#3 : 5 Success Stories from KEDGE graduates
Hello Yoann. To begin with, tell us about your background.
I started out with a rather typical study programme: I did a scientific Bac, then a obtained a DUT Tech de Co in Lyon. Afterwards, I decided to move to England to pursue a Bachelor's in International Business Management. Finally, I joined KEDGE's work-study programme and worked for Orange Business Services for 2 years, including 6 months in Califorinia near San Francisco. I obtained a Master's in Strategic Digital Marketing.
Once I received my diploma, I made a choice that may seem strange to some, but that was well thought out: to take a year off. I felt like my skills in Spanish were lacking and I really wanted to discover the Spanish-speaking world. So I went off on an adventure. I worked as a Business Developer for Cupoint, a competititor of Groupon, for 6 months in Argentina. I was in contact with suppliers and I handled the marketing strategy online. For the second part of my gap year, I moved to Colombia to work for SM Digital Partners, a digital advertising company. I was in charge of ad campaigns, including managing Adwords and Google Analytics. At the end of my internship, I was recruited to manage advertising for American clients.
Tell us about Internship Colombia: where did you the idea from?
I experienced first hand how challenging it can be to find an internship on South America and so I wanted to create and offer a specialised service to help students and graduates meet their goals. That is how Internships Colombia came to be, in 2012. Today, I have a team of five people who support me in developing the programme. Our service doesn't just provide a list of job offers, but also provides users all the support they need in order to move to the country: visa procedures, finding accomodation, coaching with the company, organising social events, Spanish classes, tourism... Each month we welcome candidates who are happy with their experience with us. And the fact that I was welcoming students here, in Colombia, gave me the idea and desire to also send South American students to my own country. In 2015, we launched Gastronomie France (www.gastronomiefrance.org), a non-profit organisation approved by the Interior Ministry in France. We offer paid internships to foreign students and graduates in reknown French hotels. Today, we are working to develop and improve these two programmes.
What are your plans for the future?
This year is special, because 2017 is the "France-Colombia" year, so we are taking advantage of the occasion to strengthen links between the two countries and create new partnerships. This project is therefore very close to my heart. I want to create more links between my home country and the country that has adopted me. Additionally, in the future, I would like to raise money from investors so that I can develop faster. There are many areas for further development, such as strengthening our relations worldwide to offer all students interesting opportunities. Furthermore, I am developing Colombie Conseil, a premium service for companies to provide them advice and help them find investment opportunities.
In the framework of Gastronomie France, we obtained approval from the Ministry of the Interior, which shows how serious and committed we are to our candidates' success. We also work with the Ministry of National Education and the Senate.
How did your education at KEDGE Business School help you become who you are today, and how did what you learn help you develop your project?
Thanks to my time at KEDGE, I had the opportunity to work with the group “OBS”. I learned a work method, and the rigor and vision needed to develop a group. And my study abroad experience in California made me want to continue to work abroad. Finally, thanks to the gap year that KEDGE offers, I was able to discover South America an fell in love with Colombia and my wife (thanks KEDGE!).
If you had one piece of advice for KEDGE graduates who would like to follow in your footsteps, what would it be?
My advice for KEDGE students would be to think about entrepreneurship because it's a wonderful challenge, both personally and professionally. To prepare for the business world, don't hesitate to invest in investment groups. These groups help you learn about and understand the problems that businesses face on a daily basis. Additionally, take full advantage of your professors to get their advice and ask questions. And afterwards, join groups of young entrepreneurs to help you get started!