Pascal Cagni has enjoyed an illustrious career after his time at HEC Paris MBA: he was General Manager and Vice President of Apple Europe, Middle East and Africa from 2000 until 2012.
Why did you decide to do an MBA at HEC Paris?
I chose to do an MBA because I was unsure of what to do. I didn’t really want to be a civil servant and so I welcomed the chance to do an MBA. I went to an MBA presentation with HEC Paris representatives, and the guys there were so full of energy and enthusiasm and they really enjoyed what they were doing – they spoke about the international life, the business networks… I thought that maybe I should give it a shot, so I did.
Do you have any regrets?
I have no regrets about my time at HEC Paris. If I did have one it would be that I didn’t spend enough time with all of the incredible people who I met there – I just didn’t have enough time to meet them all!
What was the most important thing that you learned during your time at HEC Paris MBA?
One of my favourite things that I learnt from my time at HEC Paris MBA was the business cases. From the first day we were confronted with important real life business cases to learn from. I also liked working in teams; our groups were hugely diverse: from a married woman with two kids to an engineer or a pharmacist. And that’s what business is all about: being part of a community and being able to work with anyone anywhere. That’s what the MBA taught me.
What is your motto?
“La vie est belle”
I had some serious health problems during my time at HEC Paris MBA, but it was a life-changing experience for me because it made me realize how fragile life is and how important it is to be sensitive to the various issues that can affect those around you. It’s not glamorous, but it’s personal and I try to live my life by this every day.