Entrepreneur Uses EMLYON EMBA To Take His Aviation Tech Startup To New Heights

Thomas Baudin is applying the strategic skills he’s picked up at EMLYON Business School to his own business

Thomas Baudin’s company, SyNext, develops state-of-the-art aeronautics innovations - like programs that assist blind pilots or help power unmanned aircraft.

For half a decade, Thomas and his associates have run the aviation technology startup from its headquarters in the South of France. Now, he’s looking to use the management lessons he’s learning on EMLYON Business School’s Executive MBA program to take SyNext to new heights.

“The EMLYON EMBA is really useful in helping me understand the strengths and weaknesses of my business,” Thomas says. “As an entrepreneur, a lot of the things we learn during the EMBA are useful.”

A seasoned engineer, Thomas has ten years of experience in mobile and embedded software development. He also has worked in research and development and avionics systems.

The EMBA at EMLYON is designed to help students just like Thomas—highly skilled mid-career executives with minimal time on their hands—gain the skills needed in a management position. Recently ranked in the world’s top 10 executive MBA programs for career progress, the EMLYON EMBA focuses on developing viable business strategies and nurturing steady leadership.

Students at the program come from a variety of professional backgrounds. 41% of students have experience in management, economics or human sciences training. However, the majority are engineers like Thomas. In fact, they make up some 46% of EMLYON EMBA pupils.

“As an engineer, I have an excellent understanding of technical facts, which provides a strong image when dealing with customers,” Thomas says. “But there was a lack of understanding of the ‘non-technical’ part of the business. This is the thing I’m looking to gain from this EMLYON EMBA.”

The program’s structure allows students to learn a number of skills that they can take back into the workplace. Classes are offered over three days every month, with some of these courses specializing in so-called ‘soft skills’ like leadership, marketing, and innovation. Other modules focus on personal development, or even allow for international travel opportunities.

Overall business strategy is also emphasized, with classes in finance and marketing rounding out the EMLYON EMBA. Thomas says those classes have been a key part of his time at EMLYON, particularly as he begins handling SyNext’s finances.

“When I have to speak with partners or bankers, […] I can now fully understand their points of view and the metrics involved,” he says.

Thomas is set to graduate from EMLYON later this year. The EMBA program has been a challenge, but Thomas is adamant that it’s worth the effort.

He highlights the veteran professionals EMLYON attracts, and for good reason: School data shows that 40% of EMLYON EMBA students have 11 to 15 years of experience, while more than a fourth have 16 to 20 years.

“Do not underestimate the amount of work and time off from your job during the two years of the executive MBA,” he says.

“But definitively go for it,” he continues. “The people you meet are really open-minded and capable, and you will learn both from the courses and your colleagues.”

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