Established on three campuses in Reims, Rouen and Paris, NEOMA Business School cultivates openness, kindness and agility in every discipline. This well-established philosophy allows students to combine social life and classes where a spirit of family and mutual help prevails. Interview with Margaux Hourdin, a Global BBA graduate who is very involved in community life.
What studies do you follow at NEOMA Business School?
I just finished my Global BBA in Rouen. I really appreciated these four years, which gave us the opportunity to open up opportunities by developing our agility in project management. We come out with many competencies thanks to the courses, but also the mandatory internships every year. The second year we take a year abroad. I chose Zaragoza, Spain. In the third year, you get an internship in a start-up company. So in my fourth year, I chose to resume my internship in Spain, this time in Madrid. Since our classes are in English from third year, I preferred to perfect my Spanish practice in order to master a third language for later. It is for all these reasons that I decided to stay with NEOMA to take an MSc in Business Development & Key Accounts. I join NEOMA Paris on a work study program from October.
What do you think makes the difference at NEOMA BS?
I noticed a difference as soon as I passed my oral exams to enter the first year. I immediately felt the family and friendly atmosphere that prevails in the school. There is no perceived competition between the students. In addition to the training program that I liked, all of these elements were important to me. In the beginning, of course, we know no one. We all come from different regions. But we meet very quickly thanks to the many events arranged – at least one a week. There are always things to do. You meet a lot of people on and off campus. We get mixed up pretty quickly with the other campaigns. That’s how I gradually started to get involved in associations.
How has your involvement in the association been reflected in the school?
I came to the Student Office (BDE) in the first year by becoming a member of the events department. In particular, we organized after work, parties, integration day, year-end gala. In the second year, the former president contacted me to suggest that I become vice president of BDE and head of the events department. Then I became chairman of BDE. Despite two rather complicated years due to the health crisis, I have very good memories. In particular, I participated in the organization of orals on NEOMA campuses. Our slogan during these oral presentations is “Become a member of the family”. It says it all.
Can we say that this association life gives a foretaste of the professional life?
Yes, that’s it! It is really an added value to be part of an association. No matter who you are in, you really participate in campus life. You need to know that an association works like a business. This allows you to build a network, take on responsibilities and initiatives, perform various missions such as managing a budget, creating an event from A to Z, negotiating prices in a bar for a after work, animate social networks. Everyone works in synergy. On the three campuses, there are almost 90 associations. There is therefore no shortage of ideas between student life, art and culture, multimedia, business and entrepreneurship, solidarity.
How is academic expertise and investment in an association balanced?
The balance is very healthy. It fits really well with the courses. And when everyone is on a part-time basis, we make sure not to have associative missions. We never have classes on Thursday afternoons. This castle allows us to meet to prepare and plan upcoming events, to anticipate and spread everyone’s missions. Proximity to staff is crucial. We are in constant contact with the school’s management. Each submitted event must be validated. We also see them in the context of a budget request to fund such and such a project.
Which event will remain engraved in your memory?
Integration day, the first year. It was a lot of work and a lot of fun to organize. We managed to plan a whole day, which ended at. 04.00. We had rented an area 45 minutes from Rouen where we arranged lots of activities, team games and an evening. It really allows you to blend in and create coherence.
One last word to summarize, in your opinion, the family aspect, the mutual help and the togetherness that prevails at NEOMA?
I would say that “Join the family” is not just a slogan, it really is the NEOMA spirit. Being with NEOMA means being part of the same family because we spend our days together. When we go abroad, we are always in touch with each other. Before the exams, we all help each other. You have to come to NEOMA to experience it and realize that it’s not just words.