Meet The Imperial MBA Class Of 2019

Frederic John

Imperial College Business School

Hometown: Brussels, Belgium

Fun Fact About Yourself: I pilot planes during my spare time. I also have a skydiving license for the curious!

Undergraduate School and Major: University of Mons, Bachelor, Business Engineering and Master’s in Business Engineering.

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: Deloitte Consulting & Advisory – Consultant – Brussels

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: The accomplishment I am the proudest of is not related to the amount of money I generated or the number of contracts I signed. It is all about people and impact. Every time I undertook a project with colleagues, clients or more generally stakeholders, I tried to bring a positive energy and to implement a strong dynamism leading us to be successful. Gaining the confidence of these people along with making them happy to work with me on a project provided me with an incomparable rewarding feeling.

This reminds me of a project where we were a team of five people. We did not know each other and the deadlines were (really) short. At the beginning, the relationship was weird but I implemented a comfortable working environment thanks to my energy and humour (not always funny). In the end, it was one of the best assignments I have ever had and we exceeded the expectations. A good atmosphere is strongly correlated to high performance. This faculty to build strong relationships with people to achieve ambitious goals is the essential foundation of the biggest achievements and represents the most beautiful impact I have ever done in my professional career. I do not aim to change the world, but I can impact positively my environment. Isn’t that already fantastic?

What quality best describes the MBA classmates you’ve met so far and why? Diversity. I came here to be immersed in a worldwide experience and I am not disappointed. I work every day with 74 talented people coming from 30 different nationalities and speaking 24 languages. This provides me with an exceptional overview of culture, teamwork, and experience at a global level. It is incredible the added value we can benefit from these different backgrounds when it comes to brainstorming on a project or preparing a presentation in front of a panel. Together with diversity, my classmates are open-minded and it feels good be ourselves without being judged. We all have our particularities and we not only respect that but we also value it as a source of wealth.

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? The most important factor that led to my choice was the expertise of the university. Imperial has a strong worldwide reputation within innovation and entrepreneurship. Coming from an entrepreneurial background and being passionate about technology, I believe this choice made sense and I feel totally in line with the values of the School.

What club or activity are you looking most forward to in business school? I am Vice-President of MBA Connect, a business coaching program between MBAs, the coaches, and startups created by Imperial students. This project is a formidable opportunity for MBA students to apply immediately the business skills acquired during the lectures, as well as boost their networking in the dynamic entrepreneurial London ecosystem. On the other hand, founders of start-ups can find within this program valuable business support to bring their idea to a real marketable product.

Each year, Imperial College produces successful startups with the ambition to improve everyone’s life. We help to make things happen!

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? I think it is a combination of factors. From my personal point of view, I always wanted to experience an MBA. Moreover, my current situation is perfectly adapted to undertake this adventure with full support from my wonderful wife and family. From my professional point of view, after four years of experience, I felt it was the right time for me to boost my career and work towards the famous ‘triple jump’. For the non-initiated, this means changing country, position and industry. I am convinced that undertaking a MBA in one of the most prestigious business cities is the perfect entry door to achieve this objective.

How did you decide if an MBA was worth the investment? I took the time to learn from the experience of others and I had numerous calls with people who had studied in the US, EU, and Asia to collect their feelings about the worth of an MBA. The question is, how do you evaluate that an MBA is a good investment? Success criteria can vary a lot depending on someone’s personal and professional objectives. If the goal is to relocate, change business industry or position, or have a salary increase, the approach used to evaluate the worth of an MBA is totally different. Only two months into the MBA, I already know it was the right decision! I have met people whom I could never imagine getting in touch with prior the programme. I have access to an unlimited amount of resource and, above all, I discover something new about myself every day. I am now working with The Aviary Project, which is the first global community around Urban Air Mobility with the ambition to become one of the major players in the future of transportation. Do not underestimate the power of your student email address: it will help you to touch the sky.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? My case is particular, as I planned to undertake an MBA in 2019 or 2020. Following the GMAT, I was contacted by Imperial College Business School to attend a fast track admission day. Lucky me, this is the university where I wanted to go! The university met all the criteria I was seeking. Therefore, I decided to take my chance and see how it goes. I was immediately selected and everything went fast and smoothly. Consequently, I did not apply for another business school.

What was your defining moment and how did it shape who you are? In January 2018, I lost all of my grandparents in just one week. I was so excited to talk to them about my potential (at the time) MBA programme and my relocation in London. From one week to another, in a flash, they were gone. It gave me so much energy to keep my promise to complete an MBA and achieve what I told them. I think they are accountable for a major part of my success. They remind me, every day, that life is short, so why should we wait to do something if we can do it today?!

What do you plan to do after you graduate? I plan to leverage my MBA experience by finding a position in line with my skills as well as with my aspirations in a business industry that drives my motivation. In other words, a perfect fit would be a managerial position in business development for an innovative and entrepreneurial company active in the automotive/aerospace industry ideally located in London.

Where do you see yourself in five years? I see myself here in London leading a team in an intrapreneurial project for a major player in the automotive/aerospace space. This project would have a significant impact for the future of the company and the people, both employees and customers.

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