Name: Bastiaan van Nunen
Programme: OneMBA Class of 2017
Job title: Managing Director
Company: European Computer Telecoms BV
1. Why did you decide to join the OneMBA?
“I was on a cross-road in my career. I’ve had my own company, sold it, and then helped companies set up sales and bringing them to the next level. I figured I can do this for another 20 years but wanted something different. Being involved in the set-up of a solar plant company in South Africa I saw there’s a lot I can do to make a new step. So why should I limit myself to what I know already?”
2. How is the OneMBA experience affecting your work?
“So far, I’ve been learning a lot from doing. Much of my work was based on gut feeling instead of academic research and knowledge. The OneMBA is a good way to test my perception of how things work. At the same time I’m learning a lot of new things. I realise that some things I did were spot on, but others weren’t; much of it are eye-openers. Within four months of the programme, I’ve already seen things I’d do different next time.”
3. What is the return on investment you expect from the OneMBA?
“It’s not about the financial return. It’s about being more complete in who I am and what I do in business. The OneMBA programme gives me confidence there, and at the same time has value in getting to know new people from all over the world.”
4. How has the Personal Leadership Development Programme (PLD) affected you?
“Sitting down and looking at what my goals should be and can be, and having people help you at what your direction could be is really valuable. Experiencing the ‘forties dilemma’ and asking myself if I’m doing the right thing, I really enjoy taking the time and using the techniques to be conscious about what I’m doing. PLD seems really tailored to me, even if I stay on my current route, I will have more reassurance.”
5. Do you notice different cultural approaches to working within global teams?
“Stereotyping gets you initially, but then you’re surprised. The content people deliver is so good that it puts you back in your seat. It makes you pay better attention and stop taking things for granted. I find it exciting and fun to find out how things work and how people think so differently in countries such as Mexico, China, and in other places in Europe. For example, very different ways of approaching problems turned out be equally successful during a simulation for the global operations management course.”
6. With your busy schedule, how do you manage the cross-continental projects?
“With Europe being in the middle of the Americas and Asia, most of it is during the day for me. I truly enjoy connecting to people all over the world and even calls at strange times are not a handicap or hindrance to reach my OneMBA goals. You can wake up in the morning and have a re-cap of what happened to a project overnight and then work with that.”
7. How are you experiencing the Global Residencies?
“In Washington DC there was a great mix between the academic programme and a crash course in forming a global team. You also get to see parts of countries that take a lot of time to discover just by yourself. I love learning directly about business through the professional speakers; we read articles about these business leaders but never get to speak to them in person about the monetary crisis and each other’s experiences. During the Global Residencies, it’s not just listening to someone you consider is smart, they’re challenging you to be smart as well.”
8. What has been the best part of OneMBA for you so far?
“I’m impressed with the quality of the teachers. It’s really cool that the author of a Harvard Business Review article is all of a sudden your teacher, and then having the chance to talk to them and exchange views and opinions. From a learning perspective; fifty per cent of what you learn in this programme is from your classmates as well. Everyone has something to bring the table. People next to me can have PhDs and still we both have something worth saying to learn from each other.”
9. After the OneMBA, what does the future hold?
“I’m not geographically bound by my work. My next adventure can be here in the Netherlands but will most probably be somewhere else. Through the OneMBA I have acquired a new network of people who can help me find the ropes anywhere. As they say: the world is my oyster.”