The Argyros School of Business and Economics takes pride in the success of our alumni. Mike Wetterling, a graduate of our MBA program in Prague, was promoted to Vice President of Global Business Operations and a member of the Executive Board of Lux International. In this interview he talks to us about his career, his time at Chapman, and his advice to current students.
Q. How do you feel about your promotion?
I feel very good having the opportunity to support my company in this position to reach the ambitious growth targets and be able to help to shape the future of Lux International. I am very thankful and at the same time very determined to go for it.
To give you a brief overview: We have the goal to double our turnover (sales) within the next five years by growing in our existing markets and also opening in new countries, becoming the number one direct sales company for high quality healthy home products. By 2016 we will be present in 45 countries around the world. I am responsible for international sales growth, as well as our leadership development program – the LUX International Executive Management Trainee Program.
At the same time I am given the opportunity to learn a lot. The combination of diverse international responsibilities, projects, personal leadership, interaction with many different cultures, all in a highly driven and competitive market environment for a growing, positive company is very motivating, exciting, and rewarding.
Q. How has your Chapman education helped in your success?
Before starting the Chapman MBA I took over as Managing Director in the Czech Republic – coming from a sales background with very little understanding of the business and the processes behind it. Realizing this I decided to apply for the Chapman MBA. Within the top management at Lux there were some concerns in the beginning because of my role as Managing Director and the time I would have to dedicate to the MBA. The company was questioning my ability to perform at a top level while studying, learning Czech, improving my English, and be a father. But I was given the trust and the support of the International Management Team and proved them right.
I believe, looking back, that the combination of having achieved the very credible Chapman MBA, together with my performance, underlined my drive and my determination. My success and ultimately also the promotion to my current position as Vice President are very much the result of the knowledge I gained throughout the MBA program. The course layout, the quality of the professors and the material, and the widely practical approach combined with the challenging requirements helped me to focus, to learn, and to become better. Much better.
Q. Is there any advice that you would like to share with current students?
- There is no elevator to success; you have to take the stairs.
- If you are arguing with yourself about whether an MBA is the right thing for you to do – just ask yourself what your future should look like. There are some things that nobody can take away from you, for example education, experience, and knowledge.
- In making your decision, here is another question to ask yourself. If you were a top executive yourself – who would you hire? A person that gets the job done or a person that gets the job done and also has an MBA?
- Don’t think the world out there is waiting for you. Get ready for a highly competitive environment. Be prepared for rough weather rather than for sunshine. With a Chapman MBA you are.
- On the other side, just an MBA will not do. You have to perform socially and in business. Also many people with an MBA fail. But not because of the MBA, but because of who they are and what they do – or not.
- Something I believe in very much is get rid of your TV. Do something valuable with your time. And be physically fit, that always helps and you look better too, with all of the benefits that come with it.