"Taking courses at Stanford was one of the best experiences of my life."

Success means different things to different people. To Mickaël Pavaut, it's about mixing together ingredients that get you energized and excited for the opportunities ahead. That's what he experienced at Stanford.

What initially interested you in pursuing the Stanford Advanced Project Management certificate?

Having been born and raised in Paris, France, I spent my early career as a professional chef and was constantly learning new ingredients and recipes. It instilled in me a love of learning—to be curious, try new things. That’s what led me to pursue higher education and seek new career opportunities. I earned my MBA and then started my own company. Knowing that I would be leading this new venture, I decided it was time to hone my skills in executive management. The Stanford Advanced Project Management certificate program caught my attention because of the opportunity to study on Stanford’s campus. I wanted to experience the Silicon Valley entrepreneurship energy and atmosphere.

How has the Stanford Advanced Project Management program helped you in your career?

It opened my eyes to the bigger picture. I understand the purpose of great strategies and why it’s important to think about the entire organizational environment. The Strategic Execution Framework covers this throughout the program and is one of the most valuable concepts that I continue to apply in my own work.

What was the best part of earning the Stanford Advanced Project Management certificate program?

Learning from my peers. I didn’t expect to meet so many brilliant people from different places and industries–technology, medicine, energy, to name a few. They taught me new terminology, ways of thinking, and improved my network. A group of us still stay in touch on WhatsApp. We send updates on our work, share new knowledge, and plan get togethers across countries.

What was your favorite course?

All of them are brilliant. The combination of real-world case studies, interactive workshops, group exercises and amazing faculty opens your mind and gives you new perspective. Getting to attend them in-person made taking courses at Stanford one of the best experiences of my life.

What advice would you give current participants in the program to help them succeed?

This program will challenge you to be fearless. Live by the following quote stated by Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group: "If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity and you're not sure you can do it, say yes - then learn how to do it later." So embrace it!!!