Executive MBA : Feedback from Participants Laurencia and Sebastien
19 JUNE 2023
Ambitious Program Ranked Top 5 Best Executive MBAs in France (Financial Times 2022), emlyon business school's Executive MBA is a prestigious program that serves as a catalyst for professional growth. Participants develop their ability to make decisions and lead in a complex world. It is for these reasons that Laurencia Musol and Sébastien Jonard embarked on this adventure in 2021. They reflect on two intense and rewarding years that have transformed their professional trajectories.
Why did you enroll in the emlyon business school Executive MBA?
Laurencia Musol: After pursuing a dual degree in chemistry and marketing, I built my career in the dermo-cosmetics industry, eventually becoming a brand director. I aspired to progress into general management roles, which require broader skills. I felt the need to pause my professional life and seek guidance as I embarked on this new chapter. I chose the emlyon business school Executive MBA for its reputation, content, and location. However, the pause was short-lived: just one month into the program, I assumed the position of Deputy CEO at ISISPHARMA Dermatology.
Sébastien Jonard: With an engineering background, specializing in industrial matters, factories have been my domain! Over nearly 20 years, I progressed through supervisory roles in production, methodological responsibilities, and operations and ultimately assumed leadership positions in both large corporations and SMEs. Three years ago, I desired to redirect my career towards entrepreneurship. To nurture this project, I needed a comprehensive education that would complement my skills and capabilities. I chose emlyon for its high standards and ambition. If I were to embark on such a venture, I wanted nothing but the best program!
What did you think of the program's curriculum?
Sébastien: It was truly a transformative journey, and many others felt the same way. We swiftly transitioned from academic learning to a more comprehensive dimension focused on understanding others and aligning projects. emlyon creates the favorable conditions for ideas to flourish. The strength of the group is exceptional as well. Our peers support us, make us reflect, and ask the right questions. It is immensely powerful and a fundamental aspect of the curriculum.
Laurencia: Coming from an academic background far removed from business schools, I anticipated an elitist environment. However, my doubts were quickly dispelled. At emlyon, humility takes precedence, with each participant bringing their own inquiries without pretense. Modules on leadership, co-development, and other topics allowed us to reveal ourselves and grow in solidarity and benevolence. Courses such as "Sustainable Future," "Strategy/Emerging Business Model," and "Business & Positive Impact" provided a broader perspective and a fresh worldview. I was also impressed by the quality of the instructors, both academics and professionals, who lend great credibility to the program.
How has the Executive MBA impacted your professional life?
Sébastien: I made a pivot! I entered the program with the intention of making rapid changes, feeling like I was reaching my limits and that time was my adversary. Through co-development and cross-perspectives, I gained patience. I realized that I couldn't do everything simultaneously. A year later, I was able to dispel uncertainties and clarify my vision, allowing me to embark on the operational implementation of my project.
Laurencia: The Executive MBA was a strategic move for me in my new position. I didn't enter as an ordinary collaborator but rather with a consultant's mindset, thanks to the program. This dual life allowed me to gain perspective while remaining engaged in operational aspects. I was also able to assume a more cross-functional role, expanding the realm of possibilities and seizing opportunities. As a result, I joined a startup's board as a director—an opportunity I wouldn't have allowed myself before the program.
How did you manage the workload?
Laurencia: It was intense yet highly stimulating. The support from my family and our cohort was the key to success. At the end of these two years of intense commitment, I felt a significant void and needed to find other sources of learning to continue nourishing myself.
Sébastien: The pace was demanding, requiring a strong work capacity. Balancing family life could be challenging at times. It's important to prepare the groundwork in advance with loved ones and involve them in the process. I shared a lot with my children.
Where are you now in your professional journey?
Laurencia: I am still the Deputy CEO at ISISPHARMA, with an expanded responsibility. In fact, I conducted my thesis project on sustainable performance. I embrace the triple objective of "profit, people, and planet" and the flexibility between strategy and operations typical of an SME. I feel that I can create value and contribute to the transformation of this company. Leading by example and through practical application motivate me.
Sébastien: I am actively searching for an industrial company to acquire, preferably in the electrical or climate engineering sector. The Executive MBA is the ideal education for this project as it provides insights into all aspects of a business. My search is structured, drawing on all the key players in the world of mergers and acquisitions. I aim to leverage my business development and management skills while finding purpose and fulfillment in my endeavors.