What better way for MSc in Marketing students to kick off their second semester than with a week of motivating talks about Successful Careers in Marketing?
We were lucky to host several inspiring professionals, invited by Prof. Michael Segalla, who shared their experience with us. For those students who might want to find out more about the speakers and their career advice, we have summarised their presentations below:
- Meng-Han Chiang is the HRIS program manager for the French Development Agency in Paris. She encouraged us to identify our internal motivators; to find out why we do what we do. Having switched career path multiple times in the past 10 years, she made me realize that we shouldn’t be so afraid to quit a job in which we no longer feel suited, and that change can be a good thing. I was personally surprised to hear her claim money is never a motivator in its own right, but is rather a way of achieving the goal which motivates us in the first place.
- Najib Fayad is a consultant and former Global CEO/COO at Nelsons UK, who impressed me with his down-to-earth thinking, making the complex stuff look simple. He stressed the importance of friendship and support towards and amongst employees, and outlined what he believes are the golden rules for anyone in the workplace, whatever their position: be pragmatic, be creative, be curious, keep it simple and listen to others.
- Colette Ballou spoke about PR and explained how she succeeded in building her own agency after leaving the US. She encouraged us to be confident, dare to make a difference and leave our mark on a business. Using her own career as an example, she highlighted the value of support and honesty with clients, and explained how to involve local professionals in a global business strategy.
- Alberto Ruiz works as a Global Data Protection Officer at Cornerstone. His talk focused on GDPR and the ethical loopholes raised by data mishandling by big businesses, emphasising the importance of protecting individual privacy. He underlined several conflicts surrounding the subject of data collection, notably that between technology and ethics, or that between companies and individuals – bearing in mind, as he reminded us, that half the data breaches take place within the companies themselves. His thoughts on automated decisions got me thinking about how data management could result in the societal exclusion of particular groups of people.
- Anne Geisert is a General Manager at Miele. She promoted a healthy approach to work-life balance and sent a positive and empowering message about women in leadership positions. I was surprised when she revealed she had to take a step back at one point in her career, but that step actually allowed her to keep powering forward. I was also relieved to hear her say that leaders cannot be expected to know or do everything, and that a large part of their job is to ask the right questions and discuss ideas with employees.
- Patrick Dumoulin is the General Manager of Great Place to Work Institute in France. He spoke about what he believes makes a good workplace, stressing the importance of individual fulfilment in any role. He also emphasised that companies should be flexible, open-minded and prioritise opportunities for expansion and growth.
So there you have it! I hope this inspires to keep looking for summer internships, and perhaps even to come to HEC one day – maybe to share your own success story with future students!