Discovering power through purpose in the VU Amsterdam Executive MBA

Ingrid Reichmann is a Partner at Partners at Work Executive Search, an executive search and coaching firm working with top management teams in the Netherlands. She told MBAGRADSCHOOLS about her transformative experience in the VU Amsterdam Executive MBA: Leading with Purpose.

In short

Finding purpose in inclusion

“For me, purpose means that I do something I truly believe in,” Ingrid shares. (00:01

As a Partner at Partners at Work Executive Search, Ingrid has the privilege of putting her passion into action. “What I do for a living is fantastic because I am able to talk to a lot of different people and they are from all kinds of industries and all kinds of backgrounds,” she tells us. (00:23) Partners at Work Executive Search is a firm specializing in executive search, executive coaching, and team assessments. The firm primarily works with top management teams in diverse sectors like healthcare, education, media, and NGOs.

The company itself values diverse backgrounds and inclusion. Ingrid elaborates, “For Partners at Work, it’s very important that everybody is treated equally and that is really the mission of our company: to make sure that people [of every] gender, color, [and] all kinds of ethnic backgrounds will be put forward and have the same chance for a top position in the Netherlands. I think the boxes that we put people in is something that we should get rid of. Inclusiveness is what makes your business really thrive forward.” (00:36)

Experiencing transformation in the VU Amsterdam Executive MBA: Leading with Purpose

After a significant life event, Ingrid embarked on a journey to “reinvent” herself. In her search, she discovered the Executive MBA: Leading with Purpose at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU).

An 18-month, part-time MBA program, the VU Amsterdam Executive MBA: Leading with Purpose challenges experienced professionals to reflect on their purpose, as well as the purpose of their organizations, and lead transformation and thought leadership within their companies. For Ingrid, the program has served as a much-needed source of energy and growth.

She says, “The MBA already impacts the way I work – [the] daily things I do – because you learn to work evidence-based. As an entrepreneur, you like to work on your gut feeling, but evidence-based is actually better.” (02:12)

Ingrid also has a very unique classmate: her son. While Ingrid is completing the VU Amsterdam Executive MBA, her son is doing a Master in Finance at VU Amsterdam. “It’s very helpful actually because I also had the course ‘Financial Management’ and he was able to give me some extra [help] here and there,” Ingrid reveals. “We’re really studying together at the same table so that’s really fun.” (02:45)

Building strength & power beyond profit

Speaking to Ingrid, it is clear that the VU Amsterdam Executive MBA has reinvigorated her sense of purpose and power – there’s just one caveat.

“Of course, it is not a walk in the park,” Ingrid tells us. “An Executive MBA – you really have to work for it. But, in the end, you just make it happen. Of course, I have a family life and I have a lot of friends and I have a super interesting and busy job. But still, I can manage it.” (03:03)

“I’m feeling so powerful and strong right now,” she continues. “I’m so happy that I’m on this roller coaster and in the full swing of life – and that means work but also study and all the rest of it. I really feel enormous power and energy, and I’m sure that I can help my clients with that as well and they feel it too.” (03:27)

By zooming in on her purpose in the VU Amsterdam Executive MBA: Leading with Purpose, Ingrid has been able to embed purpose into her daily work and life, (re)gaining an incredible amount of energy and power as a result. She says, “Of course, it’s important to make [a] profit because if you don’t make [a] profit, we would not exist – but the purpose is what makes you great.” (00:05)

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