From Engineer to CPTO: How the HEC Paris EMBA Sparked Adrien Pascal’s Career Journey

Adrien Pascal, Chief Product & Technology Officer (CPTO) at Station F, transformed his career through the HEC Paris EMBA program.

Adrien Pascal, Chief Product & Technology Officer (CPTO) at Station F, the world’s largest startup campus, attributes his remarkable career transformation to his enrollment in the Executive MBA  program at HEC Paris.

With a focus on honing his leadership toolkit, reaping the harvest of bountiful professional networks, and embracing innovation, Adrien’s journey serves as a testament to the transformative power of the HEC Paris EMBA.

“The program has had a significant impact on my career trajectory. It broadened my understanding of corporate strategy and equipped me with tools to develop a more inclusive management style.”

Choosing HEC Paris for Leadership Development

Adrien’s career path began with a strong educational foundation in Information Technology and Computer Sciences.

Following his studies, he gained valuable international experience living in Spain and Japan before returning to France. He then embarked on a successful professional journey, working as a consultant at Orange and later joining Canal+ as a project manager specializing in video experience.

Eventually, he rose to the position of Director of Innovation & Technology at Group Les Echos, a renowned French business and economic news outlet under the umbrella of LVMH.

Throughout his six years at the Digital Department, Adrien led numerous projects, focusing on product development, user experience, and technological advancements.

We sat down with we explore Adrien’s career trajectory and how prospective EMBA applicants can follow a similar path.

Q: Why did you decide to pursue an EMBA, and how did HEC Paris differentiate itself in your decision-making process?

Adrien Pascal: As someone who held the position of an operational manager, I felt the need to go beyond my technical expertise and develop a broader comprehension of business strategy and management. I recognized that to progress in my career and contribute significantly to a company’s success, I needed a more profound grasp of finance, marketing, and other aspects of business.

In today’s rapidly changing and evolving world, ongoing learning is essential for a successful professional career. Simply relying on what we already know is no longer enough.

That’s why I was motivated to broaden my horizons and acquire new competencies. HEC Paris was a perfect match for my profile.

It offered a complementary approach to my engineering education, striking the right balance between business skills, management and strategy classes, and an entrepreneurial mindset. Furthermore, I had heard excellent feedback from previous alumni.

Q: What factors influenced your choice of the specific intake for the EMBA program, and how did its format support your ability to balance your career, family life, and studies?

AP: I opted for the Paris Campus’ “end-of-week” format, with classes taking place on Fridays and Saturdays, in addition to preparatory work before each class.

This format allowed me to effectively balance my professional and personal commitments.

I was able to undertake this course thanks to the full support of Les Echos, who trusted me to minimize the impact on day-to-day operations. I am also grateful for the unwavering support of my family throughout this transformative journey.

Q: What has struck you most as the most valuable intangible aspect on offer at the HEC Paris EMBA?

AP: In my opinion, the most defining piece of added value offered by the HEC Paris EMBA is the diversity and quality of the student group.

The opportunity to interact and engage with individuals from different backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives was immensely valuable. It provided a rich learning experience beyond what any academic content or teaching could offer.

The diverse student community broadened my horizons and helped me develop a more comprehensive understanding of the global business landscape.

HEC Paris EMBA alum Adrien Pascal

Q: What is your favorite memory from your time at the EMBA?

AP: Due to COVID, our initial EMBA classes were conducted online, which was undoubtedly a challenging and frustrating experience for everyone involved.

However, a few days later, the entire cohort finally had the chance to meet in person for the first time, and this experience stands out as a favorite memory of mine.

This face-to-face encounter marked the true beginning of our collective journey and set the tone for a deeply rewarding and fulfilling human experience.

Q: How has the EMBA program at HEC Paris enabled you to apply your learning directly in your work?

AP: The program has had a significant impact on my career trajectory. It broadened my understanding of corporate strategy and equipped me with tools to develop a more inclusive management style.

It also helped me become more proactive and engaged in all business-related matters as a technology leader. The diverse student community proved to be an invaluable resource, offering fresh perspectives and insights that aided my personal and professional growth.

Thanks to the knowledge and skills gained through the program, I was able to take on a new and exciting role as Chief Product & Technology Officer at Station F, the world’s largest startup campus.

The program’s emphasis on innovation and entrepreneurship provided me with the mindset and resources necessary for this position.

Overall, it has been a transformative experience that has not only enabled me to apply my learning immediately at work but also opened new and exciting opportunities for growth and development in the future.

Q: What advice would you give aspiring leaders in the corporate world?

AP: My go-to piece of advice to aspiring leaders in the corporate world would be to embrace innovation and entrepreneurship.

Don’t be afraid to think outside the box and challenge the status quo. The business landscape is constantly evolving, and it’s essential to stay ahead of the curve by embracing new ideas, technologies, and ways of doing things.

Continuous learning and an open mindset are crucial for success in today’s dynamic and competitive environment.

Continued career transformation

Adrien’s career transformation through the HEC Paris EMBA showcases the power of ongoing learning, leadership growth, and building broader networks.

The program enabled him to develop a comprehensive understanding of business strategy, apply his learning immediately at work, and seize new and exciting opportunities.

With the HEC Paris EMBA,  pave the way for a transformative and fulfilling professional future.

More CEOs of Fortune Global 500 companies have graduated from HEC Paris than any other university in Europe. Nearly 4,000 graduates are currently CEOs, CFOs, or have founded their own companies. The Executive MBA at HEC Paris perennially ranks among the best in the world; click here to learn more.

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If you’re ready to take the next step in your EMBA journey, introduce yourself  to our recruitment team.