The topic

"Nantes welcomes the bold & the audacious!” By Johanna Rolland

A few days ago, Johanna Rolland, Mayor of Nantes, received the editorial staff of The Mag in the gardens of the Town Hall. In an exclusive interview for Audencia alumni she paints a portrait of the Nantes-Saint-Nazaire region, an economic area in full development, ultra-attractive, and which, in just a few years, has become a place that welcomes the bold & the audacious.

And like Audencia, we never stop daring...

The topic

Here, the "extraordinary" is everyday

Following an international career, or one based in Paris, often after working for large corporations, many graduates turn towards regions and the "Grand Ouest" (great western) region of France in particular. This choice is often driven by their hope of achieving a better quality of life, at a time when their family is growing.

Consultant at Ethis HR, recruitment agency based in Saint-Herblain, Pierre Saint-Ouen (GE 96) advises graduates who are tempted by this adventure to get busy preparing for it: 

Looking for a job which matches up to a candidate’s expectations can take several months to find. You have to look through the local job offers on a regular basis, understand the area’s economic fabric, pinpoint the companies currently recruiting, and identify the available job positions. However, there’s no point banking on that miracle job offer or waiting by the phone for a recruitment agency to make that call. There is a hidden market out there that you need to tap into by networking and getting active in your job search. Networking is absolutely vital!

On the business side, for positions of responsibility many SMEs and ETIs in the area prefer to recruit candidates who are operational right away. Those who have initial professional successes, who have gained in confidence, and who have expertise that can immediately be put to good use in the company remain highly sought after. Alice Hamann (GE 01) joined the ranks of the Sepro group, an ETI with a staff of 650 based in the Roche-sur-Yon and specialised in the manufacture of robots for the plastics industry. “It’s a matter of applying the skills I’ve acquired to large international corporations, to the service of a dynamic, industrial, high-tech business which is going global. The ‘people model’ we use is an approach which tends to be based on horizontal collaboration so that all members of the workforce share the same goal,” explains Alice, the current HRD of the Sepro Group, after fifteen years working abroad for General Electric. 

The difference in pay between Paris and the French provinces is offset in part by a lower cost of living but should be raised in a discussion between the candidate and the employer. “If an SME or an ETI hires this type of candidate, it is because they are looking for someone with character and prowess. This comes at a cost, but it’s also an investment!” explains Jean-Michel Renaudeau, managing director at the Sepro Group. “In any event, integrating people from large corporations into medium-sized businesses here in the region can be seen as a type of hybridisation. Resulting from this crossing of paths should emerge a sort of alchemy, a vision, and an unfolding story, so it should indeed turn out to be a meaningful encounter.”


Learn more about the Grand Ouest: 

Discover the brochure and advice of the Nantes Saint-Nazaire Development Agency




Guy-Pierre Chomette, Editor

The topic

Alexandre Imbeaux (GE 09): leave Paris at any cost?

Alexandre Imbeaux (GE09), and his wife have always lived in major cities. After the birth of their first child, they decided to spread their wings and have now set their sights on Nantes!

The Mag: Can you give us a brief overview of where your career path has taken you?

Alexandre Imbeaux: I started out working for the Eurostar, initially in London before moving to Paris. Then I co-founded a start-up in New York in the music scene, before getting involved in a second entrepreneurial venture in Paris. We are currently standing at a crossroads. Now that we have our first child, the pace of life in major cities isn’t right for us anymore. We are aspiring towards a different lifestyle now but don’t want to give up on our urban way of life. Nantes ticks a lot of our boxes: its economic vibrancy, its appropriate size which cuts down on commuting times which incidentally are much shorter than they are in Paris, a flourishing cultural life for children and adults alike, not to mention how near it is to Brittany, where we often go. 

The Mag: So you have decided to move to Nantes. From a professional perspective, do you have any concerns?

Alexandre Imbeaux: Advances with the high-speed TGV train network and broadband internet has put my mind at rest with respect to the distance we’ll be from the decision-making centres based in Paris. There are also some great companies being started in or moving to provincial regions. I’m referring to the renewable energy sector which I’m hoping to land my next job in. However, as yet, I don’t have a clear idea as to what the job market will have to offer in future years. Part of me is hugely enthusiastic but I can’t deny feeling a certain degree of apprehension.

The Mag: How are you preparing for this change in direction?  

Alexandre Imbeaux: I’m back in touch with Audencia and have joined the Alumni network in Nantes so that I can make good use of support from Audencia Careers (1). I’m currently networking on LinkedIn in order to generate some meetings, which I intend to block-book the meetings into four trips of several days in Nantes between now and the end of the year. My aim is to bring together similar profiles, get to grips with the market, and let recruiters out there know that I’m looking for a post. To me, there appears to be a marked tendency for executives to move out to provincial areas. It seems quite conceivable to me that Audencia could set up a sort of trade fair for business opportunities, aimed at both this target group and businesses operating in the area, using the same model as the Business Trade Fair for future graduates as well as national and international companies.  


(1) Read the article: Heading back to Nantes: “The keys to a successful career shift”

Editor’s note: If you are back in Nantes or considering returning, get in touch with us at and benefit from our support (we'll give you the best possible welcome)!



Guy-Pierre Chomette, Editor

The topic

Retracing the steps of onliners from Nantes

Intrview with Julien Tourme (Audencia Bachelor 08 and SciencesCom 10), founder of the communication agency Monsieur Lucien. 

  • Julien, where has life taken you since leaving the school?

After graduating from Audencia’s Bachelor Programme in 2008 and then SciencesCom in 2010, I went abroad to live in Melbourne for a year. On my return, I worked for several years as a cross-media consultant for a Parisian media agency. 

Back in 2014, I set up my own business, Monsieur Lucien, aimed at micro-businesses, traders, freelancers and start-ups, providing them with support in all their online internet communication. I initially set up the business in Paris before moving back here to Nantes in 2016.


  • What pushed you to come back?

First and foremost, it was for personal reasons. I just wanted a change of scene after seven years in Paris and wanted to get back to a more “leisurely” pace of life under more “pleasant” conditions (a better standard of living, geographical location and so forth). I also came back for professional reasons as Nantes has opened up the possibility for me to fully develop the business while still remaining in close proximity to Paris. My wife was also planning to set up her own catering business and had set her sights on Nantes as her go-to destination.


  • Were you on the receiving end of any specific support?

As yet, I haven’t really sought out much of the business support on offer. Nevertheless, it is reassuring to know that there is assistance and advice out there, for example guidance on strategy or finance via the Chamber of Commerce and Industry for instance or associations like the ADN’Ouest, Initiatives Nantes and the like.


  • In your view, what key strengths does the environment here in Nantes have to offer?

The city of Nantes is on a more human scale than that of Paris. The setting and the cost of living also constitute real advantages. Alongside this, there is a sense of economic vitality in a city which has a forward-thinking digital policy. Finally, the infrastructures in place make it easy for us to travel to other large cities where we conduct a great deal of our business activities.


Discover the interview of Sophie Girard & Johan Chiron (SciencesCom 03), also back in Nantes with their project "I'Incroyable Studio"!



Matthieu Bonnamy (EAC 08), on behalf of the Audencia Bachelor team

Campus life

Falling in love with the spirit of Nantes

American entrepreneur Rob Spiro left California two years ago to come and settle in Nantes, where he set up the ‘Imagination Machine’ start-up incubator.

The Mag: You founded a number of start-ups in the US before moving to Nantes in 2016. So what made you choose Nantes?

Rob Spiro: There are two answers to that. First of all, my wife was born and raised in Nantes. We were living in San Francisco but we would both come over to Nantes to see her family. When we initially had the idea of moving to France, Nantes seemed the obvious choice. But on top of that, I fell in love with this city and feel it strikes a great balance between tranquillity and dynamism. On the one hand it has a gentle way of life, where everyone’s relaxed with green spaces everywhere, and on the other hand there is this vibrant economic energy, with numerous industries, investors, and a young population geared towards a high-tech economy.

The Mag: We could get the impression you’re talking about San Francisco. What is so different about Nantes?

Rob Spiro: There is this extraordinary collaborative spirit in Nantes. There is a strong sense of being part of a group and this desire to build things together is something that’s not always easy to find in other places. Collaborating can be defined as this drive to work together and pool resources in order to reach a common goal. In this sense, collaborating is the opposite of hard line competition, which must remain in its rightful place and not be raised to the status of an absolute value. Nantes is rooted in values that ring true with me. The business leaders I meet, whether they work in finance, industry or high-tech, tell me how important it is for their activities to be aligned with a long-term, societal and durable vision. There is a genuine collective desire to create a prosperous city, from an economic, ecological and social perspective. It comes as no surprise that the income gap here is not nearly as broad as it is elsewhere!

The Mag: Would you be able to put your finger on what makes up the “spirit of Nantes”?

Rob Spiro: To sum up, the spirit of Nantes is a list of underlying values that best characterise this city. It’s this lean towards teamwork and collaboration. It’s living by nature and the way we are trying to incorporate green spaces into our city. It is this openness to the world, demonstrated by the large number of international schools here. And finally, it is optimism: Nantes has its sights set resolutely on the future, with a steely determination that many of the current challenges we are faced with today will find a solution tomorrow. The spirit of Nantes is a fine blend of all of this.



Guy-Pierre Chomette, Editor

Campus life

Makram Chemangui at the head of Executive Education at Audencia

Makram Chemangui, professor of finance at Audencia Business School, has become Director of Executive Education at Audencia on 1st August 2018.

Makram Chemangui had previously held a managerial role as Deputy Director of the Grande Ecole Programme at Audencia Business School.

He has extensive academic experience, as shown by his current presidency of the teaching-research personnel committee. Over recent years, he has carried out numerous consultancy and training assignments for a number of companies.

Makram Chemangui is part of Audencia’s Management Board and Executive Committee. Together with members of all our teams, he will rise to the issues and challenges that lie in store for continuing education in the months and years to come!

This appointment will enable the school to support the ambitious growth plans of the school outlined in its strategic plan called #Audencia2020. It is making plans for development in the delivery of training programmes, within a strategy framework of globalisation, innovation and differentiation.

Message from Makram Chemangui for Audencia alumni:

Continuing Education graduates genuinely hold a very special place in our Audencia Alumni network. First and foremost, they are prominent ambassadors in terms of our national and international reach, through the sharing of their learning experiences and life here at Audencia on returning to their company, as part of their networks, or indeed within the ecosystems they are involved with. Yet, for us they are also key actors in the Alumni community, a network we would like to see them becoming more closely involved with and committed to! It is all about building bridges with our young graduates and fostering intergenerational exchanges, as we work alongside them to ensure that we ourselves continue to adapt, develop and innovate, constantly coming up with training opportunities to match their needs as a Leader and meeting their future business and staffing needs, in terms of skill sets and competences to address their current and future business challenges.



Florence Alix-Gravellier on behalf of the Audencia Alumni team


Campus life

Organising the Triathlon: first steps into leadership

This year, the Audencia - La Baule Triathlon was held on 22-23 September. As for each edition, around 400 students from Audencia Business School come to assist the Organising Committee on the day. Yet, beavering away behind the scenes throughout the entire year, you’ll also find the Students’ Association of the Triathlon, making sure such an event takes place under the best possible conditions. Let’s take a look back on the experiences of two of our alumni, former presidents of the association in 1995 and 2005.


Cyril Motte (GE 08) organised the 18th edition of the Triathlon, in 2005.

In his words, “It proved to be an important learning curve in taking on a leadership role and gaining self-confidence. I remember three of us applying to be president of the association and, when I was elected, I had to tread carefully with my competitors’ egos and so decided to put them in key posts. It gave me a great insight into human relations management which we come across later in the business setting”. This event also enabled him to test out his ability to manage certain challenging situations while under pressure: “During one of our meetings, Luc Chatelier had ruffled the team’s feathers, judging that we were behind schedule on the sponsoring side of things. So I came to their defence, explaining, in no uncertain terms, that we were all giving it our all. This intervention resulted in strengthening team spirit and also allowed me to gain the guy’s respect.” In spite of the ups and downs related to this type of event – namely a thunderstorm which struck the day before day – Cyril Motte still has exceptionally fond memories of this experience.


Armelle Lobel (GE 96) found herself president of the association in 1995 and looks back on the organisation of the Triathlon as being her first major structuring project:

I was in charge of various steering committees – sponsoring, planning the route – and I relied on other students like Franck Barataud (GE 93), the right-hand man of Luc Chatelier at the time. There were four or five of us who made up this core group responsible for setting up the event. The work had begun a whole year before.” This mission was to prove key to her embarking on a professional career. “My first job came about thanks to my involvement in the triathlon. Above and beyond the steering of the project, we had a sense of – and it is still palpable today – a desire to participate and get involved. I went on to follow other triathlons so as to rediscover both this atmosphere and the athletes.” On returning to the event three years ago, Armelle’s enthusiasm had not waned: “I came back again with a few friends and was so proud to tell them that I had organised this very event 20 years prior. I was also delighted to see that not only has it become a not-to-miss event but it has also taken on a whole new dimension.”




Jordi Soude (SciencesCom 07), Editor

Campus life

Student today, alumni tomorrow

Vive la rentrée!

Whatever your age, la rentrée signals the start of the school year in France. It’s that first day when newcomers discover the full kaleidoscope of activities and learning for the year ahead. It’s also when students from all of Audencia’s programmes – Grande Ecole, international masters, specialised masters, bachelor, SciencesCom and more – are introduced for the first time to the Audencia Alumni network. Students catch their first glimpse of the alumni network during their induction session and the message of welcome is the same throughout the whole school: «the network is yours, join it (by signing up to and get involved».

For the third year runnning, Audencia Alumni has handed out a t-shirt to students with the message «student today – alumni tomorrow», a reminder that they are joining a network for life. Induction days have been organised for specialised masters’ students on the one hand and for international masters’ students on the other hand. The shared experience of this first day together helps students to make new friends and connect with other programmes, thus creating the basis for a transversal network.

Alumni are one of the first points of entry into professional life and regularly come to Audencia to share their experiences. This is especially true at the beginning of the school year. Bachelor students enjoyed an afternoon networking session with young graduates from 2017 and 2018 who made sure they passed on the secrets and traditions of their programme. The Career Kickoff sessions (13 September for international programmes & 20 September for specialised masters’ programmes) mark the beginning of the students’ journey with alumni guest speakers encouraging newcomers to act now for their future career.


During this intense back-to-school period, Audencia's entire staff is mobilised to welcome new students, the most recent members of the network. Have a look at what they experienced during their first days at Audencia. Here is the Facebook photo album of the Career Kickoff session on 13 September with four of our alumni.

By the way, don't hesitate to:

  • like our Facebook page: you will find all the information about Audencia Alumni

  • create your account on Together: connect with current students and bring the spirit of the Audencia network to life!




Katie François & Amandine Luce, on behalf of the Audencia Alumni team


Network talk

Class of ’78 celebrating its 40th anniversary!

Being a student in the late 70s

Pascale, Michel and others from the Class of GE 78 were the first students to take part in the student exchange programme to the USA, as part of the academic partnership with Oregon State University, at a time when international exchanges were few and far between, and only a small number of French business schools were involved with this type of exchange. They paved the way for thousands of students to follow in their steps year after year. Flashback to another era, when Audencia was still known as Sup de Co…

On a campus of 10 000 m² [Editor’s Note: vs 36 000 m² over 4 sites in 2018], with a dozen professors, already hiring professors of practice, when people spoke of general policy and there was little management control, we were only just getting started with human resources in psychosocial studies, and we were pleased to programme in BASIC,” Pascale Pelé (GE 78) reminisces.

Michel, former member of the AIESEC, the first student association helping to find overseas work placements: “Back then, we could take one of two options: foreign trade or finance and accounting. Audencia had a preparatory course for entry into the Grandes Ecoles, so that’s what I did.”  

40 years on

Audencia has always been pioneering, cutting edge and daring in many fields. Today, the school has significantly grown in scope. It has just signed a partnership agreement with its 300th overseas university. While there were only 94 students in 1978, today the figure stands at 1,000 students per class year. The institution, as well as its growth, is a source of pride for its alumni who trained within its walls. “The various leaders, faculty and professors of practice have come a long way, with bold ambition,” Pascale and Michel Pelé acknowledge.

This Class of 1978 has managed to keep in touch both with each other as well as with the school. Yes, it has been 40 years since they graduated from the Ecole Supérieure de Commerce and Corporate Administration in Nantes, but what a pleasure it will be for them to meet back here at the school on Friday 28 September for their class year anniversary celebrations. To mark this milestone, they have a memorable day in store for them in Nantes, with an engaging programme to look forward to: Jardin des Plantes, Musée des Arts, dinner at the Salon Nantilus, a unique floating building moored on the River Loire opposite the Sea Worlds Carousel.

We’d like to extend our best wishes for a happy anniversary to all our GE 78 alumni!



Laetitia Caliez (GE 01) & Amandine Luce, on behalf of the Audencia Alumni

Network talk

Audencia Alumni 2018 – 2019 Events Calendar

Check and browse our detailed schedule of all upcoming Alumni events on Together ! Here is the calendar

Network talk

Sara (IMM 16)’s back-to-school advice for new students

Vacations are awesome! We travel, we chill with friends and family. Basically, it is free time, therefore, we organise it the way we want. However, at some point, August comes to an end and September hits on. Ding dong! It’s time to go back to school and work. In sum, we get back to reality.

Well, we love being serious, of course. And studying and working are great. We feel useful, we use our brains, bottom line, we have an impact on our surrounding society, no matter how big or little it is. And, there is always this inner voice keeping us going, because each one of us is made for doing something, this passionate job we are aspiring for or we already are doing but aspiring for always reaching new horizons and pushing our limits.

Nevertheless, with all these motivational lines, as humans we are designed to dance, chill, eat, love and YOLO! So, when it is time for being serious, it is a bit hard. However, we can make it less painful.

Here are some tips to help us get our body and mood prepared for taking the upcoming scholar year.


A week or so before

  • Start learning about the classes and schedules of what is coming
  • Enjoy your last vacation days. Chill, in the sense « easy » chill, such as little restaurant; coffee; drink with friends and family
  • Stay up to date with news, with a little focus on business news (for business people): analytical articles, and Ted Talks from time to time


The night before

  • Know the time of your orientation day and overall what is going to happen
  • Keep up the focus and remember why you are beginning the journey. It belongs to a long path you are designing for yourself to achieve what you want
  • Treat yourself: me-time is very important: bath and relax, for whatever this word means for you
  • A little piece of advice: Have a very good night’s sleep!




Sara Ben Lahbib (IMM 16)

Network talk

Together we can become Superwomen!

I dream of becoming a superwoman (#welcometothehomeofclichés!). But come to think of it, what exactly is a superwoman?  In my view, it is a woman who has managed to achieve a successful work-life balance. No mean feat I hear you cry!  I may as well come clean: I’m 28 years old, I haven’t had any children yet, but the thought of having to do this balancing act already fills me with dread!

A friend of mine got me into Virginie Morgon, who talks about this female anguish and gives sound advice intended to help us on our way to becoming superwomen. Let me tell you about her.

At the age of 21, after completing her first year of a two-year preparatory course, Sciences-Po in Paris and an MBA at the University of Bocconi in Milan, this literary student chose to work for Lazard. At the age of 32, she had become the youngest “associate manager”. After 17 years of merging businesses at Lazard, Virginie joined the Eurazeo investment fund where she was appointed managing director of the company towards the end of 2013. Familywise, she is mother to four children, so she knows what she’s talking about!

“As young female graduates, women are just as driven as men as they strive to reach the top executive positions. They have the same skills and the same ambition. However, the vast majority of these women take their eye off the ball during a pivotal period, which is somewhere between the ages of 28-35. This corresponds to when most women are having their first child, but it also corresponds to the timing of their first career opportunities. In trying to juggle both their family life and professional career, they fail to keep up. Their perception is of never being around enough for their children, and they have had enough of being constantly irritable and stressed-out”, she says in Libération.

In her view, success and professional fulfilment hinges on strong bonds being forged between women and their networks. 

Personally speaking, throughout my career, I have benefitted from a lot of help and support mostly from men but women too and have worked alongside a great team. This has provided me with incredible strength”, she explains during an interview with Le Monde.

Women often come to realise the importance of their network very late on. The network is tremendously important in its ability to provide mentoring or offer guidance for example.”

As I see it, this is the main role of our network today: to help all of us women reach our full potential as we grow together. With this in mind, I would really love to write about Audencia Alumni women, who are indeed closer to us than Virginie Morgon: by uniting with each other and sharing our experiences we will all become superwomen. Please feel free to drop me a line, I’d love to hear from you!


Join the club Audencia pour elles




Clara Stibbe (GE 16)

Around the globe

Leaving the megacities is primarily a career choice

Farewell to crowded public transport and congested ringroads... Many people want to leave megacities to improve their lifestyle. They are choosing to go back to their hometown or find a more people-friendly city with a reputation for its quality of life. However, what concessions do you have to make? How do you prepare for the move? Here are the insights of two international alumni who took the plunge and left a megacity.


Two years ago Antonio Bejarano (MSCPM 12), left his native Mexico City and its 9 million inhabitants for Nuremberg (500,000 inhabitants) in Germany. However, he did not lose out in professional terms:

I arrived at the headquarters of an international company – Adidas – with many opportunities in store ”, he says. “Concessions are more about the little things in everyday life. When choosing a medium-sized city, you have to be prepared to be more limited in terms of options when it comes to outings or restaurants, and to be a little more patient.

For Vipul Shukla (IMM 18), who has just left Paris for Germany and the city of Aschaffenburg (68,000 inhabitants), the concessions are essentially social.

The only disadvantage I can see is that outside of my own company there are rarely, if any, networking opportunities, whereas in Paris, especially with the booming start-up scene there, you get to meet amazingly motivated and skilled people.” According to Vipul, who is from India, no matter the size of the city, the most important thing is to have your priorities set out: “At this stage of my professional life, just after graduation, my priority is my career: I don't mind moving to a big or small city as long as I'm satisfied with my job.

For Antonio, the idea of returning to a megacity might one day be on the cards. “I could either return to Mexico to be closer to my family, or move to another big city to take advantage of another interesting professional opportunity”.



Jordi Soude (SciencesCom 07), Editor


Around the globe

Océane’s Atlantic dream

Océane Lenoir (IMM 11) managed to realise her dream of indulging in a year-long transatlantic voyage alongside her husband, from Senegal to Mexico and stopping off at Colombia.

“You are the one who has to make it happen, just be brave and listen to your heart!” In the summer of 2016, Océane Lenoir set off on a one-year voyage with her husband on board LIFE, a 12-metre yacht which they had taken great care in sprucing up and stocking with supplies off the Brittany shores. The course was set for Senegal, then on to Cape Verde, Martinique, Columbia, and finally up past Central America to Mexico before returning to Brittany. They took time to enjoy pleasurable inland trips, travelling on foot or by bike, staying for several weeks at a time.

“I took advantage of this pivotal moment in my career to set up this project”, adds Océane.

She was in charge of the international digital development of an SME and obtained an amicable Termination of Employment Agreement. As for her husband, an internal arrangement in his company enabled him to regain his post on returning to Nantes.

As they had just become newlyweds before casting off, their adventure turned out to be an extended honeymoon. However, it wasn’t all plain sailing.

“We were very careful. We had a satellite phone to get the maritime weather warning. We had trained so hard for this. Despite all this, it can get very choppy out there, and you get to feel very insignificant in the middle of the ocean!”

As a way of making their project more meaningful, Océane and her husband decided to add another level by supplementing their adventure with an element of solidarity. By creating the «Un autre regard sur le monde» association, they enabled two fifth grade classes to follow them remotely. Messages, teaching activities related to their visits and the like made it possible for them to remain in constant contact. What’s more, thanks to Voile sans Frontières, they were able to supply a remote Senegalese medical centre with computers as well as providing the staff with training on how to use this technology.

Coming back to earth was not so hard, Océane claims when the question is put to her. Being in constant contact with nature, the great outdoors, with your pace of life being dictated by the sun, all go to make up the different aspects you need to take into consideration when anticipating a return to normality, like getting back into working life and… preparing for the arrival of your first child!

In any event, “taking time out to pursue a personal project, doesn’t mean giving up on a career. Things have moved on. It’s now possible to make this wealth of experience count in the professional setting. As far as I’m concerned, I would like to move more towards a profession linked to the environment. It goes without saying that this voyage has brought into focus just how important taking care of our planet is.”



Guy-Pierre Chomette, Editor

Patronage & support

Class Gift initiative celebrates third year

Since 2016, each graduating class year has taken part in raising funds as part of the Audencia Foundation Class Gift initiative. Each year a fundraising campaign is launched, rallying together all future graduates, with the purpose of raising funds which are then transferred to the school’s Foundation. This scheme is designed to provide funding for student projects at Audencia, and applications for this financial support are stepping up year-on-year.

This year, 20 October has been set as the closing date for students from the Class of 2018 Grande Ecole Programme, so they have until then to get involved with the Class Gift initiative. The grand total of funds raised will be revealed on our new innovative online platform and fundraising will officially come to a close at the graduation ceremony. The Class Gift kitty will also receive donations from the Millésime project. For the first time ever, graduates will be able to purchase a vintage bottle of wine from their class year, providing them with an epicurean souvenir of their time spent at Audencia. For every bottle sold, five euros will be donated to the Class Gift fund. You can learn all about this project as you read through the following article.

See you in November to find out whose fundraising came out on top between the Class of 2018 and the previous year’s Class of 2017!




Marine Jegu & Carole Deniel, on behalf of the Audencia Alumni team


Patronage & support

Millésime Audencia: new impetus for the Class Gift fund

There are moments that stand out in the life of a student, moments that are engraved on our memories and that continue to come up in conversation five, ten, or even twenty years down the line. High up on this list of emotionally-charged pivotal memories has to be that moment when you are finally handed your diploma. It marks a turning point, the culmination of years of study when you at last get to set off on your professional journey.


An epicurean keepsake of time spent at Audencia

The idea for Millésime Audencia came about from our desire to provide a leave-behind memento of this special day and the years spent at the school. This year, the Audencia Foundation has chosen to support our project.  For the first time ever, we are offering a class-year vintage aimed at graduates leaving the school, a bottle to crack open with friends or family. A customised vintage which will be served and handed out on graduation day. 

For us, Millésime also marks the launch of Monsieur W, a company specialised in the sourcing and purchase of wine for special events (weddings, galas, seminars and the like) and in creating personalised labels (including graphics, choice of paper and printing methods).


A vintage indeed, but a vintage which packs a punch!

40 domaines short-listed, 14 winegrowers met, 56 wines tasted, a list of the top 4 wines chosen, 1 selection process with the Foundation’s Executive Board… We were especially intent on showcasing a great red wine from the Loire region. In the end, we plumped for the Domaine de la Chevalerie. Situated in Bourgueil, its long-standing history spanning over 400 years as well as its trailblazing biodynamic culture sets it apart from the rest.


Financing projects by cracking open a bottle. Yes we can!

For every bottle sold, €5 will go to the Audencia Foundation and its Class Gift Fund to provide financial support for entrepreneurial and association-driven projects headed up by students at the school. This will help strengthen ties between different class years as, thanks to the Class Gift initiative, graduates leaving the school will take part in fundraising for the projects of the next incoming class year. Therefore, on 20 October, graduates of the 2018 Grande Ecole Programme will be the first to benefit from their class year vintage and thus contribute to raising funds for the 2018 Class Gift. 

Today, we hope this project will stand the test of time and become an integral part of what we do here at Audencia: each class year will bear its own fruit!

For further information, please contact




Florentin Cugnot (GE 19) & Valentin Bros (GE 19)


Innovation hub

Audencia at the heart of the Nantes Digital Week

Once again this year, Audencia has taken an active role as part of the Nantes Digital Week, a flagship event dedicated to digital culture in Nantes, which holds around a hundred events which are hosted in 80 different venues. Over a ten-day period, from 13 to 23 September, students and faculty staff took part in three of its main events.

Students from Audencia’s Sciencescom ran the newsroom at the Medialab Speedtraining event which is now on its fifth edition, bringing together around 400 participants at the Mediacampus and providing  condensed tutorials, a sharing of lessons learned and best practices from dot com and other media professionals, with content revolving around digital technology (dataviz, social media, video, audio and more). As requested by Ouest Medialab, the cluster organising the event, students on the Digital Strategy Management programme were able to propose an innovative facility, covering around thirty conferences taking place on 18 September. Led by Julien Pierre, in charge of the course, around fifteen students rallied to man Ouest Medialab’s social networks (live tweets and videos) and produced various contents covering all the event’s media requirements. In particular there was a debate on the subject of ‘innovation in the media’ with two guest speakers: Cyrille Frank and Nicolas Becquet.

Bertrand Venard, Professor and Anti-Fraud and Cybersecurity Chair holder at Audencia Business School, hosted the Conference entitled “Should we be afraid of social media.” The following issues were raised: the stakes and risks of social media in relation to businesses and individuals, and the means at our disposal to address these issues.

Audencia was also championing the third edition of “Datarama” (at the Mediacampus), a day-long conference with exchanges initiated by the Nantes Atlantic School of Design, within the framework of the Connected Environments Chair Banque Populaire Atlantique – LIPPI. The purpose of this day is to provide a platform for those working with, using and representing data. The speakers, wishing to highlight their experience, are professionals who work with this practice and have developed analyses, reflections and a calling into question of data.



Jordi Soude (SciencesCom 07), Editor

Innovation hub

Marlène Schiappa, prestigious patron of NegoTraining

Have you come across NegoTraining yet, a free course offering wage negotiation support, especially devised by Audencia and specifically tailored for women? 

Launched back in September 2017, NegoTraining provides women with the specific tools they require to successfully negotiate their way through wage negotiations, covering issues from salary to performance pay, as well as flexitime and lots more besides. It’s all about making a real contribution to help reduce the gender pay gap, as today men are still continuing to earn 23% more than their female counterparts, when they do the same work and have similar experience and abilities.

Core 3-hour training sessions, in groups ranging from 15 to 20 participants, focus on experience sharing and interview roleplays. These are led by a pair of trainers, men or women, both experts in professional equality.

This scheme has a proven track record. On top of its marked successes – 750 women already trained and 500 on the waiting list for future workshops – 56% of women, within 6 months of training, managed to negotiate either from within their current post, or within the context of a job interview.  Amongst this group of women, only 2 had to walk away from negotiations empty handed. 40% of the women who entered negotiations were awarded a pay rise, 15% were given a bonus and 9% of women obtained an in-house promotion.  

Marlène Schiappa, France’s gender equality minister, is a keen advocate on the merits and quality of the scheme. She has decided to add her support by becoming patron of the women who have followed the NegoTraining course:

“I would like to congratulate this initiative which provides women with the means they need to get their professional skills recognised and reduce disparities in the pay gap, paving the way towards greater equality. It is with great pleasure that I have decided to become patron, representing the women who have participated in this emancipatory training.”

This is real acknowledgement for the CSR Chair at Audencia, which champions the project within the framework of the CSR platform in the metropolitan area of Nantes. In broader terms, it is the school’s historic commitment to CSR which is being honoured.

Tell me more about NegoTraining (dates, workshops and registration)



Anne-Laure Guiheneuf, on behalf of the Academic Direction team

Business Corner

Audencia at the MEDEF Summer Academy

Miruna Radu-Lefebvre, holder of the Family Entrepreneurship and Society Chair at Audencia Business School, was in attendance at the 20th edition of the MEDEF (French Business Confederation) Summer Academy. On 29th August, at the invitation of Pierre Gattaz, then chairman of the employers’ movement, she participated in the “Family capital vs third-party capital” round-table, alongside others including Dominique Gaillard (co-founder of Ardian), Anne Dias (founder of the Aragon Global hedge fund) and Thierry Mabille de Poncheville (vice-president of AFFO).

This exchange enabled Miruna Radu-Lefebvre to share her expertise and shine a light on the lessons that can be drawn from some of the great entrepreneurial dynasties: Why are they so performant in times of crisis? What can family capitalism teach us about resilience?

"There are still many preconceived ideas about family-owned companies, perceived as being less innovative than non-family businesses and less dynamic”, which she explains bears no relation to reality. “Clearly, they are recognised as playing a positive role when it comes to the passing on of human values, where managers work closely with their team and have a keen understanding of the challenges facing employees, as well as the needs of the area they operate in. It is therefore necessary to consider them in a different light, as even if these businesses are often more discrete and less well-known, they are innovating on a daily basis and go to make up France’s economic powerhouse."

This debate also highlighted the importance of transmission: 

“It is essential that we give our dedicated support to family businesses as they strive to pass the company down through their family,” continues Miruna Radu-Lefebvre. “For tax and human capital reasons, and in particular due to perceived legitimacy, young successors often find it hard to see themselves at the head of family businesses. Audencia offers a training programme for heirs of family businesses, designed to help them gain credibility and establish themselves as true entrepreneurs within their business. To support them in projecting themselves into these roles, it’s important to provide support as they prepare to integrate the family business, regarding themselves as contributors who come up with solutions, drawing on their ability and drive to identify new development opportunities, particularly in overseas markets.”  

Note that the Family Entrepreneurship and Society Chair at Audencia was set up in June 2013: it is the only research chair dedicated to family businesses.




Jordi Soude (SciencesCom 07)

Business Corner

Economic overview of recent months: understanding and decoding the data!

The US-China trade war: Getting to grips with the crux of the trade row 

On 6 July this year, the USA and China entered into a ruthless trade war. This war has been marked by the entry into force of reciprocal customs tariffs imposed on tens of billions of dollars of commodities. Reducing the US trade deficit featured among Donald Trumps’ promises during his election campaign. As the US has their greatest trade balance deficit with China, the American president decided to launch an offensive.

Steep 25% tariffs imposed on Chinese imports to the tune of 34 billion dollars now target some 800 products, including cars, aircraft components and computer hard drives. These taxed Chinese imports serve to offset what the Trump administration considers to be a theft of intellectual property and technology. The Chinese giant hit back, ordering customs to levy a 25% tax on an entire range of products:  vegetables, American cheeses, tobacco, and whiskey.

However, the Chinese authorities have the agricultural sector in the firing line, as they are targeting soya in particular. This is with good reason, as the US are one of the world’s leading exporters of soya beans, while China remains one of the world’s biggest consumers.


Turkish Lira in freefall and what this means

Since the beginning of 2018, the value of the Turkish lira has plummeted by 40% in relation to the dollar and the euro. Friday 10 August 2018 was marked with a wave of panic. Actually, in the space of just one day, the Turkish currency dropped in value by 24%. This dramatic fall in the Turkish lira immediately raised concerns regarding any potential repercussions both on European markets and also on emerging markets.

Turning to the European markets, fears are warranted by the significant presence of European banks in Turkey. Ultimately, Turkey is suspected of not being in a position to pay back their loans on time. The European financial markets are therefore keeping a close eye on how things pan out concerning the country’s financial market, for fear of finding themselves having to face the consequences of the plummeting Turkish currency should there be an ensuing domino effect.

With respect to emerging markets, they are sceptical of the idea that European investors will not come to distance themselves from them over time. What is more, American monetary policy is no longer as accommodating as it once was, which primarily penalises countries who turn to global markets in search of funding to support their growth and development. India is a case in point, where on 14 August this year, the value of the rupee slumped to an all-time low in relation to the dollar.


Read another Sara's Articles on Together about: "Artificial Intelligence is all around us"



Sara Ben Lahbib (IMM 16)


Appointments #4

Some fellow Audencians who have changed post in recent months:

  • Marc Bouchery (SciencesCom 97) has been appointed Director at CESER Pays de Loire 
  • Stéphane Boyer (GE 98) has been appointed Consumer Insight Director at KANTAR WORLDPANEL France
  • Pierre Chambon (GE 95) has been appointed Assistant Managing Director at STORENGY
  • Ingrid Couasnon (MCI 04) has been appointed Executive Vice President for Sales across EMEA at SMART
  • Delphine Francois Chiavarini (GE 97) has been appointed Vice President / General Manager for MOEN
  • Camille Giraudo (GE 06) has been appointed Strategy and Business Development Director at FaberNovel Innovate
  • Cédric Malengreau (GE 98) has been appointed CEO at ARKEA INVESTMENT SERVICES
  • Philippe Pourquéry (GE 94) has been appointed Group Chief Financial Officer at TERREAL
  • Régis Thibault (SciencesCom 06) has been appointed Marketing Director at Hopscotch
  • Jessie Toulcanon (SciencesCom 06) has been appointed Marketing & Digital Manager at KOOKAI
  • Constance Wiblé (Responsable Communication 06) has been appointed Group Communications Director at GROUPE OUI CARE


Congratulations to each and every one of you on these distinguished appointments!

If you too would like to tell us about your recent appointment or new start-up, please drop us a line here at



Emilie Tendron, on behalf of the Audencia Alumni team


Publication #4

Diversity management, which arrived in France a little over ten years ago and was conceived as a set of actions aimed at combating discrimination and promoting inclusive working cultures, has moved from rhetoric to practice. It is mainly devoted to Human Resources functions and management, but its challenges and applications concern all employees.

This book, intended for practitioners, students and researchers alike, fills a need for the dissemination of recent research on the concrete implementation of diversity management in France. It brings together empirical studies carried out by members of the Themed Research Group on Diversity (Groupe de Recherche Thématique – Diversité) within the French Association of Human Resource Management (Association Francophone de Gestion des Ressources Humaines). This group of teacher-researchers, set up in January 2007, aims to produce and disseminate knowledge, related to the theme of diversity and the fight against discrimination, to a wider audience.

The first six chapters of the book are devoted to company case studies and attempt to answer the following questions: what are the issues, design processes and content of diversity policies? What obstacles, levers and initial effects can be observed?

The following six chapters focus on specific dimensions of diversity: gender equality, origin, disability, sexual orientation and gender identity.

The final chapter provides an analysis of the links between diversity policies and human resources management policies.

The chapters, all written by recognised experts, end with two tables summarising the main lessons and their managerial implications.


Bender, A.F., Klarsfeld, A. & Naschberger, C. (2018). Management de la diversité des ressources humaines : études empiriques et cas d’entreprises. Paris : Vuibert

If you are an alum and have recently published a book, let us know by sending an email to:




Emilie Tendron, on behalf of the Audencia Alumni team

The end

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