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How our management master’s landed us top jobs at Hermès and Thales

By Stephanie L

Updated April 26, 2021 Updated April 26, 2021

Sponsored by Audencia Business School

Over the years, master in management programmes have become a more efficient and affordable route to an executive career compared to other specialised business master’s, including the MBA.

This was certainly the case for graduates Florine and Aurélien from Audencia Business School in France.

TopUniversities spoke to Florine and Aurélien to find out how their management master’s degrees have helped them secure top jobs at two of France’s most well-established multinational companies – Hermès and Thales.

From internships at Dior and Louis Vuitton to becoming a business analyst at Hermès

When Florine graduated from the Master in Management (Grand École) at Audencia Business School in 2010, she soon secured a role as a business analyst at the French luxury goods manufacturer, Hermès.

Her main responsibilities include improving user experience by optimising the ergonomics on the front-end and back-end. She also analyses the international market and customers’ needs and defines the business rules of new functionalities. Good communication is also key in her role as she liaises with other internal teams, subsidiaries and technical teams to ensure all projects stay on track. 

It was very early on that Florine knew she wanted to embark upon a career in all things digital, thanks to the fast-changing and fast-moving nature of the sector, as well as its huge potential.

All she needed to do to help get her there was find a well-recognised, accredited degree programme that promised a great learning environment, jam-packed curriculum with a wide range of interesting electives, a versatile study experience, experiential learning, as well as the opportunity to perfect her managerial skillset.

It seemed that the Master in Management (Grand École) at Audencia Business School ticked all the right boxes.

And while the academic aspect was important, Florine knew that practical work experience would really help enhance her understanding of how business works and boost her industry-related knowledge.

A chance to intern at the likes of Dior and Louis Vuitton were the perfect opportunity to experience firsthand what it was like to work at a large company.

“It was these experiences that confirmed my interest in the sector and also helped me find digital-related jobs,” she says. 

It’s no surprise then, that Florine speaks so highly of her study experience at Audencia Business School and the abundance of opportunities that were offered to her.

“In addition to the fact that Audencia is well known by recruiters, my academic exchanges in Dublin and Beijing are proof of my good English skills and that I can be adaptable,” she says.

When it comes to the next generation of management graduates who aspire to break into whatever industry they desire, Florine has two important pieces of advice.

“Begin with the end in mind. Knowing your direction, even if it is only an approximate and may change during your journey, will help you reach your goal faster than those who keep changing their direction.

“And last but not least, find your own Ikigai – a reason for being!”

Getting ahead as a project management officer at Thales – a leader in global high-technology

Getting ahead as a project management officer at Thales – a leader in global high-technology

Image credit: Aurélien Choloux

Aurélien graduated from the MSc in Management-Engineering at Audencia Business School in 2020. Now, he is a project management officer in the Surface and Radar Civil division at Thales – a leader in global high-technology.

Aurélien works alongside and supports his senior project manager through the lifecycle of major projects – from project launch to site installation, all the way through to the commissioning phase. His other responsibilities include establishing the planning and the structure of the project, following up the finances and preparing project reviews.

Although he wasn’t always sure what career path he wanted to pursue, Aurélien did have a pretty good idea of the type of organisation he wanted to work for.

“I found myself attracted to companies operating in domains in which the demand for advanced technologies and innovation is important,” he explains.

Aurélien was already studying for one degree at engineering school when he realised that he would need to take his learning and professional development one step further to help him achieve his career ambitions.  

Having enjoyed studying mathematics, mechanics and physics, Aurélien set his sights on the MSc in Management-Engineering degree program at Audencia Business School to help broaden his skillset and “acquire new managerial competencies.”

During the first semester, Aurélien had a rigorous introduction to the fundamentals of business and management which included courses such as marketing, business management, and entrepreneurship. But it was the corporate finance major in particular where he acquired a strong knowledge of financial analysis, accounting and asset management which essentially helped prepare him for his role as project management officer.

Reflecting on his choice of postgraduate education, Aurélien is grateful for the opportunities the MSc in Management-Engineering gave him and how they helped him get to where he is today – from career events with industry-leading companies, to alumni networks, to summer school at UC Berkeley in California.

“The master’s provides good work practices that students will need when starting their careers, as most of the courses based on practical cases and problems currently encountered by companies,” he says.

“Audencia helped me identify my career ambitions. 

“I had the opportunity to visit Société Géneral’s headquarters in Paris and participate in two company ‘speed meetings’. It allowed me to build a first professional network, get valuable advice and hone my career choices,” he recalls.

But it was only at the end of his studies when Aurélien decided that he wanted to find a job where he could combine his engineering background with what he had learned at Audencia.

“My degree allowed me to consider working in a wide range of areas, from being an engineer in the industry to being an analyst at a banking company.

“But when I heard about project management, I knew instantly that I wanted to make it my first experience as a young graduate,” he says. 

“I think project management is the perfect balance between my two degrees. On the one hand, I’m able to make good use of my technical knowledge by working alongside engineers on technical subjects, and on the other hand, I can use my skills in management, planning and finance throughout the lifecycle of a project.” 

According to Aurélien, it is quite an achievement to start off as a young project management officer in such a large company after only just graduating. He credits the MSc in Management-Engineering for equipping him with the foundations of business and essential know-hows of project management.

“I’ve learned how to behave as a professional and mobilise my skills in a competitive environment.”

Lead image credit: Florine Zhao

This article was originally published in January 2021 . It was last updated in April 2021

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Written by

As the Head of Sponsored Content for TopUniversities.com and TopMBA.com, Stephanie creates and publishes a wide range of articles for universities and business schools across the world. She attended the University of Portsmouth where she earned a BA in English Language and an MA in Communication and Applied Linguistics.

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