I will always want to be part of the nuclear power industry. With my MBA, I’m hoping to work internationally on the strategic and business side of this industry.
Gina Abdelsalam is a nuclear engineer who is passionate about nuclear science. She was born and raised in Togo, and she attended high school in Egypt before moving to France. She is currently interning at PwC with the company’s global consulting advisory services. There she’s regularly praised for being true to the HEC motto “learn to dare” for questioning the status quo, even with her superiors.
“Back when I was in high school, I read an article on the ITER (International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor) nuclear fusion research and engineering megaproject. I was so fascinated by the amount of power that can be produced by such small subatomic scales. Right then, I was determined to become a nuclear scientist. After completing high school in Egypt, I moved to France by myself for a 2-year intensive preparatory program. It was long hours of classes and homework every day for 2 years. At the end, I was admitted to one of the best universities in France to study nuclear engineering.
“After my internship at Framatome (formerly AREVA NP), I was accepted into a PhD program. But at the same time, I was offered the opportunity to work at EDF (Électricité de France) in the R&D department, where the majority of my coworkers held PhDs. I decided to accept the job at EDF, figuring that I could always earn a PhD later in my career. Two years later, EDF acquired Framatome. I didn’t really understand the changes happening at that time. But now that I have taken the Merger and Acquisition Strategy class at HEC, I can reflect back on that experience. I now understand the challenges these two great companies faced during their merger much better than I did before.
“Nuclear power is traditionally a geographically limited industry, but now I’m seeing that nuclear industries are expanding across international borders. When I heard the Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant in the UAE -- the first of its kind in the Arab world -- started operations last August, I was so excited. I think I will always want to be part of the nuclear power industry. With my MBA, I’m hoping to work internationally on the strategic and business side of this industry.”
-Gina Abdelsalam, French and Egyptian, September ’19 intake, Class of 2021