The class specializing in finance at Pace University in New York City had the privilege to visit prestigious companies in New York as well as welcoming guest speakers on the program at the university. This was a wonderful chance for us in terms of seizing networking, internship and job opportunities. This very intense week took place between the 20th and the 24th of February. It was organized by ten first year GEM students who had been supervised by Julien Dudgeon end the Center for International Affairs team.
At Tiffany & Co.’s headquarters
The company was created in 1937. It is the world’s premier jeweler, a specialty retailer and home to America’s house of design. We were welcomed by Mark Aaron, Vice-President and Investor Relations Manager. He gave us a presentation of the firm including Tiffany & Co.’s history, described the range of product offered, presented the international store network and the marketing strategy. Mark Aaron also talked about his own experience and explained his job as an investor relations manager.
On Tuesday morning, we welcomed Mathieu Nouzareth, a GEM alumnus, CEO and co-founder of Fresh Planet which is a social, casual gaming company developing online games for the App Store. Mathieu described his background as an entrepreneur. He especially underlined on how difficult it was to launch a start-up in New York and also insisted on how competitive the market was. He explained the process of finding investors for his start-up and then of maintaining a good relationship with them. His speech allowed us to understand that being a successful entrepreneur is not an easy job…
Charlotte Panchot, Project Manager from Société Générale came at Pace Univeristy to share her experience with us. She graduated from a French business school and explained us how she managed working in the United States. After completed her “VIE” as a financial controller at Société Générale in New York City, she had to go back to Société Générale’s headquarters in Paris. She was very lucky because she rapidly became a greencard holder after having won the lottery. This enabled her to quickly head back to New York City.
Mazars USA is an independent member firm of the Mazars Group which is an international accounting, audit, tax and advisory services organization with 18,000 professionals in more than 79 countries. We were welcomed by Jeanine Conslik, Human Resources Manager, and Victor Wahba, Chief Executive Officer. Jeanine talked about the job and internship opportunities offered at Mazars USA, while Mr Wahba introduced the company, its strategy and culture. He insisted on the fact that Mazars focuses on people and diversity. This is what gives a human dimension to the company according to him.
An UNO guest speaker at Pace University
On Wednesday afternoon, Polina Kovaleva an alumnus from GEM came at Pace Univeristy to talk to us about her wide working experience (she used to work on the raido, in various banks, project manger at the UNESCO) and today’s position at the United Nations Organization. Her role in those non-profit organizations fits with her personality and her willingness to help others. She really impressed us with all the projects she has in mind!
BNP Paribas CIB
On Thursday morning, we visited BNP Paribas CIB. Four managers of the company talked about their respective position. One of them was a credit analyst specialist, two of them had senior positions within the corporate coverage team and the other one was a commodity structured debt associate. They insisted on the importance of networking for reaching high positions and all had international experiences at BNP Paribas in Paris, New York, Singapore, Geneva…
Guest speakers from Deloitte
Deloitte is a UK-incorporated multinational professional services firm with headquarters in New York. The company provides audit, consulting, tax and advisory services.
Sylvain Parquier and Wahid Saadaoui are both consultants in Strategy & Operations. They explained us how they reached their position even though they had very different backgrounds. They also shared with us their passion for their job and for the US. The main thing we can keep in mind from their presentation is that we can reach our dream of working in the US if we are highly motivated and totally passionate.
Our last company visit was at Ebay on Friday morning. Seven employees gave us two hours of their time to have an open discussion. It was really surprising to see that they were wearing casual clothes. This is due to the fact that Ebay works as a startup. Each office in the world operates with teams that are project focused. In New York, one team works on creating a recommendation search engine in the absence of structured data. Another team works on helping buyers finding sellers and a third one on designing a fast and composable website. They explained us the competitive advantage that Ebay presents compared to other E-commerce websites such as Amazon : Ebay has a two sided market place with buyers and sellers but has not any warehouse and it is also a very international platform.
This business week was an incredible opportunity for all of us and we realized that very few French business school students have such networking weeks organized. It was a great way to meet GEM alumni as well as American born and bred very successful managers!
By Chloe Quiodo and Vanila Alfassa