Meet IMD’s MBA Class Of 2019

Alexander Broe

IMD Business School

Food Science Engineer with 5 years of experience in Pharma, ready to develop business acumen and leadership.”

Hometown: Copenhagen, Denmark

Fun Fact About Yourself: I enjoy endurance sports and have completed several races in different disciplines such as Ironman 70.3 (triathlon), Vasaloppet (cross-country), Marathon (running).

Undergraduate School and Major: MSc in Food Science and Technology from Copenhagen University

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Novo Nordisk, Associate Category Manager in the Strategic Sourcing, operations.

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: The professional situation that has had the most significant impact on my career was when I was offered to transfer to a Project Associate position in a Business Support unit managed by former management consultants. I got a unique opportunity to develop a ‘project management’ toolbox and was assigned to a global procurement project, addressing one of Novo Nordisk’s top-10 risks. I followed the project from design to implementation, and was responsible for designing the approach for closing compliance gaps in the procurement process, and implementing across production sites in Brazil, China, DK and USA, targeting regulatory compliance and cost-savings. Learning about change management first hand was a fantastic experience.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? My MBA classmates are extremely experienced in so many different aspects. Obviously, coming from different functional areas and industries adds perspective in class, but their experiences in handling people in different situations have been really inspiring.

Aside from your classmates, what was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? I think IMD stands out from other MBA programs in multiple ways. However the key factor was their particular focus on leadership. I get energy from working in teams and have always wanted to explore how I can leverage my strengths and limit my weaknesses in terms of leadership. So far, the leadership stream in the IMD MBA program has exceeded my expectations: real learning supported by coaches and therapists!

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I didn’t choose my MBA program because of huge variety of outside school activities such as sports clubs. That said, I do enjoy the running club (it is beautiful to run along Lake Geneva in the lunch break!) and spending time with the soccer club. With regards to activities, what really stand out at IMD is the entrepreneurship opportunities and the international consulting projects. Regarding the first, we are being assigned to a real start-up and are asked to support them in their struggles to get to market and make profits. The International consulting projects are real corporate clients that come and request support. I really think IMD lives up to the brand ‘real learning, real impact’.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? Since graduating from university, I had spent five years working in procurement in a pharmaceutical company. Having a background as an engineer, I sometimes felt I lacked fundamental skills in working in this financial environment. Additionally, I felt it a good time to explore my leadership capabilities before taking on my first direct leadership role.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? I was in the application process with another 1-year European based MBA school (INSEAD), but stopped the process when I was admitted to IMD.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? I researched the internet to read about the schools, but especially meeting with school representatives helped in understanding my fit. However, what I consider the most important step in my evaluation was going to the Assessment Day (1-day on-campus interviews, cases and roleplay). This really gave the chance to talk to the current class, faculty professors and alumni during that very well-structured day.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? The personal situation that has had the most significant impact on shaping who I am must be when I chose to leave my small home village and move to a boarding school to spend three years there. It was a true pleasure to be in a highly productive environment, constantly surrounded by people. I believe the choice to join a competitive school with persistent focus on professional and personal development as well as exposure to different cultural backgrounds has had a profound impact on who I am.

Where do you see yourself in five years? My goal is to be working in the biotech or pharma industry in a leadership role, further developing my business acumen using the business foundation skills learned at IMD.

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