Kellogg-WHU Executive MBA Programm

Down to Earth but Soon on Moon and Mars?: Alumnus Jérôme Reineix

Take his Executive MBA insights into outer space, we catch up with alumnus Jérôme.

Alumnus Jérôme Reineix is working for the European Space Agency in Cologne as project controller for ISS Operations and is also part of projects such as the next moon and mars missions. He works closely with astronauts like Alexander Gerst, Frank De Winne and Timothy Peake who sit next door to his office. “All about exploration is super exciting and working with people who have been in space is simply amazing as they have seen the world from a different perspective.”

Jérôme has always been passionate about space and aircrafts. He studied engineering with a specialization in support management of spaceships and air systems. His first job included military work for export customers. He also worked for the French ministry of defense where he oversaw strategic remotely piloted unmanned aerial vehicles and NATO Helicopters. Another milestone for him was the Organization for Joint Armament Co-operation (OCCAR), an international organization whose core business is the through life management of cooperative defense equipment programs including six member states in Europe. Jérôme dealt with international arrangements, contracts, and teams but somehow, he felt the need to develop further:

“I felt comfortable on the technical part. With my engineering background I was an expert in my field, but I was not able to connect the dots to deal with financial issues or HR. I wanted to increase my knowledge, become a more self-confident leader and understand the connections in order to take the next step in my career”. Pursuing the EMBA at Kellogg-WHU was a perfect match for him. Jérôme learned about the content he needed, to a new network and to an international environment where he could apply the new knowledge directly to his job.

“In class of Professor Arthur Raviv I dealt with the Net Present Value (NPV) that applies to a series of cash flows occurring at different times. I had no idea that this is a super powerful tool and it changed my way to make financial decisions completely.”

During the EMBA, Jérôme extended his global view on the issues and on the different aspects of business. “It was so exciting to go to class, knowing you will be challenged. The people you meet during the EMBA are so motivated and want to constantly learn and improve. These are qualities that you do not come across in your everyday life. Sometimes we stayed up until 2:30 am to find a compromise because we all pushed each other so much.”

After graduating from Kellogg-WHU, Jérôme felt it was time to take on the next big challenge and spotted the job offering at ESA. “I was in the final round with a few candidates left and got the job. The EMBA played a very important role during my application as they were specifically looking for someone with that kind of education.” For his new role Jérôme needs to discuss with technicians daily as well as with business people. Through the EMBA he was able to understand both worlds and the best of all:

“The Kellogg motto is a perfect match to the way of thinking here at ESA. People are low ego, do amazing things and have a high impact. This is my part of changing the world, at least a little bit.”