Fate and a decade of global professional leadership brought me to one of the best business schools in the world. I became an Executive MBA participant at HEC Paris in January 2022.
Presently, I’m a Director of a firm I founded to reduce emissions from deforestation in Africa’s greatest biodiversity landscapes. As CEO of BioCarbon Partners for the past 10 years, my role was to develop and pioneer opportunities in the emerging nature-based solutions space in order to advance solutions to complex societal problems like climate change, biodiversity loss and poverty.
Having established BCP as one of the world’s largest and most impactful forest carbon companies, I wanted to update my business and operational skills. My ambition is to drive climate action on the global stage in the next 10 critical years for reducing emissions and keeping the world’s average temperature to under 1.5C. What the crises of Covid, Ukraine and climate change show us is how uncertainty and volatility create the rapid need to pivot and adapt. I was looking for a program that is beyond academic excellence and focuses on honing the latest in general management skills and leadership development.
This will position me to facilitate conversations with Fortune 500 companies and Governments accelerating their net zero targets, work with high-performing teams and grow as a business leader. In these unprecedented times,
I wanted to invest in considerable learning while planning my next career moves.
This guided my decision to pursue an Executive MBA, and HEC Paris was—by a long shot—my first choice, even having completed executive education courses at Harvard and Stanford. For me, the HEC EMBA program is the start of an adventure that arrived after a lot of preparation, personal reflection, professional planning, and discussions with colleagues in the conservation and climate sector, alumni, friends, and family.
My first exciting and intense 10-day first EMBA module held on campus at HEC Paris was attended by 60-plus participants coming from different parts of the world.
I believe the greatest value of HEC Paris lies in returning to the classroom alongside highly driven people. It’s the energy and drive you surround yourself with that makes the difference, and it’s invaluable. For example, getting challenged on a point of view and hearing good ideas you hadn’t thought of goes a long way in challenging your mindset and growing. It gets you out of your comfort zone.
In addition, a program like the HEC Paris EMBA attracts people from wide-ranging industries. To name a few, my classmates include a Plastic Surgeon from South Africa, a PhD-level agro-pharma leader from Germany, a crypto whiz from Singapore, and a derivatives master from France. Still others are working on founding their own disruptive businesses. I don’t know where else in the world I would have the opportunity to work alongside these diverse backgrounds with such accomplished people in their fields, as my world is focused on climate, conservation, and community well-being.
I realized that the program will be demanding, intense, and will be challenging; it would take my peers and I out of our comfort zones.
I am looking forward to an enriching learning journey with HEC EMBA.
More CEOs of Fortune Global 500 companies have graduated from HEC Paris than any other university in Europe. Nearly 4,000 graduates are currently CEOs, CFOs, or have founded their own companies. According to the Financial Times, the HEC Paris offers the best EMBA program in the world; click here to learn more.
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