Etienne Vandewalle

Country of origin: France

Owner and Business Development Consultant, BizDev Consulting Services

Before starting the  Etienne spent five years in Paris at Wolters Kluwer’s French subsidiary, the legal publisher Editions Lamy.

He is now managing a portfolio career, working part-time as Head of Marketing Development (accounting and corporate markets) for Les Editions Francis Lefebrve in Paris and also running his own consulting firm, BizDev Consulting Services.

Going for an MBA has been both a personal and a professional challenge for me.

On the personal side, it was a great opportunity to experience what Europe now represents, and how easy it has become for any European citizen to migrate from one place to another without difficulties.

The year I spent in Lancaster has been my longest experience abroad so far (even if it is not so far from my home in France), and I managed to prolong my time in Britain by starting a new job in London after I finished the MBA. I became Project Manager for Wolters Kluwer (UK) Ltd, a professional publishing company known in the UK through its two main brands: Croner (employment law, human resources and health and safety information services) and CCH (tax, accountancy and professional services).

From a professional point of view, the Lancaster MBA has been a perfect fit both for me and for my employer. The information industry is now facing many challenges as a result of the digital revolution and needs to reinvent itself to survive in difficult conditions. Despite this, Wolters Kluwer has grown – mainly through acquisitions in the last 15 years – to become the fifth largest worldwide player in the information industry. Today there is a clear need for the company to integrate all these acquisitions together, instead of working like a network of stand-alone companies dotted around the world (economies of scale come to mind…). In this context, my application to undertake an MBA was very well received by my employer.

After having spent five years in a major European city like Paris, I thought that going to a more rural and quiet place like Lancaster would be an opportunity to focus on my degree. Lancaster offers both a strong academic reputation at a European level and a picturesque landscape close to the English Lake District.

The excellent reputation of the School was an important selection criterion for me: in the Financial Times and the Economist Intelligence Unit Top 100; accredited by Equis and the Association of MBAs; and given the top ranking by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).