AFAM: Hello Antoine and thank you for sharing your experience of being a student at MIT. Please tell us a few words about yourself!

Antoine: I did my first year at the Châlons campus and the second in Paris. From an extracurricular point of view, I took part in several projects - some of which I initiated. For example, a presentation competition in English called "Present Around the World" organized by the IET (Institution of Engineering and Technology). I won the competition within the school and then nationally. This allowed me to represent France in Kazakhstan. It was really cool!

Then, I worked with IET in France and on the campus of Châlons by creating a group in which I organized events. For example, I invited 4 companies to present "business cases", which the students had to answer during one day. In the second year, I followed the US pathway, which allows students to do a third year in the USA and in which Arts et Métiers helps us to apply to major American universities. 


I am now working in Switzerland at the Swatch Group as an IT Project Manager. Trying to implement customer centric digital solutions that make the customer journey an always better experience for the clients of the Swatch Group brands.


Getting ready university applications (for parcours US students)

Important things not to miss:

  1. Be ready for parcours US selection: prepare your voeux 1A, know what you want (what specialization and American universities you’re interested in);
  2. Study well (your national and 1A ranking will be considered for the selection);
  3. If you can, obtain an internship after your first year at school, if you can – get it in the US. If you can’t or did not, try to find an internship/summer project to work on to enrich your skills and experiences.

Questions to Antoine:

AFAM:  What was the most challenging for you while getting ready for your application? What supporting document for your application required more effort and attention?

Antoine: As mentioned in the introduction ( first question), I was involved in many different projects. This added to all the applications, and "normal" school was a real challenge in terms of workload. I wanted to succeed in all three. I believe the key was really organizing myself and relying on good documentation to be as efficient as possible. Clear objective, documentation and then work. For example, GRE scores are very important when applying to American universities. The objective was thus to get the best score possible. To achieve that, I bought the official GRE prep book from the official company. That way, I knew the questions I prepared on will be very similar to the questions I would get on D-day. Combining these "optimal documents" with a lot of work allowed me to get a great score !

I would also recommend all the documentation made available by alumni (based on their experience). They include incredible tips on how to prepare SoP and are real gold mines ! Use them!


AFAM: How many university applications are feasible to prepare and send without being completely overwhelmed?

Antoine: I believe it all depends on the "eagerness" and time of each one of us. There are some things that you can prepare for once, for all universities (GRE for example) - that's ok. But, there are other things that you must prepare for each university (SoP). So yes, be careful not to apply to too many masters, or the overall quality of your SoP might be impacted ! I recommend the 222 rule. 2 dream schools, 2 doable schools, and 2 safety schools -that's what worked for me. But again it depends on the will and time of each person.


AFAM: Looking back, what do you think you would do differently regarding your applications?

Antoine: Spend even more time on my SoP to make them even more specific. Show specific strengths for different applications. This would have increased my desirability even more. Spend time on those SoP!


Congrats! You are in!

Starting mid-March you will be receiving answers from Universities. Once you are admitted to an American University, you’ll need to think about your future trip.

Things to think about:

  1. Make a to-do list. Get all your confirmations (medical file, tuition fees payment, graduate writing exam, English language test, your passport, your visa, where will you live on campus)
  2. Explore all possible options to finance your studies. There are plenty of them!
  3. Start thinking about your future internship in the US!

Questions to Antoine:


AFAM: What was your very first strong impression when you first arrived on MIT campus?

Antoine: WOAW, I am surrounded by the best people in the world ! (for real)

If the courses are obviously of very good quality, they have however - in my opinion - nothing to envy to what one can find in the big French universities. This is not the main strength of MIT. The main strength of MIT is its environment and its reputation. To be a student at MIT is to be at the heart of innovation, in the heart of a technological hub that is Cambridge and where everything is REALLY fast. I didn't believe it until I got there, but everything at MIT is really fast-paced, there's always a great, cutting-edge project on the go. On top of that, the speakers coming to teach at MIT are CEOs of huge companies. Two examples are: the founder of Netflix who came to give us a lecture and the founder of the satellite launcher OneWeb who came to give us a lecture. On top of that, you can add Venture Capitalists and others who also come to lecture.

AFAM: Do you think you missed some things at MIT you could have been able to enjoy?

Antoine: Well, I was at MIT when Covid started. So I believe I could have enjoyed more events. Really, this school always has something happening ! It's so dynamic !

AFAM: What was your favorite spot on MIT campus?

Antoine: The Martin Trust Center for MIT Entrepreneurship. This is the entrepreneurship center - a great place where you feel good and people work on their startup idea ! A place where creativity is everywhere. I spent hours there. For me, this place is the essence of MIT and every time I went there, I would have the same feelings as what's described just above !


You are in the US! Yeeeee!

MIT classes start around  September 5-6th in general with a few days of Orientation in August. Some activities are organized by a Graduate Student Council. You can find the planning on MIT website.

Fall term

You will have some mandatory classes to take:

2.810 Manufacturing Processes and Systems

2.854 Introduction to Manufacturing Systems

2.961 Management for Engineers

You have one additional class to choose from:

2.675 Micro/Nano Engineering Laboratory

2.821J Selection and Processing of Structural Materials

15.871 Introduction to System Dynamics + 15.872 System Dynamics II 

2.120 Introduction to Robotics (only for those who signed a waiver for  2.810)

2.171 Analysis and Design of Digital Control Systems (only for those who signed a waiver for 2.810)

2.740 Bio-inspired Robotics (only for those who signed a waiver  2.810)

You can also take classes as a listener without getting credit.

January - is a Independent Activities Period (IAP) month

For more information please read:

Spring term

You will have some mandatory classes to take:

2.830 Control of Manufacturing Processes

IDS.735 Supply Chain Planning & IDS.736[J] Manufacturing System and Supply Chain Design

2.739 Product Design and Development

2.S998 New Process Development - "Bench to Money”

Industry Project - Thesis

Summer term

Mid-May - Mid-August -  you will work full time in the company. You will also prepare your thesis.

Questions to Antoine:

AFAM:  What were your favorite classes?

Antoine: 2.961 (Management for Engineers) & 2.739 (Product Design and Development) because they made me think differently. Why manufacture any product if your company has no strategy, no value proposition and no clients ? Take a step backwards, exit your "specialty" and try to see the whole value chain. Eye-opening.

AFAM: What were the most challenging/difficult classes/ activities/practical elements for you?

Antoine: In the US they have a huge culture of data. Everything is based on data, facts. I used to follow my guts but that does not work that easily at MIT. I had to adapt, not easy, but very interesting. I now understand why all actions must be based on data solely. Get out of your habitual way of doing things !


AFAM: Looking back to your MIT academic experience, what would you do differently and why?

Antoine: A year at MIT goes by very quickly and at the end of the year you realize that you want to stay a little longer. It was definitely an exceptional and unique experience both from a professional and personal point of view. This year in Boston has been a very enriching experience that has helped me discover new horizons and perspectives. I believe that it will stay with me forever not only because it taught me to think and act differently, but also because I was able to form strong bonds with fellow students from all over the world. Because of all that she taught me, I would not change anything - by fear of not having learned it all. If you go to MIT, you MUST fully dive into it.


Photo (courtesy of Antoine): Antoine on MIT campus

To get the full Louis Magne report of Antoine Yazbeck and know more about his MIT journey, please contact AFAM community manager