Cedric Janson’s career in hospitality has taken him to Switzerland, Dubai, Paris, London and Malta. But when he started to progress into management roles, he knew he needed to widen his business horizons too. He’s now several months into the full-time MBA at Vlerick.
The right place at the right time
“I always knew an MBA would be in my future,” says Cedric. “But first, I wanted to get experience and have something to build on. As it happened, an opportunity for a career break came up when I had reached the right level. It was perfect timing.”
There were a number of factors that drew Cedric to Vlerick. He says: “Firstly, I was looking for a shorter programme – Vlerick’s format worked well for me. And it was really good value.
“Then when I spoke to the team, I was very impressed with the approach. Vlerick has a family feel. It’s not like other institutions where you’re expected to just be impressed by the name – the programme really is built around the participants.”
Already making an impact
Cedric’s first months have been intense, but he’s enjoying being back in the world of academia. “Studying again after so many years in the workplace means you need to get back into the rhythm,” he says. “But I feel like it’s paying off already and I’m getting so much out of it.
“There’s a mix of people with business backgrounds and without – me included. So the aim so far has been to bring everyone up to the same level of business understanding. The packed schedule has made us tight as a group – which is really important for the rest of the programme. We now know how to work together.”
Learning from both professors and peers
Cedric has high praise for Vlerick’s faculty, but is learning a great deal from his fellow participants too. He says: “It’s a golden opportunity to learn from classmates. For example, I sat next to an ex-CFO in the finance course, which was invaluable. You get day-to-day insights from such a wide range of professions and cultures – and see how different backgrounds influence how people tackle challenges, reason and make decisions. This, of course, is essential in business.”
Many more experiences to come
There have been several highlights so far, but Cedric has particularly enjoyed visiting global companies including Google and Trivago. He says: “Part of the reason I wanted to do an MBA was to see how industries in completely different disciplines operate – so this has been amazing. It’s really useful to explore other ways of working and learn things I can use in my own work in the future.”
And what about the upcoming months? Cedric is still considering his future – and is looking forward to discovering the discipline he wants to work in. “That’s what I’m here to find out!” He says. “I’m happy to go back to the hospitality industry – but am equally keen to try something new.
“Now we’ve learned the essentials, it’s time to put the tools into practice in projects and bootcamps. I can’t wait to bring it all together and see where I end up. I’m very glad to be at Vlerick and am looking forward to coming out the other end and starting the next stage of my career – wherever that takes me.”