In September 2018 right after graduating from IE, Alison Gillot went back to France, the country where she grew up, to start a job at her dream luxury fashion house: CHANEL.
Before starting at IE, Alison worked as a Sales and Customer Operations Manager at the New Balance HQ in Boston, MA. After this job experience, she decided to pursue a double degree at IE Business School: MBA & Master in Market Research & Consumer Behavior.
Nowadays, Alison is a Project Manager in Digital Communication at CHANEL in the Paris office. She started her new job soon after graduating from IE and she is now working specifically in the Watches and Jewelry division of the luxury company.
“Starting at CHANEL was not only a change in the industry but it was also a complete change in the type of role and a full geographical change of scenery going from the U.S. to Spain, and finally back to France”
To know more about Alison’s career strategy and industry shift continue reading the conversation between Alison and Anny Alarcón, IE Master in Management 2019 student and Career Ambassador.
Can you please tell us briefly about your new job?
My role consists of orchestrating the global digital campaigns that we launch for jewelry and watches collections in all the markets around the world. I work in very close collaboration with the Artistic Direction, the Marketing team, and all the regional teams to ensure the best campaign development and roll-out. We work on each campaign from concept creation, to asset creation (ECRM, Social Media, website, Display, etc.), to the local adaptation and final global launch.
Has your personal career strategy always been focused on this job? How does this new job fit into your career strategy?
After graduating from Bentley University with a Marketing Bachelor’s degree in 2012, I set a plan to first acquire strong working experience in the 4-5 years that followed, to then apply concrete professional learnings and enrich them with an MBA.
Four years later, I was managing a team of eight Account Managers at New Balance, had learned so much about Operations and all different functions of a footwear and apparel company, the retail industry, and I was ready to move forward.
As planned, I decided to join one of the World’s most prestigious MBA program and relocated to Madrid to start the Dual Degree program in 2017. Starting at IE, I was determined to make an industry switch and come back to Luxury after graduating. Added to that, I also wanted a change in function; I wanted to transition to a more customer driven and centric role.
Needless to say, the MBA and specialization with the second Master enabled me to do just that as I landed in Digital Communication at CHANEL.
How did you find out about this job opportunity?
I saw the opportunity on CHANEL’s career website. I applied online and then spoke with my career advisor, Andrea Gutierrez, who coincidently knew someone in HR at CHANEL Paris.
How did Talent & Careers and your IE experience help you during the recruiting process? Did you use specific career resources or did you come across useful information via an Advisor or Alumni?
Andrea Gutierrez helped me by passing along my CV through a more direct channel. As you can imagine, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of applicants for any role at CHANEL and, even with a strong and unique background, getting an interview without a connection is quite a challenge… That said, I’m extremely grateful and thankful to Andrea for helping me get a foot in the door of my dream luxury fashion house.
How was the recruiting process?
Because I was in Madrid, and the team was in Paris, all my interviews were conducted over the phone and through video calling. The process was very standard: I sent in a CV and cover letter, then had two interviews with HR, a longer one with my current manager, and two final ones with other project managers of the team. I also shared referrals from New Balance and previous companies where I had worked.
“Take advantage of the career fairs (Andrea's team is really working on tightening relationships with companies from the sector!), participate in relevant programs such as the LVMH Inside program. Join IE Luxury & Fashion club and be an active member, talk to your classmates (some of them could have personal experience in luxury or could simply put you in touch with a relevant connection!) and stay positive!”
Would you want to share any tips or advice with students interested in applying to Chanel to your job position in particular?
First, I would recommend defining well what you want to do and why you want to do it. A lot of applicants think they want to work at CHANEL just because it is CHANEL. This can come out as quite superficial during interviews and it is usually not difficult for the managers or HR to spot in interviews.
In order to stick out, not only does one need to leverage a strong background, show motivation, determination, and willingness to learn, but a visible passion and interest for the industry and the brand makes a significant difference, too. If you are changing industry and do not come from the Luxury sector, be prepared to “start from the bottom”, or at a lower position than where you may have been before. If you take my example, although I used to manage a team, I accepted an individual contributor role to join CHANEL. For me, this was not a problematic concession, as I knew it was a necessary step in order to move back in an industry where I truly wanted to be. I think I was also humble in the way I approached the situation and realized that I also needed to learn in this new field, before moving on again to a managerial role.
Finally, if you really wish to integrate a fashion house like CHANEL, building your network in the industry is key. Take advantage of the career fairs (Andrea’s team is really working on tightening relationships with companies from the sector!), participate in relevant programs such as the LVMH Inside program. Join IE Luxury & Fashion club and be an active member, talk to your classmates (some of them could have personal experience in luxury or could simply put you in touch with a relevant connection!) and stay positive!
Chanel is a privately held company owned by Alain and Gerard Wertheimer, grandsons of Pierre Wertheimer, who was an early business partner of Coco Chanel. Its products cover clothes, fragrances, handbags and watches. The brand is most famous for its “little black dress”, the Chanel No. 5 perfume and the Chanel Suit. Karl Lagerfeld joined Chanel as its Creative Director in 1983 and continues in the role today at 83 years old. Chanel ranks as the most desirable brand among luxury Chinese consumers. Last year, China became the
second biggest market, after the U.S., for Chanel’s beauty business. The U.S., China and France represent nearly one-third of Chanel’s sales
This first term at IE Business School it is been surprisingly challenging and gave me the chance to learn a lot. I have had nine subjects, but do not worry; workload was proportionally distributed across the courses. Every subject saw the grade broken down in three major components, that are, participation (i.e. adding value by contributing to the discussion in class), group projects (i.e. projects carried out with the entire group) and a final exam.
As far as I am concerned, the projects have been the most interesting but fun part. For example, the Financial Markets group work required us to build a Trading Portfolio using an investing technique learned in class, keep it for a month and see the Return on Investment at the end. Eventually, my team ranked second against the class with a 1.5% return on our initial investment, such awesome result!
Furthermore, we had subjects such as Marketing, Technology Innovation Management, Organizational Behaviour, Financial Accounting, Economics Environment but also more creative ones such as Negotiation and Communication.
"Overall, IE has been a pleasant enriching experience where I had the chance to attend engaging classes while still going vibrant after-class events that gave me the chance to gain awareness about the job market and network with new friends and recruiters."
But the Master in Management experience doesn’t stop at the end of the lectures. After class, there are plenty of activities to learn more about what you like. For example, if you are interested in Consulting, the IE Consulting Club organizes periodically “Crack the Case Sessions” with actual consultants from the best companies.
I am also interested in the Healthcare sector and in September, I attended the Pharma & Healthcare Talent Forum where important companies came to present their roles and programmes. I also had the chance to speak with them and hand-in my CV.
Another set of events I eagerly attended was the Fall season of the IE Talent Forum, it was a week-long on-campus fair and every day was assigned to a different industry. I attended the Consulting Talent Forum where I had the chance to speak face to face with the recruiters from top companies of the sector such as Oliver Wyman, PwC, Accenture, among others. Overall, IE has been a pleasant enriching experience where I had the chance to attend engaging classes while still going vibrant after-class events that gave me the chance to gain awareness about the job market and network with new friends and recruiters.
“My career interest has always been to work in industries that have a direct impact on the environment and are focused on sustainability.” says Siddhartha Suryadevara, IE IMBA Alumni 2016 intake that works at Averda, a company that is making a revolution in waste management.
What is your job title at Averda?
Operations Excellence Manager
Can you please tell us when you started working at the company and in which city are you based?
I started working for Averda on October 1st, 2017 in Dubai. However, I did an internship with them in Johannesburg for two months, between March-April 2017 (During the lab period of IMBA). Later, they offered me two opportunities, one in South Africa and the other one in Dubai, and I was asked to choose one between these two locations. I chose to work in Dubai.
What are the key roles at your job and how would be a day at the company?
My key mandate is to achieve the digital transformation of our global operations. The project aims at reducing usage of paper, reducing manual intervention by putting right systems in place to achieve the transformation. The goal is to generate the data through digital transformation, analyze the operations and improve efficiency.
A typical day for me would be to do market research to find the right systems, enhance the project architecture based on requirements from global operations, and to work with potential suppliers for designing the solution.
Has your personal career strategy always been focused on this job? Do you ever imagine working in this company and industry?
My career interest has always been to work in industries that have a direct impact on the environment and focused on sustainability. Clean energy is one of the industries that I have always looked at.
I have never imagined working for waste management or Averda, but when I first heard about Averda, I was impressed by the services they offer and the direct impact they have on the environment. Recycling, diverting waste away from landfills and maintaining clean cities has a very direct impact on the people’s lives and that’s what Averda does everyday! I am glad, I found a perfect match for my interests.
Can you please tell us, briefly, what your previous job was about: your functions, the name of the company, the industry and the location you were at?
I have worked for five years in the Automotive industry. My first job was with Bosch, where I worked as a System Designer and was part of the engine development for Citroen DS5 (Diesel Euro 6 Engine). Then I worked for Mercedes-Benz on the engine development and testing of their trucks (Mercedes-Benz Actros). These five years was an equal split between Bosch & Mercedes. During these years, I have also worked in Germany for nearly a year.
How did you find out about this job opportunity in Averda?
I saw the invitation for Averda’s company presentation on the IE Career Portal and attended the event. Then I applied to an offer posted on the Portal.
How did Talent & Careers and your IE experience help you during the recruiting process? Did you use specific career resources or did you come across useful information via an Advisor or Alumni?
The interview as such did not require any prior knowledge or preparation. The process was pretty straight forward with direct interaction with the company and I did not need any specific help from the department. However, Talent & Careers had proactively called for sessions to give all participants tips about the interview procedure. The follow-up from the department during the process was also very good.
Can you tell us how were the recruiting process stages that you go through before being hired?
Following the applications, all applicants were asked to take up an aptitude test. Candidates who succeeded in that were asked to participate in a Skype interview with the HR representative to know about our interests and motivations.
The last stage was a half-day assessment center held in Madrid. The assessment center had three rounds, all of them are case-based and the process was quite engaging and interesting. None of the interview steps needed any kind of preparation.
Following the assessment center, we had the last round of interviews where we were asked for salary expectations and preferences about work location. I proposed to do an internship and Averda happily accepted it.
Would you want to share any tips or advice with students interested in applying to Averda? To your job position in particular?
Averda looks at a candidate from a holistic perspective. They only look for a match between the candidate and the company and would not assess any technical skills.
Leadership skills are highly appreciated and the organization likes proactive and energetic candidates. While there is nothing specific to prepare, I would recommend anyone interested in applying for jobs at Averda to be very candid and to express themselves without hesitation.
As he recently discovered, Rafael is a “multipotentialite”. He has raced cars professionally, even winning Spanish F3 in 1998, has worked in Private Equity, developed a 10-year career within the investment banking sector working for two of the most recognized companies of the industry, invested in start-ups and co-founded a merchant bank in Africa.
Despite the different stages he has been through his career path, “A common thread to my non-linear life is my interest to help others get the right job, develop rewarding careers, and master professional change in an increasingly accelerating world”, he confesses.
That is why at Talent & Careers we have the pleasure to have Rafael Sarandeses as one of our collaborators for the Career Education Program and, from now on, for our Blog. Oleksandr Kliets, IE Master in Management Career Ambassador September 2018 intake, had the opportunity to interview Rafael in order to introduce him to our readers and to go more in-depth about his interesting profile.
“It’s never a straight line; with the right focus and commitment, you will get there… but it’s never a straight line”.
How would you define yourself, are you a racing car driver, a banker or an entrepreneur?
I have so far lived a non-linear life, pursuing many different interests, some of them in parallel, some of them consecutive. I recently learned that this would make me a multipotentialite, apparently! I would define myself as someone very curious with a deep love for learning, someone who craves the excitement of a good personal or professional challenge. This has led me through a cyclical progression based on my interest to learn different things. My drive to thrive in challenging environments has taken me to do the things that I do.
Would you consider taking the trait that connects these professions as a risk?
Could be. In simplistic terms, my career could have a polyedric shape. If you look at it from different angles, they all make sense together, but they are all different. They all reflect my character, but you cannot use one side to define the whole shape.
How did you start your career as a racing car driver, why didn’t you continue?
My dad was an investment banker and a racing driver. He offered me to try karting when I was 13, and I was hooked. I raced from 1993 to 2002, winning Spanish Formula 3 in 1998, among other titles.
At some point, I faced a dilemma: dropping my formal education in favor of a longer-term racing career. I realized that getting into Formula 1 was a function of money, and I made a judgement call in which I valued the opportunity cost of not putting my university degrees to work. I realized I was ready to move on, find another challenge and that’s what I did.
"I feel that there is a lot of pressure triggered by Social Media. If you are 23 and not running your own successful company, then you are doing something wrong. But take any college cohort, give it 10 years and check how many of the thousands of people that graduated actually created a company that made it big. I think that we are generalizing something which is not for generalization. Success is difficult and elusive, not the norm."
How did you end up working in investment banking, how was the recruitment process for you?
It was not easy. I didn’t have the level of support that the IE Talent & Careers team offer our students in terms of Career Fitness and employability preparation, and beyond IE I think there is much more career mentorship now than we had 20 years ago.
I did not do any internships, I had both sports and entrepreneurial background and I did not know much about the sector. Nevertheless, I had developed a passion for financial markets and I wanted to pursue a career in Finance. I had to work my way through the applications, CVs, interviews, etc. pretty much on my own and spent almost a year applying and interviewing. I think this was the seed for my passion for helping others through this process. I learned how crude and lonely it could become.
Were there some rejections on the way?
Of course, yes. The thing I tell our IE students is not to worry about rejections, because they are part of the mix. I got rejected from 3 or 4 banks, even at the initial stage of tests, and then I got 3 offers. You just need to push through those setbacks. That’s why I recommend applying to as many banks as possible. Sometimes you are not even sure about the group or division you want to apply to. But doing your homework and learning what may be the best fit for you may be the difference between getting the job or being one more of the bunch. Commitment shows, you will transmit this energy to your recruiter.
I learned this through the process, and there was a lot of trial and error. I started applying to investment banking (M&A), and didn’t get the job because the person who was interviewing me decided that I was not a good fit for M&A. Despite me doing a perfect interview and getting all the boxes ticked, I didn’t get the job.
Then I met a senior banker who told me I should be applying to capital markets and not to investment banking. Sometimes you don’t know what you don’t know, that’s why applying to different banks and networking is very important as you get to practice and learn from the people you meet. Goals are never a straight line. It’s never a straight line, you will get there with the right focus and commitment, but it’s never a straight line.
Luck is a key ingredient and you cannot control what you cannot control but some things you can actually control, and there you must commit all-in and be as proactive as possible. Networking and finding professionals in the industry who can provide the right information and context that can help you to get what you need is key. It only depends on your ability to learn how to network and then your commitment to meet those people whenever there is an opportunity.
How was your professional development within the financial industry for you, was it quick?
I started as a Junior Analyst at Sales & Trading in Goldman Sachs. I came in a few years later than my peers, as I had invested time in racing and entrepreneurship, so I ended up graduating at 26. When I joined Goldman Sachs, my boss was 2 years younger than me. I got promoted to associate 2 years later and 4 years into my banking career I was recruited by Morgan Stanley to set up and run their Southern European foreign exchange sales team. It was a very exciting period, with a very steep learning curve.
Why did you decide to quit being an employee in banking?
A good friend from Goldman Sachs and I decided that we wanted to create something new where we could put our experience and our expertise to work. We wanted to do something different and challenging, with a lot of upsides but very real and with tangible social returns. That is how we decided to start a merchant banking firm in Africa, “ThirdWay Africa”.
Could you please provide with advice to those current graduates who are not sure whether to apply to a high-paid job or establish their own business?
If you have a good idea and you know that you can execute it properly, go for it. Execution is everything; an idea by itself is just a dream. We have ideas coming through our desk several times per week, but you don’t work with 5 companies per week. You only get involved in those where you can see a team that has the execution under control. I always say this: I would rather invest in an “A” team developing a “B” idea, than in a “B” team developing an “A” idea. If you think that you can execute better than the rest and you think that the idea is niche enough but at the same time is scalable, it is something worth considering.
We are all in our own race
I feel that there is a lot of pressure triggered by Social Media. If you are 23 and not running your own successful company, then you are doing something wrong. But take any college cohort, give it 10 years and check how many of the thousands of people that graduated actually created a company that made it big. I think that we are generalizing something which is not for generalization. Success is difficult and elusive, not the norm.
I may sound counter-trend here, but there is a lot of value in learning how big corporations function, how large teams work together, what experienced leadership is. Jeff Bezos founded Amazon at 31, not at 21. He did more than 10 years of investment banking before. Vera Wang started her career in fashion design at 40, she was a journalist before. Would she be a better designer now if she had started in her 20s? We will never know. Then we have Zuckerberg who founded Facebook at 20… everyone’s in their own race! If you try to standardize some of the success stories around us, you are prone to making costly career mistakes.
Focusing on the right goals in the short term
I don’t think that as an undergrad (and even MBA) student you should obsess on the choice between Entrepreneurship and becoming an employee. There is a lot of pre-work that needs to be done to get to that point in your decision-making.
Before getting to that, it pays to invest time in learning about your strengths and weaknesses, what role or job may fit who you are, your passions and the things you are keen to learn about… and then find a way to learn all those things. Once you know about yourself you may decide if Entrepreneurship is for you, or if the best way to learn what you need to learn is to work in a corporation. But making such decision without the pre-work on yourself is dangerous.
I think this is a common mistake and it is down to the wrong approach to goal-setting. We tend to set the wrong goals for ourselves, not differentiating what we need from what we want. Too focused on the end game while investing very little time in learning and acquiring the tools that will help us tackle the end game successfully. Find out about yourself and what may work best for you while you are at IE, then try to answer the bigger questions as part of the process.
You are also known as an investor, could you please elaborate on few the most notable projects you have invested in and what were the main factors on which you made the decision?
Mostly the ability to execute by the promoting team. Even ideas that are not original may become very good ideas if they are well executed.
In your articles, you state the importance of positive thinking. Do you think that positive thinking in Entrepreneurship could lead to overestimation of the results and undervalue of risks?
I think that if you are going to become an entrepreneur, your best character trait is resilience, the ability to endure, even at difficult times. Albert Einstein said once that “compound interest is the 8th wonder of the world”, right? Well, the time you invest in something compounds over time, but we all have a tendency to make an investment and expect results in two days. What happens is sometimes you invest time without return but then return comes in unexpectedly, later than expected and in large amounts. Your investment in your own skills, your relationships, the books you read… they all compound silently and sometimes they come back in a way you did not foresee. You need to be resilient and allow for time for that investment to pay off. Otherwise, you will give in to anxiety and it makes focusing on the process difficult.
To your point of undervaluing risks, positive thinking and resilience are not at odds with risk management. You always have to take risks under the account. The thing is that there is no business plan which survives the first 6 months, it’s either overperformance or underperformance… They are good for approximation. You apply proactivity to foresee how things could go wrong, and then you apply resilience when things actually go wrong. Because they will go wrong now and then.
In some of your articles (“Social Media is Fooling You: Greatness is NOT The Norm, It’s The Exception”, “How to Stop a Bad Day from Taking You Down”) you say that it is important to be ourselves, identify our own goals and priorities and avoid comparison with others. Don’t you believe that this comparison makes us more productive and motivated to outperform?
As I said, we all are in our own race. It’s very difficult to actually create a career while you constantly compare yourself with others.
A lot of energy goes into building our careers. If you are diverting focus on things that will not make “your boat go faster”, you will waste precious energy. Do you think Bezos is now regretting not starting Amazon 5 years earlier? Does it actually matter to him? It is your path and no one else can walk your path.
Management author Peter Drucker said: “Successful careers are not planned. They develop when people are prepared for opportunities because they know their strengths, their method of work, and their values. Knowing where one belongs can transform an ordinary person — hardworking and competent but otherwise mediocre — into an outstanding performer”.
A very different thing is acknowledging that we all sometimes need help to understand what we really want and how to transform our reality and our approach so that we get what we want. In essence, understanding that as you grow, what brought you here won’t be enough to take you any higher. And that is where performance & career coaching comes in, I think it can be very useful. But just copying what we see around us won’t work because we are all different, with different backgrounds, different skills, and a different mindset and tolerance to change.
Between the months of September and November 2018, IE Talent & Careers hosted the Fall season of the Talent Forums.
Talent Forums are the flagship events of the department, which purpose is to introduce our students from both IEU and master programs to the most important recruiters from the main sectors of the market.
This event is the perfect opportunity for recruiters to introduce our students to the company they represent, the job opportunities they are currently offering as well as foster their employer branding. It is also the best opportunity for our students to establish the first contact with those companies of their interest and even start a recruitment process with them.
Each year, Talent & Careers organizes two Talent Forums seasons, Spring and Fall. This year the Fall season was hosted between September 27th and November 12th.
During 10 days, more than 3.000 students that were invited had the opportunity to interact and network with representatives from 150 companies from the most demanded sectors such as Consulting, Tech, Fintech, FMCG, Retail, Tourism, Energy, Transport, Real Estate and Construction as well as top worldwide Law firms and International Development Organizations.
Just to name a few, Johnson & Johnson, Lilly, Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, Accenture, EY, Cabify, Revolut, Kraft Heinz, LVMH, Airbus, BP, Hilti, White & Case, Baker McKenzie, U.N. Secretariat and OSCE.
At Talent & Careers, we are pleased to host this event each year, where we bring to our clients, the talent that best fits their hiring needs and to our students the opportunity to start a successful career journey.
Keep reading the Talent & Careers Blog and find more articles related to the Talent Forums Fall season 2018, written by our MIM Career Ambassadors!
Development cooperation includes the set of actions, carried out by private and public actors with the purpose of promote global economic and social progress.
On November 12, organizations related to this sector participated in the International Development & Social Impact Talent Forum, organized by IE Talent & Careers. In total, ten different organizations participated: Organization for Security and Cooperation for Europe (OSCE), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Creas, U.N. Secretariat, Bridge for Billions, Impact Hub, The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Welever and World Bank Group.
During the Forum, the students enjoyed the opportunity to join the presentations of five of these organizations: OSCE, Creas, ICRC, UN and IDB and meet their representatives personally. Furthermore, the Networking Hub was constantly busy between 3:00 to 7:00 p.m.
This event gave a rich insight to IE students about the global opportunities available in the field and the chance of seeing ourselves as social workers, generating a collective and global humanitarian deep impact on the lives of the members of our society.
As Denise Brouchy, IE Master in Management 2019 Candidate, mentioned “It is a great opportunity for meeting people not only from recognized organizations, also for meeting people who work for help people and can tell us how is the day to day in the organization”.
Finally, these forums are very popular among students because it gives them the possibility to learn more about the different companies and the opportunity for connecting directly with enterprise recruiters.
FMCG, Retail & Tourism are sectors that are constantly growing in Spain. The FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) sector is evolving supported by innovation and technology and Retail is one of the most important industries in the Spanish economy. Furthermore, Tourism has increased gradually during the last 8 years, due to the Spanish offer, the touristic competitiveness and the market diversification.
On October 24, companies from these sectors participated in the FMCG, Retail & Tourism Talent Forum, organized by IE Talent & Careers. In this event, the students had the possibility to go around through some stands from companies such as Pepsico, NH Hotels, P&G, Schweppes, Palladium Hotel Group, Restaurant Brands International, Homeaway, LVMH, Amadeus, Chalhoub, Essilor Group, Le Guide Noir, Mary Kay and Mondelez International.
During the event, the IE students enjoyed the opportunity to meet the representatives of these companies and even those IE Alumni, who are currently doing their graduate programs. They started building strong relationships for their careers and asked for some interesting advice about the application process for next year’s graduate programs.
The recruiters that participated in the Talent Forum came to meet IE Business School students since they are interested in their international profiles, entrepreneurial spirit and their strong academic knowledge. As Pablo Gómez, IE Master in Management 2019 Candidate and section 7 representative, mentioned: “It has been a great opportunity to learn more about the sector and the projection we can have in this companies. They have devoted themselves to explaining everything in detail.”
On the other hand, some enterprises, like Imperial Brands, Restaurant Brands International, Pernod Ricard Winemakers and Kraft Heinz, explained their objectives, values, corporate culture, what they are looking for and the opportunities they are currently offering. Most of the companies have graduate or training programs for different profiles, especially for junior profiles, in which they go through for different departments before they start working. It is an enriching offer, in which skills and experience are acquired in different areas, where students have to prove themselves in different challenges and keep developing their knowledge.
Any small idea can turn out to be a huge and flashy impact in the future; it may sound unbelievable at the beginning, but it is actually the key to many successful businesses nowadays.
While Startups apply in many industries (Consulting, Real Estate, Technology, etc.), the rise of “Fintech” (Financial Technology) has become a hot evolution trend as the new type of innovation that is helping many enterprises these days regarding traditional Financial methods or services. Due to that, Startups & Fintech Talent Forum was hosted on October 23 in IE Madrid Campus with the main objective of introducing our fellow students to both sectors and allowing them to find a variety of opportunities. This event was organized by IE Talent & Careers featuring the company presentations of: Ebury, Verse, Lendix, Revolut, 2gether, ChainGo Tech & N26.
The first to come on stage was Ebury, a company that was founded to help those businesses in need of currency to export & import. It used to be a small company but now is recognized internationally and offers more money than many banks nowadays! They believe that the key factor for a Startup to grow large is that, even if Technology allows for better service, the human touch can´t ever fade away.
The following presentation was Verse, a Startup founded by an International MBA IE Alumni with a Master in Customer Experience and Innovation. Verse allows you to make instant payment through an app while it has different features like “Organize event”. Even though it´s working just fine in the IE community, they are currently working on improvements, such as making the event go public/private, spreadsheet of who paid or not, Verse card, etc.
The third to present was Lendix, a company that focuses on B2B (Business to Business). They started in France and what they basically do is offer loans to Startups & companies. Additionally, transparency is a factor they value a lot. In other words, if a company is about to go bankrupt or have big success, Lendix will let you know right away!
Next up was Revolut, an incredible digital banking alternative that offers solutions (interbank rates, instant transfers without fee…) for people who loves travelling around the world. They value the transparency as well, no hidden fees! They have over 500 employees, 340$ M investment and they have been working with 50.000 businesses around the world.
“We are looking for people not only with Startup minds, but also those who possess Tech background for Finance” said the company representative. Revolut barely spent anything on Marketing, in fact, they only relied on Word of Mouth & Social Media.
The fifth to present was 2gether, also a Startup founded by 3 IE Alumni. By being the first collaborative bank, they want to make it easy enough for people to be oriented, whereas banks are now seen as “they just want to make profits”.
Following up, ChainGo Tech showed everyone the complex value chain for shipping. They want to offer the most innovative software to upload and manage all cargo information, so that people don´t need to spend a lot of time and money on necessary documentation.
Last but not least, N26 presented. This company is an innovative mobile bank that focuses on simplicity, because they believe that it is the best experience so far, as they want to build a bank that the world would love to use.
"Any small idea can turn out to be a huge and flashy impact in the future; it may sound unbelievable at the beginning, but it is actually the key to many successful businesses nowadays"
As one of the IE fundamental pillars: Entrepreneurship, this event led both IE Students and Alumni to take one step forward into the innovation and development of Startups worldwide. After the company presentations, a Networking Hub took place in the Talent Forum as well, companies such as All You Need For Growth, Clicars, Cysae, Entrenarme, Gympass, Lendix, Paycui, Talan, UAV Navigation and many others joined us!
During the event, participants got informed about the different graduate programs of the companies, the type of profiles they are looking for, the skills that a candidate should have to join them, etc. There is no doubt that they were able to connect effectively and make the best out of their time on the forum.
We are proud to say that this event was a success, enriching our fellow students to prove what they are made of, to show the whole world that IE makes the difference.
On Monday, October 22, IE Talent & Careers department organized and welcomed the most important Consulting companies such as Accenture, Oliver Wyman, London Consulting Group, Altran Business Consulting, Overlap, BTS, Grant Thornton, Business Innovation Consulting Group, Alfa Consulting, Artefact, Minsait, Capgemini and PwC. The recruiters were utterly available to explain the opportunities for both their Spanish and international offices.
In my case, I am Italian and I was delighted to meet the representatives of Excellence Consulting and Value Partners both which operate in Milan, my mother city. They walked me through their working methodology, their business culture and the recruitment process to join their firm. After, the encounter with these companies I am certain I want to apply and try to land my dream job in Consulting. Furthermore, it has been very pleasant to interact with recruiters that help you to better understand the overall business and gain understanding of how a Consulting firm is structured and how it operates. I also had the chance to give my CV to the recruiters, exchanged contacts to follow-up and hopefully get into the official recruitment process.
"Overall, this experience made me understand how incredibly diverse can be a career in Consulting"
Besides the Networking Hub, there was an in-door area where companies’ managers and recruiters were welcoming students to answer face-to-face whichever question they may have. IE Talent & Careers also arranged some company presentations where the managers were guiding students interested in their company to gain insight on their business, culture and values.
Overall, this experience made me understand how incredibly diverse can be a career in Consulting. Being able to work on the engagement of different companies, in a relatively short time, is a characteristic that makes Advisory a unique industry and enables workers to follow a steep and long learning curve.
To conclude, if you have a clear interest in an industry and want to learn more about the skills the companies are looking for, I highly recommend you to attend the Talent Forums. Keep in mind that from a first encounter with a recruiting manager you could stumble into your next full time job!
On September 27, IE Talent & Careers provided us with a great opportunity to learn about the leading Consulting firm Oliver Wyman and network with senior staff from the company, to get an overview of the sector, such as what does a day in the life of a Consultant look like. This event, attended by 40 IE students, was conducted by three incredible speakers including a former IE University Alumni.
About Oliver Wyman
All speakers agreed that what surprised them about Oliver Wyman the most was the culture. The opportunity to have a solid team focus in disrupting, creating and achieving amazing results, as well as fulfilling projects around the globe and the opportunity to work across different industries are just some of the things that they mentioned. In their own words: “By working at Oliver Wyman you will do challenging and interesting work from day one”. At the same time, they said that Oliver Wyman believes that it is not all about consultants, but the team that support each other, “they invest a lot in your development”.
To engage talent, the company is executing Social Responsibility projects and extracurricular visits, such as get together activities, to make their employees feel part of the family.
What type of profiles is Oliver Wyman looking for?
Students with interesting CVs that have been doing something more than just going to school. The interview process is based on cases, good narratives and the most important point: How the candidate approaches the problems. The last part of the process is a fitting interview to evaluate how does the candidate fits the role.
How to apply?
For consultants and interns it is pretty simple, you just need your CV, cover letter and transcripts. For further information about job opportunities, check the career website: https://www.oliverwyman.com/careers.html.