An MBA can be a great way to change your career, rebrand yourself, build your network, and access great jobs.
Meet with Cindy Benod, Monaco MBA 2020, who just co-founded a biotech company, LUDI Therapeutics.
Before doing an MBA, Cindy graduated with a Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences.
Why do an MBA after a Ph.D.?
A Ph.D. in science means that you do not get general knowledge but rather specialized expertise in science: pharmaceutical sciences, physics, molecular biology, chemistry…
On the contrary, the MBA gives you a more general background encompassing finance, management, marketing, communication, economy, etc.
The goal for me to obtain an MBA?
I wanted to start a biotech company and be a founder, but I lacked a general vision and business language except for the science.
The MBA helped me get all the extra knowledge I needed to feel confident enough to build a company.
Your professional biggest challenges working in such a demanding industry?
My biggest challenge in the biotech industry is that not many woman CEOs can look up to as role models. As such, you need to find your own leadership style.
Overall, it is important to tell your story, how you got there, and surround yourself with people who have the right mindset.
In your opinion, what are the key takeaways from the MBA program you graduated from?
The key takeaways from the MBA program are:
- Believe in yourself. The MBA course gave me all the overall knowledge to build a company. As a scientist, little did I know about finance, competitiveness, business strategy, and sustainability. The MBA provided me with all the help needed to acquire sufficient knowledge in many business-related fields of study. The professors made themselves available to the students to discuss their business plans or what the students need to do to succeed in their careers. IUM provides personalized support.
- Have a long-term vision.
- Be open-minded and embrace diversity.
- Networking is key. Studying in Monaco is a very privileged situation, and it is important to get the best out of it. At IUM, you have students who come from completely different educational backgrounds. Still, with the school network, you meet mentors and successful people who are willing to share their experiences with business school students.
Monaco is an ideal place to network and meet people you would have never had a chance to meet in a different context. Take advantage of this and be part of this ecosystem.
What mindset is needed to succeed in this program?
In this program, you have to be open-minded and be willing to exchange with students from all over the world and from different educational backgrounds.
In my class, I was the only person with a scientific background. The other students came from laws, art, history, media and entertainment, finance, sports.
The students’ cohort is very diversified here, and you need to be willing to confront your ideas with classmates who have been trained to think differently.
You need to be able to get out of your comfort zone.
How did this experience change you personally?
This experience made me realize how you need to have people who think out of the box and differently. Be bold!
Your future goals?
Of course, I want the biotech I co-founded to be successful and make a difference in patients’ life but more importantly, I also want to help future entrepreneurs.
Entrepreneurs are the people who, down the road, create jobs, and I want to strengthen this ecosystem here.
Any advice for future IUM students
Be open-minded and don’t try to blend in.
I was a scientist by training, yet I surprised myself enjoying and learning so much about marketing while attending some of the school’s luxury classes.
No matter your educational background, you will learn and discover new fields of study, and you will receive a high level of personal attention.
And do not forget that you are in Monaco. Enjoy this beautiful environment and NETWORK!