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1️⃣ To begin, tell us about your educational background. What did you study, both before and at KEDGE?
I began KEDGE’s Business Engineering programme in Toulon in September 2016. I met many inspiring people over those two years and it was some of the lecturers, students, entrepreneurs, and conference invitees who made me excited and curious about entrepreneurship..
2️⃣ Tell us what you did after your studies were finished. What positions have you held? What did you learn in those positions?
I co-founded a foodtech startup at the same time as doing a work-study programme at VINCI Energies, working on my final dissertation, and attending courses. Once the school year was over, and I saw that my start-up had huge potential, I decided to turn down the permanent contract my employer offered and instead moved to Lyon. Without being fully conscious of it, I had just ticked off the first box of being an entrepreneur: that of taking risks!
After five years of work-study positions in two different companies, I needed to make my own experiences and overcome professional difficulties by myself, without hiding behind a legal, accounting, or other departments. I thought I needed to gain knowledge in the most practical way possible. In my humble opinion, there’s nothing better than setting up your own company to do this. Be encouraged in knowing that, with the kind of training we get at KEDGE, you can find a permanent contract in one to three years if your first entrepreneurial project doesn't work out. You'll understand this later, and I know what I'm talking about! In the course of my current project, I’ve met hundreds of entrepreneurs of different ages and different levels of ambition. I loved meeting these people, who had very different profiles, and sharing experiences with them. I learned from them and so told myself that I must come out of this experience with a message to share, help future entrepreneurs, and to give the most inspiring young entrepreneurs a chance.
3️⃣ What are you doing/what is your situation today? What gave you the idea and the desire to do what you’re doing today?
I’m currently working for CISION, a company that specialises in earned media. In a nutshell, we offer solutions for press relations, media monitoring, and studies to optimise our clients' communication activities. We are brand scouts!
I also host a podcast called StartupOKLM, whose aim is to make the world of entrepreneurship accessible. I release two thirty-minute episodes on the first and the fifteenth of each month, in which I talk to young entrepreneurs - they present their company, their activities, tell us about inspiring entrepreneurs, and give their advice for future entrepreneurs. During the interview, a specific topic is addressed and I try to ask the questions that the future entrepreneurs will ask themselves.
4️⃣ What are your development plans for the future?
StartupOKLM is on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook, where we popularise jargon and present entrepreneurship news. To give a little more detail, I host podcasts which are available on all the major platforms, including Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Deezer, and others. In the upcoming months, we will start selling a magazine to decipher the entrepreneurship of young people. The objective is the same - make the community of future and young entrepreneurs grow, answer the questions of the most curious, and help them as much as possible!
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5️⃣ If you were to give advice to any KEDGE graduate who wants to do something similar, what would it be?
Listen to your heart and do what you think is best for you, your attainment of knowledge, and your personal and professional development. In sum, enjoy what you do and take charge of yourself!
For you, future graduates, there are so many possible routes after KEDGE. You can get a specialised master, get permanent employment, do a V.I.E., set up your own business, etc. No choice is less good than the others; do what you want to do. However, be aware that it’s no longer possible to get a V.I.E. if you are over 28 years old. Also, starting your first company at the age of 40 - when you have a pleasant lifestyle and children to take care of - can be more complicated than when you're used to eating only pasta and drinking alcohol (although the latter can be a considerable budget for some Kedgers). This brings us back to my first point, the taking of risks.
I took advantage of learning everything I could at KEDGE. But in addition to the theoretical and practical teaching, I especially relied on meeting people, the school's network, and the open-mindedness I gained. All of this is very important when you meet strangers to talk about their manner of seeing things on different subjects.
6️⃣ Anything you’d like to add? A message to pass on?
Follow StartupOKLM on social networks. FYI, in the third episode of the podcast, I speak to Mathilde RUFFRAY, a former KEDGE Design School student. In this episode, we talk about the user-centred approach, Design Thinking. Please subscribe to our podcast on your favourite platform so you will always be alerted when our new episodes are posted.