Discover the Executive Mastère Spécialisé® in Marketing & Digital Management – Interview with Pierrine Griffiths and Sophie Dugelay

Since 2019, IÉSEG has been offering the Executive Mastère Spécialisé® in Marketing & Digital Management on its Paris-La Défense campus, which is aimed at professionals wishing to take up the challenges related to the evolution of marketing and digital marketing. We spoke to Pierrine Griffiths, Academic Director, to learn more about this program, and Sophie Dugelay, 2021 graduate and Director of Operational Marketing, Digital and Customer Experience at The Adecco Group, so that she could share her experience and what she learned from it.

Pierrine – How was the Executive Mastère Spécialisé® in Marketing & Digital Management built to enable participants to meet their professional expectations?

We have built the Executive Mastère Spécialisé® in Marketing and Digital Management to respond precisely to recent developments in marketing and digital marketing. Indeed, over the past fifteen years, new professions, new tools and new strategies have emerged and many more are to come. The health crisis we are still experiencing today has only amplified the need to accelerate the digitalization process.

Marketing/communication directors or managers, project managers, product managers, sales directors or managers, e-commerce or webmarketers (to name but a few) are all facing these evolutions.

IÉSEG has designed this Executive Education program for all marketing, communication and sales professionals, whether they are already working or in professional transition, who wish to strengthen their skills and integrate these changes into their daily work and anticipate future developments.

Our challenge is to enable them to reach a milestone in their career, by increasing their power on all marketing and digital action levers, in order to contribute to the sustainable performance of their company, present or future, as a manager-leader focused on people.

In terms of format, in order to progress while working full time, we offer an 11-month continuous training program, with 3 days every 3 weeks, Thursday/Friday/Saturday, respecting the personal life of the participants.

Finally, a campus is entirely dedicated to Executive Ecucation in the heart of La Défense, for the most suitable and stimulating working conditions.

Sophie – What is your background and why did you decide to do the Executive Mastère Spécialisé® in Marketing & Digital Management? How does it fit in with your professional project?

After graduating from high school, I started working in a temporary employment agency and then my career path was built on the opportunities that arose. I first held the position of temporary work agency manager and then I held all the positions that gradually led me to the operational management of the Adecco Group’s health business unit in France, for 20 years. I then decided to join the group’s headquarters to take up a cross-functional management position in charge of CRM implementation and sales performance for the entire group. I was then entrusted with the position of Operational Marketing and Customer Experience Director, and in 2019, I became Digital Director.

It was during this last position that I decided to go back to school. It was for me the opportunity to train specifically on digital subjects because I realized that the professional world was turned upside down by digital. My colleagues and I were starting to be a bit overwhelmed by this digital and technological revolution, and we didn’t necessarily understand or grasp the subjects with the right angle. So I wanted to better understand the work of the teams I was leading. I understood that marketing was a real discipline requiring real expertise. I therefore took this program to be able to manage my teams efficiently and to prepare for the rest of my career.

Why did you choose IÉSEG?

I was particularly attracted by four elements. The first is the Incubator, because I am very interested in start-ups and their ecosystem. Secondly, the School has an important reputation in France and internationally. The program I chose mixes the strategic and operational aspects, which seemed to me very relevant to complete my knowledge base. And finally, the mix of certain courses with my colleagues from the “sales” department was a plus, because I believe very much in the winning combination of sales and marketing.

Pierrine – How to get the most out of the Executive Mastère Spécialisé® in Marketing & Digital Management?

Joining the Executive Mastère Spécialisé® in Marketing & Digital Management means joining one of the best Management Schools in France, with the triple crown of international accreditations (EQUIS, AACSB and AMBA), which is proof of the high standards and excellence of its education.

We ensure an optimal complementarity between the experts who lead the courses, all strongly anchored in the professional market: professors-researchers at the forefront of the latest applied studies conducted within our 5 centers of scientific expertise and research, accredited by the CNRS (the National Center for Scientific Research), and external speakers, most of whom are business leaders and/or consultants.

Thanks to an innovative and experiential pedagogical approach, alternating academic contributions and practical activities (such as workshops and hackathons on current business issues, testimonials from professionals, business cases, business visits, serious games, etc.), the great richness of the program will also come from the group emulation and interactions between professionals, with such diverse experiences in terms of business sectors, missions and skills.

Finally, another important point, perhaps even more powerful, by joining IÉSEG our participants can take advantage of the entire ecosystem of the School from day one:

– The Career Center, which offers 10 hours of personalized coaching (with a certified coach), and career development workshops.

– More than 2,500 partner companies, present at all the School’s highlights.

– IÉSEG Network, the alumni association: a network of more than 12,000 alumni around the world, and all its activities (conferences, networking events, etc.) of which participants become members ad vitam.

– The IÉSEG Incubator: to give free rein to one’s entrepreneurial desires and seeds of creativity, and to give oneself the chance to make them succeed.

So many opportunities to network, create new opportunities, increase your employability and achieve your professional project, throughout your career.

Sophie, how did you manage to balance the three aspects of your life – professional, personal and student?

People sometimes think that going back to school is all about getting top-down information, but my experience was quite different. I found that the mechanics required at the School are quite different from those required in a company, where one often tries to get straight to the point, to be synthetic, to present first the results and then the way they are going to be achieved. At School, it was rather the opposite: the challenge is to know how to develop one’s ideas, one’s approach, and especially one’s recommendations.

When you become a student again, your mindset changes completely. It took me about two months to adapt and understand that I had to reorganize completely these three poles of my life. This requires a lot of self- discipline. A book that helped me a lot was “Miracle Morning”. I adopted the suggested routine and have kept the discipline ever since. I would get up very early and I had a dedicated time for each activity: my professional activity, my personal life, and IÉSEG. I was careful not to mix these three areas. When following this program, you have to expect to make some sacrifices, to miss some birthdays… because otherwise it’s not possible. It is important not to minimize the time spent on homework and not to start falling behind, otherwise it will be difficult to cope with. The good thing about doing this program while you are already working is that you can experience what you are learning first hand, it gives you a playground to put it into practice and into perspective.

How did you make the most of your degree?

I feel today that I have put it to good use. The thesis subject is extremely important because it can be exploited in a really interesting way. You come out of it with real expertise on the subject and I get great benefits from it. You don’t necessarily realize how much it brings in the long run.

I didn’t need to do much because the “network” work done throughout the program naturally helped me to enhance my degree. It was a real springboard and it brings legitimacy to my career. Moreover, working for so long on a subject is impossible in your professional life, it’s a special moment. In my case, I worked on the role of the employee’s experience in the service of the customer experience and the company’s performance. There is not much work on this subject and I was therefore quite solicited to present my own work. All this led me to create and become president of a club of customer experience directors in Lyon. I am sure that without this work this would not have happened.

The lessons I learned from this program go far beyond marketing.  It gave me a strategic and less short-term vision. I feel that I have engaged in a real professional transformation. I often compare my time in Executive Education to coaching: during the coaching, you see what it brings you but you also take stock years later and you realize how much you were able to accomplish thanks to it. I feel that the benefits are diffuse throughout the year.

Pierrine – how else can students of the Executive Mastère Spécialisé® in Marketing & Digital Management make the most of their experience at the School?

By mixing the classes of two programs – Marketing & Digital and Commerce & Business Development – we open up the participants’ horizons while creating synergies that reflect the reality of daily business and their necessity for the smooth running of a company. Moreover, following the program, students become alumni of the School and will be able to take advantage of this ecosystem and contribute to it throughout their career. The networking opportunities are enormous and also make the strength of the participants.

IÉSEG's 60th Anniversary Badge