MBA success stories: Solène Hascoet, Audencia

Solène Hascoet was born and grew up in Lorient, in the south of Brittany, a working-class port town. After taking her Baccalaureate, she held various unskilled positions for a few years before going back to university at age 22, following a serious road accident. Upon completion of a master’s degree in financial management, she went on to work in audit, control and organisational management. A few years later, she decided to embark on an executive MBA at Audencia in Nantes (pictured above)

  •  Please explain your current role

I like to think of myself as a multi-faceted entrepreneur, focusing on the sustainable economy sector. Iam a co-founder and director of Pachamama, a cooperative company that I set up during my MBA studies at Audencia along with two female partners, and its spin-off, KPI4Change.

We act on behalf of various companies, associations and local authorities who wish to outsource aspects of their financial management, management control and carbon auditing, working on their economic development and social, societal and environmental impact. We also support struggling companies that want to improve their environmental impact. This is the first company I have started, but I’m sure it won’t be my last.

I invested in – and am also a partner in – several ventures. A couple of years ago, I became a partner with Second Sew, a wonderful company offering upcycled ethical clothing for babies and children from birth to age six. This came out of a meeting I had with founder Camille Brun-Jeckel in 2020 during the Women’Act programme at an event organised by the Empow-her association. This is a really exciting venture that I am dedicated to help grow.

Since I also have an artistic side, I decided to get involved in helping run Hydrophone, a modern music venue, built in a former German blockhouse on the submarine base in Lorient. It’s an unusual place, where we offer rehearsal studios, cultural events, concerts and a festival. Lastly, I volunteer for several non-profit organisations, including as chairperson for an association focusing on sustainable food.

  • Why did you want to do an MBA in the first place and why did you choose to study at this particular school?

I wanted to do an MBA to progress professionally and equip myself to become an entrepreneur and also because having this qualification brings a certain amount of recognition. I chose Audencia because the school’s strong values of social and ethical responsibility, innovation and cooperation are important to me. Moreover, I was keen to go to a school that was based outside the capital, as I believe that to gain an excellent education you don’t necessarily need to be in a capital city.

  • What is the most interesting thing you learnt from your MBA?

That everyone has a talent and that you can build more successful projects with a diverse pool of people. I also learned that knowing yourself well, being attentive to others and living your differences with pride is an inspiring attitude to have.

  • What challenges did you face during your MBA studies?

One of the greatest challenges was managing to combine the acquisition of knowledge and the time spent on joint distance projects with the more carefree aspects of student life. In short, finding the right balance between leisure and commitment to working hard.

  • How has the MBA made a difference to your career path and your development as a manager?

From my point of view, it’s not the letters after my name that have made the difference to my career. It’s more the learning, sharing, networking and discoveries that I undertook as part of the process of acquiring the MBA. My affection for the school itself and the people I met there, have enabled me to make lasting connections that have enriched my life. I often say that the MBA doesn’t make us, we participate in making what the MBA is. The executive MBA format that I followed undoubtedly contributed greatly to this.

  • In what ways have you transferred what you learned on your MBA course to your job?

The different expressions of leadership and tolerance towards myself form part of my ‘daily bread’. I am now much more comfortable about taking on responsibility and managing a team.

  • What advice would you give to someone considering an MBA?

If you want to do it, it will definitely give you a strong basis on which to build a career. And while you are doing it, ensure that you are both really present in the moment and committed. That’s how I managed to create the best version of myself and how I’ve kept growing.

  • What are the next steps on your career path?

That will depend on who I meet next; the human aspect [of business] has always inspired me, more than just the theoretical concept.

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