Frank van Poeteren, Sales Director and past participant of the Ivey Executive Program (2015), discusses how the program prepared him for a more senior role in an international setting.
Why did you choose to attend the Ivey Executive Program (IEP)?
The reason I chose the Ivey Executive Program was to update my knowledge and position myself for a next-level assignment in an international setting. It was the perfect match for what I was looking for: a compact and intense program, business case-driven, and a business school with a recognized global reputation.
What aspects of IEP were most valuable to you?
The well-constructed case studies that deal with issues across diverse industries and business functions – these provided valuable, relevant insights. The interaction with the faculty and fellow program participants contributed a great deal in achieving my learning goals, especially when it came to decision making. I had to think over and discuss many different issues and challenges which can only be experienced in that way.
What impact did the program have on your career?
IEP offered great value and prepared me to comfortably work in an international role with greater responsibility. It exposed me to a variety of subjects – from financial reporting, mergers & divestments, to a press conference – allowing me to form comprehensive, evidence-based insights across all functions of the business. Applying insights learned from IEP to business issues made the outcomes more predictable. I have used some templates and frameworks from IEP when providing recommendations, and in some cases background information was used to underpin a decision.
Has IEP changed the way you work?
IEP showed me how to make my contributions more valuable and meaningful. Through a journey of self-discovery, I learned the kinds of roles and positions that I wanted to fulfill and the ones which aren’t the right fit for me.
How did the program contribute to your personal growth?
In general, IEP made me a more seasoned leader through the use of diverse case studies. I now look at situations in my business and personal life with a broader perspective.
Specifically, as a non-native English speaker, I was brought out of my comfort zone by having to converse and read English throughout the program. This has allowed me to feel much more at ease when communicating with English-speaking clients and colleagues.
How did the faculty shape the learning experience?
The program design by the faculty was well-structured, embedded with a variety of different teaching methods. As participants, we were made to listen, converse, prepare, and present well. The inclusion of top-level guest speakers – an Olympic champion and former CEO that was featured prominently in a business case we studied – made the program lively and valuable.
How did your classmates contribute to your learning?
They helped me consider different viewpoints due to their diverse backgrounds and industries. There were people from non-profit organizations, government, banking, tourism, agriculture, energy, and technology sectors. Their perspectives paired with the faculty’s facilitation made the learning much more valuable.
What would you say to someone who is considering applying to this program?
While the program may be intense, the learning is exceptionally relevant – the program made a lasting impact on me personally. Regularly I consider the lessons learned from IEP and apply it to the strategy and daily operations of my current organization. The investment in time, effort, and money is exceedingly worthwhile!
About The Ivey Academy at Ivey Business School
The Ivey Academy at Ivey Business School is the home for executive Learning and Development in Canada. It is Canada’s only full-service L&D house, blending Financial Times top-ranked university-based executive education with talent assessment, instructional design and strategy, and behaviour change sustainment.
Rooted in Ivey Business School’s real-world leadership approach, The Ivey Academy is a place where professionals come to get better, to break old habits and establish new ones, to practice, to change, to obtain coaching and support, and to join a powerful peer network.