Seb Murray | MBA Europe | Friday 31st July 2015 | BusinessBeacuse.com |
Former mechanical engineer broadens horizons with MBA at IESE Business School in Madrid.
Marcus Beaudry is dead-set on launching a start-up and an MBA is his route to making that dream a reality. But he is keeping his options open. A former mechanical engineer, he is embarking on an about-turn in his career at IESE, a leading global business school in Madrid. There are many transferable skills – problem solving, adaptability, and decision making are but a few. Prior to the IESE MBA, Marcus worked as a project engineer at Noetic Engineering, a Canadian upstream oil and gas engineering consultancy firm based in Edmonton. He is currently working an internship in a business development role at AM Technology, an environmental technology start-up in London.
Why did you decide to begin an MBA?
Throughout university I got involved with some extracurricular projects and started to realize that I quite enjoyed and excelled at project management. The same discovery process continued for the next couple years of my engineering career, until I finally decided it was time to take the leap and move fully into project management, but on a much higher level. An MBA was the easiest way to launch myself on this new career path. The decision to do an MBA was probably made a long time ago, when my dad started involving me in his businesses, though I didn’t know it then.
What has been the highlight of your experience at IESE Business School so far?
The highlight of IESE has undoubtedly been my classmates. With the class hailing from nearly 60 countries and no single nationality dominating the student body, it has been a truly unique experience. It was a pleasant surprise to see that cliques did not form along cultural lines, but rather large fluid social groups formed with total disregard to culture, language, and upbringing. The friendly and welcoming attitude of all students translates from social life to the classroom and the case method as well – classmates don’t compete to be the best or to continually voice their opinions, but rather they openly share their experiences.
What key skills are transferable from engineering to business/management?
Engineering is about solving problems. Being able to break a problem down into its key constituents and see all the factors at play is key to both engineering and business careers. As an engineer you gather information, make assumptions, test your assumptions, and methodically assemble a solution. To me, business and management is no different, though often the problem, information, feedback and assumptions are all more poorly defined. In both fields you must be able to synthesize a structured plan to address problems, while allowing ample room to adjust the solution as new information appears.
What was your greatest challenge at Noetic Engineering 2008 Inc?
Noetic Engineering is an oil and gas engineering consultancy which had a reputation for solving the hardest-to-solve engineering problems. The situations we encountered often led us to the leading edge of scientific research, which meant that devising engineering solutions often meant pushing the boundaries of design and exploring the unknown. The greatest challenges came in understanding when we had reached the limits of known science and determining how to proceed in the face of uncertainty.
What advice do you have for people who are about to apply to business school?
Having applied to several business schools and talked with countless prospective students for IESE, my biggest piece of advice is to be yourself in your applications. You will pretty quickly discover that schools pick people who fit in with the overall character of the school, and that you will get much more out of your education if you attend a school where you mesh well with the students, alumni and staff. Confidence and candour go a long way with admissions committees as well.
What are your future career plans?
Post-graduation I hope to launch an international career relating to business strategy with perhaps some operations management thrown in. Given my engineering background, I’ll try to chase a company that has a sufficiently technical product or service offering. Longer term, I’m certain I’ll end up starting my own business. In what exactly? Only time will tell. Defining a career path now is a difficult exercise because if there’s one thing I know about myself, it’s that I like snatching new and interesting opportunities as they present themselves. – Courtesy