Vlerick introduced Pierre to impressive Belgian employers

"I can sum up my experience in a word – wonderful."

Pierre Leo (Belgium)

Pierre Leo made a big decision about his future – and that was to stay and study in his home country of Belgium. The move has brought him a host of benefits.

Pierre’s first role after graduating with a Masters in Engineering Physics was at BPost. As a project leader in the R&D department, he had his first taste of how a big business operates. But he wanted to learn more. His colleagues recommended studying for an MBA.

He says: “There were several options – but in the end, I only applied to Vlerick’s full-time MBA programme. It had everything I was looking for. The class sizes are small and you can get to know everyone – when you compare that to business schools with hundreds of students, you know the experience will be completely different. Clearly, an MBA is very much focused on business learning. But I also wanted to have a great year in an intimate setting that was close to home.”

He says: “It was exactly what I was hoping for – in terms of the knowledge you gain, the excellent professors and the skills you develop.

“I loved the Vlerick approach. There’s such an emphasis on using your knowledge at Vlerick – and you increase the value of your knowledge when you put it into practice. For example, I carried out my in-company project at UCB, where I drew on all of the skills I acquired during my MBA – in particular finance and marketing.”

Pierre found that studying in Belgium really opened doors for him. He says: “There are many advantages to studying an MBA in your home country. You get to know Belgian companies quickly – especially being based in Brussels with a world-renowned business school. And Brussels is a truly international city, so you have opportunities to meet people from different nationalities and cultures. When you add this to the Vlerick MBA programme – with such a diverse faculty and student group, you get a thoroughly international experience.

“Ultimately my decision to stay in Brussels paid off – I had discussions with 10 different Belgian companies during the year, and I’ve already accepted a role with one of them.”  

Pierre’s time at Vlerick has given him a clear view of where he wants to take his career. He says: “Now I know what I need to do in life to wake up with a smile. I want to lead a team – and gain more experience working with people from different cultures. Personally I’ve developed a great deal. And from a practical point of view, the skills I’ve gained have been immeasurable. I’ve become so much more comfortable with skills I didn’t even know I needed before I started my MBA – such as giving presentations. When you have such robust knowledge that you can stand up in front of people and speak confidently, it feels good.

“After being part of a 26,000-strong team at BPost, I wanted to experience business on a different scale. I’m joining a small strategic consultancy here in Belgium where I’ll be taking on projects that allow me to put my new skills to work straight away. After that, who knows? An MBA from Vlerick opens many doors.

“To prospective students, I’d say your motivation for doing an MBA is really important. If you’re looking to simply boost your salary – or add something to your CV, you can study anywhere. But if you want to broaden your horizons, discover new cultures, build a strong network and become part of a family – choose Vlerick. I can sum up my experience in a word – wonderful.”

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Equis Association of MBAs AACSB Financial Times Economist Intelligence Unit