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Hugo Sallé

Mastère Spécialisé Médias, Art et Création

The program gathers people from all types of cultures or academic paths, and you need to leverage everyone’s expertise and manage different expectations. As I deal with artists and people from many different backgrounds in my daily work now, I realize how important this mindset is.

 


Why did you decide to join the MAC Master at HEC Paris?


I’ve always been addicted to entertainment. I grew up with a passion for everything Disney and a never-ending interest in film history and comic books. It started with VHS my parents and grandparents used to buy me for Christmas, books I kept reading again and again. Yet I was not good enough at drawing… but I had good grades and I was also interested in the business side of entertainment. This, plus many years studying hard, led me to HEC with strong convictions I could find a job that would mix creativity and business.


In 2017, when I started studying at HEC after my Preparatory Class, aiming at the MAC Master was a good target. Several experiences made the choice even more obvious: my exchange program in cinema and business in Los Angeles —a life-changing experience—, the creation of HEC’s media club and a TV show, the elective class about creative industries taught by Professor Thomas Paris and the many other cinema and media-related projects I undertook on the campus.

 

What are your biggest takeaways from your experience within the program?


One of the MAC Master’s main avantages is to gather people from all types of culture or academic paths. Learning to work with different profiles, going from people who knew nothing about accounting to experts in very niche artists, has been a key takeaway for me. The many group projects had to be done differently from what I previously did at HEC, because all of us didn’t have the same skills or ways to understand topics. You needed to leverage everyone’s expertise and manage different expectations. As I deal with artists and people from many different backgrounds in my daily work now, I realize how important this mindset is.


Another big lesson I take away from this master is the necessity to take a cross-industries approach as often as possible. The MAC program provided us with classes about linked yet very different art forms and businesses. In a world where media blend and crossmedia strategies are common (cinema at Le Louvre, rap artists quoting anime…), the knowledge of different creative businesses —even those you don’t want to work in— is a true asset.

 

What is your current job? What types of responsibilities do you have?


I joined the Média-Participations group, one of Europe’s main publishing, media and entertainment companies, right after my graduation in 2021. I am Development, Innovation and Communication coordinator for the holding. I work with the group’s 80+ subsidiaries (Dargaud, Dupuis, Kana, Abrams, La Martinière, Seuil, Iello, Microids, Parc Spirou…) with a focus on animation with Ellipse Animation. My missions regard the development of intellectual properties and animated series and films, as well as working alongside the group’s top management on strategy, innovation and communication matters.


This broad scope enables me to learn a lot and deal with very different stakes. It’s a unique opportunity to work on building ambitious transmedia strategies for heroes I love like the Marsupilamis, Lucky Luke or Blacksad, while being at the heart of creation of books, series and films, video games, theme parks and many more. A dream coming true!

 

How did you find your job?


I chose carefully the topic of my master thesis (the consequences of the rise of streaming platforms on animation, as a market and an art form) to be able to interview people I would want to work for. This enabled me to grab material for my thesis, but also to network. 17 interviews later, I had 3 full-time jobs proposals and chose one of them. It turned out to be a great plan!

 

How did the program help define your career path and secure your job?


Throughout the program, I was able to meet professionals and MAC alumni who shared insightful tips. We had inspiring interview sessions almost every week, which was the ideal time to discover someone’s career and environment.


The MAC master also broadened my scope with classes on publishing and video games, which turned out to be very useful in my understanding of these industries —now it’s part of my job to understand them.


Finally, as mentioned before, the freedom to choose a very specific master thesis subject was key to securing my job.

 


What are your long-term career expectations, and how will having a MAC Master help you achieve those aspirations?


Where will I be in 5, 10 or 20 years? I don’t know, no one knows actually. I may become manager in my current company or settle in Los Angeles or even start my own business… My only certainty is that there will always be stories and content and there will always be people to create them and share them to the world. And I want to be part of this. I can’t imagine my life far from creation and creatives. Unlike James Bond, we only live once, and I believe you can’t bother to have a boring work if you have the opportunity to choose it. My media-oriented HEC experience as a whole, combined with my personal choices and experiences, have been making this possible so far. I hope it will still be the case in the years and decades to come!

 

Any advice for students considering joining the MAC Master and wishing to follow the same career path?

Make the most of your time as a student to be involved in projects. You usually have time to join clubs, manage projects, do internships… Loving films or music is not enough to join the MAC program or to work in creative industries: it’s crucial to have concrete experiences. And the more diverse these experiences are, the better. I cannot recommend enough to choose two different internships in two very different companies for instance. Even if you know you want to work in a Parisian museum, don’t intern only in Parisian museums. Explore!


Don’t wait till the end of your studies to start networking with people working in an industry you like. A strong network is really important no matter your line, but it opens even more doors in creative industries. Ask for a 30-min coffee, learn from others’ experiences, look for tips to improve yourself.


Last but not least, be curious! That’s not breaking news, but curiosity is crucial if you want to be successful in creative industries. Inspiration and innovation come from eveywhere!

 

Find out more about the Mastère Spécialisé Médias, Art et Création