Paris Air Show

Aerospace MBA Shapes Future Leaders

 - June 12, 2007, 9:22 AM

The Toulouse Business School has designed a dedicated MBA program for the aerospace industry. According to Dr. Jacques Tournut, the school’s director of MBA and postgraduate programs, deep-seated changes in the industry have to be implemented by competent executives who have often left engineering to fill managerial roles for which they are not trained. “This where the MBA comes in–to train managers in surroundings that are familiar to them,” he told AIN.

The MBA course, which is strongly supported by French aerospace industry group GIFAS, is closely linked to the school’s Center for Research and Management in Aeronautics and Space. The aerospace MBA started in 2000 with 20 students from 13 countries. It now boasts more than 200 alumni from 45 countries.

According to Dr. Tournut, there is “absolutely no problem” in attracting high-level students who come to Toulouse to develop their careers. “We are very international and multi-cultural with students from Europe, the U.S., Canada, South America and Asia,” he reflected. “Although, apart from North Africa and the Middle East, very few are from Africa.”

On average, students are around 35 years of age and have 12 years’ experience in the profession. The school considers candidates’ academic qualifications, company and/or academic references and “essential professional experience.” To be considered for admission to the program candidates must speak good English, provide a résumé and write an essay. The average yearly intake is around 35 students, about 20 percent of them women.

The full-time course lasts one year and the part-time version runs over two years. Companies often pay the fees and in return students generally spend four to six months working on a project in a workplace for their sponsor.

Now the intake is being extended to raise the number of full-time students from 20 to 30, and from 10 to 25 part-time. The Toulouse Business School also offers specialized masters programs in aerospace and air transport management, as well as short courses.