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25/11/2019

Who are the hosts of the KEDGE Alumni branch in Barcelona?

Hosted by two volunteer Alumni, this branch aims to get Alumni and students together from time to time for afterworks, visits, or other casual events.

KEDGE Alumni has many branches around the world where local Alumni can meet, expand their network, share their respective experiences, and have a good time together.

Today, we invite you to discover the portraits of the two dynamic hosts of our Barcelona branch, which was launched in July 2017.


💬 Murielle Francillette (MAI 1994) - Interview

1️⃣Tell us a little about your professional background. What’s your current position? What educational and professional path did you take to get there?

After more than 20 years working for multinational companies, I’m currently working on boosting the skills development of purchasing and sales professionals, mainly through training and consulting.

After attending IAE in Lyon, I got my Master in Purchasing & Innovation Management (MAI), so it was natural for me to work in purchasing in the automotive, construction, and IT sectors. A few years later, I wanted to work with a company's end customers and take advantage of the functional and international mobility opportunities offered by Hewlett Packard. I’ve worked in purchasing, marketing, and sales as an individual contributor for major companies, and in management in Grenoble, Madrid, London, and Barcelona for a little more 20 years.

2️⃣Now you’re living in Barcelona? What do you like about this country, and this city in particular? How’s it different than France?

Living in Barcelona is quite magical because, in addition to the great weather, I appreciate the proximity of the sea and the mountains. The city attracts many foreigners, which means there are a plethora of very different cultures. And Barcelona is an enterprising city and knows how to sell the destination to major companies, hence the presence of high-level executives.

Catalonia is also very attached to traditional values (it has many festivals of saints or neighbourhoods for example) and family values, which is what makes it unique. In addition, there is a certain optimism in Catalonia that makes for a good life.

3️⃣You are now responsible for the local branch of KEDGE Alumni in Barcelona. What motivated you to volunteer?

I’ve worked with Anthony Plasse (Euromed 2010) for two years in managing the KEDGE Alumni network in Barcelona.

When I first moved to Barcelona, there was no Alumni branch. I had just got here and wanted to share experiences. Becoming a branch host was an opportunity, and taking the lead in the network created the space to share experiences that I would’ve liked to have found when I got here.

4️⃣What are your goals for this Branch? What do you have planned?

Our goal is to have a network that brings people together and resembles Kedgers. We hope that this network will give Kedgers to share things they are interested in, as well as provide opportunities to build relationships.

We’ve just completed a satisfaction survey that shows that our active members are quite satisfied with the activities we’ve carried out over the year for the network. We want to continue to build on this momentum. Thanks to this study we are now working on our Branch management priorities for 2020 to meet the expectations of Kedgers in Barcelona, in particular, company visits, afterworks, and theme events.

5️⃣How did getting started as a branch host go? Was it easy to contact KEDGE Alumni?

I was delighted to become a host because I met friendly Kedgers who wanted to bring the network to life. I’d like to thank them very much for the welcome they’ve given me. I’d also like to thank the entire team of KEDGE International Students and Branch Centre who provide coordination and support to the communities of hosts around the world. Kudos to Brigitte Van Roy for her wonderful work and continued support, and always with a smile!

6️⃣Finally, what message would you like to send to KEDGE graduates and students passing through or living in Barcelona?

“When men  work together, mountains turn into gold." Chinese proverb. We look forward to seeing you soon to meet and share in the KEDGE Alumni Barcelona network!

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💬 Anthony Plasse (ESC 2010) - Interview

1️⃣Tell us a little about your professional background. What is your current position? What educational and professional path did you take to get there?

I’m currently Export Manager at Proersa Aerosoles, a Catalan SME, a service provider in the aerosol packaging sector. Our clients are mainly in the cosmetics field, and I’m in charge of prospecting and growing customer accounts outside Spain.

As to my educational background, I did an ES bac with an HEC prep and then attended KEDGE Marseille. When I was studying in Marseille, I already knew that I wanted to live abroad and find out about other cultures and so was naturally interested in all the issues of international trade and diversity management (cultural, marketing).

First, I did some internships in management control, which were very instructive, but which showed me that I needed more challenges and client contact. After I left KEDGE, I worked in Paris as a sales representative for six months at Otis, but it didn't go as well as I expected.

I was lucky enough to find a VIE pretty quickly in London with Cogelec / Intratone, the European leaders in wireless intercom. Everything was made in the United Kingdom and I was able to learn a lot and put my energy into the job. I spent five years of my career there, which was a great learning experience and accelerator. I’d like to thank Roger Leclerc once again for his support during that period.

London also played a prominent role in my adult life, because it was also there that I met my wife, who’s from Barcelona. When we were having twins, we decided to move to Barcelona.

And so, I started a new stage of my career. I’ve been working for Proersa for two years now.

2️⃣ Now you live in Barcelona? What do you like about this country, and this city in particular? How’s it different than France?

I’d already visited Barcelona before I went KEDGE and so was already under its spell before I came to live here. I’ve lived here for the past three years to get to know this region - which is rich in history, culture, and cuisine - in greater depth.

What’s extremely nice about Barcelona is the quality of life you can have here. You can be out of Barcelona in 20 minutes and have a complete change of scenery. You can choose between the mountain and the sea. It’s absolutely gorgeous for outdoor sports, such as sailing and climbing.

As for what’s different than France, I’d say that the Catalans are more welcoming and positive than the French. At work, it’s normal for people speak familiarly, no matter what their status or customer/supplier relationships. This creates a very nice atmosphere for talks right away.

3️⃣You are now responsible for the local branch of KEDGE Alumni in Barcelona. What motivated you to volunteer?

Personally, it was a sensible thing to do. As a father of young children, I don't have much time to do the weekly network thing, or even to meet up with friends. With the KEDGE Alumni branch, I can expertly combine these two aspects of my social life.

After that, I like the meetings we organise because they are not purely business. We attach much more importance to the quality of our meetings between participants - curiosity and friendliness. All these elements combined made it easy for me to volunteer for this.

4️⃣What are your goals for this Branch? What do you have planned?

We’d really like to be able to have an average of 30 attendees at each event.

For 2020, we are also working on a major conference in Barcelona, which will be open to the public. This will be an opportunity to highlight KEDGE's expertise in a given field, involving members of the KEDGE faculty.

5️⃣How did getting started as a branch host go? Was it easy to contact KEDGE Alumni?

Brigitte Van Roy does a great job in relations with the Alumni branches. Not only does she listen to our feedback, but she’s also a driving force. If we run into any brick walls, she knows how to guide us towards relevant decisions. All this makes the work of a facilitator all the easier.

6️⃣ Finally, what message would you like to send to KEDGE graduates and students passing through or living in Barcelona?

We get together every two months. If you are there for one of the events, don’t hesitate to join us. It would be a pleasure to meet you and share experiences.

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