Flore LAURENT, KEDGE graduate, appointed Director of...
- CLASS OF: 2018
- POSITION: Commercial and Travel Agent
- COMPANY: Direct Malaisie
- LENGTH OF TIME ABROAD: One year and three months
Hello Alexia! Please give us a quick introduction to start.
My name is Alexia Soule. I’m 23 years old and I live in Kuala Lumpur. I did the Cesemed programme and was part of the 2018 graduating class, so I’ve just graduated. I’m currently a commercial and travel agent with Direct Malaysie, which is a French agency in Malaysia.
What’s your job? What are your duties?
As a travel agency, our job is to sell voyages to Malaysia, Singapore, and Koh Lipe (Thailand). I’m responsible for the Evaneos platform, a website which brings together local agencies around the world, including Malaysia. Customers make their requests through the Evaneos website. I'm in charge of sales, logistics, and after-sales service. I prepare the trips as per the customers’ requests, establish a price, and submit a proposal to them for their approval.
Would you describe education you received at KEDGE? What programme did you take?
I did a Cesemed, which is now called an International BBA. I took general courses, such as management, marketing, and sales for a year and a half at KEDGE, then did a six-month internship at ACCESO. To complete my two years of international experience, I spent a year in Poland at the University of Warsaw, where I specialised in sales. Then I went a university in Mumbai where I earned my Master 1 by taking courses such as sales, wholesale, strategy, and finance. After that, I came to Kuala Lumpur for an internship and stayed after I received a job offer.
How did KEDGE help you develop and reach your goals?
When I started at KEDGE, I wasn’t very comfortable in English, and being mixed with foreigners and having courses in English gave me confidence. I discovered new ways of thinking and working just by being with the Asian, American, or South African students.
Since when have you lived abroad?
I’ve been living abroad since January 2018. So, a year and three months.
What were your reasons for choosing to go to Kuala Lumpur?
I really wanted to come to Asia. I already had been in India and China, which made me want to go back to Asia. At first, I was looking at going to Singapore, but at the end of the day I didn’t find anything that I wanted. When I saw the job offer in Malaysia, I was immediately interested in it. For me, Malaysia is a country that’s in the middle of a strong growth, and it’s ideally located in South East Asia, which is practical for travelling!
Professionally, what cultural differences do you see between France and Malaysia?
The Malaysians are more relaxed and flexible than the French are. For example, in regards to deadlines, it is easier to move them, while in France we are very fixed on the deadlines given.
What has surprised you most in this country?
Malaysia is a Muslim country and I was surprised that you don’t feel different if you practice another religion. For example, people don’t give me bizarre looks if I’m not veiled or anything else. The people are very open-minded here.
What are your future plans?
Next, I’m going back to France to do a one-year programme at ISCAM (Institut Supérieur du Commerce Automobile du Mans) at ESCRA, an automobile business school, because I want to work in the automobile industry afterwards. I would like to come back to Asia or the Middle East.
Is there any other country that you’d like to live and work?
I’d say Australia. It’s a country that I’ve been attracted me for a long time, but my English wasn’t good enough to work there. There are lots of expatriates who live there. It’s a big mix of immigrants, Europeans, Americans, and Asians. You hear about fewer problems in Australia than elsewhere. It’s a country where I would feel very good.
If you had to redo it all, what would you change?
Honestly, I wouldn’t change very many things. Perhaps the procedure for getting a visa, which is long and complicated. All the same, I’ve discovered a lot of things, met lots of people, and have a job I enjoy. I’d do the same thing but travel a little more.
What advice would you give to a student or recent graduate who might consider a similar adventure?
Living abroad opens the mind and lets you see other ways of working, other mentalities. Other countries in Europe are quite similar, but Asia is really different. I encourage everyone to go abroad, whether for work, study, or even just for a trip.
Interview conducted in Kuala Lumpur by Emma and Manon, KEDGE Alumni Travel Pro-Act students.