Linda Yahiaoui- Executive MBAInterviewee : Linda Yahiaoui
Activity : Executive MBA
PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT DIRECTOR
Ms. Linda Yahiaoui, 2016 MBA & PhD in Molecular and Cell Biology (class of 2001- LYON I University) graduate, currently Director of the Department of Process and Product Development at Novasep Belgium.
“I followed the MBA Fast Track programme because I was in a transition period, back in France after having worked for more than 15 years in Canada and the United States. During this year of training, I particularly appreciated the Strategy courses and in particular the concrete exercise of carrying out a strategic diagnosis – Capstone Project. In my new position, one of my greatest satisfactions is being able to put in place a 3-year strategic master plan, which would have been unthinkable for me a few years ago!
By following this type of MBA training programme, very complementary to my initial purely scientific and technical training, I was looking for new team management skills. I had previously held a manager position but I had neither the tools nor the theoretical knowledge that could have helped me perform better my mission. I wanted to acquire these tools to establish a climate of collaboration, define a clear objective and evolve in a structure focused on results and performance while setting new standards understood by all.
I also learned how to surround myself with referees/experts, increase the commitment of my collaborators, improve vertical communications and support the collaborators’ development and rise in competences. Today, I lead a team of 30 people composed mainly of doctors, engineers and technicians. Every day we face various and varied challenges (growth, reorganisation, change etc…) and the training I have received helped me a lot in my daily job.
I have also acquired financial and accounting management skills that enable me to better understand the operational profitability of our business unit and its alignment with the Group’s financial objectives. I can also make a comparative analysis in order to identify where our BU sits in continuum of the other Group’s BUs or even in comparison with competitors in the same sector of activity, although comparison difficulties arise because not all companies use the same calculation formulas.
Finally, I was also seeking knowledge in the areas of marketing and commercialisation. That is why I chose as the topic of my thesis: the challenges related to the marketing of innovative therapy products and the strategies to implement in order to improve the time-to-market while maintaining a very high level of quality.
This experience has been very enriching and I now use the results of my professional thesis on a daily basis. I am also taking this opportunity to “extend the life cycle” of this work by continuing to ask our customers about the challenges associated with the commercialization of gene and/or cell therapy products.
To conclude, I really enjoyed that experience: the diversity of the participants is a key asset and it must be maintained. We often learn new things by talking and working with people from different backgrounds.”