Sandrine Baslé (E.03)
The Beginning of a Good Idea

Paris. We met the colourful Sandrine Baslé in the 9th district of Paris, near the charming Notre Dame de Lorette neighborhood. Sandrine told us about how the HEC Executive MBA helped her change career and do what she really likes.

Read full transcript…

HEC United: Hi Sandrine! Thank you for welcoming us.

Let’s start with a little Chinese Portrait: we are going to ask you short questions and you will have to answer with just one word and justify it (if you want). Are you ready ? 

Ok, so if you were… a color?

S: Red.

H: An animal?

S: The bee.

H: A song?

S: Bang Bang, it speaks to everyone.

H: A movie? 

S: I would be the Groundhog Day.

H: A sin? 

S: I would be … Lust.

H: An object?

S: A microphone.

H: A sport or a game?

S: Trivial Pursuit.

H: A book? 

S: La première gorgée de bière from Philippe Delerm.

H: A (super)hero? It can be Superman or a real person.

S: Florence Nightingale, she was an English nurse.

H: Thanks a lot Sandrine. Now, can you tell us about your career in 30 seconds?

S: I used to be a lawyer, then I was a journalist for 2 years, then I was a consultant in the U.K, then I worked for Eurostar as a project manager and then I did the Executive Education program with HEC. Since then, I am a consultant in marketing and customer relationship.

“I do many things on the side. I am a professor in three different schools and I am part of three boards of directors too.”

H: So today you manage a consulting firm, can you tell us more about it?

S: It is called Qualiview Conseil. We listen to the market. We ask questions to the B2B customers of our clients in order to give them advice on how to address their market on the marketing side, on the commercial side and on the communication side.

With the digital transformation at the moment, the challenge is everywhere. It is on the market, it is on the products and it is inside the companies since the digital transformation is also part of the day to day life of the employees.

H: What makes you happy to go to work on the morning?

S: The fact that I choose what I do, I like what I do, and I learn something new every day.

I like to understand things that I have never understood before and put it in writing so that people can understand them.

H: Have you coped with a difficult choice in your career? What did you learn?

S: I coped with many difficult choices in my professional life. I learnt to live with these choices and to make the most of it. To stop being a lawyer was difficult… or not. But then everyone said “why did you stop being a lawyer?”. So I had to face everyone’s questions and doubts. I am currently facing a difficult choice: I have too many things to do so either I delegate or I stop doing part of it. That’s my current challenge.

H: What’s your typical working day ?

S: I start quite early, at 7:30 in the morning. I start with the emergencies. At 9 o’clock I speak with someone I work with in Italy so that we synchronize on the day’s to-dos.

Then there is the basic consulting work, drafting reports etc. I travel a bit, for instance I am preparing a trip to Guyana in a month.

I do many things on the side. I am a professor in three different schools and I am part of three boards of directors too.

H: Let’s talk about Paris: what is your favorite place in Paris?

S: It is along the river Seine. I like to walk along because we see the water and it reminds me of the sea, I wish it was the sea (she smiles)…

H: Is there an issue in France that particularly matters to you today ?

S: Digital transformation is one. But also, exportations. For me it is very important for a French company to address foreign markets. French companies need help to sell abroad and be visible worldwide, because otherwise they may disappear little by little! We need to look forward and to look abroad.

“I learnt to speak in front of an audience and to present a case. For me this was something very new!”

H: Let’s talk about HEC, why did you chose to do an executive MBA?

S: I used to be a lawyer so I didn’t have a total view of how a company works at that time. I wanted to have a broader view, from marketing to commercial through communication.

hec-paris-chateau_carousel_bigH: Why did you chose HEC Paris?

S: Well in 2003, when I got into this program it was not called HEC Paris yet, it was CPA. The two entities merged while I was studying there.

Nevertheless, I chose it because I was told it was a very good program.

“If I look at my typical day and where my clients come from : it’s the HEC network.”

H: What specific aspects of the program did you particularly like?

S: The participants were very interesting and sympathetic, and it links with what I said about networking just before. The organisation was perfect. And I must admit that the food was particularly good too! (laughs)

More practically, I learnt to speak in front of an audience and to present a case. For me this was something new!

H: What are the most fundamental thing you would take away from this program?

S: The most important thing that HEC gave me is the network. Definitely. Almost everything that I am doing professionally today is thanks to HEC’s network.

One thing leads to another… and if I look at my typical day and where my clients come from : it’s the HEC network.

We also asked Sandrine for her personal moto, and she gave it to us. You will discover it at the end of our trip along with all the other ones!

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