Interview 9: Konstantinos Pierros

Konstantinos Pierros (MEng, National Technical University of Athens, MSc, The University of Edinburgh, CEng MIET) IMD

Prior to starting his MBA at IMD, Konstantinos’ professional experience was in wind energy and power system engineering. In his most recent role, he worked for ENERCON as a Grid Integration Team Lead overseeing the regions of North America, Northern Europe and Asia-Pacific. He has evaluated electrical specifications and design for over 2 GW of onshore wind capacity worldwide, ranging from community to utility-scale projects. He has authored and co-authored several publications, participated in panel discussions and presented in international conferences. For his contribution to the Scottish wind energy sector, he was a finalist for the Achiever Award at the 2016 Scottish Young Professionals Green Energy Awards. Konstantinos, as a Chartered Engineer, is passionate about promoting the engineering profession and climate change awareness at the heart of societies. He has therefore been a member of the Operational Team of the 2050 Climate Group, a charity aiming to lead a social movement by engaging, educating and empowering Scotland’s future leaders to take action on climate change.

What do you hope to achieve through your MBA experience?
Through the MBA at IMD, I hope to complement my strong technical background in wind energy and power systems engineering with a deep understanding of how businesses are successfully directed. In this regard, I would like to develop the competencies required to lead, to make good decisions and to be looked up to, always upholding high ethical standards and recognising obligations to society, the engineering profession and the environment. Furthermore, I intend to use this year as a sandbox allowing myself to experiment with different approaches to leadership in a protected environment and then learn from my peers’ experiences as well as my own. I am therefore convinced that the IMD MBA will greatly help me explore my own leadership perspective and develop strategic astuteness, whilst being challenged by and learning from a diverse, unique, and carefully selected combination of faculty and classmates.

How will you use your MBA to further your career?
My vision in life is to inspire and to lead from a prominent international company with a global reach the transformational change necessary to achieve carbon-neutral power systems. After graduating, I plan to become a Business Development Manager in a company that is a world leader in the provision of whole system engineering solutions for the decarbonisation of the UK energy sector, has a strong focus on digitalisation, and drives the coupling of the electricity and the transport sectors. Additionally, I will endeavour to contribute to the development of policies, incentives and regulations that would promote the decarbonisation of the UK, and to showcase and export abroad the innovative and pioneering practices followed in the UK so that hopefully there will be soon no home on this planet without access to a clean source of electricity.

What are your hopes/expectations of being part of the SMF network after business school?
Being a member of the SMF network, a broad, diverse and outstanding collection of like-minded business leaders with an engineering background, is a huge privilege. I expect that together we will be contributing to advancing the economic performance of the UK engineering, manufacturing and construction businesses, and addressing the engineering skills and diversity challenges. I am really looking forward to becoming an active part of the SMF network and very excited to bond and be in regular contact with the other members. I am convinced that the opportunities for learning and receiving mentoring will prove invaluable in my path to materialising my vision.

How do you hope to support SMF after you graduate from business school?
Being part of the SMF network is a responsibility I will endeavour to live up to. It is my firm belief that engineering is key in addressing the climate crisis, ending extreme poverty and promoting shared prosperity. I, therefore, pledge to continue to promote, this time as part of an even bigger network, engineering and climate change awareness at the heart of the society in the UK. As a mentor with the IET, I hope I will be able to foster an even stronger connection between the IET and the SMF and help young engineers develop their business acumen. Finally, I am really looking forward to meeting the other Fellows and become involved in the various initiatives, such as Engineers in Business Competitions.

How was your experience of applying for the scholarship? Anything that you found especially challenging or surprising?
Applying for the SMF was fairly straightforward. Since I had applied to and been accepted by IMD, I had done a fair amount of the soul-searching necessary to fill also the application for the SMF. Condensing my stories to a solid, well-crafted and inspiring case for support took a few attempts since I realised the stakes were high. Personally, I found the interview very enjoyable. The panel of the interviewers consisted of bright and successful individuals; I was honoured even to present before them and to have the chance to interview with them! I felt they were trying to get to know me and how I think, so this helped me reduce my stress and enjoy the last step of the process.

What difference has the scholarship made to you?
For me, the SMF is more than a confirmation of one’s high leadership potential and a substantial financial support that will greatly reduce stress relating to the financial risk associated with undertaking the MBA at IMD. I regard it as a responsibility I will endeavour to live up to by aiming for excellence during my studies and by pledging to further contribute to the decarbonisation of the UK energy supply.

What tip would you give to someone seeking financial support to do an MBA?
In a nutshell, my advice would be to start planning early, do thorough research and approach this from multiple angles. Practically all prestigious institutions will have a (more or less) detailed website that can guide prospective students. You can scrutinise the website, shortlist the schemes you could apply (even the ones you feel unsure whether you meet all criteria or not), get in touch with the financial support office or the admissions committee (there might even be schemes not yet advertised!) and with the providers of funding themselves (if possible) and ask any questions you might have. Schedule calls if you can, they are far more personal. In your research, please also use search engines!

Furthermore, get in touch with alumni that have a similar profile to yours (industry, nationality, country living prior to the MBA, etc); you’ll be surprised by how much others are willing to help and pass on knowledge. After all, it’s highly likely that someone with a similar profile has gone through this process themselves, so their insight can prove invaluable. Do not lose heart if some of your applications are not successful, this process is not easy, but perseverance can pay off. One final remark: sometimes the results of your application for financial support will be announced very close to the start of the program, so you need to have a solid ‘Plan A’ and, perhaps most importantly, feel comfortable with it!


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