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Huan MA, Executive International MBA, 2022

APAC scientific marketing manager in a Swedish biotech

Publié le 21 juin 2023 Mis à jour le 27 juin 2023
Huan Ma

What was your background before the IMBA?

After receiving my bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Zhejiang University in China back in 2009, I have been an expatriate for over 13 years, studying and working mainly in Sweden and recently in France. I entered biotech industry in 2016 after obtaining my PhD degree in Biochemistry from Uppsala University in Sweden. 

During the years, I have had various positions as senior scientist developing in-vitro diagnostic assays and products for research and clinical use in start-up and multinational companies with global presence (Recipharm AB, Biovica International AB and ThermoFisher Scientific). My main responsibilities are very scientific and technical, focusing on planning and executing research activities and manage small R&D teams in daily work. 

Why did you choose the IMBA?

Biotech is a young and exciting industry in which science and business fuse profoundly. To be successful in this fast-developing industry, one needs to have a good understanding of both worlds. 

As I progressed in my career, I started to have more and more responsibilities that are less related to science and more related to business and management. At the same time, I have also developed a personal interest in management, and I realized that this is a topic quite often more complex than science since it is human related. 
So, I decided it was time to have a more formal education. Back in 2021, this was the only program suited my needs: to obtain basic knowledge about business and management offline alongside my work. 

What impact has the IMBA had on your career development?

I think this program marked a turning point for my career. I have been in biotech 7 years mainly having scientific roles, the knowledge and experience I gained in this course enabled me to have a new position that is right in-between the science and business as APAC scientific marketing manager in a Swedish biotech not so long after graduation after a not so successful attempt in an early biotech start-up. 

I know I still have a lot to learn on the way in my new position and the reverse culture shock is still there after returning to my home country after 13 years abroad, but I feel that all the discussions we had, all the business cases we worked, all the books I have read, all the self-reflection during the time of program prepared me better, knowledge-wise and mentally, for my career path forward and in a world full of uncertainties. 

What are the advantages of the program?

  • Part time based: this program is part-time, two days on weekends in a compact format but not on-line. This is the determining factor for me since it allows me to combine work and study. 
  • Small class size: the small class size allows quality interaction between the class and lectures in discussions and business cases 
  • Relevant topics: it is impossible to cover every aspect in business and management in a one-year program, but the topics chosen have a good coverage of the essential knowledge and serve as a very good guideline for future self-study 
  • Rich of business cases from real world: most the lectures in the program have years of management and consulting experience in real world and most of the theories are illustrated by real business cases, so the program is not just theoretical. 

4 tips for future participants

  • Be open and use the program as an opportunity to see beyond the current career boundary, to go out of the comfort zone, and to ask yourself tough questions about who you are and what you real would like to achieve. 
  • Think large and go for the change, no one else could live your dream for you. 
  • This program is just a starting point to explore the art of business and management, not the end, so one needs to keep learning, practicing and reflecting after the program. 
  • Enjoy the time in the classroom, this is a rare opportunity to share curiosity and vulnerability in a totally safe and cozy atmosphere.  

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