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DePaul Alumni Spotlight: Charles Perino, Co-Founder of La Compagnie and Kellstadt MBA ‘93

La Compagnie Co-Founder Charles Perino

Robin Florzak of the DePaul University communications department recently interviewed Jean Charles Perino, the co-founder of La Compagnie, a boutique all-business class airline that flies between Paris and New York. Perino, who earned his MBA in finance in Chicago at DePaul University’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business in 1993, said that he applies the business lessons he learned at DePaul to his job at the Paris-based airline.

The executive shared his insights on the airline industry and La Compagnie’s strategy, while also sharing advice to aspiring entrepreneurs and MBAs. Here are some excerpts from the interview.

Perino was asked why he decided to attend DePaul’s business school:

“When I moved to Chicago for 18 months, I was looking for a university that would bring great value in education to complete my graduate studies begun in Paris. DePaul was the best alternative in the city, without impairing my future with huge tuition! As an international student, DePaul University at that time was probably one of the best kept secrets when it comes to graduate education in the U.S.A.”

He was also asked how his company, La Compagnie, fits into the airline market:

“We are targeting the corporate segment, affluent people who want to fly in comfort without paying the high price tag, and people in summer who are mad at flying coach class at sky-rocking air prices. We are a very small player facing huge legacy airlines. Our size is probably one of our strengths: we are more focused on our customers, and more personal, and closer to our customers. When you are small, you need to walk the extra mile to do more for your customers.”

Lastly, Perino was asked his he had any advice to impart to students who want to break into the airline industry:

“There is no magic answer to this question. Just a few rules that help. Work, listen, challenge, and remain humble! Those are four milestones that shall lead to succeed in this arena. This is not a guarantee, but it definitely helps to grow your chances of success.”

You can read the full interview here and learn more about La Compagnie by visiting the airline’s website.

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About the Author

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Max Pulcini

Max Pulcini is a Philadelphia-based writer and reporter. He has an affinity for Philly sports teams, Super Smash Bros. and cured meats and cheeses. Max has written for Philadelphia-based publications such as Spirit News, Philadelphia City Paper, and Billy Penn, as well as national news outlets like The Daily Beast.

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