Théo Picard is a third-year BBA Business Management student, specialising in Finance. He completed his secondary schooling at Fragonard de l’Isle Adam, where he took the economics and social sciences track, with a Germano-European focus, specialising in mathematics. “I didn’t wait until I got to third-level education to concentrate on my areas of interest, economic affairs and mathematics,” he says. Theo got his baccalaureate with honours and an average score of 17.88 out of 20, then embarked on his International BBA at EDHEC.
“Triple accreditation, academic excellence, a multitude of international partners, experience in companies and abroad, a four-year format and bursaries” are the reasons Théo chose EDHEC’s International BBA. More specifically, he decided to embark on the Business Management track for its flexibility and its apprenticeship element. “Learning by doing allows you to alternate between periods in which you build up your knowledge at lectures and periods of hands-on work experience, on your own and/or in a team,” he says.
The opportunity to build a solid career path through corporate internships was what convinced him. “It’s an opportunity you have to seize, an opportunity to prepare yourself for the world of work by putting your knowledge into practice in a corporate environment, as well as an opportunity to build your professional network,” Théo says. “EDHEC’s International BBA is a professional degree and this is what makes it stand out in the graduate business-school market in a changing world.”
In 2018, Théo completed a four-month placement at Deloitte France, working in the Risk Advisory department as an intern in treasury risk management, based in La Défense in Paris. This prestigious placement allowed him to apply what he had learned in his EDHEC BBA to the consulting-firm environment. “I was the youngest intern the unit had ever taken on,” he says. “The BBA really prepares its students professionally and we place great importance on demonstrating the added value of our course by succeeding in our work placements.”
Théo also highlights the crucial role placed by EDHEC Business School’s community spirit. “The School has a reputation for the diversity of its community spirit,” he says. “This has a direct effect on life on campus and, equally, on the local and international environment.” He joined the LED society, a humanitarian association with an international dimension, which has the principal aim of bringing light to communities living in areas not connected to the electrical grid (in Madagascar and Senegal). In his second year, he was elected society president, which gave him the opportunity to develop his team-management, project-management and public-speaking skills.
“I decided to pursue the Finance specialisation because I greatly enjoyed the classes on budget management, financial analysis, market finance and investment decisions in the first year of the EDHEC International BBA programme,” Théo says. “In addition, the professors are highly qualified, education-oriented and passionate. The learning-by-doing method enables us to link the theoretical to a broad number of practical applications, which is essential if we are to be truly responsible for operational resources while on work placement. On top of that, EDHEC’s reputation in finance underpinned my choice of specialisation.”
Théo hopes to continue his studies with an MSc in Finance at EDHEC Business School. “It would be a source of immense pride for me to continue my studies at this school,” he says. “I’m working hard, so as to get very good results in my BBA and to be able to pursue the MSc of my choice.”
Théo is augmenting his programme with international experience by taking part in a five-month academic exchange with KEIO University in the heart of Tokyo, Japan. “I never dreamt for one moment that I would be accepted into such a prestigious institution,” he says. Before he left for Japan, Théo took advantage of the services of the Study Abroad Office, which helped him to prepare for his trip. “I went to the Beyond Borders day organised by EDHEC’s Study Abroad Office,” he says. “This is the first step in our academic exchange journey. It allowed me to chat with students who had returned from exchanges in Asia and Southeast Asia. It was an opportunity to ask for advice based on their experiences and views.”
Once in Japan, Théo discovered a culture very different to his own. “Adaptation has been the watchword of this academic exchange,” he says. Language was the first hurdle he had to overcome, so he decided to take the Japanese courses suggested by the university. “Once I had mastered a few basic concepts, I really began to enjoy living in a country so different to France,” he says. Theo has also taken advantage of the exchange to discover the beauty of the Land of the Rising Sun and the hospitality of the Japanese people. “An exchange is an opportunity to travel, to meet people and to create lasting memories,” he adds.
In Japan, Théo is taking courses including International Finance and Japanese Business and Society, which he is enjoying enormously, as “the lecturers are excellent and well renowned. My Japanese Economy professor spent 20 years working at the Japanese Ministry of Finance, as well as in the Southeast Asian division of the International Monetary Fund. The professors are very accessible and encourage us to express our opinions.”
What Théo is taking away from this experience is that you have to be an actor during your exchange and not just a spectator. “It is fundamentally important to integrate, as adaptability and an ability to integrate are essential skills to master in the workplace. It is necessary to have foreign experience on your CV.”
Find Theo on LinkedIn.