Short Introduction to Melissa Lim
After completing my Bachelor studies, I started my career at Accenture - one of the top IT consulting firms, where I had the opportunity to work on multiple projects for companies in various industries. It was my specific interest in the finance sector that led me to join a leading global asset management company, where I am currently the Head of Partnership Solutions within the IT Investment and Operations department. My responsibilities include managing a team of project managers, business analysts, and architects to deliver strategic projects. Our goal is to add business value to the Investment and Operations functions while ensuring the stability and security of key platforms/applications to support the daily activities of the business. Projects usually include the integration of vendor platforms, the development of custom solutions, or a combination of both in order to meet business defined requirements and needs.
Which learnings have been particularly relevant for your field of work?
The MBA programme at Frankfurt School offers a wide range of modules including topics such as Financial and Managerial Accounting, International Strategy and Organisational Behaviour and Business Ethics. I strongly believe that it is the knowledge and soft skills I obtained during the entire programme that gave me a better perspective and relevant insights required to manage work more efficiently - especially when operating on a managerial level. Having a strong academic background and a good understanding of a range of management topics broadens my capacity to analyse situations and take previously unknown factors into consideration when proposing a resolution or mitigating risks. The ideas and lessons shared by my MBA classmates have also enhanced the entire learning experience.
What was the highlight for you and why?
The highlight of the programme for me was definitely the module abroad in Shanghai, China. We got the opportunity to learn more about the Chinese market and were taught International Strategy by top professors at CEIBS. Being able to bond more and get to know the entire class even better while travelling with them made the experience very special and memorable. Though lectures are important to gain a base knowledge on topics, I strongly believe that it is really the people and strong teamwork that added value to the programme. Besides the networking opportunities, the experience, knowledge, and practical insights shared by my classmates during in-class discussions, provided me with valuable advice and real-world examples to learn from.
What topic did you choose for your thesis and how could you include learnings from the programme?
From the start of the programme, I applied my learnings and newfound perspectives directly to my work environment. Doing so, I identified the digital strategy of my company as an area I could help improve. For this reason, I chose the consulting project option for my thesis. Working in a team with two other classmates, we analysed the digital maturity of the company, proposed tailored initiatives and developed a roadmap to drive the company towards its digital vision. The capstone module was especially helpful during this process as it summarized the learnings throughout the programme: It gave us a clear understanding of how to apply the management know-how we developed over time and helped us structure the entire project.
Your advice to future part-time MBA applicants?
As the 21-month programme is rather intensive, I would encourage all applicants to ensure they have the support of their company and direct manager. There will definitely come a time where the additional workload will weigh on you and understanding from your team at work will help reduce unnecessary stress. While in the programme, make sure to incorporate and put into practice the knowledge and skills you pick up from the various modules in your current role. For me, being able to directly apply my learnings into my field of work really helped put the lectures into perspective and I strongly believe this is one of the major benefits of the Part-time MBA programme. Last but not least, enjoy the experience and community of like-minded classmates!