Hello Jade and Kevin! Could you first tell us where you come from and what you did before SKEMA?
Jade: I come from a really small city in the south of France, named Beaumes de Venise. If you already know this city, it’s probably because you love wine. Before SKEMA, I was studying at INSEEC Business School in Lyon. It was at first very general but for my last year, I chose a digital marketing major, thus the lectures were pretty much similar to the MSc at Skema.
Kevin: I’m from Mâcon in Burgundy and I was also studying at INSEEC Business School in Lyon. That’s where we met with Jade.
Why did you choose SKEMA?
Kevin: I chose SKEMA because the MSc was entirely taught in English and because I wanted to meet international students in order to make new friends but also to improve my English skills. Moreover, SKEMA has a big notoriety in France so it makes the job search easier. During the MSc, there were a few subjects related to what I do now, such as social networks, traffic management or project management.
Jade: Kevin summed up pretty well my motivations to choose this Msc at Skema. Also, for a long time I wanted to add the Google certifications to my resume and I was very excited when I knew that a Google employee would train us. For me, the important subjects were also traffic management and then graphic design and data analysis.
What was your previous work experience like before this final internship?
Kevin: Last year, I was an intern as a community manager at Webedia Group in Paris, one of the biggest digital companies in Europe, and more specifically for one of its website Easyvoyage.com. It made me discover the digital marketing world and thanks to this experience, I knew that it’s really what I want to do.
Jade: For my last six-month internship, I chose to work in a young startup in Paris to help them with their digital marketing strategy. A lot of work to do and a little budget: it taught me how to find new ways to achieve the objectives.
When did you start applying and when did you finally accept an offer? Do you have an idea of how many applications you sent out?
Kevin: This year, I started to apply early January. I think I sent around 40-50 applications and I used mostly Indeed and L’Etudiant to look for offers. I really wanted to find an internship in Lyon because I’m in love with this city. I had 4 interviews and I took my decision in February, so quite early!
Jade: I took my time looking for an internship. I had the advantage of having a one-year experience in the digital marketing field from my previous internships. I really wanted not to choose a simple internship, I wanted a big one. I think I may have sent around 30 applications between March and April. I finally got THE offer at the end of April.
If you had more offers, on which criteria did you base your decision?
Kevin: Company’s reputation and notoriety, company culture, job description and responsibilities.
Jade: Totally. Apart from this, the way we interact with the company at first via phone or during an interview is also very important to me. I really think that if you don’t have a good feeling when you meet your future colleagues, you can keep going in your research.
Do you have any recommendations regarding resume or interviews? What tool did you use to design your resume?
Kevin: For resumes, I recommend the website canva.com which is very easy to use! It allows you to make great things without having any knowledge in graphic design.
Jade: I used Photoshop to create my resume. I wanted to show that I know how to use it and that I have a sense of design. I advice to make an effort to create the best resume ever. Go on plenty of websites and let you get inspired to create yours. As Kevin said, Canva is a really great tool if you are not at ease with the Adobe suite, and the results are quite similar! Concerning interviews, I recommend to create a real dialogue as much as you can and not just follow the questions/answers pattern. Also, prepare in advance a lot of questions concerning the interviewer. Go on his LinkedIn profile, show your interest. “I saw you went to a TEDx meeting, can you tell me more about it?”. The question I realized that recruiters were surprised to hear and liked to answer is “And you, why do you like to work here?”.
Were you given any useful feedback by recruiters?
Jade: I saw various types of behaviour. There is the person that is pretty mean during the interview and let her colleague send you an automatic email rejecting you, then there is another one that never calls you back and finally, there is the one that takes literally two hours to give you plenty of advice. I was really surprised and impressed, good recruiters exist, guys!
What was the recruitment process like for your current job?
Kevin: I first had an interview by phone with the operations director of the company. After one week, he called me back and asked me if I was available for a face-to-face interview in their offices in Lyon. I missed one day at school to go there and I had an interview with the operations director and the chief content officer at the same time. The day after, they called me back and told me they wanted to hire me for the internship but also offered me a full-time position at the end of this one if I work well. Here I am now!
Jade: For me, it was really fast and unexpected! I was planning to go to Lyon the next day for another interview. I had a really great first interview by phone with the recruiter and was full of hope. I sent a text to Kevin to see him because he was already working in Lyon. He sent me back a CDI offer from his company saying “Why not?”. I applied. I received a call a few hours later and the recruiter asked me “When can we meet us?” and I replied naturally “Tomorrow?”. Finally, my first interview with the other company didn’t go as I hoped it and I wasn’t feeling ready for the next interview with TimeOne when I met Kevin to have a meal. He gave me a piece of advice and I just thought it would be a great exercise. The interview went really great, we chatted and I met three people from the company that gave me the desire to work with them. Because it was a junior offer, the interview was more centered on personality than skills. I had a great feeling that was shared by them as well. They warned me that two other people had already caught their attention. The next day they sent me a proposal that I accepted. I started two weeks later.
Moral of the story: It’s all about timing and network.
Did the recruiters know SKEMA?
Kevin: Sure they did!
What does your company do?
Kevin: TimeOne is a marketing services group divided in 7 (officially 6 at the moment) business units : Publishing, Programmatic, Native ads, Mobile, Performance, Lead Management and the most recent one, Social since a few months. I’m working in this new BU which is developing really fast. We have clients from all fields like cars (Renault, Peugeot, Volkswagen…), fashion and cosmetics (Shiseido Group, André (shoes)…), travel (Voyage Privé, Siblu…) and many others! The headquarters of the company are located in Paris, but the company is also located in Lyon, Bordeaux, Milan, Madrid, London, Mexico City, Cape Town and Singapore.
What are your responsibilities?
Kevin: I’m a social media planner, it is to say a traffic manager but specialized in social media acquisition (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin…). The process is the following: we receive a request from a client who wants to gain new users on its mobile application (for example). He gives us its budget and the amount of app downloads he wants. With this information, we’ll propose him the best acquisition source (in this case it’s Facebook and Instagram) and negotiate a payout. If the client accepts our offer, then I have to create the campaign on the Facebook Ad Manager, set an objective, define a targeting strategy, budget per day… etc. Once the campaign is launched, I analyze its performance through different KPIs depending of the campaign objective (cost per download, CPC, CPM, CTR, CPL…). Once the campaign is over, I report the results to the client. What it’s interesting about this job is that every client, thus every campaign is different.
Jade: Me, I was first hired as a traffic manager in the Performance BU but my missions evolved a lot. To sum up, I am in charge of international accounts and I set up campaigns to collect leads for them, I work on a CPL basis. I sometimes have to create somes visuals and welcome emails when the company prefers that we take care of it. I work with an affiliates network to broadcast the campaigns and collect high quality leads according to the clients needs. I then analyze the performance of the campaigns to optimize them. If I work well, the client gives me more budget for the next month.
How would you describe your day and the work environment? How old is your team?
Kevin: Our working hours are from 9.30am to 6.30pm but we work more than that. No dress code in particular, we often drink one (or several) beers after a hard day of work. We have a foosball and an interior mini golf. My boss (the operations director) is the oldest in the company and he’s only 37! My co-workers are all in their 20s, which is great cause there’s a very good atmosphere in the company. Most of them were hired at the end of their internship. I hope I could be too but I’m open to other possibilities as well.
Jade: We work in a nice atmosphere, we share a meal together every day, have afterwork very often on Friday and even party together. Only the managers are in their 30s. As Kevin was saying, in an agency, there is always too much work to be done in one day. I spend my day juggling between my clients and my affiliates to set up the best campaigns. I’m in a full-time position and I would like to stay here for at least two years.
Do you communicate with other departments? Do you use any foreign languages?
Kevin: Every day! I communicate with colleagues in Paris, Madrid, Milan and London every day (most of the time for tracking problems). More and more of our clients are in foreign countries so I mainly use English (which is the only language I’m fluent apart from French obviously).
Jade: Same here. There isn’t one day without using English. Even if it’s not frequently, in addition to French and English I had the chance to use Italian, Portuguese and Spanish.
What skills do you need to do this kind of job and what tools do you use?
Kevin: We all use Trello for project management, Facebook Ad Manager, Twitter Ad Manager, Linkedin, Snapchat… but also our affiliate platform which is run by the Performance part. You need to be extremely curious about what’s going on in the digital world. You must be well organised, you must like Excel, be open-minded and sociable!
Jade: You definitely need to know how to handle the pressure. The digital world is all about immediate. We need to work fast. Clients are giving us a budget and we need to give them back results. We also need to be patient with every client, some are really up-to-date, some don’t know that much about digital marketing. We need to adapt our dialogue. Finally, I would say that you need to have a great memory. I have currently 88 campaigns running from around the same amount of clients. You need to know all the specificities of your campaigns and your clients if you want to work well.
Did you get any kind of training?
Kevin: I started learning myself even before the training as my boss recommended me to check out the Facebook’s official study material on a platform called Blueprint. It’s great for beginners in digital advertising and especially on Facebook. Afterwards during the first weeks, my boss used concrete cases to train me and explain how it works.
Jade: The first week is filled with differents trainings with every business unit manager to know how everything works in a company and to get the basics: how to calculate CAC (cost of customer acquisition), how a Web service works, etc.
Any tips on how to handle first day/week/month? How did it go for you? Were you nervous?
Kevin: I was very nervous at the beginning, thinking that it would be really hard to understand quickly the job and how the company works… But I’d say the most important thing is not to be afraid to ask questions even though we don’t want to seem stupid in front of our boss. But we’re juniors and we have a lot of things to learn so it’s perfectly normal to ask a lot of questions!
Jade: I agree with Kevin. I am frequently asking questions, even four months later, because I discover new things every day. I learned that asking questions doesn’t mean that you suck, it means that you are willing to acquire the knowledge they want you to have. We are juniors but in the digital world, we will always be students. Don’t hesitate to be curious and try understanding everything. And if you definitely aren’t at ease asking a question, go on Google and chat about what you think is the good answer with your tutor. I can assure you that my managers aren’t ashamed when they aren’t at ease with a subject and go ask someone else who knows the answer and learn.
Why did you choose Lyon and what do you like about the city?
Kevin: I spent a part of my studies in Lyon and I loved it. I do like Paris but I don’t want to live there cause I can’t stand the public transport and there are too many people:) But I like going there from time to time for a weekend to see my friends and to party. Lyon is like smaller Paris. It has all its advantages like culture, food or bars but since it’s small, it’s very easy to get around. There is also more green space, like on the Rhone embankment where you can hang out with your friends in summer or the Tete d’Or park which is very nice. There also a lot of museums, a wonderful historic centre, the famous Festival of Lights happening every year in December… I could write pages about why I love Lyon!
Jade: I tried Paris in my last internship to know if I could see myself working there after my studies in Lyon. It’s a personal opinion but for me Lyon has the advantages of a big city without the disadvantages of Paris. The city is full of parks, delicious tacos and you can go by feet everywhere you want. Lyon is also really well located: less than 3 hours to go to the beach but close to the mountains.
Jade’s last advice for people who are looking for an internship:
I know how stressful it is to look for an internship and I know this desire to “be done with it”. But think twice before jumping somewhere if you feel somehow that you are not entirely satisfied. I once refused a good looking offer because one part of me thought I could do better, even though I had no backup at the time and my friends already got their internships. As I am quite in love with traveling, an airplane company seemed like a great idea. I got an interview with Air France and took a plane to go to Paris with… Ryanair. Even though it was well paid and in a great company, I felt that the responsibilities would be too small and that this internship wouldn’t lead me for sure to a full-time position, so why would I take it? I encourage you to think smart even when you are afraid, challenge yourself and step out of your comfort zone. I freaking regret nothing.