An interview with Max Metadier, a KEDGE Global Executive MBA alumnus, who currently works as General Manager Middle East & Africa at marine parts and accessories maker Mercury Marine in Dubai.
Max, glad to have you on board for this interview. A first question, what actually drove you to do the KEDGE Executive MBA?
I joined Brunswick Corporation in 2005 and held various positions before taking charge of the French and Swiss branches for marine propulsion systems in 2009. After eight years enjoying this exciting position, the need to do an Executive MBA programme quickly became apparent. I was looking for new and international challenges and needed to complete and reinforce my leadership skills. After a few weeks spent comparing different Executive MBA’s, KEDGE appeared to be the best option. KEDGE offered a very flexible programme on three different campuses and, most importantly, with a flexible length between 12 and 48 months. Holding a demanding position requires high schedule flexibility, and I derived maximum benefit from this key component of the EMBA programme. KEDGE and its Executive MBA programme also proved their international dimension which was part of my expectations.
As part of a global organisation, studying for an EMBA was perfectly in line with my career development plan and I got my company’s support to complete the process and start the journey.
What would you consider were your main takeaways?
Pursuing an Executive MBA degree is a real transformational journey. It completely changed the way I approached issues and opportunities, both from private and professional angles. After working for the same company for more than 15 years, I developed skills and expertise but was limited to a unique industry. The KEDGE Executive MBA is about compensating for this shortfall by adding a combination of hard and soft skills needed to move to a leadership position in the hierarchy of an organisation. In my case the programme added value in the fields of leadership across cultures, business acumen and critical thinking.
What have you been up to ever since?
Right at the end of my Executive MBA with KEDGE my company offered me the opportunity to relocate to Dubai and assume control of marine propulsion system activities in Middle East and Africa. Timing was perfect and after a year spent in this new region, I can confirm the KEDGE executive MBA was the best investment I ever made in my life. I would not have approached business in this part of the world the right way without following the Executive MBA experience.
What did the overall KEDGE experience bring you and what are the 2-3 key points you keep in mind?
First, the diversity of participants’ and teachers’ profiles is a great added value to the Executive MBA. It was a great experience to work on projects with students and teachers coming from completely different industries and cultures. All participants I met and worked with perfectly fitted the spirit of an Executive MBA programme, a key aspect to fully enjoy the experience.
An Executive MBA is a lot about developing hard skills, but it is also a lot about developing soft skills and yourself! International seminars proposed by KEDGE are very well organised, supporting the international dimension of the program and they are a great opportunity to discover different cultures through different perspectives.
Do you have some comments on your upcoming projects?
I moved to the position of General Manager Middle East and Africa a year ago. Leading distribution activities in this region is very exciting. All my projects are about enjoying this new life and continuing to discover new business cultures.