“The online classes were really good and aligned with what I expected; but the online forums even went beyond my expectations! I think these forums are a great learning tool. I think every university should switch to this teaching method!”

Sercan, Turkey

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Sercan Ertas

About me

My name is Sercan Ertas. I’m originally from Turkey, but I currently live in the Netherlands. I’m a sales professional and have been working in various functions, divisions, and geographies in Unilever over the last 16 years. I’m married and have one son. My purpose in life is to solve problems with creative solutions, which is why I enjoy challenges and learning opportunities.
WHO

Sercan Ertas, Turkey

POSITION

Global Head of Channel Category Development & Strategy

Program studied

Global Executive MBA

LinkedIn profile

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Describe your experience in the Global Executive MBA using one word.

Demanding.

How has the program had a positive impact on your work ethic?

The program pulls you in many different directions and work ethic is definitely one of them. Everyone in the program is—not surprisingly—very busy and has lots of different responsibilities, like their employers or families. Adding an MBA on top of that pushes you to strengthen your “accountability and responsibility muscle.” Usually the program requires classmates to work in teams, and this causes you to suddenly feel that you have another family that you are responsible for. When undertaking an MBA, one must work hard for themselves, but also for the team, without compromising their work and family.

What advice would you give to those just starting the Global Executive MBA at IE Business School?

Start the MBA with a clear goal in mind, whether that means changing jobs, industries, starting your own company etc. Second of all, prepare to dedicate at least 30 hours per week for 15 months—and make your family aware of this. What’s more, don’t stress about your grades, and just focus on learning. Lastly, fasten your seatbelt and enjoy the ride!

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received in your career so far?

“You should develop your teams so much that even without you, work can continue with no glitches. That’s when your value is understood.”

What are residential periods like? What is the online period like?

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to attend any residential periods due to the pandemic, so for me it was all online. However, the online classes were really good and aligned with what I expected; but the online forums even went beyond my expectations! I think these forums are a great learning tool. Everyone can work on their own schedule, and has adequate time to think, digest, contribute and challenge—hence the posts end up being of great quality. I think every university should switch to this teaching method!

How did the Global Executive MBA help you increase your understanding of the customer journey?

Our marketing class has been very helpful in helping us understand full-funnel marketing and the customer journey. We went through 13 cases throughout this class and they were well chosen in the sense that they covered different touchpoints and strategies across the customer journey. The best part was that we were able to apply everything we learned in both a final group deliverable and an individual deliverable.

What was the most important thing that you learned about digital marketing during the program?

The importance of using the right KPIs for different channels and measuring the performances of each channel by using them.

Tell us something unexpected that you learned during the program.

I was not expecting to learn how to build a better CV or improve my LinkedIn profile, but the career support which came with the program enabled me to do so!

Can you tell us something that particularly inspired you about your cohort?

I’m not sure how IE Business School manages it, but I got along very well with everyone that I worked with in my cohort. Everyone—regardless of their business experience, hierarchy in their organization, or sizes of their families—strived really hard to always bring their best, which contributed greatly to a synergy of learning. Not to mention, all of my classmates were experienced and smart! I learned something from each and everyone of them.