Meet the MBA Class of 2021: Georges Mahl, INSEAD

Georges Mahl

INSEAD

“Tech startup engineer with a taste for artificial intelligence and cheese.”

Hometown: Paris, France

Fun Fact About Yourself: Drove around Japan in snowy weather looking for the best gyozas.

Undergraduate School and Major: Double degree between Télécom Paris and Technische Universität München, with major in computer science

Most Recent Employer and Job Title: PriceHubble, Senior Data Engineer

Aside from your classmates, what was the key part of the school’s MBA programming that led you to choose this business school and why was it so important to you? Working in a startup that was accelerated at Station F, I would walk by the INSEAD accelerator every day. The huge availability of entrepreneurship related courses and activities were a deciding factor for me.

What club or activity excites you most at this school)? Startup Bootcamp, at the beginning of the program, for its idea analysis framework. I am also looking forward to joining the Healthcare Club, since so many incredible AI startups are spawning in this industry!

What makes you most excited about getting your MBA at INSEAD? What makes you most nervous about starting business school?  I’m both excited and nervous about the rhythm of the program. I love high rhythm environments, and the intellectual challenge that they provide, but there’ll just be so many things to learn and discover over 10 months!

Describe your biggest accomplishment in your career so far: Designing and maintaining a highly scalable, data processing and machine learning architecture that handles Terabytes of data every day, which describes real estate from all over the world. The startup grew threefold in size while I was there, and revenue is growing 3x every year thanks to the quality of the products that we created.

What led you to pursue an MBA at this point in your career? While working for a new venture, I enjoyed working closely with people with a great diversity of profiles. This experience made me long for a more transversal role: I decided to do an MBA in order to transition to leadership roles in startups. I’m also looking forward to gaining experience from other classmates with different backgrounds.

What other MBA programs did you apply to? Stanford GSB, Chicago Booth, LBS

What was the most challenging question you were asked during the admissions process? It was one of the most common questions: “Why now?”. The startup I was working at was (and still is) growing at a very fast pace, which didn’t make it seem like the best time to leave. My desire for a career change was overgrowing my stakes in the startup venture.

How did you determine your fit at various schools? I love cultures of transparency, fragility and open-mindedness. That’s what I was looking for in the schools that I applied to. I read some articles (e.g. on poets and quants) and later connected to some former students.

What was your defining moment and how did it prepare you for business school? In 2013-2014, I did an internship in Japan, where I was completely immersed in a culture that I barely knew. I was fascinated, intellectually challenged and loved the company’s international environment. This experience abroad was eye-opening, and I always tried to remain in culturally diverse environments from then on. INSEAD logically follows, as an extremely diverse business school.

What is your favorite company and what could business students learn from them? The culture of brutal honesty and empowering people at Netflix is very appealing to me. I think business students could learn a lot from this culture, since they found an interesting way to create trusting environments between employees, and to allow people to remain creative while the company keeps growing.

DON’T MISS: Meet INSEAD’s MBA Class of 2021