The appeal of part time work and part time study
I started my higher education with a BTS (2-year diploma) in accounting before joining the business school. I was determined to follow in my family’s footsteps and open up my own shop, selling ice creams that were every bit as good as those my family has been producing in Lebanon for generations. It’s more than a tradition, it’s Bachir family culture. I knew I needed a proper grounding, so I chose to do the HEC Entrepreneurs training at EM Normandie. The day of my interview, it was raining, but I still loved Le Havre! When I got to EM Normandie, the dynamism of the clubs and societies grabbed me straight away. I like communities, I like collective energy, I like it when everyone around me knows one another. The idea of a school as a village really appeals to me. I spent a year in Le Havre. A business school in the city centre and with the sea right there: it’s life-changing! I had come from Paris region, and had only seen the sea on holidays in Lebanon. The next year, in Caen, I really understood what student life was all about. I made the most of it, of course, whilst also working part time with Orange as a logistics analyst. Combining theoretical knowledge with practical experience is a really good idea. When we opened our Paris shop as a family, everything I’d learnt seemed to come in useful. I was ready. I knew how to work methodically, focus on what mattered and most of all: I spoke English.
Creating a business and continuing to learn
When we opened the shop in 2016, the division of roles was very natural. One of my sisters supports me with the administrative and financial management, and the other oversees production with the help of my father and brother, who are in Lebanon. We make progress as a team and each of us brings his or her own ideas and observations: my brother had the idea to do organic ice cream, and my father added his own ideas about how to fit out the shop. It was the first Bachir shop abroad, and we’re already thinking about expanding to elsewhere in France or Europe.
Day to day, all three of us are at the shop. At the start, it was hard. We started from scratch! Now, it’s all organised. Three days a week, we do the accounts, and the rest of the time, we are with our clients from noon until midnight. It took some getting used to, but now we love it! The day when I no longer love my work, I’ll do something else! For the moment, I’m learning something new about my trade every day, and that’s hugely satisfying.
A rich network
The Alumni network is a great way to find part time work, internships etc. We’re really lucky to have it. You should get involved when you’re still a student. Thanks to the Alumni network, we can get in touch with people we’d have had no way of getting an introduction to otherwise, or talk to others who face the same challenges as us.
Jessy's advice :
" grab opportunities and never be afraid to ask! You’re lucky to have teachers there to talk to and people there to support you when you need it. "