Environmental Project Manager, Unibail Rodamco
INSA of Lyon Engineering Degree, HEC Specialized Master in Sustainable Development (Class of 2007)
« There is not one day when I don’t learn a new thing »
> Why did you choose the HEC Specialized Master in Sustainable Development?
Sustainability seemed and still seems to be the only answer to face the crisis caused by this illusion that economical growth, as we conceive it since the industrial revolution, can be infinite in a finite world. I needed concrete answers and ideas for new economical models to face resource depletion and our dependence on fossil fuels to apply this knowledge in my field of predilection: building industry and city development.
> What are the most important things you gained from this master (from a personal or professional perspective)?
The two main reflexes that I’ve learnt are open-mindedness and thinking out of the box, which is a great strength in my professional life.
> What does ‘sustainable development’ mean to you? How would you describe it?
Sustainability is all about seeing issues of the world with a long and middle-term eye, more common sense and a bit of morality. I would define it as value creation, in the noble sense. Creating businesses with positive externalities and understanding that “price” is never enough to define “value” which is something I’ve learnt with Alan Fustec and his notion of “intangible capital”.
> Courses, conferences, meetings, outings… What are the most significant memories of your time at HEC Paris?
Definitely encounters I’ve made from fellow students to teachers and experts. Coming out from a technical world where everyone was made from the same wood, you enter a world of social and cultural mix and you learn in one year more than in many.
> What advices would you give to students who aspire to subscribe to the MSc in Sustainable Development?
Subscribe to the MSc in Sustainable Development if you want to invent and/or take part in tomorrow’s successful businesses.
> Could you describe your current job position? What are you supposed to do, what aims you have, what kind of issues you have to deal with?
As Environmental Project Manager, my role is to assist the project development teams at European level to achieve the best sustainable design and get recognition for their work by achieving the best levels of environmental certifications. Main issue is always to find the right balance between environmental efficiency, economical viability and positive externalities.
> Why did you choose this job?
At first I chose this job because I had the opportunity to work with some of the most incredible architects of our time and on complex large scale projects which is very demanding and exciting.
> What are the most enjoyable things in your job?
There is not one day when I don’t learn a new thing. Most of all, the quality and professionalism of most of the people I work with stays my main everyday driver.
> Was money the first condition of your choice? If not, could you explain your decision?
Unibail-Rodamco gives you the chance to have responsibilities very fast, to deal with high level professionals internally and externally. Other proposals that I had, even better paid, were not worth missing out on such an experience.
> What advices would you give to students who aspire to work in the same area as yours?
I believe it is important to challenge yourself as much as possible. Real Estate industry is a way to deal with many different fields of competencies (financial, technical, legal, marketing, political, communication…) and build assets that exist, over time, in a sustainable way.
- Interviewed in June 2007 -
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