Professional Volleyball player to top businessman: it may not be the most conventional of transformation, but for Jean Hornain, his sports training gave him the competitive edge and determination necessary for success.
What were you doing before your MBA? What are you doing now?
I was a professional volleyball player for 6 years; I represented France over 180 times in various competitions. Today, I am still in the media industry. I run “Le Parisien – Aujourd’hui en France,” the most widely circulated daily newspaper in France.
How has the MBA helped you to transform your career?
My career has undergone various transformations. First, I was a volleyball player. Then I was awarded a scholarship allowing me to attend HEC Paris, one of the best business schools in the world, as part of the MBA program. The MBA opened up so many doors for me. Right after completing my MBA, I decided I would become a ‘Golden Boy.’ I got a job in Mergers and Acquisitions at Scotia McLeod in London as an Associate. But I wasn’t totally happy; I wanted more than anything a return to the teamwork and team spirit that I had loved so much when I was playing volleyball, and also during my time at HEC Paris.
This is why I decided to enter the Media business. I worked with Jean Chalopin, the founder of one of the biggest cartoon production companies in the world. My media career developed over time with the creation and management of the TV department at ASO, who organize sports events such as the Tour de France and the Dakar Rally. I then created and managed the TV Channel “Equipe TV” and its sports website. Today I am still working in Media at “Le Parisien.”
Do you have any regrets?
No; I am grateful to HEC, the MBA changed my life and allowed me to meet different people, from a wide variety of backgrounds. It was hard but I had a great time.
What is the most valuable thing you learned from the HEC Paris MBA?
What has often struck me since doing my MBA, is that people were able to trust me in all of the various positions that I have had. I have to say that the MBA was a truly transformative experience for me. I am very proud and enthusiastic to be an HEC Paris MBA Alumni.
Do you have any tips for the new MBAs?
Don’t be afraid, even when life gets hard. Believe in yourself, be yourself and I am sure that you will continue to benefit from your MBA throughout your life.
Do you have a life motto or inspirational quote which you try to live by?
As a professional volleyball player, I take a lot of my mottos from the world of sport. I particularly like the idea that sport teaches us to lose; it teaches us that a defeat is not a failure, it is not the end – rather, it is the beginning of a new adventure, teaching us to go out there again and try once more.