Sarah Palak is a fourth-year student on the Business Management track, specialising in Human Resources. She completed her baccalaureate, with honours, at the Jeanne d’Arc secondary school in Caen before starting the EDHEC International BBA in 2015. In June 2018, she was elected “CEO for One Month” by Adecco France – a professional experience that gave her CV quite a boost. She is currently on her final internship at L’Oréal in Paris and will begin a Master’s degree in human resources at the University of Paris II Panthéon-Assas next September.
I chose EDHEC Business School for its generalist programme, its alumni network and the quality of the teaching staff. I also felt that it had well-established student societies and a caring atmosphere. These elements dictated my choice of business school.
I chose the EDHEC International BBA, Business Management track, to give myself the opportunity to develop and gain an insight into all of the business professions. The compulsory work experience and quality of the courses differentiate this programme from other undergraduate courses. Every subject is studied in depth and the learning-by-doing approach is very evident.
The first two years of the programme gave us a solid grounding in the more general business subjects, such as finance and marketing, as well as strategic and environmental issues. The second half of the programme encouraged us to specialise and deepen our knowledge of specific areas. This specialisation improves our employment prospects.
I opted to specialise in marketing in my third year, then human resources in my fourth. While the marketing specialisation allowed me to develop my research and analysis skills, I discovered my true passion during my human resources specialisation. These two areas complement each other and are a real asset to a company. EDHEC is able to adapt to our chosen career plan and it is the student who shapes their academic and career path, with the support of the services provided by the BBA.
My first work experience at EDHEC was through the EDHEC Junior Consulting society, where I was vice president, responsible for human resources. I learned the rudiments of company operations and gained soft skills, such as the ability to listen. Before embarking on your business career, the Junior Enterprise is a genuinely valuable organisation. At EDHEC Junior Consulting, I developed my passion for human resources, as well as for strategy. It is a good balance between student society life and a first step in the corporate world.
My second professional experience was a two-month internship at Manager HR Conseil . I was in charge of marketing development for a HR training service. Thanks to this experience, I was able to identify my two preferred sectors: marketing and human resources.
In 2017, I completed a six-month internship at Rémy Cointreau in Paris. I worked in the Talent division in a 100% human-resources team. This internship opened my eyes to the world of human resources and steered me towards my choice of specialisation in the fourth year. The experience shaped my critical thinking, my HR approach and my future ambitions.
After this internship, I took part in the “CEO For One Month” competition organised by Adecco France. I wanted to challenge myself! The competition is an opportunity for all students to apply for the post of group chief executive for a one-month period and to work alongside the actual CEO. After a long selection process that involved a personality test, telephone interviews and ground-breaking arcade games , I took part in a bootcamp for the 12 finalists, before being declared the winner.
For 30 days, I attended all strategy meetings alongside Christophe Catoir, Adecco’s CEO, as well as all management board meetings. I had a real role to play, taking decisions and sharing my vision and drawing on my ability to summarise. Every day, Christophe involved me in discussions on subjects such as recruitment, training and the company’s future, as well as the company’s values and partnership development.
This experience is, without doubt, a real CV booster. Moreover, it is very much in line with my career goals, as Adecco is the uncontested global market leader in HR solutions. Thanks to this opportunity, I have bolstered my professional network, gained in self-confidence and improved my skills. These are all factors that helped make this a unique month-long experience.
I am currently working in the human resources department of L’Oréal in Paris. This final work placement aligns well with my desire to develop my human resources skills and evolve within the company.
After the EDHEC International BBA, I will embark on the Master CIFFOP – International Human Resources Management programme at the University of Paris II Panthéon-Assas. My goal is to increase my expertise in international HR issues, join the workforce and progress in the field.