Jacob Westrum was most recently a $35M technology sales and operations leader with 3+ years of leadership experience with Verizon Business where he was responsible as a Senior Manager in Business Sales for driving sales, operations, employee development, and marketing strategic solutions. In total, Jacob has more than 11 years of sales, 6 years of technology, and 3 years of leadership experience. His focus is on building cohesive and productive teams around vision. Jacob moved from the United States to Lyon with his wife and baby daughter to join the International MBA at emlyon business school and shares some of his highlights from the program so far.
Why emlyon business school?
When looking for MBA programs, I wasn’t just looking for an experience or for credentials; instead, I was looking for entrepreneurial thinking and real world application. Coming from the United States, I found emlyon business school’s philosophy rooted in practical application and agile ways of thinking. emlyon gives you what you would expect from a set of core coursework perspective. However, what you get above and beyond are new ways of thinking and breaking down of barriers in your mind to explore new possibilities for business solutions. emlyon’s MBA program provides a space to dive headfirst into these new ways of thinking within a small cohort of over 30 nationalities all with a unified heart for entrepreneurship and client centered delivery.
Most recently, I had the opportunity to participate in a small team centered around ‘Design Thinking’. In this course, we had the opportunity not just learn how to build solutions from scratch; but also, we immediately applied and presented our solution design to a live business client.
Firstly, we learned that no one care about your product; unless, it makes them ‘awesome’. Too often design or the structure of an organization is focused more on the product first and the client second. One can’t know what ‘awesome’ looks like if you aren’t spending 2/3rds of your time focusing on and listening to your clients persona, needs, wants, and dreams. Therefore, lesson 1 is to put your clients’ values on a pedestal practically and structurally in your thinking for new insight.
Second, you can’t lead to client centric solution and delivery without working as team filled with empathy. It’s obvious that having empathy allows you to really serve your end target or client with their needs. What isn’t always obvious is how this applies to working within internal teams. For managing and/or serving within a team:
- You can’t design solutions without empathy.
- You can’t effectively listen and lead without empathy.
- You can’t fail and productively get up together without empathy.
- You can’t put yourself in their shoes without empathy.
Lesson 2, team empathy and leadership leads to impactful and enjoyable teams that deliver the promise of value to clients.
Launching a Future
emlyon’s promise is to give you the opportunity to innovate your thinking through hard work and with the latest agile tools to launch your future. The first thing you get when you consider emlyon is loads of support. You have things to consider coming from abroad.
emlyon carefully provides a robust set of solutions from managing administrative concerns to the tools needed for your career. In class, you can expect an innovative approach filled with hard work. This hard work is not difficult menial tasks for the sake of checking a box. Rather, it is driven by application in the real world. Coming here in midst of a pandemic was not an easy decision. However after moving my family here, I can tell you that emlyon is more than worth it.