Interview | Answering the Unasked Questions [5/6]

Anna Vitiello Programme Manager 22/05/2020 Finance, Stratégie, Leadership, advancedmasters, solvay advanced masters, Solvay Brussels School, postgraduate

Deciding to pursue an Advanced Masters at Solvay Brussels School is a big decision. Luckily, there’s plenty of information available about the programme, what classes you need to take, who the teachers are, etc.

But what about those questions that keep you up at night? You know, the questions that you feel might be a bit too “silly” to ask: What will my classmates be like? What’s there to do in Brussels? Will I like the programme?

Guess what? Everybody has the same questions! But as nobody seems to be asking them, we decided to do the asking for you!

Today we sit down with Yann Vonderscher, a French student in our Advanced Masters programme. Yann stands out in that he comes to our programme with over 10 years of experience in the automotive sector. Looking to shift his focus towards innovation, he turned to the Solvay Brussels School Advanced Master’s programme as the best way to fast-track his career transition.

Solvay: What was your biggest fear about enrolling in the Advanced Masters programme?

Yann: First there was the apprehension about changing careers after having gained over 10 years of experience. I was also concerned that I wouldn’t be able to find a job that would capitalise on both my Advanced Master programme and my previous work experience.


What’s the most exciting part of studying at Solvay Brussels School? 

Getting to know people from different backgrounds and cultures is definitely a highlight, as is the

level of teaching. Most teachers are also practitioners with an impressive career. Being taught by and getting to know them in the close quarters of a small classroom is quite exciting.


On the night before your first day of class, what kept you awake at night? 

The excitement of starting something new and getting to know new people with whom I would spend the next 10 months. 


What was your best experience so far? 

The first course, Design Thinking, for which we had to develop an idea from scratch and take it to prototype testing in a 10-day sprint. Another highlight is the Advanced Strategy course taught by the former CEO of GB and D'Ieteren, who shared his valuable and enlightening experience with us. But really, all the in-class discussions we have are engaging and add value to our learning.  

What advice would you give to someone considering the programme? 

Do not hesitate to make a change, and always be a critical thinker.


What’s the best part of getting to live and study in Brussels?  

Brussels is a capital city with a small-town feel. It has all the advantages of a large city in terms of activities, but without the inconvenience of being overcrowded. It’s also a very green city with lots of parks. Another advantage is that it’s easy to get out of the city to visit the surroundings, with weekend trips to Paris, London, Amsterdam, Koln, Strasbourg, and Rotterdam all just a train trip away. Plus, it's the most cosmopolitan, international city I know of, making it perfect for a first experience abroad. 


Solvay Brussels School and the city of Brussels are very international. With so many different languages and cultures, have you ever found yourself ‘lost in translation’? 

No, and that's what I love about Brussels, it is a real international capital. I have lived outside of my home country for 18 years, and I feel more European than French. Hence, Brussels naturally feels like home. 


When not studying, what’s your favourite activity to do or place to go in Brussels? 

Reading, gardening, going for a run, playing tennis, and grabbing a drink at Bar du Matin or Chatelain.


If you had to pick just one, would it be waffles, frites, or chocolate? 


Want to learn more about our Advanced Masters Programmes? Join our next online info sessions:



 Lena Schiller, an Advanced Masters student from Germany.

 Ramsey Chahine, an Advanced Masters student from the USA.

 Yan Christiaens, an Advanced Masters student from Belgium.

Benita Lukusa, an Advanced Master student from Congo.

More info on the programme : Advanced Master in Innovation & Strategic Management
More info on the programme : Advanced Master in Financial Markets

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