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I Studied Entrepreneurship On My MBA In France—Then I Got A Job At BMW Asia

Patrick Tsang says the startups focus of the EMLYON Business School MBA is helping him thrive in a corporate setting at BMW. He’s another EMLYON MBA enjoying a successful career in Asia


By  Robert Klecha

Fri May 25 2018

Patrick Tsang feels he came out of France’s EMLYON Business School a more rounded and confident individual who’s learned the life skill of how to plan, launch, and run a business. This, he says, makes him better-equipped to operate in a corporate setting.

The ‘early makers’ approach on the EMLYON MBA gave him the tools to manage any professional situation. This approach treats each subject with a lean startup mentality. MBA students are taught basic business school theory, and then challenged to innovate with new ways to learn. This is how the school hopes to develop entrepreneurial mind-sets.

Previously working in Singapore, Patrick left his role as a sales manager with Ferrari, heading to Europe to enroll on the EMLYON MBA. With EMLYON program’s strength in entrepreneurship, he knew he would help develop his all-round skillset to be successful once he returned to Asia.

Since moving back to Singapore, he’s moved into a top job with BMW Group Asia. He’s the company’s area manager, covering Singapore, Vietnam, Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, Tahiti, and New Caledonia.

He’s convinced that the experiences of working with a diverse cohort on entrepreneurial business plans, as well as the nine-month EMLYON MBA consulting project, have prepared him for this role—he has the experience needed to operate in emerging markets as well as a cultural understanding of how to interact with people from different backgrounds.

BusinessBecause caught up with Patrick to find out more.

How has the EMLYON MBA helped kick-start your career in Asia?

I secured a job as the head of aftersales for the importer market at the Asia-Pacific office of Jaguar Land Rover within six months of returning to Singapore. I believe the MBA was key and gave me an edge over the other candidates with similar experience.

Since then, I’ve moved on to BMW Asia as an area manager in charge of seven markets in the Asia-Pacific region. The learnings from the EMLYON Business School MBA have allowed me to climb the corporate ladder.

Long-term, I might look at starting my own business. The entrepreneurial focus at EMLYON has given me the mind-set, theory, and confidence to pursue something new.

How are you applying your MBA learnings in your current role?

I can grasp financial topics much better now than before the MBA. This allows me to convince the dealer when it comes to making investment decisions, as I’m able to clearly show what the return on the investments will be.

On the soft skills side, I’m also now more aware on how to handle people from different cultures and apply different communication styles to suit the audience.

Finally, the strategic approach I learned during the EMLYON Business School MBA also allows me to steer the strategic direction of fast growing markets like Vietnam and the Philippines. I’m able to implement the right organization structure, dealer network capacity, and marketing plan for the different areas.

What advice do you have for anyone considering an MBA?

An MBA is an enriching journey to embark on. You will get to know yourself better in terms of your weaknesses and strengths. You will also build up your self-confidence, as the knowledge acquired will allow you to understand and manage any topics in an organization.

Ultimately, if you want, you will also be able to start up your own business confidently. Now, I’m always thinking and talking to people about what could be the next big thing, and I have the life skill of how to take something from idea, to business plan, to launch.

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