Meet IE Business School’s MBA Class Of 2019

Béatrice Méthé

IE Business School

“A globally-minded, sometimes impulsive, curious and commercially-driven lawyer, ex-investment banker and future entrepreneur.”

Hometown: Montréal, Québec

Fun Fact About Yourself: When I’m not crunching numbers, I am training to become a Pilates instructor.

Undergraduate School and Major: Université de Montréal, Law

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: McMillan, Corporate Lawyer

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Working as an M&A analyst for a leading investment banking firm in London, one of the most competitive international financial centers, while having no background in finance. Thankfully, I ended up learning the ropes of finance and proving myself! I got the chance to work on major corporate transaction shaping the European technology landscape as well as the opportunity to meet leaders and high-level decision makers, even as a junior analyst. I decided to return to the law industry after my time in investment banking. The skills I gained in London, especially combined with my legal experience, have helped me develop a rounded and commercial approach to legal and business issues. On the professional side, my background has provided for a unique combination of skills and has really stood out to potential employers.

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? My classmates are from more than thirty nationalities and all have very different academic and professional backgrounds, but we all share an intellectual curiosity and emotional intelligence which translates into a great mix of camaraderie, healthy competition and support towards a common goal.

Aside from your classmates, 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 was drawn to the focus on social impact, entrepreneurship and the development of soft skills. As a trained lawyer and ex-investment banker, I have definitely had my fair share of exposure to technical subject matters. IE’s focus on softer skills, innovation and critical thinking was a key factor for me as I felt it would successfully shape my profile on my quest to becoming a successful entrepreneur.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I am very excited about the opportunity to learn a third language with the Spanish classes offered by the school. I am also looking forward to getting involved with the Private Equity, the Luxury Goods and the Real Estate clubs, all areas in which I have a strong interest. I also plan on taking part in the Social Impact Lab, a program unique to IE and focused on responsible leadership and sustainability.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I had reached a point in my career where I realized that my role as a corporate lawyer and how the role would evolve as I got more senior was not the path I wanted to follow. I wanted to now take my learnings and move to the other side of the table: the client side, the side where decisions are made. Professional services, both in terms of law and banking, are great learning experiences but they only expose you to business at arm’s length and do not provide for the thrill of the ups-and-downs of operating a business at the sharp-end. An MBA was the opportunity to round my experiences to date and focus on laying the foundations, both in terms of knowledge and relationships, of my future business venture.

How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? I knew it would complement my legal background and give me more credibility in the business world. I also wanted to solidify the skills gained through my experience in investment banking and develop leadership and critical thinking skills. Finally, I knew that a school like IE would allow me to build a global network which itself adds so much value to the overall experience. That being said, the return on the MBA investment is not something that should be taken for granted, but rather is something that every candidate needs to secure for themselves. There is no substitute for hard work and intelligent networking.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? None

How did you determine your fit at various schools? While I only applied to IE, I did consider a few other business schools. The culture of the school and the diversity of students were the key factors for me and IE was an obvious choice given its focus on entrepreneurship, social impact and the diverse student body it attracts. On a more practical level, I knew I wanted to attend a one-year program and the school had to have an excellent reputation and great brand awareness in Europe.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? Moving to London at the age of 21 was definitely the experience that shaped who I am the most, both on the professional and personal levels. I left my hometown, my family, and what was going to be a “secure” legal job and booked a one-way ticket to London knowing no one there and not really being sure of what I would do. During the three years that I spent in London, I gained countless friends and an invaluable work experience, but I also had to face hardships and the loneliness that sometimes comes with living abroad. As I get older, I sometimes hesitate when it comes to getting out of my comfort zone but then I remember the boldness of my 21-year-old self and it pushes me forward…. for instance to pursue an International MBA at IE!

What do you plan to do after you graduate? Eventually I would like to start my own business, but initially I want to join a global firm and be involved in the international corporate development and strategy, either as an investor, from a private equity perspective, or directly leading the development efforts in-house.

Where do you see yourself in five years? Building my own business having in the meanwhile played a pivotal part in the international development team of a global company. Most importantly, I see myself being happy and surrounded by the many new friends I made during my MBA.

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.