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[Alumni of the Month / April 2024] Awadh kapoor

02 mai 2024 Affaires
Vue 211 fois

Meet Awadh Kapoor, an inspiring figure in the aerospace industry. Originally from Dehradun, India, Awadh pursued his passion for aerospace engineering in France, earning a Master of Science from ISAE SUPAERO, and is currently working as an Industry Advisor and a Digital Transformation Director for the Aerospace & Defence industry at Microsoft. He has also worked for different prominent enterprises in past such as Airbus, Capgemini, PWC and many others. Join us as we explore his inspiring journey and glean valuable insights from his experiences.

Q: Could you tell me more about yourself and what you are currently doing, your past experiences and what degree did you pursue in France?


A: Born in the foothills of the Himalayas in a small city called Dehradun in India, I grew up living across several different states in India, changing cities and schools every few years. That habit of continuously stepping outside my comfort zone, today, has led me to France, where I pursued a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from  ISAE SUPAERO.


I am currently an Industry Advisor and a Digital Transformation Director for the Aerospace & Defence industry at Microsoft. In my role, I work as a trusted advisor to the CxOs of some of the biggest Aerospace & Defence organizations in the world, towards supporting them in their business transformation goals.


Before Microsoft, I worked as a Commercial Director at Airbus, leading the Sales & Business Development for 100+ Airlines across Europe and Russia, working very closely with airlines and operators.  In the past, I also worked as a Management Consultant at Price Waterhouse Coopers and Capgemini – a role that helped me quickly grow my skills in the Business Strategy domain.


Q: How do you think studying in France has helped you achieve your personal and professional goals?


A: Moving to France for a master's opened my horizons towards the possibilities of a future career at the heart of Aerospace manufacturing in Toulouse, fulfilling my dream of working for one of the biggest Aircraft manufacturers in the world – a dream that could get fulfilled only thanks to my move in France. 


On a personal front, the challenge of adapting to a new culture forced me to grow my soft skills and navigate the nitty-gritty of cultural differences. You do not only get exposed to cultural differences but also start to recognize and appreciate both the differences and the similarities. 


Q: What made you choose France as your study destination?


A: After pursuing an Engineering degree in Aeronautics in India, I moved to France to study a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from one of the well-known “Grande Ecoles” in France – ISAE SUPAERO. I was offered this opportunity as a part of a collaboration between MBDA Missile Systems – A French missile manufacturer and the Govt. of India. The collaboration aimed to promote Aerospace talent development and provided me with a full scholarship for to pursue higher education in France.


Also, when you think about the Aerospace Industry, France’s leadership in the industry with companies like Airbus, SAFRAN, and Dassault Systems, made it an obvious choice for me to head in that direction.


Q: What were some of the highlights of your time studying at the ISAE-SUPAERO?      


A: While ISAE-SUPAERO helped me further upskill my knowledge across the Aircraft lifecycle, it also immersed me in a strong intercultural experience of studying alongside multiple European nationalities. Being awarded the Best Outgoing Student award was a cherry on the cake, giving me the confidence to enter into the Aerospace job market in France. 


And of course, it is not every day that you have a wine-tasting club at your university, but we were fortunate to have one in ISAE-SUPAERO.


Q: How do you think the work and study culture is different in France compared to India?


A: While there are many similarities and differences in the French and Indian approaches to education, a striking difference is the closer connection to the industry of your choice provided by the French universities.  Regular guest lectures from Industry experts keep you updated on the industry trends and help you define your career trajectory more dynamically suited to the current needs of the industry, which is very useful for the students.


In terms of work culture, I love how the importance of a good work-life is so loudly pronounced and considered at work. The French work culture is a culture of enjoying work but also enjoying life even more. It teaches you how to maintain a balance between your personal and professional goals and also the art of prioritizing one over the other in different situations. Be it going for after-work parties with your colleagues or discussing your hobbies at work, it brings great fun to work in this culture.


Q: What advice would you give to students considering pursuing studies or careers abroad?


A: I think it is really important to identify and follow your passion. France, for me, was the result of my passion for Aerospace.


Identify what is important for you in terms of personal and professional priorities and research accordingly considering which universities could match well with your learning objectives. Understanding the culture of a country and crossing it with your personality traits can also help you narrow down which work cultures you would prefer to work in. Create intermediate goals and objectives – break down your educational and professional journey into smaller steps and work towards those intermediary goals as baby steps.


Q: How do you think learning French is important for students considering France as their study destination?


A: Language is the first barrier to cultural integration. And if you truly want to enjoy your time abroad, cultural integration must be one of your top 3 priorities. While at work, you may be able to find English-speaking jobs, but enjoying the rich culture of France would require you to learn a little French. As an Indian studying or working in France, you represent your country, you are the ambassador of your country. And since cultural integration and adaptability are highly valued in France, language is important to strengthen those cultural ties.


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