphold my motivation and gain new knowledge.
- What did you learn and experience which you would not have without the pandemic?
Due to the content of some of our classes, the format of the exams had to be adjusted, allowing us to write self-reflection papers on different topics. For me personally, this was a great learning experience. Instead of studying to memorise as much as possible for a closed-book exam on campus, this format allowed me to practice self-reflection, and explain how the content covered in class will enable me to become a more successful leader in an international environment going forward.
- What helped you in your daily routine as an ESCP MBA student during the pandemic?
Scheduling and then sticking to my schedule!
Every Sunday, I made a schedule for the coming week, which was extremely helpful. This included writing down time slots for indoor workout session/jogging, individual study time, and deadlines related to classes/group work. Additionally, every morning I would write down a ‘to do’ list, to make sure that I got things done. During most weeks, I tried waking up at the same time every morning, and set time aside in the evening for ‘personal time’.
Thank you, Josefine, for this great interview and our best wishes for your personal and professional future!