“EDHEC helped me gradually find what was made for me.”

François-Nicolas Gombert, French, EDHEC-2016
MSc in Strategy, Consulting & Digital Transformation
Senior consultant at Capgemini Invent

WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR JOURNEY AT EDHEC?
I joined EDHEC as Master’s Degree - Grande École student. I went on to the MSc in Strategy & Organization Consultancy (now MSc Strategy, Consulting & Digital Transformation) and graduated in 2016. I was a member of Total EDHEC Entreprendre student association which promotes entrepreneurship in France by organising a major start-up contest. In between, I took the opportunity of the gap year to discover management consulting in a boutique and internal audit at Saint-Gobain, an industrial group.

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 gained the knowledge of the fundamentals of business. Thanks to the teaching methods (group works, professional presentations, involvement in student associations, international exposure…), I also gained the soft skills needed in my career. Regarding hard skills, the “toolbox” provided at EDHEC is sufficient to evolve in junior positions. Secondly, EDHEC offers a gradual specialisation that helps you find out what your job aspirations are. The first years address Business Management fundamentals, before you leave for a full year to experiment at least two positions and finally, choose a sector/function specialisation with an MSc or exchanges programmes. Third, EDHEC’s recognition in the corporate world opens doors of most industries, even competitive ones such as Management Consulting. My most important takeaway from the programme? Being able to find out gradually what was made for me.

HAS YOUR EDUCATION AT EDHEC MADE A REEL DIFFERENCE IN YOUR CAREER?
Yes, the way EDHEC education is built helped me choose a tailored path. With the small step back I can take from graduation, it seems to be the case for most of my EDHEC classmates and friends. The scope of opportunities is so wide that the biggest difficulty is to choose! That is a very tangible paradox! 

WHAT IS YOUR POSITION?
I just got promoted 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 Financial Services, Technology and Service sectors. My main assignments include operating model reshaping, business unit reorganisation… I usually work in the Paris area, but was transferred temporarily to London for a specific assignment.

HOW WERE YOU RECRUITED?
Capgemini Invent being the corporate sponsor of my specialisation. So, I was recruited directly “at school”. I had the chance to work with many Capgemini Invent consultants during the academic year for case studies and masterclasses. I had the choice with other consulting companies (some we also met during our last year), but the corporate culture, employee experience and value proposition of Capgemini Invent was the best fit for me. The possibility to discuss with former EDHEC at Capgemini Invent gave me a “real taste” of what is their typical day and hence, helped me decide and start the series of job interviews.

YOU ARE STILL INVOLVED AT EDHEC.  CAN YOU TELL US MORE ABOUT THIS INVOLVEMENT?
I have the pleasure to be still involved at 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 Management Consulting industry.
I specifically work on the relationship with the MSc SCDT led by Mrs Christine Coisne. We organise year-long masterclasses on Digital Transformation & Consulting. These masterclasses include testimonials from our experts, consultants and clients. The practice of case study is also a major part of our involvement: students have three Steering Committees to develop a digital transformation case inspired from real client cases. This year, we celebrate 10 years of collaboration with EDHEC. Therefore, we accelerated academic innovation with the introduction of “Start-up Cases” where students have to help “born digital” companies to design their development. This year, one of the start-ups, Labtoo is located at EDHEC Station F Incubator and was founded by an EDHEC Alumni (Sophie Hue, EDHEC 2007). We hope to offer this experience to all MSc SCDT students in the near future.
We do not forget student associations and work closely with EDHEC Consulting Club. We just partnered up with Total EDHEC Entreprendre in order to send Capgemini Invent Consultants for short assignments (six weeks) to the winner of the digital start-up contest. This initiative named “Vice-Versa” helps our staff in innovation practice.

DO YOU HAVE AN ADVICE FOR FUTURE STUDENTS?
The way you experience EDHEC is the one you choose. Enjoy the time spent with friends and meet new people.
I start to be involved in recruitment processes by discussing with students on our various touchpoints (Forum, Consulting Days, MSc SCDT) and they often ask “Is there any path? to join consulting such as Audit internships…” The answer is definitively NO, as long as you can step back from what you did, no matter what it is!