“It is vital that we encourage young individuals to flourish and thrive!”

42 The Network
4 min readFeb 21, 2024


After years spent managing training centers, Alexandra Bricout now finds herself at the head of 42 Le Havre, with real ambitions to have an impact on education for the better.

After managing training centers in North-Western France, what made you join 42?

I spent 10 years managing and developing training centers for tech employees all over Normandy (North-Western France), and if I’m being honest, I was growing weary of constantly being urged to focus on net margin and growth rate, neglecting the human aspect. I always believed in empowering staff through education but these centers felt too profit-oriented and less focused on employee development. I remember that, as I turned 43 and having just gone through the COVID pandemic, I realized that it was time for a change.

When I heard about 42, I thought it was revolutionary. At the time, there was no big IT school in Normandy as the region is wedged between two big student hubs (Paris and Lille). To see a politician like Édouard Philippe (former French Prime Minister, born in Normandy, and now mayor of Le Havre) succeed in opening 42 in the area was quite impressive. I very much wanted to be a part of it so I jumped right in!

What do you like about your position at 42 Le Havre?

As Managing Director of 42 Le Havre, I can initiate projects that contribute positively to local communities and the overall tech ecosystem. 42 upholds steadfast values, and once you fulfill the initial requirements, you are free to be creative with the rest.

At 42 Le Havre, we operate like a start-up: we are a small team so we move fast, each of us is an expert in their field, and we build from the ground up. In 2024, we will seek to consolidate what we have built in our first year (our first Piscine was in January 2023) and on top of that, we will be launching new initiatives including part-time study (alternance) and another investor round. The momentum never ceases, and that’s what keeps our enthusiasm alive!

Moreover, I enjoy heading to work, anticipating interactions with students in spite of their occasional unconventional ways (we do have field experts; last month, a student successfully hacked the passwords of his peers who hadn’t followed the instructions for setting up strong passwords). Every day is full of surprises!

How do you see the future of education?

We are a French campus, so I’ll talk about my own country. In my opinion, the French education system has failed to adapt to the new generation. The time where students passively absorb information given by authoritative figures is over. I think it is vital to encourage young individuals to flourish and thrive, and to achieve this, the overall approach needs to change.

To me, 42’s pedagogy represents the future of education. I have witnessed firsthand that by engaging youngsters in something they are passionate about, they can accomplish great things.

What are your tips for assembling a top-notch team?

I hire individuals who are much better than me at what they do. In my thirties, the fear of being outclassed might have kept me from doing so, but in my forties, I came to realize that it is the best way to get your team to achieve remarkable things.

Recruiting people who are experts in their field means that I can focus on my job, namely to have enough students on campus and to present a well-rounded balance sheet to investors. It reduces management time while empowering the team — everyone’s a winner.

What makes 42 Le Havre a unique campus in the 42 network?

Taking into account the feedback we receive, we have an amazing team and great facilities where students like to hang out. Our KPIs mirror that, as we have one of the lowest dropout rates among all 42 campuses!

Among 42’s four values, which one is the most important to you?

To me, the one that really sets 42 apart is our commitment to excellence. Upon completing their training, our students meet the high standards expected by recruiting companies, excelling in both technical expertise and interpersonal skills. I hold myself to the same standard and anticipate nothing less from others.



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