Civil engineer to MBA; Juan Pablo shares his experience
From civil engineer to MBA, Juan Pablo from Colombia is a participant of EMLYON’s International MBA class of 2014/2015. Having worked in many different industries as a civil engineer, Juan Pablo considered the International Business MBA from EMLYON Business School was the best fit for his career requirements. He shares his background, why he chose the MBA programme and how EMLYON are supporting him to achieve his career objectives, saying « now my objectives look more challenging compared to those I set at the beginning of the programme. »
I am a Colombian civil engineer with 6 years of international experience in the construction industry. I participated in the recovery of Haiti after the earthquake of 2010. Also, working in international groups, I played a part in the development of BASF´s global strategy in the mining industry. This diversity of experience helped me to develop an approach to business situations from multiple perspectives, whilst at the same time improving my personal and professional skills. However, I realised that as a more structured professional I could have been even more effective in these situations. I felt that it was the time to improve and consolidate all this knowledge with an MBA.
To choose my MBA, I participated in several open campus days and I spoke with several current students at premium Business Schools. I made my own ranking of MBA options based on the educational experiences they provided. Considering my goals, EMLYON Business School was my first choice.
What was the highlight of your first semester?
Personally, the support and communication at an individual level from the moment I started my application has been the highlight. The school cares about me and my professional objectives. The support comes from professors, from the Admissions Department and from Career Services. For example, professors at EMLYON have been very open to assessing my professional plans and coaching me. The Admissions team also helped me to resolve some issues that my wife and son had with paperwork regarding their social security and residence permit.
The Careers Department generates opportunities to be closer to the recruiters at the companies I would like to work for. A couple of weeks ago as a “Student Ambassador” at the Careers Forum, I had to opportunity to meet several recruiters and I am enthusiastic to see the outcome of these meetings. Also, I am eager to join the cohort for our learning trip to Finland in February. In January, the trip to Geneva was an excellent prelude to what to expect.
Have your career plans changed since you began the programme?
My career objectives have not changed significantly since the beginning of the MBA. However, the MBA provides me the resources to establish a stronger foundation of knowledge and a wider perspective to go further in my career. Because I will be better equipped, now my objectives look more challenging compared to those I set at the beginning of the programme.
What advice would you give to prospective International MBA programme participants?
My advice to those who will join the programme is to be very open to share and to listen. The experiences and knowledge the rest of the cohort share are invaluable. Additionally, you will need to be very efficient with time management, as this will help you to make the most of your busy MBA.
Discover the International Masters of Business Administration from EMLYON Business School, featuring:
- Project based learning with the Entrepreneurial Leadership Project
- Specialisation by function, industry or firm type and a wide range of elective courses
- International exchange opportunities
- The chance to meet corporate and social intrapreneurs and entrepreneurs; the International MBA programme was rated #10 MBA for entrepreneurship in the world by the Financial Times in 2014
- Small cohort size with large diversity