While I have a liberal arts background, most of my career has been in asset management. I learned nearly all of what I know on the job and through self-teaching or post-bachelor’s certificate programmes. However, I wanted a formalised structure in which I could gain the knowledge and confidence I needed to perform my job well,” says Alyse. Aiming to be better versed in quantitative metrics and subjects, Alyse decided to pursue her graduate degree with the EMBA-Global Americas & Europe. She took on several quantitative courses that helped her build a solid foundation on subjects like financial modelling and valuation, building efficient portfolios, and how to question analytics to arrive at better and more informed business decisions. Taking several leadership courses, such as Executive Leadership and Leadership and Organisational Change, Alyse also learned the tools and frameworks to help assess her strengths, weaknesses and leadership style. “These courses made me pause and consider how I could incorporate these learnings to change my behaviour and approach, especially with colleagues with whom I had less in common. This has had a positive effect on external perceptions of me.”
Alyse also found the Achieving Strategic Agility and Paths to Power courses to be meaningful to her career, particularly on how to approach structuring a department, aligning incentives, networking, and building bridges among different (and sometimes opposing) groups. She is able to incorporate classroom knowledge and skills directly into her role as an Institutional Relationship Manager at Invesco. Responsible for Invesco’s North America branch on the retention of assets and cross-selling investment strategies to clients, her role requires her to be fluent in performance attribution and risk metrics, stay up-to-date on individual holdings, the macro-environment, and asset classes, and stay abreast of any developments and changes at the enterprise level. “I must also know what the consultants’ views are on the investment landscape, how they view our strategies, and what the needs are for the end investors. Anticipating client issues and proactively addressing them is also key to my role.”
On a personal level, Alyse also found that the programme changed how she saw herself. “I have more confidence in my understanding of many important financial and business areas and in my ability to multitask amid an intense environment. I have grown and no longer reside within the confines of my comfort zone, and encourage my team members to be brave enough to fail. Sometimes the best lessons are from what went wrong. Moreover, the EMBA-Global experience awakened my openness to relocating internationally, a differentiator for today’s globally tethered world.”
When joining the EMBA-Global A&E programme, Alyse knew she would expand her knowledge and horizons and grow professionally and personally as a direct outcome of the classroom instruction. However, it was the people and relationships she built that made the programme more impactful. “Both Columbia Business School and London Business School have world renowned professors who are leaders and innovators in their respective fields. However, what I failed to envision was the extent to which I would learn from my cohort, in and out of the classroom. The diversity of cultures, nationalities, religions, and industries was nothing short of spectacular. Being from and working in New York, having studied abroad in Spain and Germany, and having traveled extensively have all been wonderful experiences; however, the environment the EMBA Global A&E programme provides has exceeded all of those combined. Gaining fresh perspectives and insights with respect to how different countries conduct business across industries from executives currently living in those countries was eye opening. But the most meaningful impact has been personal. I can honestly say that I am a more well-rounded and knowledgeable individual because of these lifelong friendships. I cannot imagine my life without them. We are a network and unquestionable support system for one another. I am truly grateful.”
For incoming students, Alyse’s advice is: “Always have tenacity and prioritise. Work is taxing. School can be stressful. Family and friends deserve attention. Yet, there is only one of you and only so many hours in a day. Realise you will not likely operate at the same high level in all areas at all times once on the programme. Prioritise daily. And importantly, do not give up when overwhelmed. Keep your mind open to the learning process – it goes well beyond the classroom’s walls.