MSc Business Engineering, UMONS
Mobility consultant, Neckermann Strategic Advisors
Frederic 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 perfect opportunity to successfully undertake a triple professional jump.
Your time at Imperial College Business School
Why did you choose to study your programme and why specifically at Imperial College Business School?
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 was a given. Congestion, pollution and people safety are global challenges that I care about and have interested me for many years. Last but not least, I wanted to integrate into this career change a relocation to London, reducing significantly the scope to target the perfect university. I quickly understood that studying an Full-Time MBA was the perfect opportunity to successfully undertake a triple professional jump.
Imperial College London is a leading global university in terms of innovation, sustainability and entrepreneurship. I believed and still think that these are fundamental keywords to be successful in the smart mobility industry. I applied, I got selected, I signed the contract.
What was the most important learning point you took with you from the Business School?
The human aspect of this adventure. How to connect with people, handle a large diversity of nationalities and culture, adapt your leadership style and leverage the expertise of each background.
What advice would you give to a prospective student considering studying the same programme as you?
I would suggest an easy process:
- Identify your triggers
- Test your motivation
- Choose your school
You need to identify what is your trigger. What will drive your motivation during the entire application process and year of study? I believe that a Full-Time MBA is for those who are looking for:
- a career change (industry, job or location)
- a new network
- increased maturity
- enhanced business expertise if you are from another background (i.e. engineering, computing …)
A good way to test your motivation is to take the GMAT as soon as possible - start studying and practising. Do not leave the GMAT to the last step of your application. This is such a challenging process to go back to formulas, grammar etc while you are working and have not opened an academic book for years. If you can’t motivate yourself enough to crack the test, then a Full-Time MBA may not be right for you at this time.
Are you motivated enough and have a clear vision of why you want to experience this adventure? Congratulations! Now you have to find a business school. If you are target consulting firms or large corporates, then take a look at the rankings. Choose the location wisely. If you want to relocate somewhere, there’s perhaps no sense for you to study 10,000 miles away from that specific area. A significant part of your MBA will be to network and source opportunities.
Now that you know where you want to study, just do it! Prepare a strong application and apply.
One final piece of advice: enjoy this process. It is demanding, challenging, you will laugh, you will cry, you will swear and perhaps throw some books across your room but, at the end, it is a unique experience that will happen only once in your life.
What was the most surprising thing about the programme?
The lectures. I come from a small university in Belgium and I was really worried about being overwhelmed and not able to follow. In the end, with self-discipline and motivation, it went very smoothly. So do not worry if you’re from a small town and studied in a local school, that means nothing in terms of your capacity!
Tell us about your current job
How was your career transformed following your programme?
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.
How do you plan to use the skills and knowledge you gained during the programme within your career going forward?
I think the most useful skillset I learned during the MBA for the rest of my career is the human competence. More specifically, the ability to build, maintain and leverage a strong network for mutually beneficial purposes.
What do you enjoy most about your current work and what are the main challenges that you face?
Mobility is an exciting fast-moving environment. Every day there is something new happening somewhere in the world. I like to think that what we do will help improve people’s lives. The main challenge is to keep up with the industry development rate to always stay at the top of the game. What I specifically enjoy the most with my current position is my freedom. I can work where and when I want. This is extremely valuable to me.
What is your proudest achievement in the job so far?
I am the co-writer of a study developed during my MBA internship. This piece of research called “Being Driven, a study on human adoption and ownership of autonomous vehicles” propelled me to an international level. It has been featured around the world in Forbes and Straits Times. I was immensely proud to have a three-page interview in the prestigious business magazine Trends Belgium. I never imagined that one day I would feature in this paper. I am now capitalising on this experience and expertise to speak at events and enhance my personal branding.
In what way is remaining connected to your alumni network important to you?
For different reasons such as business development, sharing insights or getting career advice
Have you volunteered at the Business School since you graduated? If so, why do you feel it’s important to volunteer your time and experience?
Yes. I am an alumni ambassador which means that I support the university during events and I will support the recruitment to interview prospective Full-Time MBA applicants. I also volunteer to be a guest speaker for career events and lectures. It is important for me to give back to the university, stay connected with its staff and students.