Jean-Michel Perrenot and Christophe Perrenot: Father and Son
As we commence an insightful journey of the Legacies of the CEFAMily, what better way to understand what makes the CEFAMily other than co-founder and President, Jean Michel Perrenot and his son, Christophe Perrenot! The father-son duo delves into their unique interpretation of “CEFAMILY,” unveiling the heartfelt essence that binds CEFAM’s community together. Get ready to discover how their shared vision and values foster an inclusive, familial atmosphere within the educational landscape.
What were your expectations when you founded CEFAM?
Jean-Michel: Créer une école différente dans son ADN, résolumment tournée vers l’international, privilégiant la proximité étudiants professeurs et staff et au service des entreprises, avec de vrais diplômes français et américains.
Creating a different school with an international DNA, emphasizing close student-professor-staff proximity and serving the needs of businesses while offering true French and American diplomas.
Do you think CEFAM has reached your expectations in the last 36 years?
Jean-Michel: Certainement oui ! “l’expérience étudiants” est puissante, les carrières des alumni de belle qualité, le projet de l’école est compris et poussé par toute l’équipe enseignante et administrative ! Quel plaisir.
Certainly yes! The student experience is powerful, the careers of alumni are of high quality, the school’s project is understood and driven by the entire faculty and administrative team! How amazing!
What values would you like CEFAM students to take away with them once they graduate?
Jean-Michel: L’idée de CEFAMILY (l’international, ça soude), le professionnalisme dans leurs métiers par l’exigence des professeurs et des entreprises partenaires, l’ouverture d’esprit et l’humain au cœur, pour leurs vies comme pour leurs carrières.
The concept of CEFAMILY (international connections), professionalism in their professions driven by the demands of professors and partner companies, open-mindedness, and placing humanity at the core of their lives as well as their careers.
What were your main criteria when choosing a university for your own children?
Jean-Michel: Comme souvent les enfants ne suivent pas les conseils des parents !… Mais le staff à Temple University, choisie au final, et le programme à Philadelphie ont été efficaces.
As often happens, children do not always follow their parents’ advice! However, the Temple University staff and the program in Philadelphia proved to be effective in solidifying this amazing opportunity.
Why did you choose CEFAM?
Christophe: I chose CEFAM because I have always been attracted by the US. In 1998, I was fortunate enough to attend a graduation ceremony in Boston with my Dad. It was as huge as I had imagined, and I wanted to experience that! I also grew up with this school and shared Christmas moments with the staff and their kids; always very good times.
What are some of the skills you acquired through CEFAM that you still use today?
Christophe: The obvious and easiest one is English. Happy Wordsmart!!! As a manager, I try to remember my Management classes every day. Lastly, all the presentations we did during classes helped me with talking to my teams and speaking in public.
How CEFAM has impacted your life?
Christophe: It helped me to find an interesting job, and I met some of my best friends that I still see today. During my first-year’s internship, I had an exceptional experience in San Diego meeting extraordinary people, and I consider this one of the best trips I have ever had. I will never forget flying back to France on September 10th, 2001, with a stopover in New York. I am “one of the last” who had the chance to see the “old” World Trade Center.
What was your favorite and most hated class?
Christophe: Oh my god, this one is tough! I wouldn’t say that I had a favorite or a most hated one but some were easier than others… In micro
and macroeconomics classes, the “Wake up and smell the Coffee” moments on Friday morning were not part of the easier ones!!! Wordsmart’s exams were easier! Math classes were always “fun”. American History was “less” fun but so interesting. However, since I graduated, I only remember these moments positively.
What is your favorite CEFAM Memory?
The opportunity to spend the best year ever in Philadelphia as a student. The whole year was thanks to CEFAM’s program.
Would you recommend CEFAM to your own children?
Of course, and not only to my children! Four years of such a wonderful journey with my buddies and a great experience in a foreign country! Why wouldn’t I?