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23 March 2020

After graduating in digital marketing and E-commerce at TBS, Thomas has become a professional player with the the online game, Hearthstone. He recounts his exceptional story and his vision of the alumni network


Can you tell us a little about yourself ?

Why did you choose Toulouse and TBS for your studies ?

I'm not attached to any city in particular so my choice became clear as I travelled around France for the oral entrance tests. Toulouse proved to the right choice because of the friendliness and openness of the admission team, and also the sincerity of Isabelle Assassi's speech, who was director of the Master in Management programme at the time. 

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

After a general bachelors degree, I studied a master 1 in Big Data Marketing followed by a Master 2 in E-Business, E-marketing, E-commerce. I was quickly keen to differentiate myself by choosing a path that was as digital as possible by following further courses. It appeared to me to be a wise choice considering the expanding employment opportunities in marketing.

As for the association side, I made sure I could really be committed during my time at the school ! I joined Cheer Up in L3 in charge of partnerships, and then became Vice-Président of the association in M1. I was also actively involved in a BDS list, and part of the admissions team at the end of L3.

Have you any stories to share with us ? (student associations, projects, lecturers…)

Have I got anything to say ! I'm going to stop at three stories that were particularly striking :
- Commitment to sick children in hospital with Cheer Up and also with the Into The Ride project. I wasn't directly involved in the project but it was extraordinary to see the positive reaction from the children and their parents. In my eyes, it is the school's best project but I'm not at all objective saying that !
- The admissions sessions that I participated in because we had a great team and we had great fun showing TBS to all the candidates taking the oral tests. I take my hat of to the Voile Blanche and to the best pole : the drivers !
- The lecturer that inspired me the most is Kevin Carillo, in charge of the Big Data programme at TBS. His teaching skills encouraged us to give our best through innovative and instructive projects.  

Who are you today ?

What was your end goal when you started work after your degree ? What was your motivation ?

I came out confident thanks to my courses at TBS and the professional experiences that taught me a great deal. I was able to build a foundation of knowledge and skills to offer when applying for my first job. It turned out that they are on standby for the moment considering my present situation but they will definately serve me in future projects.  
My greatest motivation is to invest in projects where I continue to learn, enjoy my life and where I am regularly challenged. 

What are you currently doing ?

I am a professional player with the online game, Hearthstone, where I finished in fourth position in Europe at the 2019 world circuit. I'm off to a good start in 2020 with a top8 out of 300 at the first worldwide tournament of the year. 

Why did you choose this career, this project ?

It was a gradual process. I started competing in student competitions with good results, then I joined a team and became French vice-champion, loosing against the best team in France, Vitality, in the final. I continued to play consistently well in France and the turning point was when I won third place at the last world tournament in 2019, which gave me the confirmation that I wanted to continue full time. 

What was the point when you knew it was the right path for you ? 

From the start of 2019 onwards, when I began to invest seriously in the competition. I felt that there was something I could do when I saw the best players worldwide. The time I spent playing was rewarded by the results, I saw it as a personal challenge to see how far I could go and it has paid off.

What benefits did you get out of your studies to help make this success happen ?  

It is obvious that in this case I am not directly using the hard skills that I gained during my studies. Even if during my preparation time for competitions, I do use a disciplined approach based on statistics as you do in Big Data marketing projects because I use a data site and with my experience I can make maximum use of it. That gives me the chance to set up efficient strategies for the tournaments. My marketing training also helps me to manage my profile on Twitter, which is the the reference in terms of social media and the world of e-sport.

Where do you see yourself in ten years time ?

Difficult to say, that depends on how long I will qualify as a professional player. In the case where I stop between now and the end of the year, I would go back to my favorite area, that is, digital marketing to become and expert in Growth Hacking between now and the next decade and become a consultant.  
If I continue to play professionally and that my career lasts several years, in ten years time I would like to be involved as a general manager of a big e-sport team in France, or abroad, and contribute to the democratisation of e-sport at conferences or seminars organised by the government on the subject. 


How do you position yourself with the Alumni network ?

How did the Alumni network support you ?

Up until now it has been helpful for finding internships. Alumni acted as facilitators to get appointments in companies that I was particularly interested in. Their feedback was always enlightening. 

How would you recommend using it ?

I believe that you should'nt wait until you need to contact Alumni. As soon as a student has an idea about an area / company / career which they might like, start straight away by contacting Alumni with a similar profile to yours and whose careeer path inspires you. They will give you feedback on their experience, the stumbling blocks to avoid and can give you advice on which choices to make in a 2 to 3 year scope. Its a useful tool to get a clearer idea of your study choices at school and then to calmly enter into the job market.

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

I would advise them to be proactive in the sharing of their professinal experiences. Many people could take advantage for their own projects or possibly even for partnerships. Even on a personal level, it is gratifying to be able to help other Alumni or students from the school, over and above the opportunities that might arise. 

Finally, are you willing for Alumni to contact you directly if they are interested in your career path ?

Of course, if anyone is interested in my unusual career path, I would be happy to share my experience ! I try as much as possible to heighten awareness around me about the way the world of video games and e-sport work, to dismantle predudice from using my personal experience. I am available to answer questions/suggestions/debates on the subject !

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