INTERVIEW – Nathalie Hector, emlyon

"Work and passion shouldn't be separated. I strive for my students to understand that" Nathalie Hector quote

During my 10+ months at Our Millennials Today, I’ve noticed that unlike what I believed, not everyone links passion to work. Actually, more than anything, it’s often quite the contrary. Either people give up their dreams early on to pursue « classical careers » while others decide to put their life on hold « for some time » and keep their passion « on the side ».

Some people started telling me me they would do now interview « once they have a shareable life ». But what does it really mean for them to tell me that? That being in a consulting firm is shameful? That working 3 years+ in a place to gain some experience never rimes with passion? 

The more I thought about it, the more I realised the majority of my interviewees were issued from prestigious French universities. On my search for orientation inspiration / education comprehension, I went to Nathalie Hector, the head of emlyon business school‘s Msc Program. From delocalisation, higher fees, to a status reform and inventing new mottos by the minute, many are those who wonder what Business Schools stand for nowadays.

I’m giving myself 3 years to shift it all around

What has to change? Well, for one the program! * laughs *. The first step was to find reliable and young actors to help me in this « renovation project ». They all serve as transformation pillars for emlyon. Each one of them takes care of an aspect we’re willing to change up. Some go faster than others, but I’m confident, it’s just a matter of time. I’ve only arrived almost a year ago at emlyon after all.

My wish is for my students to understand that I’m not preparing them to get that « first job » everybody talks about. In fact, I’m convinced that once you’re out of a Business School like ours today, the real challenge is to figure out WHO you want to be in your active years. By that I mean:

what kind of person do you wish to be? What would you like to leave behind? What is it that you want to change in the society you live in?

For that we have to provide students with the right toolkit to help them map their future. If they decide to go work for EY, it won’t matter on the short-term if their purpose or passion isn’t fulfilled… as long as they know why they do it and how it’s going to help them on the long-run.

In a few years schools won’t look anything like they do today. 

Maybe we’ll just be coaches for our students

On the long run, they will be the only actors in forging their own educative path. We have to be sure our service still answers to our students’ needs. I know it’s hard to envision that right now, after all emlyon is centuries old! Same goes for many other schools, and since the rankings didn’t really change for years… But we’ll evolve for sure.

Something I don’t understand is why passion and work are separated. It doesn’t make sense! 

If you’re passionate about what you, you’ll eventually be more engaged and efficient

 That’s why I wanted for 2018’s on-boarding to be focused on passion and passion only. This way we created small clusters of people sharing the same interests. Hopefully they’ll be able to build new projects together and help each other develop their talent.

I believe a lot in peer-to-peer learning and collective intelligence. This new trend will certainly change hierarchical relationships in firms and affect many fields.

Our interview now comes to an end.

I’d like to thank We Are Peers  for the opportunity they gave me of interviewing different actors of formation / education and of course Nathalie Hector for the time spent explaining me her view on education.

You can find my testimony for Our Millennials Today here

June 2019

note: current

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