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Darla Moore School of Business

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Professional MBA program student promoted to innovation lead for multinational company just ahead of graduation

Professional MBA student Nathalie Baulain looks forward to taking the skills and knowledge she has gained from the Moore School and implementing them in her career path after she graduates this week.

Currently she is the innovation lead in the customer innovation lab at Michelin, one of the world’s leading tire companies, in Greenville, South Carolina. She said her position necessitates entrepreneurial skills in addition to creative problem-solving skills.

Baulain said she decided to pursue her MBA so she could further develop her business skills. When researching different programs, she said the Moore School’s Professional MBA program stood out to her for many different reasons.

“The Moore School stood out because of the school’s excellent ranking, and the roster of professors in this program are passionate and very much anchored in the business world,” she said. “I also appreciated the flexibility the program offered as a professional with a demanding career and the networking opportunities with other working professionals from whom I was certain I would learn so much because of the diversity of backgrounds in the program.”

Since beginning the program in 2019, Baulain said she has been able to combine tangible and applicable knowledge with theory to work on projects that are directly related to her business corporation.

“In my case, there have been times when a work project became a school project, which greatly enhanced the end results,” she said. “Working on my MBA has helped me in my career because it enabled me to see a broader scope than my own perspective. It has enabled me to better understand the many business and leadership decisions that take place in the workplace. The program has also opened my mind to other avenues such as innovation, which was not a point of focus for me beforehand.”

In February 2021, Baulain was promoted to the position of innovation lead at Michelin. She said the Professional MBA program’s innovation curriculum greatly helped her in the onboarding process for this new position.

“The innovation and entrepreneurship specialization has especially helped with leading me to my new role within Michelin,” she said. “An MBA with a focus on entrepreneurship and innovation has enabled me to see opportunities, where in the past I would see challenges. It has also helped me to approach opportunities in a strategic and methodical manner thanks to the many real-world cases worked on in class. It has given me an edge thanks to the business knowledge and understanding that I have gained, which is key in a world of constant change.”

As she looks back on the past two years, Baulain said she is glad she decided to get her MBA because she said there is exponential value in being challenged and learning new things.

“Industries change faster and faster every day, and it’s key to be able to see the tell-tale signs of change and stay ahead of the curve,” she said. “Being surrounded by some of the best professors and a great student cohort has been a refresher. It is important in innovation to network and make connections outside of your field, and that is exactly what the MBA brought to me.”

Baulain said she hopes to use the business acumen she gained from the Professional MBA program to one day run her own company.

-Claire McGrath


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