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Mød en AVT’er – Gaël Bernard

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Mød en AVT’er – Gaël Bernard


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Gaël Bernard

Chief Commercial Officer Global

Anti-Infectives

Xellia Pharmaceuticals

Gaël Bernard

French
Married to a Dane
Together they have two daughters

One must never stop improving oneself

Gaël Bernard brings over 25 years of experience from the life science industry and has held C-level positions for many years. For Gaël, staying sharp and evolving alongside the companies he has worked with has always been paramount. This ethos dates to the start of his career at Ferrosan in 1996. 

As a leader, one should never become complacent and rest on their laurels, thinking they know everything. This leads to vulnerability. In my view, a leader should always strive to improve themselves. This mindset has always guided me and is a contributing reason why, at my various places of employment, I have pursued continuous education,” says Gaël, who has studied at various universities worldwide, including the University of Hull (UK), Tallis Business School in France, UIBE Business School in Beijing, Copenhagen Business School, and London Business School. 
 

He adds that he works in an industry that thrives on development. 

The life sciences industry is undeniably dependent on research & development and, importantly, on recruiting the most talented employees. I am involved in the commercial aspect, and building a bridge between researchers and the commercial sector is crucial for success in this field. We are incredibly interdependent, and it’s vital that our skills are a perfect match, which is why leadership is so incredibly important in this industry,” he states. 

 AMBA accreditation was a prerequisite  

In the fall of 2022, Gaël decided to start an Executive MBA program and began researching the market.

My choice of program was entirely personal, self-financed, and thus, I had the freedom to research without any bias from prior agreements,” Gaël explains. 

He elaborates on his criteria 

The school where I pursued my executive MBA had to be AMBA accredited; this was non-negotiable and quickly narrowed the field. Another criterion was choosing a school with limited travel requirements, partly because I travel a lot in my current job. But overall, the most important criteria of selection were also the faculty. AVT has teachers from leading educational institutions in the world. The arrow pointed to AVT Business School, and I had an initial meeting with them,” says Gaël. 

I had a great dialogue with a person from AVT, and I got a very positive impression regarding the professors and students at the school, and especially the emphasis on student engagement,” he says, “a sentiment that has only been reinforced since then.”  

When you come at AVT, there’s always a great atmosphere. Jesper and Casper, who currently lead the program, are always present. They often sit in on classes and mingle with students. I find this to be a huge asset. The fact that we aren’t hundreds of students in each cohort also fosters a close relationship with the professors, which is an additional asset,” Gaël affirms. 

Differences between Denmark and France

Originally from France and raised in Paris, Gaël has had the world as his workplace throughout his career in the life sciences industry. Having studied in many countries, he is asked how studying in Denmark differs from other countries.

Especially compared to the French education system, Denmark stands out because it emphasizes practical applicability in learning, which is a major strength. I’ve now taken several courses, and I already feel that I can apply much of what I’ve learned to my daily work.”  

The AVT program brings several benefits including advanced business knowledge, strategic thinking skills, and a valuable network of peers. This is an opportunity to enhance leadership capabilities which is beneficial for me and my working partners. At AVT we are focusing on real-world applications, providing practical insights that can be immediately applied in the workplace.  

Learning and acquiring new skills is essential in professional life. One cannot expect to remain an inspiring and performing leader without continuous personal development,” says Gaël. 

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