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Maya Gudka, Programme Director

Maya Gudka, Programme Director, speaks to Life@LBS about Executive Education’s new offering, Certificate in Management (CiM).

The CiM is a bespoke General Management programme tailored to the needs of the individual and their business. It provides a developmental journey that integrates coaching and learning. Participants can select four programmes and will receive four coaching sessions as well as other perks. They submit a reflective piece at the end of the journey in order to receive the certificate.

As a Programme Director (PD) in Executive Education, can you tell us where you drew your inspiration from when devising the Certificates in Management offering?

As a PD and coach I have witnessed the magic that can occur when learning and coaching are thoughtfully integrated. I was keen to do this in a way that was impactful for the participant and yet scalable.

What are the benefits of this offering to the individual?

The CiM has the formal, structured elements of a General Management programme, with the requirement to take one core programme from each area of Finance, Leadership and Strategy. We ensure that each programme is highly relevant to the participant and their business and is also flexible to their schedule.  

How important is coaching to the learning?

The coaching further personalises and supercharges the programme and the final reflective piece will hopefully show their personal transformation as well as the financial impact of their journey. Coaching is participant’s first learning experience on the CiM, it will keep them remain engaged during their journey, and at the end it will help them take stock, look forward, and think big – it’s the red thread.

What made you chose the career path of a Programme Director?

I’m not sure if I even knew what a PD was! I used to pass LBS every day on my way to Regent’s Park as I lived nearby, and thought it looked like a lovely place to work. I realised I was doing a role very similar to this at KPMG. The PD role draws on many different aspects of my previous careers in banking, economics consulting, learning and coaching, which is fantastic.

What kind of challenges do you face in your role and how do you overcome these?

Launching a new product like CiM involves practically every team within Exec Ed buy-in, so being in the middle of that can be challenging – but the ex-consultant in me loved it.

What does your typical work day look like?

Every day is different, both because of the role and because I now work compressed hours. It might include design meetings, presenting to our coaches, planning for our first CiM participant, facilitating a learning review on a programme or reviewing digital assets. And that was just last week! And then there’s keeping the strategic projects such as the Leadership & Strategy review going, plus the budgeting, working with marketing and other activities to ensure great learning journeys for the programmes. It’s really varied!

What kind of learning experiences do you try to blend into our Executive Education programmes to make them stand out in the market?

In our latest Making Innovation Happen programme redesign, we have thought carefully about the format to make sure it wouldn’t put parents off. This means it doesn’t interfere as much with weekends and there is a proper digital module before they attend, allowing a shorter week.

I’m keen to integrate more wellbeing and positive psychology elements to our programmes, like we have on the other General Management programmes. I think you need to address a whole person to enable someone to go back to their organisation and do things differently. This is in addition to the coaching and reflection I’ve mentioned above.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

I work in the field of great advice, so there are too many to choose from! My current self-help favourite is I know how she does it by Laura Vanderkam, and her podcasts. Having little kids is a daily source of joy, growth, and mindfulness. It puts all the good advice into practice!

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?

Donna from Suits!

What is top of your bucket list?

Heli-skiing with my husband… and hopefully with my kids too.

Tell us something surprising about you.

I performed as a dancer in the 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony.