Articles - Entrepreneurship, Innovation & Social Business

Hervé Gentile always wanted to be an entrepreneur or a detective - now he does both

Hervé Gentile, Managing Director of Alchemy Search, reveals how the HEC Paris Executive MBA has impacted his career.

 

What lead you to HEC Paris?

After majoring in business studies and working in marketing and sales, I joined BP where I seriously delved into the corporate management world for the first time. While thinking about what I wanted my next career steps to be, I discovered the EMBA program at HEC Paris. BP agreed to finance the degree, and I applied and started classes in 2008. There, I came up with the idea that would turn into my executive consulting and recruitment firm, Alchemy Search.

 

What are your goals for Alchemy Search?

We focus on the automotive, energy, retail and B2B distribution industry sectors, which is a highly competitive market! I’m constantly looking for ways to help us stand out by studying the latest developments so that we can improve and attract new clients. I also want the company to be a place of free exchange, no matter what your background. This is by no means easy - human nature is very complex! 

Most importantly, I have to match the right candidates with the right businesses. We need to thoroughly understand the structure of a company as well as how each decision might affect that structure. Thinking back, I guess what I do makes sense: as a child, I always wanted to be either a detective or an entrepreneur!

 

Hervé Gentile

 

What keeps you stimulated and makes you happiest in your job?

I love getting to know new people and new companies, especially since we always strive to expand our areas of expertise. I also enjoy designing new business models and finding creative solutions to problems.

For you, what were the highlights of the EMBA program?

I chose a bilingual program, which was flexible enough to let me work and helped me cultivate a close network of people. Thanks to HEC Paris’s worldwide partnerships, I was able to study in Brussels and at Babson College in the United States.

The finance and business strategy training was extremely beneficial in my job and the leadership skills I learned have helped me become a better manager. My HEC Paris network also gives me access to new clients and a new pool of candidates from which to recruit.

 

What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

You must be persistent. You’re dealing with an immense amount of pressure, and tenacity will help you survive. 

 

The most successful entrepreneurs are resilient and can transform challenges into victories."

 

Any parting thoughts?

I’ve always appreciated the HEC community’s openness of mind and spirit. Our alumni’s ability to create ties and establish a community whose members explore, challenge, and help each other truly sets HEC Paris apart.

 

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