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26 February 2024

In conversation with Isis Gouédard: “It really came from the EMBA, from learning a valuable ideology that whatever you touch, you can learn from it and grow”

It is considered a golden rule in project management, that change is an inevitable foresight that leads to a transformative state, a beginning of renaissance for both the business and its professionals. Managing change is an opportunity not only grounded to the business landscape but also on a personal level when pursuing a career path or setting a game plan for one’s ambitions.

We held an intellectual discussion with our Alumni Isis Gouédard who navigated her transformative journey throughout her career. Her career took center stage from 2004 to 2010, harmonizing work and studies whilst delivering sustainable IT services and solutions as a consultant. Whilst directing some key projects for consulting firms and governmental bodies, Isis developed a keen sense for broader experiences beyond her preliminary limits.

The Inspiration Behind DAS and EMBA
Isis’s pursuit of her journey led her towards DAS and EMBA when a casual lunch with her father sparked a conversation introducing her to Prof. Raphael H Cohen, who at the time was an Academic leader of the DAS program in Entrepreneurial Leadership. Isis stated, When I met Prof. Cohen, I didn’t think that Entrepreneurship was what I wanted to pursue. However, as a project manager, I sought to understand better how companies function to deliver better services to my clients. This inspired her to take the leap of faith in the direction of EMBA, addressing her keen interest in change management and the sub-skills needed to eloquently acclimate the mindset of an entrepreneur to function as an intrapreneur.

A Broadened Perspective through EMBA
Primarily experienced in French, the EMBA program by UNIGE has now transcended to completely being in English. For Isis, it was an intellectual stimulation, invoking a broad perspective on themes that seldomly make general discussion in a business atmosphere. Isis reflects, The classes were all amazing because of the professors but also because there were people from the fields with interesting career backgrounds.” Diversity and bespoke settings that made up the class sessions from both Professors and classmates added a holistic and rich learning experience, sparking intellectually challenging discussions and eloquent teamwork efforts.

Application and Growth
With practicality and appropriate application, Isis with her clarity and grace took her learning to the role of a project manager, knowing deeply now the value of organizational dynamics and self-leadership. Isis emphasizes with clarity, When I graduated, I didn’t change jobs. I applied myself better in my project manager’s job and better understood the daily challenges of my stakeholders” Isis not only was leading her team effectively, but in addition to driving project expectancy, she culminated any latencies in the projects during delivery and facilitation.

The Weak Chain Link: Opportunities in Weakness
When asked what significant takeaway Isis would spotlight from her EMBA engagement and realization post-graduation, this is what she had to say, I didn’t have a broad understanding of how an organization functions in its entirety. So, for me to grow from a project manager to a Program manager that I am now, this is what I needed. She continued, The EMBA provided me with greater insights that proved critical in areas such as economics, HR, finance, and change management. The perception I gained enabled me to transition effortlessly into my current role as a digital workplace program manager.

By intrapreneurial mindset and self-leadership, she sustained her grounded abilities and leveraged her EMBA experience to surpass in her professional endeavors. Isis’s journey through EMBA demonstrates the transformative implication of higher education proving as a driving force in career growth and personal development. She emphasizes, It really came from the EMBA, from learning a valuable ideology that whatever you touch, you can learn from it and grow.She is now living her dream job as a Digital program Manager for State of Geneva. She also had set her mind on an independent side project where she is leading a professional association that channels toward sustainability strategies and gamification. Isis an active Alumni with the UNIGE since 2016, a coordinating team of volunteers interviewing EMBA candidates as part of selection comity.

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