Guillaume Côté (M.Sc. Urban Studies, 2002 and PhD Urban Studies, 2007)
Principal Strategy Manager, Collins Aerospace
“You need to have drive. Pursuing a master’s degree or PhD is something you only do once. You have to enjoy what you do to be able to stick with it.”
Guillaume Côté chose INRS as a way to broaden his multidisciplinary horizons. What struck him most about his time at INRS was how available and open the professors are: “The thing that definitely sets INRS apart from other institutions is how approachable the faculty is and how easy it is to talk to professors of widely different academic backgrounds,” he says. He remembers it as a small campus with a highly personalized experience and lots of opportunities to contribute to research projects.
His time at INRS taught him to hone his ability to work hard and carefully. “If you can make it at INRS, you can make it anywhere,” he adds. According to Guillaume, good research skills can open the door to any career. Plus, you have to be able to identify and integrate the different aspects of the challenges you face and show how a holistic view and a systematic analysis approach can create value.
After earning a PhD in urban studies from INRS in 2007, as well as a PhD in geography and planning from Université Toulouse the same year, Guillaume spent close to ten years in public service, working with various economic ministries, notably to promote the development of the aerospace and defence industries. He then served as senior advisor and manager in the areas of science, technology, and innovation policy. He later spent some three years working with intermediation organizations before transitioning to the private sector where he now works as principal strategy manager for Collins Aerospace.
Guillaume Côté has two bits of advice for today’s students. First, “you need to have drive. Pursuing a master’s degree or PhD is something you only do once. You have to enjoy what you do to be able to stick with it.” His other piece of advice: “Always deliver the goods. A master’s degree or PhD is not an end in itself, but rather a springboard to help you achieve other career goals. So you have to finish that before moving forward in the future.”
Guillaume Côté is a member of the INRS Foundation Board of Directors.