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A transformational experience

Learn from those who have experienced the Consulting and Coaching for Change programme for themselves.

Consulting and Coaching for Change alumni have kindly agreed to share their stories with those interested in the programme so you can learn:

  • Why they choose to attend this programme,
  • What they gained through the taught modules and the dissertation,
  • How this experience transformed their thinking, approaches and future.
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Guillaume Lefebvre (Year 2011) - France

Deputy General Manager, Crédit Agricole Normandie Seine

"It was extraordinary to be able to engage personally with such passionate and knowledgeable people." More

Guillaume Lefebvre

One of the things that struck me most about the program was how many participants were going through change themselves - whether in their personal lives, careers or academically. Everyone on the program who experienced change was ultimately successful. This is because the program allowed us to see change as a process that could be deliberate and planned. We were shown different ways of thinking about change and of understanding the context in which change occurs - which not only supported us personally but has allowed us to support others. 

The academics were all absolutely brilliant. I have three other Master's degrees but this is the first time that I have encountered so many professors who actually teach from their own books. It was extraordinary to be able to engage personally with such passionate and knowledgeable people. I thought the juxtaposition between theory and practice was very effective. The academics told us what the world should look like, and then the practitioners and our own exercises reconciled their theory with practice in order to actually become "reflective practitioners". That was why it was so important to see change from so many angles, to learn so many ways of looking at the world so that we could see it as it is - not as we might wish for it to be, or as it looks when we focus on just one part of it. 

The biggest surprise for me was the experience of writing my thesis. I had not expected that it would transform me. I created a model based on coaching to raise the confidence of people internally so that they could inspire confidence in customers. It took me six months and now I feel I know a little bit more about what it is like to give birth! Although I proved that my model worked and was measurable, the oral examination was still very stressful. I think that showed how valuable it was. It stretched me and challenged me in ways that I have not been used to for a very long time. 


Paul Govaart (Year 2013) - United Kingdom

Independent Director, VTTI Energy Partners LP

"There is never one single reason why change is needed, and no single approach to managing it is going to work." More

Paul Govaart

During my active time as a manager and leader I was always surprised by how difficult it was to get change implemented quickly and efficiently. Consulting and Coaching for Change appealed to me most because of its very broad approach, looking at change from different perspectives. There is never one single reason why change is needed, and no single approach to managing it is going to work.

In each module there were people from outside the programme who brought real-life experience of change. Each module dealt with change from a different basis, such as systems or psychoanalysis. You got to deal with each approach in detail and were then in a position to stand back and decide which would be more applicable and more powerful in a specific situation.

I remember looking back at things I had done in the past with some discomfort - I would have done some things differently with the knowledge that I gained on this programme. It’s slightly painful to acknowledge to yourself that not everything you have done in your career has been very good. But it was such a controlled and safe environment - no one had any hesitation in talking about areas in which they were not confident. People did challenge each other, but kindly.

I thought the modular approach was very effective - dividing our time between Paris and Oxford reminds us that we are dealing with different countries, cultures, and attitudes. At the same time, the group of students and faculty remains the same, so we had the opportunity to build strong relationships. We were a large, very international group, with almost everyone personally in change mode themselves – either in their careers, their private lives, or within their organisations.

I decided to do the dissertation and convert my experience on the programme into an Executive Specialized Master®’s Degree. My subject was based on a consultancy project in which I used so much of what I learned during the programme. My tutor was excellent and I owe her a lot – she really helped me, and by the time I had the oral examination in 2013 I knew the content so well that I actually enjoyed it.

I continue to use what I learned on the programme in my consultancy and coaching work, especially when I am coaching small businesses and young entrepreneurs.


Hollick Rajkumar (Year 2011) - Trinidad and Tobago

Managing Director HRC Associates Management Consulting, Trinidad and Tobago

"Considering a personal return on investment, the programme is going to make me a better professional - I have a better personal understanding of myself."

Lucy Gill (Year 2011) - Australia

Director of Retail Initiative, Kantar, WWP, Australian

"I particularly chose this programme for its pre-requisite of having many years of commercial experience."

Mitford Mundell (Year 2011) - South Africa

General Manager / Chief Operating Officer, Nambed (on secondment from De Beers), South African

"This offered something different. The uniqueness of the two institutions, the diversity of the group, and the content of the programme was all very appealing."

Gerald Karsenti (Year 2005) - France

Managing Director, Enterprise Services France, HP, and Affiliate Professor, HEC Paris

"I learnt so much about the capabilities of people and how to interpret the human factor when managing them. I know I am managing differently now. More

It is so easy to say you are taking people into account but then not do it. Sometimes you can want to push people for immediate results. But I really understand now that it is always worth taking that extra time to learn about people, to develop their capabilities, to explain what is happening and to make sure they understand"


Susan Goldsworthy (Year 2006) - Switzerland

Founder, Goldswolf

"The first session gives you a whole smorgasbord of tools and techniques. And as you’re learning it, you’re applying it, so it is very practical. There was a huge breadth and depth of topics, with recognised speakers and experts. More

But there is no prescribed way of doing it."


Gyongyi Kallai (Year 2007) - Hungary

Coach, consultant and teacher

"I already had a Master’s degree in economics and had studied at universities in the United States, but as soon as I saw this programme advertised I knew from the content, language, spirit and philosophy that it was right for me. The advert said people were required to have ten years’ experience, so I knew the group would be excellent; and I also knew that a qualification from HEC would be unbeatable." More

Now I’m working as a coach, consultant and teacher. I’m based near Budapest, and have my own consultancy, Trendset Consulting, and work for many large companies but also for NGOs. One thing I’m proud to be involved in is a new Europewide programme to train young professionals. I’m also doing my PhD at the ELTE University in Budapest. It’s on fl ow, and how organisational factors help or organisational context. I was in fl ow the whole time I was doing the CCC programme!"


Hugo Marynissen (Year 2007) - Belgium

Founder, Progressive Media

The course is all about change, but I honestly think the biggest change was within each individual. I now have new clients, and I am serving the clients that we do have much better – by the end of the course I had already recouped my investment. More

I have my own company in Belgium specialised on risk and crisis communications and I found I was getting very frustrated in my work by not having easy access to the board. I felt I needed a more academic background. I started it in 2007 and graduated in 2009. I got out of it far more than I expected!

We learned about the technical and social sides of change and I found the module on leadership particularly interesting. I also liked the way the whole course was based on practical learning. I got new tools to use with my clients, and the professors were very keen for feedback on how we found using what they had taught us.

We were a fantastic group, too. The average age was early 40’s, and everyone had good experience and was keen to learn new things. Everyone was open-minded, tolerant and intelligent and I think more than half of what I learnt was through interactions with my peers. I’ve now got a wonderful group of international friends and colleagues and never a week goes by when I’m not in touch with someone from the programme.

But it also reawakened in me a love of learning. I wasn’t the most brilliant student when I was at school, more than 20 years ago, but now I am doing a
doctoral programme at Cranfield University. I really loved having the opportunity to read, learn, discuss and create new ideas.”


Mick Yates (Year 2003) - United Kingdom

Director of international expansion,group Dunnhumby

"The Consulting and Coaching for Change programme gave me new thinking and new networks. I became one of the founders of a community of practice called The Change Leaders, which now has about 60 members from the different course cohorts, and is all built about the world of change. We meet once or twice a year. More

We keep in touch over new things and what we are learning and applying. I’d spent my whole life working for big corporates, ending up as company group chairman of Johnson & Johnson’s consumer business.Now, I’ve taken the business from working in three countries to working in 26, and I’m using what I learned in the course all the time because change management is what I do with my retail clients.”


Guillaume Lefebvre (Year 2011) - France

Deputy General manager Crédit Agricole Normandie Seine

"As one of the top managers in this bank Consulting and Coaching for Change will help me address new challenges of the future. I love this programme!"

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