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Allan Baudoin

  • Programme: Masters in Management
  • Nationality: French
  • Job Pre-programme: Business Development Executive, Apple
  • Job Post-programme: Founder, Allan Baudoin Bootmaker

Why London Business School?

After graduating from university, I didn't know what career path I wanted to follow, and I didn't feel ready to start my own business. In order to broaden my knowledge, and if I were to start my own business later on, I thought it made sense to know as much as possible about all the functional areas involved in running a business, so I decided to pursue business education. I chose London Business School’s Masters in Management programme for two reasons, the reputation of the school; and the quality of the faculty. 

Career ambitions pre-programme

During my studies, I wanted to find a job in a tech start-up so I could learn about how to start my own later on. But instead I was presented with the great opportunity to join Apple, which had always been the company I admired the most. Studying the Masters in Management at London Business School helped me get my first job there. Sadly most large companies do not take the time to go through all the resumes they receive and I know for a fact that having studied at the School was helpful in securing an interview.

Working at Apple in turn helped me to realise early on that even working in my favourite company was not what I was meant to do. After two disillusioning years working in corporate environments, I realised that it was not fulfilling enough and I decided to leave to start something on my own.

It’s completely by chance that I met a very skilled shoemaker while looking for my next move - we immediately connected. Seeing that I had a good sense for both shoe-making and business, he introduced me to his friends, and I started getting to know the very small world of bespoke shoemakers.

As I was learning the craft and the trade, I started meeting more and more artisans, all of them the best in what they did, and started building a network of uniquely skilled craftsmen and suppliers. I then started designing my first line of shoes and preparing the production line and supply chain. The interest that my first shoes generated prompted me to buy the small east-London workshop from where my new partner was working and we started building our customer base. I now run a brand of exclusive men’s and women’s shoes, whereby every pair is handmade to order in our London atelier. We currently offer bespoke and made to measure services and are working on opening another artisanal but larger scale workshop to produce a line of ready to wear shoes to retail online and in selected shops. 

Programme highlights

For me, the most interesting part of the programme was meeting so many interesting and brilliant people, each in their own special way, all from different background and cultures. I think the best networking you can do at London Business School is with the students. I met people whom I now consider some of my closest friends. 

Faculty and courses

The quality of the faculty at London Business School is outstanding. Professor Eli Amir somehow made accounting (the subject I was the most reluctant to sit through) one the most impactful and interesting. Professor Hélène Rey of economics was in my opinion the best at distilling complex concepts to their practical core and delivering it in a way that made it sound almost easy. You could tell from the crystal clear clarity of their discourse how much they mastered their subjects.