Jonas Tallqvist has over 25 years of experience in sales and marketing in various fields in the beverage industry, primarily from the wine and spirit, brewing and soft drinks industry. He recently finished his EMBA studies at Aalto EE.
"After a long career theres a danger of becoming overspecialized if you dont push your boundaries. Quite some time had passed since I got my first masters degree in business back in 1993. Although Ive always actively developed my professional skills, I felt the time had come to challenge myself more. I wanted systematic studies that lead to a degree," Tallqvist explains.
Tallqvist looked into several EMBA alternatives both in Finland and abroad before he opted for Aalto EE.
"The accreditations were a very important factor for me. Aalto has a great reputation and the studies are highly interactive, which I considered a tremendous benefit. I had also heard that its the best place to learn about everything digital – and that was quite high on my agenda," he lists.
Tallqvist says he found his EMBA studies very intensive, fairly tough and extremely rewarding.
Tallqvist says he was positively surprised to find many modules not only gave him new ideas, but also validated his own leadership methods.
"I was inspired and motivated after every single module. My favorite areas of study included a divers set of courses from Mergers and Acquisitions and Managing Creativity to the Self Development Process," he ponders.
"One of the most intriguing individual concepts I learned was Stanford Professor Kathleen Eisenhardts simple rules. Her notion is that if your business is in an industry in which forecasting is either impossible or impossibly expensive, you should bypass the lengthy strategy process and set up a few simple rules that decision making and action are based on. This idea really hit home," he reminisces.
The EMBA offers elective studies and study tours abroad and Tallqvist participated in studies arranged in Palo Alto, Poznan, Boston, and Singapore.
"The Boston study tour was remarkably good; we were guided by absolutely brilliant professors. And likewise, both Palo Alto and Singapore were eye-opening opportunities to learn a great deal about digitalization. All of the studies abroad during the EMBA were very invigorating," he affirms.
Tallqvist says he was positively surprised to find many modules not only gave him new ideas, but also validated his own leadership methods. He mentions the business strategy project as an example.
"I was fortunate to be a part of an outstanding team in the business strategy project and so pleased that I was chosen team leader. We worked on a Big Data project that gave me a chance to put many of the things I had learned during Aalto EMBA into practice. Although everyone was under a great deal of pressure, I was happy to see once again that leading professionals can be quite simple when you do it right. The entire team was tremendously committed to the project and we got exciting results," Tallqvist commends his team.
One of the best parts of the experience was sharing thoughts with the other participants. It was stimulating learning from them and gratifying to see how much I could give to the discussions."
Tallqvists main goals for the EMBA were to update his own competence as a leader and gain a deeper understanding of digitalization. Looking back, he confirms that the EMBA definitely met his expectations.
"I certainly got what I came for and I am happy to recommend the Aalto EMBA. It provides experienced experts a unique opportunity to learn together. One of the best parts of the experience was sharing thoughts with the other participants, all of whom were accomplished professionals in their own fields. It was stimulating learning from them and gratifying to see how much I could give to the discussions," he describes.
"We had an amazing group – although every single one of us was ambitious and enthusiastic to compete, we were also all keen to share our insight and work together. The comradeship born during the EMBA was truly marvelous," Tallqvist adds.