2021 MBAs To Watch: Jeanne Roboh, Warwick Business School

Jeanne Roboh

Warwick Business School

Passionate, reserved, and a good listener.”

Hometown: Paris, France

Fun fact about yourself: I love DJing and I love dancing, I have some pretty mean moves on the dance floor.

Undergraduate School and Degree: BBA, Essec Business School, France

Where was the last place you worked before enrolling in business school? Above Board Distribution, Royalties Administrator

Where did you intern during the summer of 2020? N/A

Where will you be working after graduation? In the finance department of a big cultural organisation doing what I love: paying artists, writers and innovators.

Community Work and Leadership Roles in Business School: I am a member of the Student Committee for Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion and I also attended a workshop to become an Active Bystander. The workshop helped me widen my awareness to notice problematic situations, feel responsible, and take action. This understanding feeds my work at the committee to work with prejudice in and outside of the classroom and find appropriate solutions to bring tolerance and openness to all stakeholders at our university.

Which academic or extracurricular achievement are you most proud of during business school? Our group assignment in Strategic Thinking was focused on a Russian mining organisation. This industry couldn’t be further from my interests and morals, and it was difficult to engage with at times. For our group submission, our professor encouraged us to create a witty presentation to show to our cohort. I decided to create a video using repetitive aesthetics inspired by rave and lofi house. I created a techno soundtrack sampling my voice and using echos and filters to distort mining sounds to present the video. This was the first time I made music, despite having worked in the music industry for many years and I loved the process! I enjoyed this creative moment during my studies and I hope our cohort members danced behind their screens!

What achievement are you most proud of in your professional career? A few years ago, during a work lunch, a member of my team made a sexist joke about me in front of my colleagues. Following the incident, I decided to allow myself the weekend to think about what had happened and what decision I should make. I had many conversations with people around me, received different viewpoints, and pondered what would be the best approach to take. Should I risk my job in the industry I am most passionate about: music? The following Monday, I handed in my letter of resignation. This was probably one of the best decisions in my life and made me realise that I could take a stand and say no to sexism in the workplace. I realise how much of a privilege this was, as so many women endure discrimination at work every day and are not able to leave. Every little step against bigotry counts.

Why did you choose this business school? The WBS MBA offers a unique combination of high-grade theoretical knowledge coupled with practical experience. The program promotes diversity and cultural exchanges and brings together people from varied backgrounds, industries, nationalities, and areas of expertise. WBS is a global institution with a firm outward gaze: each year, students from all around the world come to the business school with 33 countries represented in our MBA cohort. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet, learn, and work with people from different places. It is also a wonderful chance to engage with remarkable professionals, collaborate, and exchange ideas. I haven’t seen such rich diversity in other programs and this one of the main reasons I chose to go to WBS.

What was your favorite MBA event or tradition at your business school? My favourite event was the Career Development Day, where students practised their interview, case study and task forces skills in a business setting. The day was intense and challenging at times, but proved decisive in our learning process. The immersive activities allowed us to experience real-life professional situations with a group of career specialists supporting and assessing us throughout the day. Following the event, we received detailed and individual feedback from a career coach who assessed leadership competencies such as global business acumen, complex problem-solving, and entrepreneurial drive. This experience was eye-opening and helped us sharpen our recruitment skills in a unique and dramatic way, and showcased WBS’ hands-on approach to skill-building and career coaching.

Looking back over your MBA experience, what is the one thing you’d do differently and why? I would start preparing class material earlier… especially at the start of the MBA! Work will pile up very quickly, so the earlier you start working, the better!

What is the biggest myth about your school? Warwick University’s world-class reputation for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects made the school extremely attractive to me, but also made me wonder about its impact on the admission process. Would the school only value previous experience in financial services and engineering? This couldn’t be further from the truth. Our MBA cohort is a melting pot of work experiences and industry sectors, including Government, Media & Entertainment, Hospitality, Non-Profit and many more!

What is one thing you did during the application process that gave you an edge at the school you chose? During the interview process, Donna Walker asked me one of the classic MBA questions: Why did you choose Warwick Business School? My response may have astounded her. I told her I chose WBS because the university had a wakeboarding society! Donna was very surprised to hear this and didn’t know what this sport was, so we had a lovely discussion around water sports, boards, and tricks! Who knew that spending my weekends in London wakeboarding on the Thames would help me get into a great Business School?

Which MBA classmate do you most admire? The person I admire the most in the MBA cohort is Boluwatife Amure. During term 1, Bolu and I were sitting close to each other and I was always impressed at her participation in class, where she shared discerning and compelling opinions! We studied Mandarin together and had a weekly chat to practice our language skills, which was always really fun! Bolu is so hard-working and dedicated. I have no idea how she manages it all: she is the SLCC student rep for our cohort. Despite a packed schedule, she finds time to volunteer at the local food bank or write a piece for the WBS blog about women and diversity. She is a great friend and always happy to share her knowledge: Who knows how many hours she spent explaining complex finance formulas! Thank you Bolu for being such an incredible woman!

How disruptive was it to shift to an online or hybrid environment after COVID hit? We were extremely lucky to enjoy face-to-face teaching during our first term at WBS. Unfortunately, many students were not able to join the course on campus; WBS implemented a hybrid course delivery, blending in-person and online teaching, which means all students could follow classes simultaneously, wherever they were in the world. It is important to remember that everyone has a part to play to make a hybrid classroom inclusive. While using certain tools in class each time someone had to speak could be disruptive, this was vital to our online colleagues who could interact with students present in the classroom. Our second term was fully online and the transition happened smoothly; we are, of course, looking forward to being back to the classroom once it is safe to do so!

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My aunty Elodie was the most influential woman who advised, supported and listened to me during the whole admission process. She decided to have a career change a couple of years ago and went back to studying as a mature student. She is now writing her thesis while working full time, and raising two awesome boys. I have a lot of admiration for her! She was very generous with her advice and reassurance and I am so grateful for the time she put despite a very busy schedule! I feel very lucky to have inspiring and ambitious women in my family!

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? Receive an accounting qualification and start a Ph.D. Not sure yet which one will come first!

What made Jeanne such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2021?

“Jeanne arrived at Warwick Business School with a unique background and skillset, which has seen her contribute greatly to her cohort.

Her musical background has seen her bring a sense of creativity and original thinking that has been a breath of fresh air and I know has been so appreciated by her fellow MBA participants.

Her assignment using techno music as part of her presentation was a great illustration of her creativity and desire to do things differently, exploring new and engaging ways to present information. Jeanne has a wonderful imagination and her love for music is contagious; the fact she helped raise £11,000 for UNICEF’s Syria Emergency Fund by curating and organising an event for up-and-coming DJs from London is another great illustration of how she thinks differently.

Jeanne has been a welcome addition to the Student Committee for Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion and is a strong voice in any discussion or issue around gender equality. She is certainly an empowering woman and has a great future in whatever career direction she looks to take now.”

Catherine Wiggins
Careers Manager


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