Name: Hannah Hoijng
Programme: EMBA Class of 2020
Job title and company: Global Supply Manager Retail and Marketing – EMEA Procurement at Tesla
Previous degree and university: bachelor in hospitality management at Hotelschool The Hague, and master in marketing at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Hannah grew up in the south of the Netherlands with her mother who chose single motherhood, so she was an independent child with a strong female role model. She plays field hockey, and has become addicted to travelling since she did a bachelor internship in Cape Town. Her favourites are backpacking in Australia, Sri Lanka and South America.
1. Why did you decide to do an MBA?
“I’ve been with Tesla for five years. I’m happy with my role, management, my colleagues, and the brand and our mission. I was assigned an additional commodity ‘Marketing’ at the beginning of 2019. But I was getting too comfortable in what I was doing so wanted to challenge myself with an additional opportunity. Doing the MBA is a personal investment in getting a broader sense of how business works, and connecting what is on the surface of the company and how it’s actually done.”
2. How are you managing to balance studying with work?
“I wanted a part-time programme at the best university in the Netherlands, and keep working at the same time. That’s why I chose RSM. I like the structure too: Friday evenings and then weekends every other week fits well in my schedule. I plan my week one or two weeks upfront. It’s all about managing time, which also means saying no to certain things. I’m very open with my managers and colleagues too about when I need to study, relax or go for a run, as management is a huge fan of work-life effectiveness and supports flex time.”
3. How is the EMBA experience affecting your tasks at work?
“I’m a better conversationalist for the finance, operational and other departments, and I understand better how the other departments connect and why they’re important and need each other. I have a much broader view and look at situations with a new set of eyes. It’s a real added value of the MBA. I have an ‘Aha!’ moment in every class, from managerial accounting to organisational behaviour. It’s so beneficial to do an MBA next to your work. You have an immediate framework, and can put the information from class into practice immediately.”
4. What has been the best part of the EMBA so far?
“The relationships I’ve built up with the other students. The fun we have and what we learn from each other. Most people spend Friday evenings on the sofa with take-out food. But we let go of work, friends and family, and are happy to see each other and spend three hours in a classroom with so much energy! We’re going on the international study trip to Cape Town next week. Within a short period of time we got to know each other pretty well, so a group of us will go to South Africa a few days earlier to go on a road trip first.”
5. What is the biggest challenge of the Executive MBA?
“The team work is fun and there are interesting assignments. But we all work in different ways with other perspectives. We have different ages, cultural backgrounds, family situations and industry experiences. We learn the most from each other but managing team work with six people can cause stress too.”
6. How do you hope the RSM MBA helps you to be a force for positive change?
“People doing an MBA are very privileged to be able to do this kind of education. We must stimulate others, who want to be a force for positive change, to support them and aim higher. We need to help people add value and make a positive difference by connecting the dots in the world to be more effective and resourceful. I want to continue to learn, handle tough situations and make it happen. But you can’t do it alone – you need others to make it happen.”
7. After the Executive MBA, what does the future hold?
“I don’t know! The most important part is to keep enjoying the ride. Towards the end of the EMBA programme, I hope to come closer to discovering what makes me tick, and what makes me excited to do for another 30 years. It’s part of my reasons for being here.”