Let's start with some figures first
- 30 participants
- 2 pregnant (if counted correctly)
- several students, one Academic Director,
- one CFO, one Managing Director, at least one Entrepreneur, one Montessori teacher, one sabbatical and many more
- graduation years between 2002 and 2018
- unlimited consumption of welcome drinks (I know this is not an exact number :-))
- New Technology 12 (participants interested)
- Entrepreneurship 9
- 8 Thinking about new job opportunities / Have changed job recently, Leadership challenges / New or experienced team leaders
We have discussed different topics and I believe the biggest value is for those present at the tables. However let me share with you some of the key outcomes.
Let's start with the industry focus first
- Entrepreneurship – quite surprisingly for me the outcome was not that positive as I expected. One of the concerns was about the number of new technologies which are significantly changing the business and thus making all entrepreneurial endeavors more risky. Another related point was that having a good save job in these days does not motivate you too much to move to the uncertain world of entrepreneurs.
- New technology – one of the topics discussed was the fear of many people losing their jobs because of the technological advancement. But the reaction to that was quite calming – this has never been different when new technologies and management ideas came. In other words the changes related to technologies are how this business universe work and we should accept that. Due to the big interest we had two tables devoted to this topic. The second tables came to a conclusion that it is actually difficult to come to a conclusion :-). The reason was that the experience of the participants was quite different. On the other hand the agreed on the impact technologies will have on improving efficiency and thus also on the number of people employed.
- FMCG/Retail + Manufacturing (we joined these two topics at one table due to lower number of interested people) – we spent some time discussing the difference between FMCG/retail which is rather sales driven while manufacturing (especially B2B) is rather production driven. We alse talked about the new concept that retail developers are trying - instead of designing shopping malls they are envisioning whole new districts.
Then we continued with the career and life focused round
After the main dish we moved to new tables and enjoyed deserts while discussing second round of discussion
- Work-life balance – part of that was about being a mother. Participants (not sure whether men too) agreed on the changes that makes on women – just enjoying that while being more efficient at work. But being employed is still something that must be usually negotiated with employers. On general note, and here the different generations of CEMS alumni present played some role, work-life balance is a concept which understanding and preference depends on your age and career stage. Simply if you have children you view long hours differently compared to a fresh graduate (I do confirm :-)).
- Leadership challenges / New or experienced team leaders – the main topic here is about the resistance to change which is in general a super important topic for all leaders.
- On the job training / Professional and personal development – here the team talked about different options provided by CEMS in Prague (summer school aimed at new view on corporate social responsibility and its impact). Another line of discussion was about the way to persuade / push your employer to support you in your learning and development activities by providing you with sabbatical or unpaid leave.
- Thinking about new job opportunities / Have changed job recently – the discussion was mainly about the differences in recruitment process ten years ago and now. The difference is viewed quite a lot in the value of university degree (or the formal requirements) in the past compared to the higher focus on skills and practical experience these days. One of the notions was also about more people willing to be entrepreneurs (which is the case when for instance comparing CEMS graduates‘ preferences 10 years ago and now) and also about preferring better work life balance.
I am quite sure I haven’t covered all the topics and their nuances covered by the teams. However I hope you find at least some of the outcomes interesting and will join us next time or even better – share your comments on facebook or below this article.
To sum it up: I really enjoyed that and so did, I believe, all participants. I believe that everyone had a chance to meet someone new, enjoy quality discussion and really good food. I am looking forward to meeting you again soon!
on behalf of your CEMS Alumni Board Team
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