Nathalie Baulain

Driving innovation at Michelin

Professional MBA graduate learned entrepreneurship, creative problem-solving

With more than 9,000 workers in South Carolina — 4,300 of those in Greenville County — Michelin is one of the top employers in the Upstate. To keep the company at the top of its game, it needs to innovate constantly. For that, it needs employees who can understand trends, listen to customers, and turn today’s insights into tomorrow’s new product lines.

Enter Nathalie Baulain, innovation lead in the customer innovation lab at Michelin, one of the world’s leading tire companies.

The innovation and entrepreneurship specialization has especially helped with leading me to my new role within Michelin.

Nathalie Baulain

Baulain has worked at Michelin for 11 years, in a series of roles related to project management, social media and digital marketing. But when she decided she wanted to further develop her business skills, she enrolled in the University of South Carolina’s professional MBA program. The program helped Baulain achieve the entrepreneurial and creative problem-solving skills she needed to take on a new role and to be successful in her position.

The professional MBA program’s innovation curriculum has helped her better understand business and leadership decisions and improved her ability to navigate change.

“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 reframe problems in order to come up with innovative solutions. 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. All in all, the program has increased the tools and tactics in my business arsenal all the while enabling me to network with a wide range of professionals.”

By earning her MBA, Baulain says she has been able to combine tangible and applicable knowledge with theory to work on projects that are directly related to her responsibilities.

“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.”

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