60 years of graduation: a dynamic, growing and committed alumni network, just like IÉSEG!

4 years after its foundation, IÉSEG graduated its first class of students: 9 were awarded the School’s degree… In 2023, more than 1,700 alumni gathered at the Palais des Congrès in Paris to celebrate the graduation ceremony… Not only the size of the classes, but also the internationalization of the classes, the seniority of positions held, the CSR and entrepreneurial dimensions: the network of IÉSEG graduates has changed enormously in 60 years, just like the School! 

A fast-growing network, nearly 17,000 alumni by 2024

Founded in 1964, IÉSEG quickly reached the 100 graduates mark, just 10 years later, in 1974. The 1,000th graduate was celebrated in 1995, and from the 2000s onwards, the network’s growth picked up speed: the School passed the 10,000 graduates mark in 2019, and will pass the 20,000 graduates mark in 2026.

There are two main reasons that explain the dynamism and rapid growth of the IÉSEG network. The first is the growing number of students enrolled in the historic Grande École program. This increase is due to the appeal of the program, the academic excellence of the School’s teaching, its expertise in post-baccalaureate recruitment, its triple international accreditation (EQUIS, AACSB and AMBA), and the regular enrichment of the possible majors in the Master’s cycle (whether in apprenticeship or not) to best meet the expectations and needs of companies.
The second reason is that IÉSEG has also enriched its portfolio of programs over the years. In 2003, the School launched its first specialized Master degree, the Master in International Business, accessible to all international students. Then, in 2013, the Master in Fashion Management was launched, soon followed by 4 other specialized Masters in 2014. In 2015, IÉSEG launched its first Bachelor’s degree, the Bachelor in International Business, and its first Executive program, the Executive MBA.

Today, in addition to the Grande École Program, IÉSEG offers 3 Bachelors, 13 Specialized Masters, 1 MBA Hub made up of 3 courses and 4 Executive Masters… A wide variety of student profiles enrich the network of IÉSEG alumni in terms of nationalities, professional backgrounds, skills and expertise.

An international, committed and entrepreneurial network

Thanks to this wealth of profiles, the alumni network has changed enormously in 60 years, and especially in recent years. Nearly 20% of the School’s graduates began their careers abroad, but more than 60% now hold positions with an international dimension (international projects, missions overseas or management of international teams). This very high rate is the result of IÉSEG’s proactive strategy of internationalizing its teaching, its campuses and its staff, a strategy that continues to have an impact on students long after they leave the School. Today, IÉSEG graduates can be found in over 133 countries, representing more than 120 nationalities.

An international network of graduates, but also a committed one: more than a third of the Grande École Program’s class of 2022 have declared that they hold a position related to Corporate Social Responsibility, be it in the environmental, social or ethical dimension… This commitment on the part of graduates reflects not only the transformation of our society, but also IÉSEG’s strong commitment to sustainability. Thus, IÉSEG committed itself very early on to being an ethical, sustainable and socially responsible organization, and as early as 2015, all the School’s stakeholders defined the School’s Vision as “empowering changemakers for a better society“.
And what better example than the new President of IÉSEG Network, the School’s alumni association? A 2007 graduate, Thibaut RINGÔ is CEO of AlterMundi and co-founder of the Green Friday association… Today, more and more CSR initiatives (such as the creation in 2021 of the “IÉSEG for Change” Club) have been launched within the network, to federate all those who hold a position with an impact or all those who want to have a positive impact on the world around them in the future.

In 2024, almost 1,000 alumni are either incubated (notably in the IÉSEG Incubator), are setting up a business, or are interested in launching or taking over a business. And just as with international business and CSR, IÉSEG has long instilled an entrepreneurial spirit in its teaching, its programs and its Incubator. Renowned for this strong entrepreneurial dimension, IÉSEG has shaped many successful entrepreneurs, particularly in the SSE (Social and Solidarity Entrepreneurship) field, and today welcomes an increasing number of students who are already entrepreneurs or who wish to create their own business during their studies. This is one of the reasons why IÉSEG launched the “Student Entrepreneur” status in September 2023.

Inspiring and diverse career paths

After 60 years of existence, IÉSEG now boasts a network of almost 17,000 graduates, working in a wide variety of fields such as finance, auditing, marketing, communications, human resources, sales management, or as successful entrepreneurs.

More and more of them are also holding positions with responsibility, and more and more of them are holding General Management positions in leading companies in their sector, or are recognized as impact entrepreneurs.

For example, Edouard PICK has been CEO of Clinitex since 2016, Nicolas WALLAERT was appointed CEO of Cofidis France and member of the Cofidis Groupe Management Board in 2018, Jean REVILLON D’APREVAL has been CEO of Newrest Cambodia & Burma since 2021, and Agathe MONPAYS was recently appointed CEO of Leroy Merlin France in 2023.

There are also many graduates committed to making a positive impact on society and the world for many years. For example, Antoine DU TEILLEUL (a 2011 graduate) founded BeeToGreen in 2020; Clémentine GRANET and Camille BRÉGEAUT, who met on the benches of IÉSEG in 2010, co-founded Les Petits Prödiges, as did Louis-Elie MAILLARD and Cyril ROQUETTE, who together founded Impulso in 2016 after meeting at IÉSEG in 2011. Graduating more recently, Laëtitia LAM (2017 graduate) is now Fundraising Innovation Manager at UNICEF, Olivia MACHARIS (2018 graduate) is Project Manager – Syria for the Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue and Ophélie VANBREMEERSCH, who graduated from the Master in International Business in 2023, founded Lunettes de Zac in 2019 and was named to the prestigious Forbes France “30 Under 30” list this year.

IÉSEG alumni always loyal to their school

For 60 years, IÉSEG graduates have been loyal to the School that trained them to offer them the best career opportunities. Every year, many of them return to the Lille and Paris-La Défense campuses to speak about their profession, to recruit students for internships or work-study programs, to offer the School recruitment opportunities, to support the IÉSEG Foundation as donors and patrons… and even to get involved in the School’s governance.

Thus, on March 27, 2024, Christophe CATOIR, Chairman of Adecco Worldwide and a 1995 graduate of IÉSEG, became the first graduate of the School to become Chairman of its Board of Trustees. A graduate with an exceptional career in France and abroad, and the head of a partner company strongly committed to the School (in 2016, the School joined forces with Adecco to create the “Management and Sales Engineering” apprenticeship program within the Grande Ecole Program), Christophe CATOIR fully embodies the values of IÉSEG and will propel the School to new heights.

IÉSEG's 60th Anniversary Badge