Upon becoming deputy general manager of a Malian telecommunications company, Liviu Teodorescu, MBA ’19, was surprised to learn that some of the full-time staff didn’t earn a living wage. As a result, he devised an employee-training program to increase their skills and thus justify a salary increase.
It was seeing how increasing your expertise creates new opportunities that convinced Liviu to pursue an MBA degree. “I realized that I wanted to study management more formally, to learn new skills and to gain credibility as a manager,” he explains.
We recently caught up with Liviu to ask him about his experiences at the HEC Paris MBA.
Why did you choose the HEC Paris MBA?
Originally, I’m from Romania. I focused my MBA search on France because the country is home to many international companies with a presence in both Eastern Europe and Africa, which fit my short- and long-term career goals. Going through the welcoming admissions process and visiting campus solidified my choice. Meeting alumni and current students confirmed what everyone was telling me: the HEC Paris MBA offers a cooperative rather than competitive environment.
Tell us more about your experience in Mali?
I was in Mali for 6 years, working for a local pay-TV operator. I started in IT and grew into a general management role. My time in Africa taught me a great deal. Two things that stand out: Mali is a French-speaking country. By working there, I had the opportunity to become bilingual in French. Second, I picked up the Malian communication style, which is direct without being assertive.
What’s your most memorable MBA moment to date?
A lunch with my Core 1 study group. The five of us got together at the end of the term to reflect on the experience and exchange candid feedback. We had a visiting gourmet chef at HEC Paris, and we were able to experience a special moment accompanied by great French food and wine right on campus.
How did you decide which of the seven MBA specializations to pursue?
The course description for the Digital Innovation Specialization just stood out to me. I loved the idea of working with companies on real problems they are facing, as well as having lecturers coming from both industry and academia.
The specialization was very hands-on. A highlight was having my group present our project and recommendations to senior executives at Thales, including their Chief Marketing Officer. Throughout the project, the executives at Thales were available to listen, share their experiences and conduct one-on-one interviews. I was impressed with having that level of exposure to senior executives.
What’s your favorite spot on campus?
Definitely the lake. It is a special place where I can escape the MBA treadmill, take a breath, and maybe see deer if I’m lucky.
What comes next for you?
I interviewed at Amazon when they came to recruit on campus and completed an intense internship at the company over the summer. That turned into a full-time offer! I look forward to joining their Pathways Program in France after graduation.