As many of my peers, at the beginning of the MBA journey, I did not have a clear idea of what I wanted to do. Basically, I am passionate about innovation, sport, cars and planes. The only thing I knew is that I wanted to mix these passions with my work. Today, thanks to 5 amazing individuals, I realize I was wrong. I am neither passionate about cars nor about planes but about urban mobility and new racing generations. These leaders helped me to understand that my interests are more about connecting with people, creating synergies and added values for a long term relationship. I figured out that these responsibilities, in line with my values, are included into one word: partnerships! Here is what I learned from them.

What is a partnership? 1+1>2

What is a partnership? For me it is simple: 1+1>2. In other words, through the activation of partnerships, significant synergies and added values can be generated to create together a better future than it would be on our own. 

The added value of an MBA is the opportunity to network and communicate with the world

I immediately understood that one of the best-added value of an MBA is the possibility to connect with the world thanks to the Imperial College reputation and my student status. I screened LinkedIn for hours (I still do…), trying to find and to connect with leaders working in the mobility sector with shared characteristics such as being from Imperial or speaking French (I haven’t found anyone speaking French here in London. Do you know anyone?). Overall, I was impressed by how easy it is to connect with leaders here in the UK. 

The Aviary Project helps me to extend my network and knowledge in the mobility industry

I began by connecting with a start-up called The Aviary Project, first global network in Urban Air Mobility aiming to bring together the best talents to shape the future market of transportation. I got to know amazing people (Pamir, Nik, Damian and Mariya) and I have the chance to work with them on something I genuinely care. I immediately saw the potential of this project, how it could help me to understand the industry, connect with people and how I could add values to the team. I joined as a Partnership Manager and thanks to this experience, I met more than 130 high profiles, experts in the future of mobility. 

Our Urban Air Summit organised in November 2019, London

A couple of weeks after, I met Mr Robert McAllister, Head of Special Projects at Volkswagen Group. I went to Milton Keynes by train and bus (I inconveniently visited the entire countryside at the same time because of my inadvertence…). He gave me precious pieces of advice for my MBA and I learnt from him how to drive a successful career within the same company for more than 14 years. He showed me the different hedges of the mobility industry from a leading car manufacturer perspective and I started thinking about where, in this industry, I wanted to position myself.

I realised my dream at Aston Martin thanks to John Moore 

The entrance of Aston Martin

This led me to meet my second leader, Mr John Moore, Head of Internal Consulting at Aston Martin. On a side note, Aston Martin is the brand of my dreams, the car I have always wanted to own to look like James Bond (ok… cliché). I decided to rent a Zipcar and drive more than 300km to Gaydon on a sunny Friday morning (what an adventure to drive for the first time in London!). I not only had the chance to meet one of the most important persons in this company, but I also received a tour of the plant (I would have undertaken any MBAs just for that!). Mr Moore impressed me by his consulting journey. This was a good opportunity to reflect on my previous consulting experience at Deloitte. He helped me to better understand how crucial an internal consulting team is for a car manufacturer. 

Some dream cars

If you want engaging discussions around entrepreneurship and innovation, Mike Rosam is the perfect fit

Proud of my achievements and my eyes full of stars, I decided to continue and I met Mr Mike Rosam, Head of Innovation at McLaren Applied Technologies. Hopefully this time the office is in London! Mr Rosam is an impressive entre/intrapreneur. We had an amazing discussion about technology, mobility and entrepreneurship. We share common values and expectations about shaping the future of mobility for a better world. He opened my eyes on the motorsport industry and I understood that what he does is really in line with what I hope to do post-MBA. 

Probably my most important career influencer I have met so far, Murray Barnett is an exceptional leader and visionary 

The building of F1 Headquarters

VW, Aston Martin, McLaren… well, the cherry on the pie would be to meet someone from Formula One! I figured out that the commercial development team is the one I had to reach out to. As I already said in my previous articles, go big or go home! I contacted Mr Murray Barnett, Formula One CCO, and I secured a meeting. He is a true leader, a visionary and he taught me that, despite my efforts to know what I want to do post-MBA, I am still too vague and I need to narrow down my scope (it boosted me to work harder on that topic!). After that meeting, I understood that working in the development of partnerships is what I am looking for my future. No matter the title of the position or the company, generating values from partnerships is what I want to do.

F1 Headquarters – Lobby

Al Peasland is the proof that having amazing human being values and being successful in business is possible 

Robocar and Devbot

Let’s talk about the future, shall we? During a meeting with Mr Al Peasland, Head of Partnerships at Roborace, I discovered a futuristic world around AI, machine learning, autonomous vehicle and racing (please do visit their website to know more about the future of racing). This meeting was probably the most impactful for me in terms of human being and life management. Al taught me that, even if you are amongst the elites, you can promote amazing intrinsic values together with respect, humility and friendship to run your business and be the best in your field. I desperately thought, due to my entrepreneurial experience, that this kind of behaviour was not compatible with business, but Al showed me I was wrong. 

My next steps? Although I would love to work for one of these leaders, things are not that easy, and I still have tons of things to learn before landing in their fabulous garden. Today, I know that developing partnerships to create added values and synergies in the mobility and racing industry is what I want to do. Therefore, I can say that 50% of my MBA journey is a success thanks to these people who, through sharing their experiences and beliefs, helped me to find the path I want to follow. Now, let’s go for the remaining 50%!

A million thanks to Nik, Pamir, Damian, Mariya, Robert, John, Mike, Murray, Al and all the people I have met so far for your time and your support. Believe me, the time will come when I will return you the favour!

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