Ljiljana was born in Prague; as a young woman, she travelled to many different countries, working as a business professional. After fifteen years of such professional experience in management, she realized that she was still lacking as a leader and team player. She decided to take the unique Alfred Ford MBA programme to fulfil that need.
Ljiljana, tell us about yourself.
I was born in Prague, Czech Republic, but my family moved to Serbia when I was six years old, and that is where I got my education. After high school, I decided to travel and spent few years in Greece. Later then moved to the UK, but ultimately my wish was always to go back to Prague where I spent my beautiful childhood. That move is made in 2000, which proven to be a very important step in my career life. I started to work for a UK events company in the sales division, and very soon I was promoted to Sales Manager. That was a turning point in my career. I realised that being in management, working with people, is what motivates me and is what I want to do for a living. I think all of us need to have that talk with ourselves before we can step up. Today I am a business professional with 15+ years of experience in leading and managing sales and customer success teams. Throughout these years I have been working with both enterprise and SMB businesses in the IT sector on a global scale. This is where I would like to stay and carry on helping businesses to manage and optimize social marketing strategies.
Why do you want to receive an MBA?
I have been thinking of starting my own business and wanted something that would show that I am an expert at what I do. An MBA program gives that credibility and perfectly covers all segments of business required to successfully run your own business or get into a C level management role. I have been in middle management for most of my career and wasn’t required to have in-depth skills in areas of business that were not my primary focus. MBA level courses in operations and finance, for example, will help me fill these gaps in knowledge. Simply put, achieving an MBA is like underlining your expertise and putting it in bold letters. I decided for the Alfred Ford School of Management since it has a unique offering of an MBA programme; more precisely, Conscious Leadership was a trigger for me. I find this very interesting and see it as a type of a leadership that will be a must in the near future.
What made you interested in the AFSM program?
The primary reason I decided to pursue an MBA was for personal development and to fulfil my urge to enhance my skills by learning something new. After more than 15 years in management, I started to feel like something was missing and that I needed more awareness. I felt like there was a bit of a dispute between my personal way of living and my business life. The Alfred Ford MBA program has a Conscious Leadership perspective, which was a trigger for me, as it provides the balance I was seeking. As more and more companies strive to build a conscious culture, the future of leadership will depend on conscious leaders.
What has been your most challenging or rewarding educational experience so far?
Throughout my career, education has almost always been accompanied by training. But in my opinion, no matter how good the educational program or training was, it was almost always missing an essential part– it was not focused enough on the self-awareness and conscious development of leaders and team players. This is another element that excited me about the Alfred Ford MBA program.
What advice would you give to a prospective student trying to decide on a program?
First dive deep into your inner self to find out what it is that you feel will move you forward. Go for the programme that you feel comfortable with, that will motivate you. Do extensive research on that programme, teachers, etc. The Alfred Ford School of Management offers excellent materials when you sign up for a trial account. You can really gain insight and knowledge of what to expect from the program. I highly recommend this trial option. Ask for references from people who went through the program, and get their story about how it has helped them.