ESC Le Havre was one of the first Business Schools to be born in France. How proud we were! I created the School with my brother, Jacques. We could see that the cotton trade clearly occupied a central role in society. Therefore, our aim was to train cotton merchants and traders.
ESC Le Havre opened its doors at 21 rue Ancelot with Director Hyppolyte Vannier at the helm. Vannier was a former trader, former professor of trade in Paris and author of a number of accounting books. There were 26 students in our first annual intake: 15 from Le Havre and 11 from other French regions and even from Algeria. We rather proudly launched our first two-year study programme. Students studied law, accountancy and trade geography. They learned how global trade operates, import and export methods and different communications methods, with of course a focus on maritime transport. Le Havre provided the perfect location in which to study this programme. With its docks and warehouses on the doorstep, students could see for themselves how a port works, with goods flowing in and out from all over the world. There was also a focus on foreign language learning, with four hours of English and three hours of Spanish each week. And of course, practical work was already a major feature of our courses.
The programme proved to be a resounding success. The following year, 43 students joined ESC Le Havre. We were already offering tailored programmes at this stage, and students could either choose to do a preparatory year or join the programme in years 1 or 2. A mix of nationalities was also a must, and we had students from Spain, Poland, the United States and of course Alsace.
2006: EM Normandie’s Master in Management is launched!