Nicholas Fox

Nicholas Fox

MSc Sustainability and Social Innovation

Class of 2014


from McGill University

Experience as a GIS Specialist for BPR Tetra Tech - Civil Engineering

 This network is an incredible asset for your personal, academic, professional development and those are the individuals you will be around making an impact in your sector for the rest of your life

  • Which courses did you prefer in your program and why?

I was inspired by many of the MISD program courses but some particularly matched my academic interests: Geopolitics of Resources, taught by Professor Gauthier during the first semester, provided an overview of the global oil and gas supply chain, exploring the dynamics of global energy markets and scenarii for the decades to come. It felt rewarding to be immerged in a world completely unknown to me yet highly connected to my background in urban planning, which triggered rapid learning and encouraged me to apply to the double degree with the Energy, Natural Resources and the Environment program at the Norwegian School of Economics.

Innovative Business Models taught by Laurence Lehman Ortega was definitely another highlight of the academic year. The deliverables – group presentations depicting the innovative value proposition, value architecture, financials and Triple Bottom Line assessment of existing business models – constituted interactive ways of exchanging on these practices.

On top of sharpening my understanding of the challenges ahead regarding environmental and energy-related matters, these courses genuinely established the interconnection between environmentally/ socially responsible practices and tangible economic returns, relation I was keen on exploring by applying to the program.

  • Did you find living on campus important for personal networking with the other students?

I lived on campus for the entire year and absolutely recommend it to all prospective/ admitted students. One of the critical strength of my experience at HEC was the people that I interacted with, in the MISD class particularly but also in other Grande Ecole, MIB, MFE programs and within associations I got involved in, such as the Tennis Club and the Génération HEC Student Association. I created friendships with people from all over the world (17 nationalities in my program this year) that largely bypass the scope of professional networking and living in a close environment (residence AP3) fosters the extent of these connections.

Moreover, staying on campus allows a certain proximity to the numerous conferences offered by the HEC Débats Association, networking events with companies (consulting forum, career sessions…) and sports facilities (tennis courts, soccer pitch, gymnasium…). The association in charge of international students is highly active so that foreign students feel welcome.

  • Did you choose to participate in one of the Certificate programs at HEC, and if so, which one? What did you gain through this program?

Pursuant to my learning in Professor Gauthier’s Geopolitics of Resources class, I decided to enroll into the Energy and Finance Certificate sponsored by Société Générale and Deloitte. The certificate offers rich hands on lectures through the testimony of experienced professionals and academics within the Oil & Gas but also Renewables industry. The certificate is precious to me as it complements the physical and geopolitical standpoint with technological knowledge and underlying finance realities – challenging yet accessible through the introductory and Corporate Finance/Finance for Energy courses taken during the year. The final project is an occasion to put our learning into practice, working on real-time projects and presenting directly to executives involved in them.

I feel that the combination of the MISD courses and the Energy & Finance Certificate is an ideal preparation for the double degree in Norway and provides me with a certain degree of legitimacy regarding my future professional position within the industry.

  • What advice would you give to the future students of the program?

The year goes by so fast in the midst of courses, consulting projects and class trips (we went to Ethiopia for two weeks this year), make the most of it! Meet people, get involved in side projects and associations, attend conferences and…meet more people! At the end of the day, this network is an incredible asset for your personal, academic, professional development and those are the individuals you will be around making an impact in your sector for the rest of your life.