Testimonials

Who are you?

My name is Benoît Hervio. After six years of studies in the hotel and restaurant industry, I joined Essec in the Msc in Hospitality Management (IMHI) program in order to perfect my knowledge and skills in hotel management and strategy. My professional experiences in Food & Beverage operational management and restaurant project development have made me very passionate about the food industry. I believe that the power of connecting people that food has is unparalleled, food is the common language all humans share, which makes this sector all the more exciting.

Why did you choose the Food Business Challenges Chair?

I decided to join the Food Business Challenges Chair in order to develop my skills and understanding of the food industry. From production problematics to targeting new consumer expectations, the chair program was the perfect training to allow me to broaden my vision of the food sector before entering the workforce.

What has been the most interesting, surprising, or exciting experience you have had within the ESSEC Food Business Challenge Chair? and why ?

Two points particularly marked me during my six months within the chair. The first point was the richness of the work we had to do during these six months. We had the chance to work on current issues of food companies, which we were then able to present our solutions to the managers of these companies. This allowed me, as I hoped, to broaden my vision of the food sector and to better understand the challenges we will have to face in the years to come. I also discovered sectors that I did not know such as agricultural cooperatives with Axereal and the yeast sector with Lesaffre for which I was the ambassador for the chair.

I also had the chance to study innovations in the food sector and their impact on consumption patterns with Richard Delerins, a professor and researcher of the Chair. It allowed me to sharpen my vision of the new consumption models.

The second point that I appreciated were the encounters that the Chair allowed me to make. Indeed, the people I met during these six months, both teachers and students, were inspiring and inspired. Despite the health context and the distance learning, we managed to create strong links. In my opinion, the strength of the chair is that it brings together people with very different backgrounds around the same passion, food.

And now …?

In addition to having learned a lot thanks to the chair, it also allowed me to find my first job. Indeed, I will join the Graduate Program Potential of METRO France next September. METRO is a partner of the Chair and was particularly involved in the projects we had to carry out, which motivated me to join the group. This Graduate Program will allow me for two years to keep learning while bringing my ideas to a big group.

Who are you?

My name is Eve, I am 24 years old and I originally come from Aix-en-Provence in the South of France. I graduated from Edhec Business School and obtained a Master in Management. After a few experiences in food business companies such as Casino group, Carlsberg group and Bio C Bon, I decided to specialize in procurement and supply chain at Essec to be closer to production and distribution. On a personal level I am keen on scuba diving, history of arts and cinema! I truly love cooking vegetables and drinking Argentinian red wine. My favorite dish is Ratatouille because It’s my mother’s recipe and comes from the south of France and we add a lot of olive oil. I usually add a little twist with some black olives.

Why did you choose the Food Business Challenges Chair?

The chair was for me the perfect program! It gave me the opportunity to combine my training in supply chain with skills in a field I am passionate about: food. Moreover, the Chair approaches the issues from a specific angle, that of the challenges to be met and I am convinced that the food ecosystem must and will be thoroughly transformed. I wanted to be part of this change and contribute with my own skills for a greener future of food.

What has been the most interesting, surprising, or exciting experience you have had within the ESSEC Food Business Challenge Chair? and why?

In terms of academic content, I really liked the combination of historical and projective aspects. The historical aspect of the course taught me, for example, about the birth of breakfast in different countries of the world. As a big fan of science fiction I appreciated, in the meantime, the ability of the teachers to project us into the future of products if tomorrow the world as we know it were to change drastically. We concluded the year with an immersion in the world of catering and gastronomy with 3 days of hackathon with the cordon bleu school. An incredible experience!

And now …?

I have been on an apprenticeship contract for 6 months with Ferrero, the famous Italian producer of Nutella. My missions aim at reducing the carbon footprint of transport and looking for alternative energies. In the future I want to keep working in the food industry and focus on the supply chain, the very heart of tomorrow's challenges for me.

Who are you?

I am Folco, 23 years old from Brescia in north of Italy. I did my bachelor in International Economics and Management at Università Bocconi in Milan with an exchange semester in Seoul, South Korea. There I fell in love with Korean culture and I decided to discover more about other Asian cultures. Therefore, I enrolled in the Double Degree Master in Management between ESSEC Business School and Università Bocconi which gives the opportunity to study in four different locations: France, Singapore, Italy and India. During my academic path I did one internship in a hospitality company in Italy and another internship in a boutique consulting firm in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I love traveling, meeting people, discovering new things and experiences. I am passionate about photography and my analog camera is something that cannot miss during my travels. I always enjoy cooking for my family and friends but I also like to eat out or have a drink.

Why did you choose the Food Business Challenges Chair?

After my first year of Master, I had the chance to do an internship in a boutique consulting firm in Malaysia. There I was instructed to perform an industry research about Malaysian and Italian agricultural, agri-food, and food markets, as well as an analysis on the food supply chain between the two countries. When I initially received instructions on the research and the sectors I needed to deal with, agriculture and agri-food, I was a little disappointed. I considered these sectors old-fashioned and unexciting because in my ignorance I was not aware of how these sectors work. Then, starting the research, I came across topics like vertical farming, regenerative agriculture and also on how e-commerce can reshape agriculture, and there I realized that there was much more than I thought. However, I have also become aware of the many problems facing these sectors, such as climate change, soil erosion and new consumer tastes. Therefore, I decided to join the Food Business Challenges Chair to deepen my knowledge and better understand the agricultural and food sector and try to contribute to their development in the future.

What has been the most interesting, surprising, or exciting experience you have had within the ESSEC Food Business Challenge Chair? and why?

For me the most interesting and surprising experience that I had within the Food Business Challenges Chair was to be able to have a lot of interactions with the partners of the Chair, having a discussion with them, discovering different aspects of their environment, but also presenting our points of view on the many challenges that the partners are facing and having an exchange on future developments. I think that this atmosphere of sharing opinions and thoughts has helped both the students, in better understanding the sectors and the companies’ environments, and the Chair partners, in deepening their knowledge on some matters and getting a point of view that comes from outside of their environment.

And now …?

In around a month I will start my next adventure abroad thanks to the internship as Global Sourcing Buyer for General Mills, the US food multinational company which owns some of the most famous food brands such as Häagen-Dazs. The international headquarters of General Mills, where I will work, is near Geneva in Switzerland. My mission is to support the several managers in the Supply Chain Department with their market analysis, suppliers’ selection, tender offer, etc. In the future I would like to continue to work in the food business but with a more strategic mission.

Who are you?

My name is Olga Magneeva, and I am originally from Russia. After completing my Bachelor’s degree in Economics at NYU Abu Dhabi, I joined ESSEC back in 2018 in order to build some business knowledge and get practical experience of working in France. I am currently finishing my apprenticeship at Capgemini Invent where throughout different projects I learnt more about digital transformation, digital strategy as well as working with clients. In my spare time, I like traveling, running, and doing wine tastings.

Why did you choose the Food Business Challenges Chair?

Throughout my classes at ESSEC, I started developing interest in the food industry as I realized that the food sector is in the midst of transformation as consumers change their eating habits and technology offers advanced solutions. I started wondering as well how the current food system will evolve with time, and how climate change, urbanization, technology and growing world populations will impact it in the future. When I found out about the Chair, I realized that it responded exactly to what I was interested in and I signed up directly.


What has been the most interesting, surprising, or exciting experience you have had within the ESSEC Food Business Challenge Chair? and why?

There have actually been quite a few experiences that marked my time within the Chair and I can highlight three of them: definitely, a three-day workshop organized with Le Cordon Bleu school, working on and presenting final projects to Chair's partners, and working on the Chair project with Professor Richard Delerins.

During the three-day workshop I really enjoyed working with le Cordon Bleu students and coming up with a business concept and making a sample dish and dessert together. Doing such collaborations is a great way to spark creativity as well as try new activities - it was my first time in the professional kitchen and I loved every minute of it!

Presenting final projects to Chair's partners was a great way to learn a lot as well as challenge our thoughts. I was with the team that presented the final project for Lesaffre. For the project not only did we have to learn everything about the yeast but also be able to propose new solutions to professionals in this field.

And now …?

I definitely developed a solid interest in the food sector, and I hope to continue enriching my knowledge during my first job as I will be joining a strategy consulting firm later in the year. Also, I hope to stay in touch with people I met at the Chair as I really enjoyed the time we spent together.