Meet The Team: Joe LiPuma, EMLYON Business School
Director of the EMLYON International MBA, Joe Li Puma
Joe LiPuma is the Director of EMLYON Business School's International MBA programme. He is Associate Professor in Strategy and Entrepreneurship. Joe has a BS in Mathematics, an MBA in Finance and Management Science, and a DBA in Business Strategy & Policy (Boston University).
He teaches Business Strategy and Policy, International Business, Entrepreneurship, and Managing Innovation. His research focuses on the resources underpinning new venture internationalisation, and has been published in the Journal of Business Research, Small Business Economics, International Entrepreneurship and Management Journal, among others. He is also the author, with Eric Ball, of Unlocking the Ivory Tower: How Management Research Can Transform Your Business.
Prior to earning his DBA, Joe had more than 25 years of business experience, much of it in information technology, including executive management and board-level roles in both the United States and abroad. He established new businesses in the United States, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, and Italy, has lived in various cities across the U.S., and in the U.K. and France, and has travelled extensively.
EMLYON prides itself on its entrepreneurial programme so we spoke to Joe about how to make an impressive application, life in Lyon and recent changes in the course material to make learning more relevant to real world challenges.
What makes EMLYON stand out from the other business schools in France?
I think our motto of educating entrepreneurs for the world is the biggest thing. The school was formed by entrepreneurs to educate people who want to learn about the entrepreneurial mindset. They don’t necessarily need to be people who want to become entrepreneurs but they could be interested in applying this mindset in corporate firms, government bodies and NGOs to create innovation and efficiency.
What do you think students enjoy the most about their time on the MBA?
The diversity of the group they work with. Many of them have had some international experience but to be working closely in teams with people from so many different nationalities gives them a new dimension. Right from the start of the programme, we put them into a management simulation project. They may not understand most of the business terminology but they enjoy the experience and emerge from the week feeling like they are ready to take on the challenges of the coming year.
Over the course of the year, students work on a consulting project that lasts for nine months. They work with a company in groups of three or four working on a real issue within this company. This takes the place of an internship over the summer. Internships are great for people with little experience but our students come with six to seven years work experience so they are focused on outputs and results rather than feeling out a new work environment.
Can you give us some examples of the types of roles graduates work in?
Roles such as business development, marketing, and consulting are popular but the types of jobs graduates go into have become quite varied over the last few years. One of our graduates just got a job with Airbus. He’s an English guy who was working in aviation before but he would’ve never got this new role without the MBA.
How can a candidate impress you in their application?
We acknowledge that people come on the MBA for different reasons. It's important to see from a candidate’s application the self-motivated career progression, accompanied by a statement of why they are interested in this MBA. An international perspective is also crucial because students work in international teams so we need to know that they’re going to grasp all aspects of the intercultural experience.
Application essays are the best place to tell us about your professional background and personal interests so use the space wisely. We want to hear what you will bring to the cohort to make it better, and more interesting, whether it's through your knowledge or personality.
What you like most about life in Lyon?
Food and wine come to mind first. Lyon is a rich historic city founded in 32 AD. Its easy to walk around the city. I take public transport everywhere. I’m an American with no car and I love it! It's very nice.
What strategies are you employing to make the course material more appealing to students?
Each year we evaluate our programmes to make improvements to them. This year we’re focused on adding integrative seminars and courses that are co-taught by faculty from different fields of expertise. We’re doing this because when a manager faces a problem, it's not just a finance problem, a marketing problem, or a human resources problem.
It's usually multifaceted and we want to teach them how to deal with these types of problems. For instance, a manager may be faced with launching a marketing campaign and they need to sort out the financing and organize the right talent for the job.
More stories about students, alumni and programmes at EMLYON here
Why you should join BUSINESSBECAUSE...
Connecting people before, during and after b-school
Build a network of useful connections
Gather information & get weekly newsletter
Get job and b-school application tips
Read real life stories published daily