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16 July 2020
Portraits

Thomas SEGRETAIN (TBS 2013) - Market Gardner at Chambord

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A market gardner from TBS at Chambord! His life goal : never give up.

From TBS to Chambord's castle : "Never Yield". 

   
   

Why did you choose TBS for your studies? Tell us about your time as a student at TBS!

TBS (ESC Toulouse at the time) was one of the best schools (in terms of ranking) that I had access to. During my orals, I was completely conquered by the city, the education path, the ability to do exchanges abroad (at the Barcelona campus), the associations, and the general ambiance of admissions.

My experience at TBS was extremely rich: the courses, participation in associations (Trophées des Arts, President of the Student Council, General Admissions manager), doing the double degree in the United States for a year and a half, my active involvement in the alumni network, my internships (Travels FRAM, IBM) - I took full advantage of being there! 

 

Have you any stories about your year to share with us?

 

I still remember the adrenaline I felt during the Trophées des Arts, when my team brought 300 people from all over France to Barcelona for a whole weekend! The ones from Rouen were disguised as Vikings, the ones from Reims as Jedi, and the ones from Nancy were armed with vuvuzelas. The subway platforms were full like they are on a World Cup night, there were evenings on the beach. That happiness lasted for three days!

 

What are you doing today and how did you get to this point in your professional career?

 

As a young graduate, I wanted to go for it, to take life by its horns. I spent my first years in sales (moving from analyst positions at Danone and Amazon, then to more work in the field at Famoco, a payments startup).

After several years in sales (Danone, Amazon, Famoco), I travelled around the world for 15 months with my partner. When we got back to France, we wanted a radical change - to get closer to nature – so we decided to resume our respective trainings. She cooks and I’m in market gardening. Our ultimate goal? To set up a farm-inn of the "from the pitchfork to the fork" type where the food is grown, then prepared or processed directly at the evening meal or a restaurant.

To get to where I am today, I had to learn how to evaluate and mitigate risks when making decisions, how not to be afraid of change, and how to get started. Indeed, leaving the United States to return to France, to go from Amazon to a startup that no one knows what will happen in the future, to move to agricultural world where one is a pure product of the trade, are all decisions that can make anyone dizzy. But don’t worry, once you take the first step, everything is better!

Today, I am a market gardener in the Domaine National de Chambord which created, for its 500 years, an organic micro-farm in market garden and orchard (a beautiful vegetable garden inspired by permaculture).

 

What advice would you give to TBS students and/or Alumni, who are looking to follow your career path?

 

I am going to borrow the slogan of the American football team from the university where I did my double degree (the Razorbacks): "Never Yield". Never give up.

I advise alumni to be determined (but not obstinate), passionate, caring, and honest. The rest will come.       

Without a doubt, my knowledge, know-how, and skills increased while I was at school. It gave me the desire to be an entrepreneur and invest in myself, the courage to make decisions, the ability to network, how to ask for help, and a solid background to better understand the future! As I often say, the school provides you with wonderful opportunities and it’s up to you to make the most of them! 

How did the Alumni network support you?

The network has always been a great support for me. I found it as means of developing myself through the projects that I did, and through the mentors I met. I’ve formed some incredible dynamic and nice friendships with members of the permanent team and volunteers.

I’ve been involved with the network for a long time, ever since I set foot in the school. My Delta project consisted of organising student/graduate meetings. Then I wore the Community Manager hat in order to develop the alumni presence on social networks. Finally, I managed the Parisian branch for about two years before I went on my trip. I am still on the Board of Directors.

To use the network, you must first find out what it offers (via the site, by contacting the local representative (eg branch) or the permanent team). Keep in mind that the people you have in front of you are also humans, with their own lives, and you have to know how to be nice and polite.

NB: In order to contact Thomas Segretain, you need to be a fully paid-up member and sign in.

 



1 Comment

Jean-Claude ESCUDE (TBS PROGRAMME GRANDE ECOLE, 1985)
3 months ago
Toutes mes félicitations à Thomas pour son parcours d'étudiant impliqué, de jeune professionnel et la réalisation actuelle de son rêve personnel et familial. Une activité aujourd'hui riche de sens et de valeurs, au sein d'un domaine d'exception. Nous nous sommes fréquentés très peu et j'ai pourtant quelques bons souvenirs d'échanges et d'entr'aide lorsque j'organisais les premiers concours d'entrée du Bachelor de TBS à Paris.

Tous mes v?ux de bonheur et de réussite dans ses projets, de la part d'un alumni plus ancien et très attaché au groupe ; mes compliments sincères, de la part d'un fervent jardinier, aux talents certes plus modestes ...

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