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Matthieu SENMARTIN shares his international experience

02 August 2022 Portraits / Podcasts

Why did you choose TBS Education a few years ago? 


I chose to join TBS Education for the Master's cycle after a technological degree in Marketing Techniques and a university exchange in Norway for my Licence 3. I still remember the admission phases, I had been to several schools in France. Finally, I had an excellent feeling during the orals at TBS Education. I really had a chemistry with this school. This excellent feeling combined with the prestige of the school and the good reception only confirmed my desire to join TBS Education. 


In addition, I had chosen an international business course, which allowed me to be integrated with international students and to follow courses with a real opening to the world. It was during my gap year between the two years of the Master's that I was able to do two 6-month internships. The first was as a marketing assistant at Airbus, and for the second, I really wanted to go abroad, so I joined JC Decaux in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates as a marketing and business development assistant. Finally, I did my end-of-study internship in Bali, in a travel agency. 


What was your career path after TBS Education? 


When I came back to France, after my six months in Bali, I realised that I had fallen in love with Indonesia and with my job at Shanti Travel, a small company compared to Airbus or JC Decaux, but which offered me great responsibilities and a very dynamic work environment. So, I chose not to follow the conventional path by giving up a permanent job in a big company to follow my instinct and go back to Bali. Moreover, I think that my career path was built on my intuition, the same one that pushed me towards TBS Education and towards the different professional opportunities I had.


In 5 years at Shanti Travel, I progressed from salesman to sales manager, in charge of a team of 9 people. Then, the covid appeared, tourism came to a halt, especially in Asia. So I had to adapt and find solutions. Thanks to the network, I had the opportunity to join JOBtimise, a skills assessment and job coaching firm. At first, it was only a complementary activity, 100% remote, a few hours a week. Finally, this work experience turned into a full-time job. First I was a coach, then I was able to work on more commercial aspects with customer relationship management, and now I am an operational manager.


JOBtimise allows its employees to work in full remote, 100% teleworking. Thanks to this new way of working, I have chosen to live in Bali for part of the year and to come back to France for the other part. As I often say, to work I only need my computer, a plug and a wifi connection, so it leaves me a lot of flexibility. Today, I have found a certain stability between France and Bali. My position is all the more advantageous as JOBtimise is developing its activities in Asia.


What does your job at JOBtimise involve? 


JOBTimise has experienced very strong growth over the last few years and my tasks are therefore changing rapidly. First of all, there is a large commercial part because for all the people who come into contact with JOBTimise, I am their contact person in order to understand their needs and expectations and to advise them on the formula best suited to their needs. I also make sure that everything goes well while they are working with us, this is what we call the customer life cycle, from the sale to the end of the process, I make sure that it corresponds to their expectations. 


A typical day includes a lot of contact with clients but also with partners, companies and recruiters in order to obtain information on the job market. There is also a big strategic aspect with decisions to be made or evaluated and an administrative aspect, in particular the management of CPF files since we are accredited by the State. I'm lucky enough to have very varied missions, no two days are alike!


You have worked in different countries, how do you adapt to each culture? 


I would say that adaptability is the key word. You have to constantly question yourself and try to find solutions, not remain stuck on preconceived ideas. It's true that between Abu Dhabi and Bali, the ways of working are completely different, and communication with people and relationships are also very different. You don't talk to an Indonesian and an Emirati in the same way. Even in Indonesia there are several islands and on each island there are several ways of communicating. That's why you have to look for solutions, you can't afford to be stubborn and impose your style, you have to check the context. We are in a world that changes very quickly, which requires a great capacity for adaptation.


For me, going to the other side of the world and not knowing anyone was not a proof of courage, it was a great desire to discover new things, to challenge myself. If I listened to what I really wanted, I had no choice. It was something really strong in me, I could feel it. Of course, I had moments of doubt, fear and even loneliness because abroad emotions are multiplied tenfold but besides that I made extraordinary encounters and it's an incredible opening of the mind. 


On the other hand, I didn't leave to leave either, I tried to do it intelligently, I didn't accept anything. My objectives were clear, I just had to take the plunge when the opportunities presented themselves: Kairos! I sincerely believe that after your studies or during a gap year, it is the right time to have an international experience. Later, it is more difficult when you are already integrated in the working life, you have to know how to take the opportunity when it arises. It's very emotional, when you arrive in a country with your suitcase without knowing the culture, it's like opening a new book and wanting to discover it. Everything is new, from the simplest things like shopping to the language spoken, but there are always interesting and exciting things happening. 


What advice can you give to Alumni who would like to move abroad?


I think it is very important to create a network as soon as you enter school. The network is a great help, even on the other side of the world. Even though my work abroad has allowed me to expand my network, it is mainly through sport that I have met people with profiles that are very different from mine. At work, we are often surrounded by people with the same aspirations and influences as us, whereas in sport, people are very varied and come from different social backgrounds. That's why you shouldn't hesitate to go and meet new people, outside your professional framework. 


I also advise consulting websites of French people abroad because, however far away, the need to surround oneself with Europeans or French people is natural in order to recreate reference points, even if the aim of an expatriation remains to mix with the local population. LinkedIn is also a precious tool that allows you to get in touch with different people. You have to dare to reach out to others in order to get in touch with people you don't know, it makes for interesting encounters and it is really worth it.


What advice would you give to Alumni to increase their employability? 


The power of the network should not be underestimated because it is an important weapon in the world of work. The network works everywhere, in all countries, it is really essential.


Also, and this is perhaps the most important thing, you have to do what you like and what you want to do, because you will feel it during interviews and recruiters are particularly sensitive to this. I also think that you have to do things with sincerity, to be genuinely interested in others. 



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