The Internship Experience – Student Stories

Internships are a great way for students to dip their toes into a career they are interested in pursuing, expand their ever-growing networks, and contribute in meaningful ways to large-scale projects. Each year HEC Paris MBA students set forth to apply and multiply their skills at companies all over the world. Three students share reflections on their internship experiences with us below!


Anna Dragina


Title of your Internship: Sustainability MBA Intern at Richemont – Paris, France

Job before the MBA: Sustainability & Corporate Communications Manager, L’Oréal

Post-MBA career goal: Sustainability Project Manager, FCMG or Luxury industry

How did you learn about this internship? I talked to the HR representative of Richemont France during the annual HEC Carrefours Career Fair and shared my desire to do an internship in sustainability in their Paris office. Two weeks later he gave me a call and we started working on this opportunity and designing a new position for me.

Describe your internship: My most time-consuming project was working with the Sustainability Committee to create interactive activities and events during Sustainable Development week in Paris. These activities spanned across all Sustainability Pillars at Richemont and included a plan to increase employee engagement and participation. I interviewed various stakeholders across the company at the headquarters, which gave me valuable insight and helped to create a new project: fine-tuning the Sustainability Strategy for 2023 year in France. I helped set guidelines, relevant KPIs, and build a consistent communication plan to accelerate Richemont’s progression towards the SDGs.

What is your biggest takeaway from the experience? The team I worked with were truly passionate experts in their field, but at the same time kind and welcoming people; even though I spent only 2 months there, I truly felt like part of the team.


Mo Nejmeddine


Title of your Internship: Private Equity Summer Associate at Crux Capital Partners – Melbourne, Australia

Job before the MBA: Senior Consultant at Accenture

Post-MBA career goal: Financial services

How did you learn about this internship? I learned about this internship by networking with the founders of the fund and learning more about their activities.

Describe your internship: My internship was a great opportunity to bridge the experience gap between my pre-MBA background and my career aspirations. I was involved in the origination of new transactions where I had to develop supporting analyses and identify and assess potential investment opportunities detailing the addressable market and the size of the transaction. I was also able to participate in deal due diligence where I developed financial models for prospective acquisitions.

What is your biggest takeaway from the experience? Before the MBA, I was exposed to live deal experience, but throughout this internship, I was able to foster my previous experience and be more involved on the origination and execution, which led me to learn more about the dynamics of negotiation that occur in similar transaction circumstances.


Patrick El Hajj


Title of your Internship: Search Fund Analyst at Cairn Transmission – Paris, France

Job before the MBA: Management Consulting, PwC France

Post-MBA career goal: Entrepreneurship

How did you learn about this internship? The HEC alumni network and its affiliates were huge boosters as they gave me the opportunity to talk with multiple SF entrepreneurs and get to know them. After 15+ discovery calls, a 3rd-degree acquaintance (HEC > INSEAD > Centrale Paris) offered me an internship opportunity to help him (and his partner) find their dream company to acquire and run.

Describe your internship: For 2 months, I worked with a duo of entrepreneurs that joined forces to create their search fund “Cain Transmission”. With investor support, the Cairn team sought a high-potential company to acquire and take the wheel, and operationally scale it.

Working daily with ex-Morgan Stanley investment banker Stefano Demari and ex-Bain strategy consultant Victor Peltier was a stimulating experience in terms of human and business learning.

The timing of my internship was lucky, as it coincided with the signing of an exclusivity agreement to buy a business. So together, one week after my arrival, we jumped into the buyer due diligence and the financial modelling of the SME (small and medium-sized enterprise) business to study its financial value.

Finally, the fast-pace of a due diligence process enabled me to play a middle-management role with the five undergraduate interns and better support Stefano and Victor to convert their once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

What is your biggest takeaway from the experience? The Cairn internship allowed me to bridge my skillset gap with deal-making skills related to the valuation of a company and doing the 360° due diligence (commercial, technical, legal…) required before any acquisition move.

On a less technical level, this internship was both an eye-opener to the day-to-day of a Search Fund entrepreneur (“a searcher” in the SF jargon) and a door-opener to the SF space since it connected me with a lot of SF investors.

Thanks to this experience, I am now 200% sure of my willingness to launch a search fund post-MBA and got my first investors onboard.