Written on 15 Mar 2019.
François-Nicolas Gombert, Grande École and MSc in Strategy & Organisation Consultancy graduate – Senior Consultant at Capgemini Invent.
CAN YOU TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR EDHEC JOURNEY?
I joined EDHEC as Master’s degree-Grande École student. I went on to study for the MSc in Strategy & Organization Consultancy. I was also a member of the Total EDHEC Entreprendre student society, which organises a major start-up competition to promote entrepreneurship in France. In between, I spent a gap year learning about management consulting at a boutique firm and internal auditing at industrial group Saint-Gobain.
HOW HAS YOUR EDHEC EDUCATION HELPED YOU IN YOUR CAREER? WHAT WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT TAKEAWAY FROM THE PROGRAMME?
My EDHEC education helped me in three different ways. First of all, I learned the fundamentals of business. Thanks to EDHEC’s teaching methods (group work, professional presentations, involvement in student societies, international exposure), I also gained the soft skills I needed for my career. EDHEC also provided me with a “toolbox” of hard skills that equipped me for junior positions in which I could evolve.
Second, EDHEC offers gradual specialisation, which helps you discover what your true job aspirations are. The first years focus on the fundamentals of business management, then you spend a full year trying out at least two jobs, and then you choose a sectoral or functional specialisation with an MSc or exchange programmes.
Third, EDHEC’s standing in the corporate world opens doors in most industries, even competitive ones, such as management consulting. My most important takeaway from the programme? Being able to gradually discover what was made for me.
HAS YOUR EDHEC EDUCATION MADE A REAL DIFFERENCE TO YOUR CAREER?
Yes, EDHEC’s educational structure helped me choose a path specifically tailored to me and that seems to be the case for most of my EDHEC classmates and friends. The scope of opportunities is so wide that the greatest difficulty is choosing! That is a very tangible paradox!
WHAT IS YOUR POSITION?
I just got promoted to Senior Consultant at Capgemini Invent (formerly Capgemini Consulting), Capgemini's new consulting, digital innovation and transformation unit. I joined in September 2016. I am part of the Operations Transformation practice. I work on projects in all industries. I have already had the chance to work in the financial services, technology and service sectors. My main assignments include the reshaping of operating models and reorganising business units. I usually work in the Paris area, but have been transferred temporarily to London for a specific assignment.
HOW WERE YOU RECRUITED?
Capgemini Invent was the corporate sponsor of my specialisation, so I was recruited directly from school. I had the chance to work with many Capgemini Invent consultants during the academic year on case studies and in masterclasses. I had opportunities to go with other consulting companies (some of which we met during our last year), but the corporate culture, employee experience and value proposition of Capgemini Invent was the best fit for me. Talking with former EDHEC students working at Capgemini Invent gave me a real taste of their typical day, helped me to make up my mind and embark on the series of job interviews involved.
YOU ARE STILL INVOLVED WITH EDHEC. CAN YOU TELL US MORE?
I have the pleasure of still being involved with EDHEC through Capgemini Invent Campus Management activities. We have a strong EDHEC “family”, with 90 alumni in the Paris office. We organise activities to promote the company and help students get a taste of the management consulting industry.
I work specifically with EDHEC’s MSc in Strategy, Consulting & Digital Transformation, led by Professor Christine Coisne. We organise year-long masterclasses on digital transformation and consulting. These masterclasses include talks by our experts, consultants and clients. Participation in case studies is also a major part of our involvement: students work to develop a digital-transformation case inspired by real client cases.
This year, we celebrate 10 years of collaboration with EDHEC. We have, therefore, accelerated our academic innovation with the introduction of “start-up cases”, whereby students help “born-digital” companies to map out their development strategies. This year, one of the start-ups, Labtoo, is based at the EDHEC Station F Incubator. It was founded by EDHEC alumnus Sophie Hue (EDHEC 2007). We hope to offer this experience to all students on the MSc in Strategy, Consulting & Digital Transformation in the near future.
We are not forgetting about EDHEC’s student societies either. We work closely with the EDHEC Consulting Club, for example. And we have just partnered with Total EDHEC Entreprendre to send Capgemini Invent Consultants on short assignments (six weeks) to the winner of the digital start-up contest. This initiative, named “Vice Versa” also helps our staff gain hands-on practical experience in the area of innovation.
DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR FUTURE STUDENTS?
Your experience at EDHEC is what you choose it to be. Enjoy time spent with friends and meet new people.