Anne Mandron only considered France’s EMLYON Business School when she decided to pursue an Executive MBA. Why? Because she knew exactly what she wanted; to learn what it takes to be an entrepreneur.
Having been in effect an intrapreneur for most of her career in the engineering industry—starting new projects from scratch, launching new services, and covering new territories—she was fascinated by entrepreneurship and saw the EMLYON’s philosophy of ‘educating entrepreneurs for the world’ as the perfect match for her career aspirations.
Now, since completing her degree, she’s founded her own independent consultancy and helps startups and SMEs in the clean technology—cleantech—sector to develop their business plans and grow into successful companies.
How did the idea for your cleantech consultancy come about?
One of my colleagues, a business angel, put me in touch with a startup trying to raise funds. I was able to support them in developing their business plan and financial model, and that’s really how it all started!
Straight after the MBA, I moved to Lausanne in Switzerland to rejoin my partner. I immediately investigated the cleantech Industry, positioned myself as an independent management consultant and started to get projects to work on.
How have you been supported by your EMBA experience?
I had loads of business lectures, personal work and projects. Through these, I acquired a thorough understanding on how to run a business, tackle scale-up phases, strategy definition and implementation—all of these are essential knowledge for a management consultant.
On a more practical side, we used a set of tools and methodology during the MBA that I am now using on a day-to-day basis with my clients. I have access to an extensive network in all possible industries. Just name it, and I will find somebody that is a business expert in this field and can help us with moving the project forward.
Why did you decide to pursue an Executive MBA at EMLYON?
I worked for more than seven years for renowned engineering consultancy companies on water projects all around the world. Mostly based out in the field, I was responsible of key projects really early on.
In these international environments, fast learning was key, but I reached a stage where I felt I had to strengthen my business acumen to perform better at an executive level—especially on subjects such as finance, strategy and strategic change management. An MBA seemed like an obvious step.
I only applied to the EMLYON program because of the focus on entrepreneurship. I was excited to investigate entrepreneurship, get a grasp of what’s behind the buzzword startup, and maybe start my own journey as an entrepreneur.
I met Marjolaine Briquet, in charge of EMLYON recruitment, and this made up my mind. The program met my expectations and, most importantly, I felt it was a benevolent environment where I could grow, personally and professionally.
What advice do you have for anyone considering an MBA?
Know why you want to do a MBA. This will help you get the most out of the experience.
You should also carefully select the business school that matches these objectives. The different schools have different strengths so research is important in determining which school is best for you. Finally, reach out and discuss the experience extensively with the alumni. There’s no one better than a school alum to tell you what an MBA program is really like!