Vincent Eid is originally from Lebanon. He undertook an MBA at HEC Paris, and this allowed him to get a role a Nike. In the below, he attributes where he is now to the lessons and experiences he had at HEC Paris.
I had never worked outside of my home country of Lebanon before I completed the MBA programme at HEC Paris. I now work at global brand Nike, at their European Headquarters in the Netherlands.
I’d studied computer engineering and worked in Lebanon – the smallest recognised country on the entire mainland Asian continent – for five years in two different French companies, starting as a software engineer and building my way up to a team leader and IT consultant.
But I wanted to supercharge my personal and professional growth by acquiring both hard and soft skills. Believing that only an MBA would encourage this change in such a very short time, I only applied to HEC Paris. The class size of around 200 seemed ideal – not too big, not too small – and the school is very well-ranked. I didn’t want to give up two full years of professional experience and salary, and I’ve always thought that a one-year MBA would be too short. The 16-month HEC MBA was perfect.
From the moment I arrived on the HEC campus, I enjoyed living in such a motivated and smart community, having a set of people around me aspiring to change the world and make an impact. I ended up with close friends from all over the world.
I was surprised and delighted by the spontaneity and friendliness of my classmates. We became a family in an extremely short period of time, supporting and helping each other to reach our goals.
I actually had my first taste of the analytics world through an internship I did during my MBA, at a Paris-based, flat-sharing startup called Weroom. The the programme gave me the international experience and overall business skills that I needed to secure my role as an analytics manager at Nike, working with big data to drive business insights, and focusing on digital e-commerce.
In fact, I first heard about the job through the HEC Paris Career Centre, on the internal job board.
My career advisor connected me with an alumna working at Nike in a very similar role. She gave me guidance on the company culture, what to expect in a typical working day, what Nike looks for in interviews, and what kind of image I had to project. This was the moment I realised the power of the HEC Paris MBA alumni network.
After all, the biggest challenge during the MBA is to find the right job at the end of it. During the programme you get exposed to many different functions and industries. You get tempted by big companies approaching you. The challenge is to really understand what you want to do after graduation that will best serve your long-term goals.
Today at Nike, I work in a culture that’s very friendly. We attend sports classes and play different sports together as a team. This creates a special bond between employees and enables teamwork. Opportunities for growth are unlimited through a ‘learning by doing’ culture, there is regular exposure to high-level executives, and an environment encouraging constructive feedback.
To be where I am now would have been very difficult without the HEC MBA.