Where technology meets business with Julien Cornet
Class of 2016
Title: eBusiness Consulting Manager
My main job is to communicate about the power of technology and big data to C-suite level executives. And then to translate their very real business challenges to the I.T. teams who develop the solutions they need. Sometimes people think that I’m a programmer or data scientist, but I’m not…my role is in management and client relations, although I’m obviously knowledgeable about tech and data science.
When I joined Semetis, it was still in start-up mode. But it was growing rapidly and so was my role in the company. I had just been promoted to a management position, which involved a lot of new responsibilities and tough business targets.
I was learning by doing on the job, which is typical for start-ups. But, I knew that I could do a lot more for the company with a formal education in business. This realization made it much easier for me to pitch my boss to sponsor my education.
I approached it just like I do with the business challenges I face at work. I laid out exactly how a Solvay MBA would create real value both for Semetis and for me. I made the case that I needed the degree to deliver results, and I must have been persuasive because they agreed.
Yes, there is no question about this. When I’m talking to executives from the C-suite on down, I can speak their language. I understand the business challenges that they are facing and can communicate about our technology solutions in a far more compelling and powerful way.
Overall, the MBA has helped me to define and take ownership of my new role as a manager. I have far more confidence today in leading teams and project finance than I did before.
Visiting companies like Google and Facebook was incredible since I work with the I.T. products that these companies develop everyday at work. Getting to meet with people who are at the forefront of innovation in my industry was like getting a sneak peak into the future.
The Solvay name opened a lot of doors during our trip. We visited high-profile incubators and venture capital firms and met with leading professors at Stanford and Berkley.
Exploring Silicon Valley in-person will always be better than reading about it in a case study. Solvay gave me this opportunity.
When I was at Semetis, I stayed in work mode. And when I was in class, I tried to really put boundaries up and immerse myself in the program. Everyone at work knew that I was taking the MBA and did their best to respect my commitments.
Of course, I had to sacrifice many evenings and weekends for the program, but that’s part of the bargain. Anyone considering a part-time degree needs to be prepared to reprioritize their life – both professional and personal – and to make tough choices sometimes. But it’s all totally worth it.