MSc Sustainability and Social Innovation
Class of 2014
from Mc Gill University
Experience as a Part-Time Consultant for Goodwill Management and a SAP Consultant in Sales and Distribution for IBM Canada.
The SASI program will give you the tools and the critical reasoning to consider sustainability and its viability from a financial, economic, and social perspective
- Why did you choose the SASI Master Program?
My favorite course during my Bachelor degree was Social Context in Business. I realized there was a strong lack of corporate involvement and responsibility in terms of the environment and society. That is the reason why I decided to pursue my studies aligning business and sustainability as two key goals.
- Which courses did you prefer in your Program and why?
Although I found most classes very interesting, my favorite course was Sustainable Procurement. I already had a background in logistics, and I think that sourcing and the supply chain play a critical role in how companies can perform better in term of sustainability. I really like the practical aspect in procurement, and I want to pursue my career in that field.
- Did you find living on campus important for personal networking with other students?
Especially in MSc programs, most of the students prefer to live on campus.. As you live in a building with all the other students of your program, you get to know everyone much better. There is also a ton of events being hosted on campus (conferences, seminars, cultural and social events, etc.), at least one or two every day of the week. Even though the campus is quite remote from Paris, I really enjoyed living on campus and would strongly recommend it, at least for the first semester of the year.
- You are also involved in Generation HEC, a student association. Could you present the association and your role at Generation HEC?
Generation HEC is the student association in charge of representing all the Master students: MS, MSc, and GE students in their last year. We have different objectives: the first one is from a professional and networking prospective. There are a lot of conferences organized on different themes such as energy, consulting, luxury, etc... We also have an integration and social focus where we organize parties and other events such as the integration weekend, the ski weekend, etc. I was more specifically involved with the admission process for the following year’s MS and MSc promotion.
My role consisted in ensuring that all the MS and MSc candidates were fully supported during the admission process. Especially for international students, it can be difficult moving to a country where you are not familiar with the language, culture, public administration, etc. Generation HEC strives to ease that transition and to make sure that everything runs as smoothly as possible once the students are on campus.
- Which certificate did you chose? What did you gain through this program?
I was enrolled in in the Social Business: Enterprise and Poverty certificate which provides insight on how businesses could alleviate poverty, both in developed countries such as France and in emerging economies. The certificate focuses on core business functions (Finance, marketing, strategy, social entrepreneurship and intrapeneurship, etc) and on how to align them to tackle poverty.
What I appreciated most in the certificate is the fact that you learn by doing, not only by studying. We had a lot of hands-on experiences such as company visits, a fieldwork project with an institution, and an immersion week in a social insertion organization. I worked for “Les Abeilles Maraîchères” for a week with two other students. It was great, we were involved with the day-to-day tasks such as gardening, tree planting, composting, and we were able to discuss with employees working in these social integration structures. The purpose of this immersion week was not to provide any recommendations nor to be judgemental, but rather to understand how the structure works.
- What advice would you give to future students of the program?
Stay true to yourself. Especially nowadays, it will be a constant challenge to try to motivate and incentivize people on sustainability. Do not lose hope, and remember what your strengths are. It will take time and it will be difficult, but change can happen.
HEC Paris is a business school and as such works in a very corporate mindset. The SASI program allows you to build on your area of expertise and will give you the tools and the critical reasoning to consider sustainability and its viability from a financial, economic, and social perspective.