Inès Hagelin is a 24-year-old French-Swedish woman. After studying a BBA at emlyon business school, some international experience and a stay in China to take an intensive Mandarin course, she returned to France around the time of the first lockdown in 2020. Wishing to complete her training online alongside a job, she embarked on the Online MSc in International Business Management at EDHEC. Let’s meet her.
Can you tell us more about your desire to retrain after your BBA?
Yes, of course. I had done my BBA at emlyon and I had just returned from six months of intensive Mandarin courses in China. I had started applying for jobs, but it wasn’t the right time to find a new job with the health context. In any case, even several internships and a diploma from a good school aren’t always necessarily enough. So I looked at which Master’s I could apply for, knowing that I wanted something fairly general so as not to limit myself.
I wanted to study at a business school because I know that the teaching methods at university don’t suit me so well. I also wanted to do an MSc rather than an MS and stay in the TOP 5. They had interesting Master’s degrees at HEC, ESSEC and ESCP, but we had to be on campus and do a six-month internship at the end for ESSEC. However, I already had two years of internships under my belt, so I wanted to enter the workforce.
In terms of online education, I looked at who seemed to be “the most knowledgeable” and I saw that EDHEC was a pioneer. The Master’s interested me because it was global and included finance, strategy and business development. I could do it online and hold down a job at the same time, which was perfect, especially with the current health situation. I applied and got in.
Can you tell us about your attraction to the world?
To tell you the truth, I have been internationally oriented since I was little. I am French-Swedish and I lived in Indonesia for four years when I was little. From the moment I was able to go abroad during my BBA, I seized the opportunity. First, I did a six-month internship in London, and then a university exchange in Hangzhou in China.
Afterwards, I came back to Europe for a six-month internship at Mont Blanc in Hamburg, Germany. Following this internship, I returned to China to the campus of my school in Shanghai for six months. For once, I did my next internship at Moët & Hennessy in Paris.
I was in love with China, so I left quite quickly to learn intensive Mandarin for six months. I really like going abroad and working with people from different cultures. I find the interactions very interesting. My course at EDHEC is very open to the world and people of many nationalities are studying with me as it is in English. It’s a great fit for me!
Can you tell us about your interest in China?
I really like challenges and learning new languages. Mandarin is important these days, so I thought to myself: “Why not go for it? It’s time I learnt it.” I don’t regret it because the culture is fascinating and I think it will be an advantage in the world of work. I had a rich but also difficult experience which allowed me to surpass myself.
Have you done several internships with a certain appetite for the luxury sector?
Exactly! I did my very first internship at Jimmy Choo during my GCSEs. I find the issues of customer service, sales analysis and retail strategy very interesting. And, from what I have seen, the products are easy to sell because they are high quality and the marketing and retail budgets are large. We thus had free rein to innovate. I continued in the sector with fashion houses such as Tamara Mellon, Dior and Jenny Packham.
That said, I didn’t want to be boxed in by recruiters, so I wanted to quickly break away from my women’s fashion profile. First, I chose a very male-oriented universe by going to Mont Blanc, and then the wine and spirits sector with Moët Hennessy.
You mentioned choosing online learning in order to enter the workforce. What is your professional activity alongside the MSc?
I haven’t found a job for the moment because I haven’t had time to look. I actually have another very exciting project: I launched a brand of vegan bags: “Lova.Stockholm”. I obviously devote a lot of time to this project which fascinates me. It combines entrepreneurship with the world of fashion and bag manufacturing. Nevertheless, I have received job offers on LinkedIn in consulting and business development, so I am not closing the door on those opportunities, but I let time do its work.
You presented an entrepreneurial project as part of your BBA. Can you tell us about it?
Yes. It was five of us and we presented it in China. We won first prize. The project was about harassment at work. This is an increasingly significant problem in China and all around the world, for which few solutions currently exist. There is only one awareness day on this issue at LVMH per year, and only managers participate. Unfortunately, this subject is still taboo and HR are not always trained and do not know how to tackle this type of problem, which is quite complex, so they maybe don’t have the right tools to fight the cause.
Sexual and moral harassment is even more widespread in China. Chinese people often don’t protest or realise that it isn’t appropriate. However, a law has been passed which will soon be put into effect to force companies to tackle this problem head-on. Our solution would provide a definitive answer to detecting and resolving the problem of harassment.
How would it work?
We are currently in a phase of reflection with my team, supported by key players in the field in order to find a solution to our problem, which is quite vast and complex. It is important that this be done indirectly, because people often don’t like talking about their feelings and opening up about such a personal topic. In any case, we would like to take the gamble and see what the figures show.