Entrepreneurs - Portrait of a Kedge alumnus turned...
- Please tell us a bit about yourself?
Hello. My name is Lucie Shu, I’m 27 and currently live in Shanghai! I moved to France when I was 11 years old. My earlier training allowed me to enter the Grande Ecole programme at KEDGE, from which I graduated in 2016.
- What did you do after you received your diploma at KEDGE (internships, first job…), and equally, what prompted you to work abroad?
I was lucky because I had several work experiences while I was studying, which helped me familiarise myself with the working world, and what’s more, in the field in which I was interested.
I did some internships in the luxury hotel sector and in jewellery (notably for the Swatch group) while I was working towards my bachelor’s degree. These were my first professional experiences.
After that, during my placement year, I had two different internships. For my first one, I worked as a trade-marketing assistant at Burberry Kids. And for the second one, I did an internship as a marketing assistant in the Business Development Department of Club Med.
Finally, I worked for start-up companies in both China and France! I did that so that I would understand the Chinese market, to work with the Chinese to “familiarise” myself, and because I had not been to China in more than for more than 10 years. That’s why I decided to take about a year and a half to devote myself that, and now I’m back with Club Med in China, in its Business Development and Project Construction Department.
To answer your second question, I think there were two reasons why I wanted to go to China. First of I am Chinese descent, and the value of family is extremely important in the Chinese culture, which is why I wanted to return here!
My second reason was a more professional one - because I wanted to be part of the development of China. It’s a market that is in full growth, which is an opportunity for to me because I speak English, French, and Chinese. I picked Shanghai because it’s a very active city, and very different from other Chinese cities; we can even say it’s an economic leader because there are so many opportunities, French businesses, etc.
And I think that when you are young, it is much easier to access the better posts much in China much faster than you would in France.
Published by Kedge Business School Alumni on Tuesday, 29 May 2018
- Tell us about your career? Is it related to the training you received at KEDGE? And what are the essential qualities needed for this job?
My job is to handle the marketing and industrial communications for Club Med. I take care of the trade shows, brochures, and merchandising - with the help of external businesses.
I also work with the rest of the team on the newsletters for the Asia area, to try to put as much information in them with the purpose of communications within the company.
I was able to specialise in marketing as well as luxury brand management because of the Grande Ecole programme and the ability to choose my own courses. I chose these two because the marketing course allowed me to better understand the French market, and in some respects the international market. And the luxury brand management course allowed me to discover different luxury brands, and to learn more about Club Med, which is one of the “premium” brands - luxurious.
For those that want to stay in China, one of the primary skills is to speak English, and speaking Chinese is a big advantage.
I think we must also be comfortable speaking, and you must be open-minded so you can get along with the rest of the team in order to hear and understand the information needed for the job.
You have to be good at negotiating too. It is very complicated in China because, even if a contract has certain clauses, everything can be changed at the last moment. You also must know how to anticipate changes, and how to adapt to them easily.
- How would you describe the business culture in your country compared to that of France?
Of course the culture here is very different than that of the European countries. People in Asia won’t straightforwardly say “no”. Instead, they say “yes, but”, which in reality is a type of polite “no”. The Chinese are also more timid than the French are, as much at work as in everyday life. You have to try to break the ice and make more of an effort to make them feel at ease.
In regard to work, it’s a little different. Club Med is multicultural, and the Chinese easily accept other’s cultures. The company had some changes a few years ago because of the purchase of the Chinese group Fosun. It began to be interested in the numbers and the results; however, clear objectives were given to us to motivate the teams, and Fosun didn’t directly interfere with the internal management.
- What are your ambitions for the future?
I foresee staying here in China for several more years before returning to France. At my current stage, I really want to hold all the cards so I’ll be able to choose what I want to do in the future. As I’ve already said, the reason is simple. With China being in full expansion, I want to stay here for the time it takes to advance in my career, which I think will take less time here than it would in France.
Even so, the pace here is greater and faster, and I think I will reach a point where I will be less motivated and be resistant to living at this pace.
- Does Club Med take interns?
Club Med absolutely takes interns. One third of my team came to us through as interns and have been promoted since! We already have training programmes for students from business schools to do exchanges in China, and Club Med looks for future applicants in the business schools. So, to have your first experience as working in an internship at Club Med can’t be anything other than beneficial.
If you want to apply, here is the website address: http://www.clubmedjobs.com/
Interview conducted by the student Pro-Act KEDGER TROTTER team.
Interview réalisée par l'équipe du pro-act étudiant KEDGER TROTTER