width=250Dijana Deskovic outsourced her housework while studying for her Executive MBA. The IE Business School EMBA alumnus tells Dawn Bournand about life as a mother, wife and a professional.

With ten years of experience and family obligations, an Executive MBA had become a better option for me.

Dijana Deskovic is first to admit she's not Superwoman, but throughout 2006 and 2007 she did manage to balance family life and working life while studying for an Executive MBA. It really is a challenge, says the IE Business School alumnus. I had great support from my husband who was taking care of our three year old son at the time. He was his primary parent while I was jumping in from time to time, and it was a hard period for all of us, but we have succeeded. In the end, IE gave them diplomas for half an Executive MBA degree!

Business knowledge 

A psychology graduate of the University of Zagreb in Croatia, Dijana's career began 14 years ago in the largest pharmaceutical company in Central Europe - PLIVA. Today it is part of Teva pharmaceuticals and Dijana has moved on; she is owner and director of Spona Communication in Croatia, a company specializing in communications management. Soon after graduating I started working as a market researcher. In a business environment I quickly recognized my personal interest in business for which I, as a psychologist, did not have enough knowledge. At that very initial stage in my career I decided to embark on an MBA.

However, at the same time as Dijana was applying for full time MBA programs, she was promoted to communications director level when the company was going through an interesting stage of expansion. She made the decision to stay on, but ten years later, her yearning to do an MBA degree was still there. With ten years of experience and family obligations, an Executive MBA had become a better option for me, she says.

Personal fulfilment 

Dijana describes her EMBA program as a kind of refreshment in all its aspects. The process of learning was very exciting by itself and in a way the Executive MBA experience had a positive impact on all life aspects. Despite the very high demands of the program, I would stress a sense of personal fulfilment through the process of acquiring new knowledge in interaction with colleagues from different countries, cultures, and with different professional backgrounds. It was true multicultural training, which prepared me for any business situation and, what is most important, the network of friends for life!

As a successful entrepreneur - alongside Spona Communications Dijana is starting an educational project for entrepreneurs in which she will look for possible collaboration with IE Business School - she had already required significant business knowledge, but says that ever since completing her EMBA she is coming up with new entrepreneurial ideas for new projects. How long after receiving my degree did it have an impact on my career? The answer is: an immediate effect! Dijana says.

In addition to the network of friends Dijana now has, she says the greatest advantage of having an EMBA is the confidence she has acquired in her personal knowledge. The EMBA is one of the greatest assets I have. Apart from the knowledge, which is very tangible, there is a personal fulfilment, boosted confidence in one's own professional potential and overall life satisfaction!