After a year and a half hiatus, KEDGE Alumni Afterworks...
KEDGE Alumni has many branches throughout the world so that local Alumni can meet, expand their network, and share their respective experience, as well as have a good time together.
Today, we invite you to discover the portrait of the dynamic host of our Vancouver branch.
💬 JOHANNA HARVEL (ESC 2013) - VANCOUVER
To begin, tell us a little about your career. What is your current position? How did your educational and professional background get you there?
I’m currently Digital Marketing Manager for Ryders Eyewear, a brand from the EssilorLuxottica Group. Ryders is located at the foot of the mountains in the north of Vancouver. It sells sunglasses for anyone who wants to combine comfort and style. Our customers are runners, golfers, hikers, and cyclists. I’m in charge of developing the brand’s image and reputation in Canada and the United States, as well as online for those same markets.
I started KEDGE’s Grande Ecole programme in Bordeaux after doing two years of economics prep courses in Pau. After doing an internship in marketing with Procter & Gamble in Geneva, I was hired as an Assistant Brand Manager for digital and e-commerce for its Braun brand. I worked with different markets (United States, China, Germany, and France) and was in charge of helping them develop their e-commerce strategy. After that, I took a year off to travel then returned to France and went to work as an e-Merchandiser & Digital Analyst at the French headquarters of Mars in Strasbourg.
I moved to Vancouver in January 2020 and worked for Best Buy Canada for just over a year before going to work for Ryders Eyewear. I’m responsible for online sales in three categories (household appliances, babies, and toys).
Today you live in Vancouver. What do you mainly like about Canada, in particular Vancouver? How is it different from France?
I love the open-mindedness of Canadians, its multi-cultural aspect, and the fact that you are living in a vast and new country where there are still a lot of opportunities to seize. Vancouver is a very cosmopolitan city where 28% of the people living there were born outside of Canada! Vancouver is also ideally placed between the Pacific Ocean and the mountains, perfect for going to the beach and hiking in the summer, and skiing in the winter.
The North-American culture is more results-based and I think you can advance much faster here. I also appreciate the work/life balance and being in an English-speaking environment every day.
You are now managing the local KEDGE Alumni branch in Vancouver. What motivated you to volunteer?
I’ve benefited from the KEDGE network ever since my days at KEDGE. By volunteering, I want to be able to give back and take my turn in helping students and Alumni who want to move to Vancouver, or who are already living here!
What are your ambitions for this branch? What are your plans?
I became the manager at the beginning of the pandemic so I haven’t yet been able to organise any Alumni meetings. I would like to take part in one of the “Live in” webinars so I can directly answer the questions of students and Alumni interested in Vancouver. After the health crisis is over, I plan to organise get-togethers over drinks and themed events.
How was did your induction as a branch manager go? Was the contact with KEDGE Alumni easy?
Super! It was easy to contact Brigitte, and we communicated via phone and email.
Finally, what message would you like to send to graduates and students passing through or living in Vancouver?
Don’t hesitate to rely on the force of the network and contact people already living there. The North American culture is very much based on networking. I hope to meet you soon in Vancouver!