Not that he’d admit it, but Quentin Ankri is a globetrotter.
Originally from France, he crossed the Atlantic to study his bachelor’s degree on the east coast of the US. After stints working in the US and in Mexico, he returned to Europe for work, first to Spain, then to France.
Now, his gaze is looking towards eastern Europe—namely to Albania, Georgia, and Serbia. As a project manager at Euronews, he is responsible for setting up three new channels in these three countries by 2020.
His transition into the media industry, to one of Europe’s biggest news networks, wasn’t easy, and an MBA provided him with the ideal opportunity.
A background in entrepreneurship
Quentin (left) was straight out of the blocks after completing his bachelor’s degree, and at age 20, he had set up his first startup, Greensky, a wind energy provider based in North Carolina set up with a classmate from university.
Not content with one business, he traveled south of the border to Mexico, where he joined an old friend from business school to set up Invictus, a solar energy provider in Monterrey.
Somehow, his mind was elsewhere, and soon he set his sights on the media industry—a fast-changing, fast-moving industry which he felt would set him a new challenge.
But he lacked the experience needed, and suddenly found the time for a return to education that he had always wanted.
“I had always wanted that fifth year, that master’s year, but I never really had the time to step back from work,” Quentin remembers.
Now, the opportunity was perfect to do an MBA, the key to a career change and continent switch back to Europe. Next stop on his exciting journey—EMLYON Business School in France.
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A fresh perspective on the company
Quentin chose EMLYON as a chance to really set his focus on the media industry by studying media companies such as Axel Springer as part of the MBA program.
“It helped me learn about all of the aspects of the industry and these companies that I didn’t know about before,” he reveals.
Overall, it gave him a strong overview of how a large company works, something which is crucial for his current role as a project manager.
“It allows you to step back, to look at one problem and put it in the broad context of things. I can now see how that one thing might impact the company as a whole,” Quentin stresses.
He also notes how the big workload at business school prepared him well for the world of project management, where you have to learn how to focus your time and efforts effectively.
“On the MBA, you work on different projects over the whole year—sixteen in total which are very hands-on. Now, I am able to focus my mind on different projects all from different perspectives,” he mentions.
This is crucial, he notes, in the media industry, which is constantly changing. Euronews, much like many other media outlets, is transforming digitally, requiring project managers like Quentin to manage these shifts.
“I can see how we can better position ourselves for changes.”
Meeting the Euronews CEO
Quentin left a stamp of his legacy on the school, by jointly setting up the EMLYON MBA Club—a forum for MBAs outside of the classroom and separate to the course.
The club puts on events, conferences, and networking support for all EMLYON MBA students and graduates, helping students with their post-graduate careers.
This is something Quentin in particular can attest to.
As president of the club, he invited Michael Peters, CEO of Euronews, to deliver a conference about the media industry. At the time Quentin was applying for a job at Euronews, and before he knew it, he was having an interview with the CEO himself.
Needless to say, he got the job.
Expanding to new regions
After study and work whisked Quentin around the world, he is now settled in Lyon, just a few hours from his family in Marseille but also based in a thriving economy.
His job at Euronews still gives him ample opportunity to travel, and as the launch date of the Albanian, Georgian, and Serbian channels approaches, he is responsible for overseeing the delivery from an editorial, operational, financial, and legal perspective.
Everyday, he can see his MBA paying off, giving him the capability to deal in the high pressure environment of an industry which was new to him.
“The MBA was always about being able to switch industry and get into the media and build my network here in Europe,” Quentin says.
It has clearly paid off.