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08 June 2020
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Alec POTIER (TBS 2018) - RH Generalist with L'Oréal

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"Without action, the best intentions in the world are nothing more than that : Intentions", Jordan Belfort

This phrase was a true wake-up call for Alec Potier (TBS 2018). Indeed, when we are sitting on the school benches, we dream about many things : company life - big or small, life as an entrepreneur, life in an association with a social vision, our life tomorrow... 

And yet, these things do not happen by chance but through work and the passion we invest in our projects. 

Why did you choose Toulouse and TBS to persue your studies ? 

I chose Toulouse because I fell in love with Toulouse as soon as I arrived. I had never been to the "Pink City" before I sat my oral exams. Its bubbling atmosphere, warm welcome by Toulouse locals, the food, the city's history, for example, the winding streets of the Carmes district, etc. These are some examples of what appealed to me. 

The School was also a real favourite for a young student. The mainstream of L3 was the opportunity to get a first panoramic view of the business world, and begin building the foundations for tomorrow's economic leaders. As far as the academic side is concerned, the opportunity to test several different directions during the school program added to the confidence I had in my choices. 

Finally, The work-study placement was a true opportunity to really get involved in the world of business and this chance offered to students is a real asset !  

Can you tell us about your time as a student at TBS ?

It was not a consensual time and that is the wealth at the heart of TBS ! From L3 onwards, the school gave us the chance to work while studying, and I jumped at the chance by working for the Toulouse City Hall. 

After my first traineeship in B2B telecoms, I followed the Management Control course for my first year in the master's program. In the same year, and at the same time as the classes, I was lucky enough to carry out some consulting work for ESCadrille. I met people who taught me a great deal. 

During my work-study placement in the second year of the master's program, I completed my B2B professionalization courses in Barcelona. This last step was very important to me on both personal and acedemic levels. In fact, this last year was the ideal transition from school to starting in a company. 

What where your main objectives when you started work after your degree ? What was your motivation ? 

I started my working life via a work-study contract which gave me the chance to capitalize on my knowledge. Very curious by nature, I naturally went towards a company in which I could grow and develop new skills. My motivation is to constantly aim for excellence and to have a significant impact on the world of tomorrow.

What are you doing at the moment and why did you choose this area ? 

At the moment I am an HR Generalist in charge of careers in trade for the consumer public within L'Oréal.   

I chose this career simply because I love the projects I develop with teams on an everyday basis, enabling new talents to emerge and accompanying them to become even better tomorrow, it is very exciting !

What was the point when you knew this was the right career path for you ? 

I was initially going towards a career in finance. I very quickly changed my mind after one of my traineeships : I took the time to review the situation and decide what I really wanted to do in life. The answer was clear : a career in which relations are key. So I turned towards human resources.

Then, it is important to be realistic and honest with yourself. We will not have an entire career in the same job or sector. In 10 years' time many of the jobs as we know them today will no longer exist. There is no need to fear such a change because between now and then, new jobs will appear and new skill sets will have emerged.

What benefits did you get from your studies as regards your professional and/or personal situation ? 

My studies provided me with a theoretical framework, with thought processes. The practical side was gained through the traineeships and apprenticeships in business. And in the way we learn, 10% is learned via formal apprenticeship (through the school's teaching), 20% through the feedback from your professors and your peers, and 70% by experimenting and working. 

At the same time, the models can seem quite abstract, for example, Maslow's Pyramid or The BCG Matrix, but once they are set to music, they make sense. 

Where do you see yourself in ten years' time ?

I have an idea about the answer to that but I would rather share some HR advice about the question.

When a recruiter asks you that question in an interview, they are only interested in part of your answer. They are interested in your your ability to project, but moreover they want to measure the level of ambition you have. By replying "the boss of Google" it does not mean you will get there, but at least your reply gives in indication of your level of ambition.

So, be prepared to answer that question. It might seem insignificant, but it will say a great deal about you. 

What advice would you give to TBS Alumni, students or graduates ? 

I am not sure I am the best person to give advice but if I attempt an answer : Enjoy it. It seems simple when it's expressed like that but you haven't made all the sacrifices you have to end up in something you only half like. Do something that makes you jump out of bed in the morning, do what you find exciting, simply do what makes you happy. What people think or say about you is their business. Your happiness, however, is up to you!

 

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