An interview with Cécile de Verbigier de Saint Paul,
EDHEC Business School Graduate, Class of 2014
Cécile did the Grande École programme at EDHEC’s Lille campus, graduating with a double degree in Business Management from EDHEC (MSc) and Marketing from the University of Trier (MA). She spent four years at university, and did three internships, at Le Public Systeme, Pepsi Co. France and Danone. She joined an international media company in Sofia, Bulgaria as a project manager straight from her last internship in Paris.
How has the Masters degree helped you find employment?
The Masters Degree from EDHEC is very reputable in France so it was very beneficial in finding a position. All the head-hunters and recruiters I’ve met were aware of the school’s value and knew that I had been well prepared for the labour market.
Also, the school had an emphasis on career preparation. Companies were often visiting and even recruiting at the campus. Many of my friends at school found jobs with companies even before they graduated. The recruiters themselves were often alumni of EDHEC, which was very helpful indeed.
There were many career fairs and a strong career centre, which made it easier for all students to find employment. Other tools that I made use of were workshops focusing on CV-building and a huge network of alumni ready to help anyone find the job or internship of their dreams.
Do you feel more confident professionally and personally following your studies?
Yes, definitely! First of all I am more aware of my skills and strengths, of what I want to do, to explore, but also what I don’t want to do. I think this is equally important for young professionals who sometimes might feel a bit lost as they leave school to enter the “real” world.
The Masters offered me the theoretical framework that I needed in order to do my job well, and my internships offered me the chance to implement what I had learnt immediately. Being able to gain this kind of work traction at such an early age allowed me to be very confident at my first job interview.
Do you feel satisfied with your investment? What has the Masters given you career-wise?
My family was not able to support me when I was studying, so we had to take a loan. I also had to work to support myself, doing several jobs throughout my studies. I’ll admit the degree was not cheap, but what truly mattered to me was to be able to add value to my career profile so that I won’t struggle with student jobs anymore.
Personally, my biggest gain from the Masters programme was the access to the vast alumni network, which was instrumental to my career development. We had this big book divided into different sections. Alumni were listed in alphabetical order, by year of graduation, by country of current employment, and by sector. There were a lot of people working in Singapore and each month there was a cocktail party just for the EDHEC alumni in Singapore.
What would your advice be to future struggling students? Should they follow in your footsteps? Should they go for a Masters? Why?
Seize all the opportunities that each school has to offer; you don’t only get a degree but so many other tangible and intangible things for your professional and personal life. For instance, you get the opportunity to join student associations and clubs which have a real impact on your community. Why is that important, you ask? Because that is where you will be able to take on real responsibilities and thus be better prepared for the real world.
Check out: International Masters Programmes Go Global
How did EDHEC help you get a job once you graduated?
The Career Services centre was very good at EDHEC. They often asked us at which stage in our job search we were and offered practical help and advice if needed.
Actually, they called us even after we graduated, which was really sweet, and it made me feel proud to tell them that I had already begun my first job.
Even now, every year, I receive an invitation to a business career fair in Paris where hundreds of companies gather to offer internships to current students and real jobs to graduating students. It’s truly amazing how they are able to do it year after year, and to create so much value for their students.
This article is original content produced by Advent Group and included in the 2016-2017 annual Access MBA, EMBA, and Masters Guide under the title “A New Dawn”.