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Fériel Fodil (ESCP 01), Talented Woman of ESCP !

08 March 2023
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With 'Talented Women of ESCP', we're shedding light on inspiring Alumna who are experts in their field. This month, meet Fériel Fodil (ESCP 01), General Manager of the Villa Hégra, the first French-Saudi cultural institution.

What is your area of expertise?

I can call myself a manager of the cultural world with an international experience.

And what took you on this path?

I started my career in an audit firm at PriceWaterhouseCoopers in 2001 in the field of insurance in Paris and then in Washington DC. I did not know my real aspirations.
I then left for the United Arab Emirates to work for a government institution in charge of the development of the largest cultural conglomerate in the world on Saadiyat Island in Abu Dhabi, but beause I am trilingual my manager pushed to position me on the museum development of the 3 museums of the Island.

I became manager, then financial director of the operational division in charge of the prefiguration of museums including the Louvre Abu Dhabi inaugurated in 2017. When returning to France, it was only natural that Prince Aga Khan recruited me as director. finance then executive director of the Château de Chantilly. I'm now joining AFALULA (French agency for the development of Al-Ula). From March 20, I will be the general manager of Villa Hégra in Al-Ula in Saudi Arabia, the first Franco-Saudi cultural institution.

We can say that it's the languages ​​that have guided my career.

What is your best memory at ESCP?

Accounting classes with Christophe Thiberge. He had the art of making this subject simple, accessible and playful. I've always had a lot of admiration for him.

Another highlight was the graduation ceremony at the Palais des Congrès, with Madame de Chantérac Lamielle, of whom she was general manager. Her inspiring speech has followed me throughout my personal and professional life.

To you, what does 'success' mean?

Winston Churchill described it very well: “Success is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm”. I think this quote sums up the fact that success is earned through perseverance.

Success is also getting to know yourself and helping the people around you grow. It's being aligned with your choices.

What advice would you like to give to those who read you and that you would have liked to receive when you were a student or at the start of your career?

In my opinion, you have to listen to your desires, test different routes and paths. It's what you love that will carry you and make you better than others. You have to know how to welcome and seize the chance when it presents itself.

As the saying goes: “Everything happens for a reason. »

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