Launching the HEC Ventures fund and the HEC Life Project, determining the association’s guiding principle … HEC Alumni has many new initiatives underway. Marguerite Gallant (H.03), the new managing director, outlines projects and perspectives as this year begins.
You have been working with the HEC network for many years ….
Marguerite Gallant: My career took me to London as soon as I graduated from HEC. I spent 10 years in the banking sector, at BNP Paribas and Barclays. Then I rejoined HEC Paris to set up its first international office, HEC UK, which I headed from 2014 to 2019. Last September, I returned to the association in Paris to serve as the head of the Careers department and as assistant managing director for Jérémy Bas (M.12), whose job I took on in January.
What are the association’s future challenges?
M.G.: HEC Alumni is the most influential alumni association in France, and, according to The Economist, our network is number one worldwide. Our first challenge is therefore to support and enrich the connections among our 60,000 graduates, whose career paths and profiles have become increasingly diverse and international. Our second challenge involves our business model. Our lifelong membership program, Infinity Pass, launched in 2019, has been a big success, but we should build on this achievement by creating new services adapted to each and every alumnus. Our third challenge will be to work with the school and the HEC Foundation to establish a coherent ecosystem based on the HEC brand.
What innovations are planned for 2020?
M.G.: HEC Ventures, the investment fund designed to support HEC start-ups, was launched in January. Created through a year-long effort by teams from the association and the school under the direction of Frédéric Jousset (H.92), the fund is based on a partnership with Idinvest Partners. Now HEC Alumni must raise 30 million euros by next June. We have made a great start toward this goal, because our community is enthusiastic about this innovative and valuable project! We also need to strengthen our international offerings and better serve our alumni, such as our volunteers, who would like the association’s operations to be more efficient and more digitalized.
“HEC Alumni is the most influential alumni association in France and, according to The Economist, our network is number one worldwide.”
Can you give an example of the new services being developed?
M.G.: As the head of the Careers department, I oversaw the complete transformation of our support services. The Careers team and I sought feedback from alumni about what they did and did not like about the program so that we could better understand their expectations. We found that the term “career”, too linear, didn’t accurately describe people’s true experiences. We also learned that people’s personal and professional lives had become more and more intertwined, and that our services should no longer be solely focused on restoring and strengthening our alumni’s employability. We therefore created a new service, HEC Life Project. It has a more innovative and digital DNA, and it responds more effectively to the desires of alumni who seek fulfillment in their jobs. In the wake of the Pacte law, I would also like for us to examine in 2020 HEC Alumni’s values and guiding principle. This would involve giving new meaning to our membership, our community, as well as to our individual and collective actions. We will accomplish this by calling on all alumni and by working with HEC clubs, chapters and class delegates. And since the school recently began a similar project, we can benefit from our combined efforts.
What does HEC mean to you?
M.G.: HEC makes me very proud. My four years as an HEC student formed my professional and personal lives and my friendships. Those years were the common thread among my choices. Ever since Bernard Ramanantsoa asked me to open an office for the school in London, I have been honored to represent our brand.