Written on 27 July 2022.
Thierry Lebrun, Director Sustainability Banking at Credit Agricole Nord de France shares his personal experience as a jury member for the 1st edition of the Master project oral defense.
It was a great experience to be part of the jury together with Thierry Roncalli from Amundi and Dominique Duval from CACIB. Together, we could share our professional perception of the students’ defense and challenge them with various questions emerging from different standpoints. Discussing with the professors about the relative performance of each student team provided us precious insight into the way students managed to deliver their master project reports and allowed us to better appreciate the oral sequence.
I wasn’t that surprised by the high-quality level of the defenses given the reputation of the school. I could witness a very high level of engagement and the feeling of solidarity that seems to have emerged between all the students during their courses. What surprised me perhaps is the great qualitative results achieved in mixing both engineering and business management skills. In that respect, the students clearly deserve the double diploma provided by EDHEC and MINES Paris-PSL.
I would mention three key points. Any business should take into account limiting factors associated with current and projected markets and public policies. This was particularly clear with respect to the deployment of renewable energy production within European boundaries. A 360° approach at both local and global levels is for a good business plan. Understanding innovation and the way it can be scaled up is clearly a plus. Innovation in global markets is spreading fast, which requires both an understanding of technology and a strong methodological background. ESG criteria and KPIs need to be developed. However common sense remains a key driver for successful entrepreneurs who need to be aware of the current megatrends and take them into account in a concrete and operational way.
Every subject defended by the students was relevant. The complementarity of the subjects defended by the students makes me hope that they shared largely their work between them.
Every jury member was asked to provide an appreciation based on multiple criteria, from the relevance and depth of the research to the quality and energy of the oral defense. As a whole, I must say that I learned a lot from each and every team of students which is, I believe, a good sign of the quality of their work.
It was difficult indeed to choose a winning team as everyone deserved a high grade. That’s why maybe the jury decided to distinguish two laureate teams instead of one! This first batch of MSc students really deserves Crédit Agricole congratulations, and I wish them great success in starting a bright career.