Amélie Vidal-Simi, President of Henkel France, is the new patron of EDHEC’s MSc in Marketing Management. We asked her what was behind her decision.
Written on 11 Oct 2019.
After I graduated from EDHEC in the late 1980s, I joined Henkel, a company at which I knew I could continue to learn throughout my career. I have been there for 30 years now. I have worked in marketing, my field of specialisation, but also as a key account manager and then as sales director, a field that was quite new to me. It was a very enriching and challenging experience. I learnt a lot about team management and negotiation. It was a turning point in my career. After a few years in the Laundry and Home Care business, I became general manager of the Adhesives business for France and the Benelux countries. For five years now, I have been also President of Henkel France.
I have had requests from other schools and always declined. To me, it would have been odd to become patron of a school I did not know, with which I did not have a bond. EDHEC is different. It is my school. I share its values, which are very close to those of my company. We thought, as a corporation, that my becoming patron of the MSc would strengthen the ties between EDHEC and Henkel. It is an opportunity to work with students, to present our activities and, hopefully, hire some talent for new graduate jobs, internships, and apprenticeships. On a personal level, I know that entering the job market is a key moment for students and I would very much like to play a part in it and support them.
There will be formal and informal occasions. As a patron, I will meet with them again next January for a talk on marketing jobs. They will also meet people from my team, have a coaching session and work on case studies. I will remain available to them for questions on their career path, job positioning, job search… I believe that on a career path, it is always useful to meet the right people at the right time, receive the right advice. If I can be this person for them, I would be delighted.
I will be attentive and help them gain confidence in themselves. I will advise them based on my experience.
Proximity, support, and delegation.