Jean-Patrick Tsang was born in Mauritius but has been in Singapore for the past 15 years. Whilst deciding where to study for his MBA he was lucky enough to have some priceless advice from a very successful alumnus of EMLYON Business School.
He obtained an honours degree for Mechanical & Production Engineering from the National University of Singapore (NUS). “My studies at NUS have been a very enriching experience as the course was tough and intense. It allowed me to develop self-discipline and to value meritocracy – my Singaporean peers were very competitive. This experience helped me to develop my independence and also to learn about the Singapore way of life – fast and efficient.”
After graduating Jean-Patrick worked as a maintenance engineer for a major Dutch oil & gas tank storage terminal company, Vopak Terminals. A job which Jean-Patrick says developed his planning and project management skills.
Three years later Jean-Patrick took a shot to become a pilot. “After numerous rounds of selection tests I was selected by Singapore Airlines for their cadet pilot training program. It was an enriching experience but unfortunately, after months of intense flight training, I did not succeed in the flying test. Nonetheless, this experience strengthened my self-awareness about the importance of making split-second decisions.”
Jean-Patrick considered numerous offers but joined Renault Asia Pacific as a quality analyst. He established a decentralised technical hub in Singapore to manage 13 countries. “I contributed to the overall improvement of product quality through my collaboration with the Engineering Department in France and analysis of the technical problems encountered by countries I was responsible for. In order to achieve this, I published a white book with all the local problems and convinced the Engineering Department that the product must adapt to the local conditions quickly.”
After three years Jean-Patrick was promoted to the post of Regional After-Sales Manager for five countries in the Asia Pacific Region. “This job gave me the opportunity to travel regularly and develop my B2B marketing as well as my auditing skills. I had to adapt my management style to suit the different countries and in the process, sharpened my negotiation skills.”
In 2009 he was headhunted to join the newly appointed Ferrari distributor in Singapore, “it was exciting and challenging to be a pioneer for a new start-up. I conceptualised and implemented everything from scratch, from the workshop to the technical and service team that had to be in place, on an extremely tight schedule.”
As Jean-Patrick moved into more strategic roles he realised that he lacked certain technical business knowledge. And he says that he strongly believes “that the knowledge acquired through an MBA will propel my career to another level.”
Jean-Patrick looked at business schools in France (Insead and HEC Paris) and Canada (York Schulich) but eventually applied solely to EMLYON.
EMLYON was attractive to Jean-Patrick, for it is ranked in the top 50 MBA schools in the world by the Economist, has a good reputation and he had liked the practice of the “small enrolment of 30 which meant better quality interactions between the professors and students. The demographics of EMLYON MBA students were another very important factor for me. Their average age was 30 and they were culturally diverse with 15 nationalities.”
Jean-Patrick also heard of the EMLYON Entrepreneurial Leadership Project which he is eagerly anticipating, “it will undoubtedly provide a good platform for me to see the dynamics of a think-tank in first-hand action.”
One of the most useful resources for Jean-Patrick was seeking the advice of an alumnus in Singapore. “His career progression was impressive. Like me, he was an engineering graduate. Ten years after his EMLYON MBA he is now the CEO of Asia for multi-national corporation, Lumiplan Asia Pte Ltd. He told me that he would not be able to attain his current position without the MBA from EMLYON. This was enough to convince me on the value of the MBA at EMLYON.”
The chance to learn the principles of economics, finance and marketing is for Jean-Patrick an opportunity to stretch his management capabilities and unleash more entrepreneurial and leadership potential in the future. “So far, I must say that my appreciation of business dynamics has been greatly enhanced through my MBA program.”
Jean-Patrick has found the EMLYON experience “very intense and enriching. Every day, new knowledge is imparted by our international professors, with excellent credentials. Their entrepreneurship modules have changed my mind-set and encouraged creativity in problem solving. The various projects, which we have worked on, helped me to further develop my team building skills and leadership qualities. The diversity and experience of my peers in class make the lectures more interesting and provide different perspectives to analyse situations.”
After graduating Jean-Patrick is keeping his options open, looking at opportunities all over the world. He would like to work in strategic management with a multinational organisation or with a start-up which wants to go global. His ten year plan is to be in a top leadership position for a successful enterprise.