Frederic John (Full-Time MBA 2019) came to a point in his career where he wanted to work for a purpose and industry that he was passionate about. He also wanted to integrate this career change with a move to London and realised that the Full-Time MBA was the answer to successfully undertake a triple professional jump.
In this interview Frederic talks about why the MBA was right for him and how it fundamentally changed him as a person and a leader.
Why did you choose to undertake an MBA?
I was at a point in my career where I realised that life was short so I’d better work for a purpose and an industry that drives me. I have always been excited by everything that can be driven or piloted. I am a private pilot, a certified scuba diver and skydiver and a boat captain for my beach holidays. Therefore, stepping into the mobility world seemed an easy transition.
In terms of purpose, congestion, pollution and people safety are global challenges that I care about and have interested me for many years. I want to make an impact and pursue the challenges around pollution and congestion to make a real difference.
Last but not least, I wanted to integrate into this career change a relocation to London. I knew that a Full-Time MBA would be the perfect entry door to successfully undertake a triple professional jump.
The fusion of business, technology, innovation, sustainability and entrepreneurship is at the heart of the Imperial experience. The College is a global leader in these areas of expertise. I believe that these are fundamental keywords to be successful in the smart mobility industry.
How has your MBA changed your career?
I do what I do, where I am today, thanks to my MBA. I changed country, industry and even if I am still a consultant, the job itself is completely different. I also met my current MD as part of a networking effort during the MBA. I work as a Senior Consultant, Neckermann Strategic Advisors, a small boutique company that strives to transform the way we live and work.
You will discover what kind of leader you are and how this fits with your future goals.
I am a member of the Global New Mobility Coalition part of the World Economic Forum and contribute to how to create smart cities of the future. I look at smart mobility trends – ‘The Mobility Revolution’. It is a fascinating and fast-moving industry. I enjoy sharing my passion for the industry and have volunteered my time to speak current students, as well as being a Business School Alumni Ambassador. I also mentor startups and have my own blog.
What did you learn from your time at Imperial?
The MBA is a very special programme and it was an intense year. The programme has a great balance of theory, practice and personal development.
The DNA of Imperial is characterised by entrepreneurship and innovation. Facilities such as the Enterprise Lab provide amazing opportunities for entrepreneurs and business leaders.
In terms of personal development, I have changed as a person. The support you are given is very pro-active in terms of workshops, one-to-ones and intensive training. You will discover what kind of leader you are and how this fits with your future goals. I re-evaluated how I interact with people, and realised how hard it is to effectively communicate in a global and connected world.
One key learning point was how to handle a vast diversity of people, nationalities, interests and skill-sets. One very important concept for a leader is how to leverage individual key skills to get the most out of people and your team. These are the kind of skills that can’t be taught in the classroom but are developed through group projects, and the time and space the MBA gives you to be introspective and evaluate your own ability and goals.
It was really refreshing to be able to work with like-minded people, but people who work in different industries, in different positions and with different outlooks. I believe that you can have a great experiences if you are inspired by others and their opinions and experiences. This is what you get from a MBA. And on top of this the network of students and alumni I met, the family of Imperial is incredible. Plus it was very special to be in the heart on South Kensington, surrounded by history, culture and art.
The skills and experiences I gained during my MBA will follow me throughout my career. It is demanding and challenging. You will laugh, cry and swear and sweat, but it is unique opportunity and will only happen once. So my final piece of advice is to enjoy it!
Watch Frederic’s full interview with Centre Court 2020