1. What is your current role and how did you get there?
I am responsible for the Luxembourg-City Incubator, which is a startup incubator, launched in September 2017 by the Chamber of Commerce with the City of Luxembourg as its main sponsor. At the LCI, we host around 60 startups within mainly six sectors: UrbanTech, Environment, Commerce, Construction/Housing, Tourism and Logistics.
After having spent three years as a Community & Operations Manager at the House of Startups, I took over this new and exciting role on April 1st, 2021, so roughly two months ago. With my knowledge of the Luxembourg entrepreneurial and startup network as well as my experience as an entrepreneur, I will support the development of our startups.
2. Why did you choose to get your MBA and why from Sacred Heart University Luxembourg?
After graduating from Glion Institute of Higher Education (GIHE) in Switzerland, I always had in mind to do an MBA at a certain period. But first I wanted to gather some professional experience, especially abroad, what I have done for one of the larger privately owned hotel chains, “Hyatt Hotels”, in London. I think it is crucial to invest in yourself, especially in your own education. We never finish learning, as we learn every single day.
After researching a bit for possible MBA studies in Luxembourg or close by, I found several options, one of which was Sacred Heart University in Luxembourg.
I called up some friends (Ali Zerktouni, Isabelle Lentz), who went through the same studies, to get their feedback, which was very positive. It was indeed exactly what I was looking for.
Additionally, I wanted to do a full English-MBA in Luxembourg. And because I was working full time, the MBA at the Sacred Heart University Luxembourg with its part time program was the perfect fit.
3. How has your MBA changed your career trajectory?
I am passionate about both the hospitality industry as well as entrepreneurship & innovation. Nevertheless, throughout my studies, I have changed from one to the other sector. And this is how I got the fabulous opportunity to be part of the startup ecosystem in Luxembourg. If you are looking to transition your career from one industry to another, the MBA studies might help a lot, because I received access to new subjects, as well as a deep dive into different new business concepts.
In addition to this, meeting people from all over the world, plus learning new subjects led to a personal change as well as change of my mindset.
It was an important period in my career, as I realized what I am capable of doing. To finalize, the SHULU MBA was both professionally and personally extremely rewarding.
4. What was the most important takeaway or concept you learned from your MBA studies at SHULU?
There have been many very fascinating topics, from which I could mention plenty of takeaways. Let’s mention two:
First, always take a step backwards if things don’t go as expected or wrong, to get the bigger picture and be able to take the right decision in your professional or private life. Sometimes you need to pivot. Change management became key in everybody’s life, especially during the pandemic period.
Another very stimulating concept was Simon Sinek’s “The Golden Circle” and all the questions linked to it. Always start with “the why” over “the how”” or “the what”. This model explains why some organizations or leaders are more inspiring than others. This took my thinking about business and leadership to a different level.
5. What advice would you give current MBA students hoping to apply their studies towards career advancement?
I am going back to my very first course I took, professional planning. To reach your goals, you should write down where you are today and where you want to go. This is relevant for both professional as well as private life. You need to plan step by step to understand how you will be able to reach your own set objectives.
By writing things down, and reading through them on a regular basis, you will realize quickly if you are on the right track. This leads to a certain ability to plan your career advancement.
Never forget, be yourself in all kinds of situations, it does not help if you start playing roles. Finally, be open to change.