Interview With Antoine
IMD MBA ‘2016
Can you tell us more about yourself?
My name is Antoine Abi Ghanem, and I am Lebanese. I am an engineer in Biotechnology, Agro-resources, and Nutrition. After graduating from ENSAIA Engineering School in France, I was a production engineer, and moved up to production team leader at Lactalis. I then decided to move to Belgium to continue my work in the food sector gaining a management position as R&D Packaging Developer for Vandemoortele. I speak fluently three language, Arabic and French, being my mother tongues, and English.
What prompted you to do an MBA?
My training was essentially technical and my job had become more and more managerial, so I therefore felt that my education was not properly supported in that equation. This was in addition to evaluating my current job, and of course having career aspirations that were not purely technical. I wanted to be more educated to do whatever I wanted. I see myself working for some time in a management consulting company before having a senior management position in the food sector.
I only applied to IMD program that is clearly my dream school. Because they candidates are format of the program, intensive 1 year program, 20 the homogeneity of the class 22-32 year old with significant work experience, unlike other MBAs. Second the location is outstanding in Lausanne is incredible, and finally because the IMD is probably the only program focused on leadership. Normally the class 90 students,
How did the MBA Center help you?
MBA center was instrumental to my success on three levels; first, of course I really appreciated the GMAT courses there, that they were unlimited and I had the opportunity to create study groups with other students. I remember during the last month of my studies there I was meeting my team every evening. Strangely enough we all got accepted to the MBA of dreams. Pavel and Gunther got accepted to IMD with me, while Stéphane and Maxime got accepted to INSEAD. Of course I feel very proud of being Dr. Hubert Silly’s student without which all would have been impossible. The second thing was that the admission process at IMD is very specific because in addition to presenting the GMAT test and application, CV, etc., IMD has a one day long tête-à-tête with four interviews. Therefore, preparing for classes and interviews with Dr. Hubert Silly, who is a successful entrepreneur and has 20+ companies worldwide, was a great experience that could not have been attained with any other coach. Dr. Hubert Silly put me in contact with IMD through an event organized by the MBA Center Brussels through which I was able to meet the head of admissions Paola Eicher. I can only highly recommend the services offered by Dr. Hubert Silly and the MBA Center for those who want to apply to a top business school and want to be successful. I have never heard of someone who did not get into his/her dream school using Dr. Hubert Silly’s services in Brussels. Even though sometimes we were up to 20 students in a class, it was an incredible interaction of professional all driven to reach their highest goals..
What piece of advice would you give to someone who wants to apply to a top MBA?
First you should prepare long in advance, because when you are an MBA application, you are no longer a student, and you don’t have control over your time or the same opportunity for time management; once I was unavoidably away for 2 weeks, and couldn’t practice. However, following Dr. Hubert Silly’s advice, to prepare 12-18 months in advance is something I recommend, so any unexpected bumps in the road won’t take you off course. Also do not under estimate the GMAT; it is by far the most challenge and difficult part of the application. Finally, even if you have a great coach and teacher like Dr. Hubert Silly, nothing can replace direct contact with school. Attending an MBA one-on-one event organized by MBA Brussels, was essential in IMD’s decision to recruit me. When Paola received my application, she was able to put a face to the name.