WINNER | Jonathan Lister


Prior to starting his MBA at INSEAD, Jonathan’s professional experience focussed on digital transformation, where he helped businesses and public institutions use technology to become more competitive. He has significant international experience, having worked in Tel Aviv for a fintech start-up, in India for a TATA cancer hospital and across Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) with IBM. In 2017 Jonathan joined IBM, initially focussing on software development and technology architecture, before progressing into corporate strategy, including taking on the role of Chief of Staff to the EMEA Managing Partner for Strategy & Market Development.

What do you hope to achieve through your MBA experience?

The INSEAD MBA will provide a strong foundation in the fundamentals of business, alongside a truly international network and unparalleled opportunities stemming from the INSEAD brand. Overall, I hope the INSEAD MBA will provide a breadth of experience that will equip me to take on a future leadership role.

Where do you see yourself career-wise in five years’ time?

I believe that technology is going to fundamentally change the workplace within my lifetime and I want to be a part of that change. In particular, I believe the potential for technology to redefine the services sector is immense. My long-term goal is to found a company focused on intelligent workflows for professional services.

What are your hopes of being part of the SMF network after business school?

It is clear from alumni testimonials that the SMF alumni network is an invaluable source of knowledge in developing one’s career and I plan to engage with it fully. SMFs are prolific founders and have created over 20,000 jobs through their businesses. Access to and participation in this network will be invaluable to achieving my career goals.

How do you hope to support SMF after you graduate from business school?

I hope to support SMF after I graduate from INSEAD through giving back to the community, and I hope to expand my contribution as my career develops. I’m particularly interested in supporting university enterprise competitions such as the EIBC Champion of Champions Final, which I believe are fantastic opportunities to inspire engineers with a passion for business. I would also like to mentor engineers and engineering undergraduates through SMF. I hope to actively contribute to this broad network and diverse range of events.

When did you start thinking about doing an MBA?

I first started thinking about pursuing an MBA in 2018, after speaking to several MBA graduates and hearing about the transformational impact it had on their careers.

How did you go about finding about financial support for your MBA?

I used two methods to find out about financial support for my MBA. Firstly, I reached out to the INSEAD MBA Financing Office which was able to share information on applicable financial support. Secondly, I reached out to connections in my network who had undertaken MBAs in order to get their perspectives.

Can you tell us a little more about how you learned about the SMF scholarship?

I first learned about the SMF scholarship through the LinkedIn post of a previous awardee, before journeying to the website to find out more.

© 2021 Engineers in Business Fellowship