Name: Rigo Selassa
Programme/year: OneMBA Class of 2019
Nationality: Dutch (from Curaçao)
Job title: Managing director at LaNubia Consulting
Previous degree: Bachelor of Technology Management from Hanze University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands
1. Why did you decide to do an MBA?
“I started my own management consultancy company in 2014, and worked as a sub-contractor of Deloitte on several international projects. Two years later I noticed I wasn’t investing enough time in my personal development anymore. From this moment I started looking for a training or course that could help me develop my personal skills to become a better executive leader. Then I discovered the OneMBA’s global curriculum, which is a full match for experts with broad international work experience like me.”
2. How is the OneMBA experience affecting your work?
“I use everything I’m learning directly in my work, for example from the course ‘leading and managing global organisations’. It’s important to learn the different aspects about countries. The course widens the opportunity to explore the business functions you have lack of experience in, like finance and marketing. It’s very useful to apply the learning and know-how into practice. You really become a better manager.”
3. How has the Personal Leadership Development (PLD) programme affected you?
“PLD helps you develop as a leader. It gives you a good insight of your strengths and weaknesses. The personal coach helps you put things on paper and reflect back on critical situations of the past years. You also talk about things you’d like to focus on the coming years. It provides you with tools to better understand situations in order to guide your team to success.”
4. Do you notice different cultural approaches to working within your global teams?
“You learn how to manage the differences in leadership styles and behaviours in global teams. For example, Asians tend to be shy while Americans want to take the lead and quickly define activities. You have to create a mutual understanding, and make sure everyone is on board when making decisions. When you manage this, you can achieve good results through team performance.”
5. With your schedule, how do you manage the cross-continental projects?
“It’s tough to combine my business schedule with the programme, which costs about 20 hours per week. We have a fixed weekly meeting with both the global and the local teams to work on assignments. Also, ad hoc meetings can be planned to finalise or review projects. I’ve communicated this MBA commitment clearly with my clients to manage expectations. You learn to work and plan around it.”
6. How are you experiencing the Global Residencies?
“In global residencies you learn how people look at the world, and investigate the economics and cultural aspects of the region. In the USA we experienced that the American way of doing business is similar to the way of doing business in the Netherlands. But the Dutch are more direct in communications and they’re early adopters into business improvements. For the second residency we went to Latin America, which was completely different. In Brazil we learned how aspects as corruption, education and infrastructure are impacting economic growth. Mexico is an upcoming market with lots of opportunities for global companies. In Latin America it’s all about networking and building relationships before you start doing business.”
7. What has been the best part of OneMBA for you so far?
“The way we learn in class and the discussions you have with peers about practical examples. You deep dive into personal experiences, and bring in your own business issues and get great feedback from peers or professors to look at the situation from a different point of view. This helps to understand there’s not only one way to solve problems.”
8. After the OneMBA, what does the future hold?
“I want to be an ambassador for innovation. I already have the technical skills, and in the OneMBA I’m learning how to bring those technical skills into practice on an executive level. Life taught me that you never know what will happen in the future. I do know I now have a big network of global peers who will help me be successful. I ultimately want to lead my own company into becoming a global brand.”