Engineer and manager: the perfect combo
What is your background prior to EDHEC?
Before EDHEC, I studied for a master’s degree in Land Identification & Development with a specialisation in urban planning and land surveyor/topographer. I worked as a land surveyor for 3 years, mostly in condominium properties. I was a project manager and in charge of all condominium properties project for one of the biggest Land surveyors’ group in France.
After this professional experience, I decided to pursue a career in Real Estate and became in charge of land development for the 4th biggest French property developer group, Pichet.
You have an engineering background and almost four years of work experience. What triggered your decision to join EDHEC MSc in Management Studies?
Working in Real Estate is taking part in a varied and complex field requiring diverse knowledge. As a land developer, you are the first stone of a pyramid involving a lot of work, over several years, but also projects worth several million euros each. I quickly realised that, in my daily work I lacked some basic knowledge in management, finance, and marketing to have a more global vision of the projects I was working on. This started to frustrate me a bit. Being very curious, I wanted to broaden my knowledge in these fields by following a training course, in order to acquire it more quickly than through my professional experience.
I also had the opportunity to travel for almost a year and a half in Oceania, and this experience triggered my desire to pursue a career abroad. And it seemed obvious to me that graduating with a Master of Science in Management from one of the most prestigious business schools in France would open up many opportunities in the entire world.
What are the main highlights and takeaways of the programme so far?
I am fortunate enough to be part of a master’s programme directed by Peter Daly, who has been working at EDHEC for over 20 years. When he created this MSc a few years ago, he did it, according to my feeling, with both his experience as a professor and his seniority within the school itself. He has surrounded himself with excellent professors in their fields, but he also knows how to stay close to his students. We are a small class, not because of a lack of candidates but because of Pr Daly wants to remain available for his students but also to create a real class where the students know each other and in which interactions are easy, both in and out of the classroom.
The recruitment of students in the MSc is, in my opinion, also very interesting and rewarding. International students (Indian, Chinese, Italian, Greek, Swiss, French) with different backgrounds make the class very heterogeneous. A lot of work has to be done in groups during this academic year and this allows all of us to open ourselves to new cultures, new work methods, and also to open our professional universes.
As far as the courses themselves are concerned, there is, as in any programme, a lot of theory but the teachers confront us daily with practical cases, which makes the courses lively but also very concrete, which in some subjects is really useful.
Due to lockdown, the classes are online for now. How do you feel about remote learning?
The EDHEC administration, like any other higher education institution in France, has had to bounce back quickly in the face of this crisis. As far as the platform chosen by EDHEC is concerned, it is rather instinctive, easy to use, and apart from my internet connection, I have never encountered any problem to follow my classes or hand in my homework. And faced with technical issues, the teachers showed their understanding. Yet, I really miss the class interactions with students, professors, keynote speakers, the liveness of the courses and seminars, the live social interactions as a whole.
What changes in your career do you hope to achieve once you will have completed your Master of Science?
As mentioned above, I would like to pursue an international career, and graduating from a renowned school will hopefully unfold many opportunities all over the world. Although I would like to stay in the field of Real Estate and Urban Planning, I would like to move on to more organisational and managerial positions. My knowledge in management and marketing and having a new eye on the financial aspects of companies will hopefully open doors to less technical and higher job functions.
I'm convinced that having a double competency will make my profile very interesting for recruiters, even to work in consulting.