U.C.-Berkeley, Haas School of Business
Describe yourself in 15 words or less: Biotechnology and pharmaceutical industry leader who has driven millions of dollars in cost savings across five countries.
Hometown: Paris suburb, France
Fun Fact About Yourself: My nickname is Ninja and I am known for growing plants and cooking dinners at home. I am also planning to climb the Kilimanjaro next year. No link between the four, though.
Undergraduate School and Major: Masters’ Degree in Biotech Engineering at Ecole de Biologie Industrielle, France
Employers and Job Titles Since Graduation:
Shanghai Morimatsu Pharmaceuticals, Shanghai, China – Test and Validation Manager
bioMerieux Shanghai Biotech, Shanghai, China – Project Manager
NNE Pharmaplan, Lyon, France – Process Engineer
Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: I am a person who likes to take calculated risks and engage in continuous learning. Therefore, I left behind a comfortable position in France for an exciting role in China, a country with cultural norms that differ from those in Europe.
Despite being one of the few females and youngest foreigners in my engineering company, I was given the opportunity to manage the testing team on site for a multimillion dollar project across both Shanghai and South Africa. I played an important role managing the cultural and language barriers between the various parties. This required a thorough understanding of business in China and Africa, and is something I could never have accomplished a few years earlier.
Looking back on your experience, what one piece of advice would you give to future business school applicants? Start early and relentlessly chat, discuss, talk, and question. Schools are looking for fit, and so should you. By talking to students, alumni and staff, you will understand the program, find the keys to writing your essays and excelling in your interview, and find people who will endorse you.
What was the key factor that led you to choose this program for your full-time MBA and why was it so important to you? I want to head a social enterprise that tackles environmental, economic, and social issues at a grassroots level. We will connect communities and give them the financial, legal, business, and technical tools to implement sustainable projects.
The Berkeley MBA program, with its deep understanding of social impact, will help me to develop the specific business acumen that many social enterprises need to realize the double bottom line of mission impact and financial sustainability. Haas is the only business school where I can focus on my areas of interest – social impact, clean tech, sustainability and entrepreneurship – all at once and with the best faculty.
Berkeley embodies Californian liberal dynamism: it is one of the most progressive universities and cities in the United States and has an unrivaled entrepreneurial culture. For the last several months, while I was trying to understand why Haas was the perfect fit and how I could contribute to the program, I contacted many students, professors and staff who enjoyed sharing their stories with me and answering my questions. No other school has this level of accessibility and openness which characterizes Haas. No other school has people that are so deeply and genuinely engaged and passionate about change. As a future social entrepreneur, having a collaborative environment with like-minded people is a necessity.
What would success look like to you after your first year of business school? My five years in China have been an incredible learning experience. Success is a viewpoint, and it cannot be reached without considering the environment in which one has evolved. Indeed, one of the reasons why I want to take an MBA is to study with like-minded people from different backgrounds and who have different perspectives. Doing something meaningful and that matters, this is what I hope to have started in one year.