Interview with Mary Kieffer
Mary is a 23 year-old former M2i student. She specialised in communication and did a 6-month internship as commercial assistant and business developer at Wishibam, a fashion and beauty market place. Now Mary works at Qapa, a recruitment market place, as sales manager.
Why did you choose the M2i? The M2i was first of all the continuity of my studies. This, is one of the reasons I chose this Master degree. I also tried to think in a smart way, I have always wanted to work abroad, especially in English-speaking and Northern countries. And as a very creative person I turned towards communication. So, in order to combine both, the only master degree that offered the a great mix of international studies and communication was of course the M2i. And now I have graduated.
Why did you choose to do your internship in France? Well, unfortunately for me, I did not choose to do an internship in France, I was a bit forced to do so. I sent a lot of applications to the US and the UK, without success. Well, I did have an interview with an English recruiter, but I did not get any answer after this, even though I got on to her again several times. My advice for the future M2i students is to look for their internship as quickly as possible as it is one of the biggest challenges of their year.
How did classes of M2i help you within your employment situation? Today, considering my current job, I need numbers to calculate my temporary employees’ salary as well as my clients’ coefficients. So Mr Fillol’s economy classes helped me to gain a certain logic when facing numbers, when before I had always been bad at this.
Negotiation classes still help me a lot daily to be able to handle the relations with my clients.
Have you kept any contacts with your classmates from M2i? Yes, of course! I do not contact all my classmates on a regular basis but I am still in contact with most of them, including a few with whom I am really close, and we see each other a lot. I even gave a former classmate’s resume to my Human Resources Director to integrate the firm. You understand that M2i creates real friendships.
As a sales manager at Qapa, what are your main missions? To be a sales manager at Qapa is an everyday challenge. My main mission is prospection. So yes, it can sound a bit off-putting, but it is very rewarding and motivating. Some days, we do not even find one potential client, even though we called 50 firms, none of them match what we are looking for, the day after we find THE gold mine that yields a huge profit. Once we have found clients, we need to know how to maintain a relationship with them, not too insistent or drop them like a hot potato, in order to get the biggest turnover possible.
Then, there is a little administration part to deal with recruiters’ issues, with advertisements, make a contract etc. And, sometimes, once we have won on a big client, we go to a meeting with the commercial director to meet them, and this is by far the best afternoon ever one can expect!
What do you enjoy in your current job? I like the idea of challenge, but also to manage to convince people, who at the beginning do not let themselves be messed about (some are even very hostile). I also like a lot the team I am working with, made up of 95% men who spend their time taking shots at each other and making cutting remarks at each other, which is everything I like. Even though we work a lot, I have to say we have great fun at Qapa, always in a cheerful atmosphere. Managers are also really cool and really close to us – always ready to help us when we are stuck, approachable and friendly, and that is good for our mood when the day has not been productive.
Has your specialty in communication been an advantage/obstacle at any point in your career? For the position I am currently holding, it did not help at all, as only my internship helped me to get this job. I would like to point out that, I intend to work within the communication department or the partnerships of the 2024 Olympic Games, and I hope that the mix of communication plus the international range perspective will help me get a good position.
If you were to sum up the M2i in one word, what would it be ? And Why? In one word, that is a bit hard, but I would say in three words: Freedom, Equality, Brotherhood.Because the M2i is a bit like France, everyone is free to do what they want, regarding languages, the specialty, creativity, with a freedom of thinking and acting that only university can provide (I would not say that students in Business schools are all the same, but you know…). All the students are equal; everyone has a chance to succeed in the M2i, and above all to succeed in their career afterwards, in terms of the quality of the classes given and the teachers. The projects that are to be created and managed by the entire group, the investment that is asked of the students, all make the M2i a high- level master.
Above all, the M2i is also brotherhood because all students work together to offer the best presentations, the best homework and the best projects. So when you leave the M2i, you are able to be independent at work as well as to work in a team, to be structured, and get along with your colleagues to carry out your action. And the M2i creates long- term friendships.
What advice would you give to future young graduates of M2i? I do not have any particular advice, except: have fun! This is your last year before entering the real world of adults, dealing with issues, work, – well, real life. Make the most of this year, show what you are made of, have fun on projects, do not limit yourself! May the creatives create, may the leaders lead, may the activists get active, may the ingenious think, may the crafty find solutions but above all, have fun, enjoy your stay and gather as much knowledge as you can. And by the way, create a network; do not hesitate to add the 2016/2017 and the 2017/2018 class on LinkedIn.
A last word ? Vamos ! I have never been excellent in Spanish, but vamos is probably the word I use the most on a daily basis. It is also Nadal’s favorite when he plays. I prefer Federer though. Well, to choose M2i is to make sure you have a great year (tiring, tough, let us be honest), by learning useful skills for our future career, by learning to live in a workplace, with others, with your superiors, so when you get out, the sky is your limit.
So make the most of this last year, because after that, holidays won’t come every two months!
Our bonus question is a wink and a nod to a French cultural reference:
« C’est une bonne situation ça, M2i ? » Vous savez, moi je ne crois pas qu’il y ait de bonne ou de mauvaise situation. Moi, si je devais résumer ma vie aujourd’hui après le M2i, je dirais que c’est d’abord des rencontres. Des camarades qui m’ont tendu la main, peut-être à un moment où je ne pouvais pas, où j’étais seule à étudier chez moi. Et c’est assez curieux de se dire qu’un Master, un cursus universitaire ça forge une destinée… Parce que quand on a le goût du projet, quand on a le goût du projet bien fait, le beau dossier, parfois on ne trouve pas le camarade en face je dirais, l’ami, le partenaire qui vous aide à avancer. Alors ça n’est pas mon cas, comme je disais là, puisque moi au contraire, j’ai pu : et je dis merci à la vie, je lui dis merci, je chante la vie, je danse la vie… je ne suis qu’amour pour tous mes camarades rencontrés cette année ! Et finalement, quand beaucoup de gens aujourd’hui me disent « Mais comment fais-tu pour avoir cette humanité ?», et bien je leur réponds très simplement, je leur dis que c’est ce goût de l’amour ce goût donc qui m’a poussé aujourd’hui à entreprendre un nouveau poste dans une nouvelle entreprise, mais demain qui sait ? Peut-être simplement à me mettre au service de la communauté, à faire le don, le don de soi…
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