Banking on Success
For the past two years, the employment market has been both challenging and for many extremely turbulent as private companies have been impacted by COVID-19. Despite this, EDHEC Business School has managed to maintain its successful employment track record and their Finance Track students continue to find interesting and challenging internships and jobs in Fortune 500 global companies. We took our time to speak to just one of them, Finance Track student Simon Dhumerelle, before he joined BNP Paribas in Paris to do his internship.
It’s certainly been an interesting past year. Tell us about it
I have spent the past year in London which has been fantastic. In fact, I just came back to Paris at the beginning of June. I’m originally from Paris – born and brought up there, so having the chance to live in another capital city through EDHEC’s partnership with the London School of Economics was a great opportunity for me. As for all students, studying abroad has been a little more complicated due to Covid-19 which made it slightly harder as there were a lot of things closed. However, the library and classroom remained open so I was able to get to know people and it can only be described as being a very positive experience.
Exchanges to different countries always give that little extra. Can you tell us one of your take-aways from this experience?
I’ve done two major exchanges firstly in China and then this recent one in London. Each country has its unique outlook. I found that in the UK they put an equal emphasis on soft and hard skills. Knowledge of your specialization is highly important but also almost equally important are your soft skills such as how you manage people around you. I would say that this experience made me appreciate and evaluate the importance of having a well-rounded approach to the workplace and recognize the need not just to judge a workforce by its hard skills. This, I believe, is a key element if you want to have a successful international career.
Tell us a little about your academic background.
Well, I guess I was kind of an Atypical candidate. I studied firstly at a business school specialised in hotels and tourism. I wasn’t therefore, at first, very focused on a financial career. I found myself, however really enjoying the accounting part of my hospitality degree so I thought I would move my focus to work in the Finance industry which is why I applied to EDHEC. I knew that EDHEC was a center for excellence in Finance.
For those thinking about studying finance what do you think are the main factors that have got you to where you are today?
Naturally, it is a mixture. I’ve been ambitious right from the start but the combination of a highly competitive inspirational School like EDHEC and the various people who have crossed my path are all factors.
When I joined EDHEC, I really felt a strong support network. EDHEC Business School has a great career service and of course, it is known for its excellence in teaching. Outside my academic experience what probably gave me that initial drive to go the path of Finance was working with Finance professionals during my first internship. During this internship, I worked with Emmanuel Marion, who was Vice president of Finance & Administration, Accor Asia. He was very inspiring, and it was certainly at that point that I realized that I wanted to work within the Finance industry.
Tell us about your Internship.
I'm working at BNP Paribas in their consumer retail and health team as a mergers and acquisitions analyst. I am very excited about this and I enjoy this sector as it is working with tangible products.
I’ve heard that you are involved in a Mentoring Program. Can you tell us a little about that?
Yes, I believe that mentoring is very important especially during these challenging times. I am part of a mentoring program to guide other students to find internships by sharing our own experiences. Students can get in contact with people like me (according to their specialty of course) by going onto the platform Findmyjob.fr. It’s a platform that was designed to bring together young professionals from different industry sectors and by doing so give the means to access fellow encouragement and support through the first stages of their internships or careers. I have always liked working in a team and being an integral part of helping others. EDHEC installs the importance of this with all the team associative activities which I experienced during my time there. It is important when you can help others and I do think this is a little extra support that makes a difference.