First, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I was born in the city of Nice, not that far from the Skema Campus in Sophia Antipolis. I received my Bachelor of Business Administration degree at the EDHEC Business School right after graduating high school. I have many hobbies. I lived in a household where sport and music were a very important part of my education. I play the piano, the guitar and the drums. As for sports I play tennis, soccer, I used to be a professional swimmer, I ski and I wakeboard. I just love spending most of time outside with my friends.
Where your studies at EDHEC similar to MSc Digital Marketing?
During those four years I specialized in Marketing and Entrepreneurship. It was similar in a sense that we still studied marketing, but this MSc in Digital Marketing allowed me to learn about a whole new aspect of this discipline. I believe that future businesses will increasingly use digital marketing as a strong strategic tool.
Why did you choose SKEMA?
The first reason I chose SKEMA was for the international aspect of the school. I feel it is very important to meet people from different cultures and learn from them. People don’t realize how beneficial it is to know how foreign students think and work. It is all the more important for marketers if someday we try to market in a different country.
The second reason was the location of the campus. Being in Sophia Antipolis is a huge opportunity for students. Sophia Antipolis being a leading European technology park, it allows students to be in the center of a tech hub and close to innovative companies.
SKEMA is also a highly ranked school in the country and the MSc Digital Marketing is one of the best in Europe.
Now that the academic year is over, what are your thoughts on this program?
Without realizing it, we learn a ton during the school year. I only see it now, each day at work. The Msc perfectly prepares you for a professional career as a digital marketer. What I like most was the fact that we work all year with a company on a digital project. Nothing makes you understand the courses better than putting the theory into practice. And today, I actually use most of what I’ve learned everyday for my work and doing so allows me to go further in my knowledge of digital marketing. I learn new things everyday.
I have to say that Philippe Scotto is the teacher who inspired me the most. Not only is he an excellent teacher, he’s also very present with his students and knows how to keep things light while being one of the most respected teachers in the Msc.
Have you been involved in any associations at SKEMA?
No, but being part of an association is always a huge bonus on your resume. It shows that you are social, that you can work in a group and shows initiative. Three good qualities, often needed in a workplace.
What was your previous work experience like before this final internship?
During my Bachelor’s degree I had to do several internships. I started local by working as a blog writer in a small company called Lagardere (not the group Lagardere) specialized in what they like to call “Object Marketing”. I also worked in Paris for Marcel, the digital branch of Publicis Group, as a strategic planner and copywriter on big brands like Renault, Orange, Intermarché, Mondelez, Luxottica and much more. I then decided to work abroad and got the opportunity to work in Montreal as an event planner for a company called Argex.
Finally, my last internship was as a copywriter in the Accorhotels Group in the Design & Product Solution department.
Did your work experience guide you towards MSc in Digital Marketing?
Definitely. My first encounter with digital marketing was during my internship in Paris. Marcel being the digital branch of the huge advertisement group that is Publicis, our only communication medium was digital. This internship made me realize the importance and the potential of this unappreciated media. This was confirmed to me later on during my last internship in the Accorhotels Group where I saw first hand how the company largely used digital as a main resource in their marketing strategy for their external and internal communications.
When did you start applying and when did you finally accept an offer?
I usually start applying three to four months before I start and often wait a little over one month before I start to give my final answer unless I am really certain of my choice before then. It depends but I probably send out around 10 per 1-2 weeks depending on the time I have. I often use LinkedIn or employment-related search engines like Indeed, Monster and many others. I also check with my entourage and alumnis that might have some knowledge on what companies are currently hiring.
What kind of experience were you looking for this year?
I have worked with two very big companies in Paris. This year, I decided that it might be interesting for me to see how differently a startup works and what are going to be the challenges that it faces compared to an international company. I also wanted to work abroad again and never really took advantage of my dual citizenship as a French-American. Therefore I searched for internships in the US, specially Boston, which is the second US pole for the high technologies (computer science, biotechnologies), behind the Californian Silicon Valley.
Do you have any recommendations regarding cover letter, resume or interviews?
It’s important to know what are your worst and best qualities, strong and weak points and show how you can be an asset for the company. Keep your resume simple, clear, with a good description of your previous experiences. Highlight what you think is your forte and what may be the most interesting aspect of your profile, what makes you different than all the other applicants. We are all good, but find out what makes you great. Also, don’t be afraid to say what you think and ask as many questions as necessary.
What was the recruitment process like for your current job?
It was very fast and easy actually. I informed my sister living in Boston that I wished to do in internship there. As part of the French American Chamber of Commerce in New England, she knew a lot of French entrepreneurs that have moved their business to the US. I then contacted and sent my resume to some of the companies and got answers really quickly. A CEO of one of those companies contacted me because he was really interested in my resume. After one Skype, the deal was done! I waited a week before accepting his offer. The funny thing is that he knew SKEMA cause he’d recruited a Skema student a year before me that started as an intern and is now hired as a marketer.
What does the company do?
The company believes that digital identity and personal data is the internet’s currency, but as opposed to regular currencies, it does not benefit of a reliable ecosystem.
Matchupbox offers services around its innovative vision of the Blockchain called PikcioChain. The PikcioChain is a proprietary Digital Identity and Personal Data permissioned-based Blockchain. It is both beneficial for companies as it is for customers. It allows companies to better know their customers, reduce their costs, boost their customer experience and therefore increase their revenue. The Blockchain technology is integrated to PikcioMe, a software developed by Matchupbox for customers use. It allows them to have their own personal assistant that gathers and secures all their digital data. The PikcioChain offers a lot of services like traceable exchanges, secure chat messaging, data certification, etc. Although it gathers all your data in one single software, Matchupbox never has access to customer data. All their information is stored on their own computer and are therefore in total control of their data.
Can you give us your job description?
Initially my job was to take over all the digital marketing for the B2C market. I first created a B2C website with different landing pages to clearly describe to the B2C market the product that we are selling, which is easier said than done. I then created Google, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter ad campaigns to generate traffic to my webpages. I am also currently working with the Web developer to remodel and create new content for the company’s main website and its landing pages. I often work with the graphic designer to help me create graphic content and animated videos to help me support my messages. We use FileZilla, Notepad++, Microsoft office, Gimp, Google Adwords, Piwik (Analytics), MailChimp. I didn’t get any kind of training but I did a quick overview of my courses at SKEMA.
What does your day look like?
Being the only employee in Boston with the CEO, I often have calls with the rest of the team based in Montpellier. Due to the time difference, those calls are often early in the morning. I am lucky enough to be able to work from home on my computer those mornings. I then head to our office in the incubator in the center of Boston, where I usually work with the CEO. When I find the time, I work on my GMAT exercises. The CEO trusts me enough to let me make my own hours so it’s very flexible. Due to early phone calls with the French team, I often start my work day at 8:00 am. I usually leave work around 6-6:30 pm. Even though I am not physically with the rest of the team I quickly felt included. Everybody has its own responsibilities, but they are always ready to offer a helping hand. I often eat lunch with the CEO. No dress code.
How did you handle the first day of your internship?
It is natural to feel nervous before your first day at a new job. For me it went really well. The CEO clearly explained what my tasks were going to be. He instantly made me feel at ease and told me that I will probably have more questions during my internship and that he will be available if needed, which he is.
Is there a possibility to stay in the company after your internship ends?
Maybe in freelance or in a distant future, but otherwise no. Unfortunately, I have to prepare for another Master. After a Bachelor of Business Administration and a Masters degree in Digital Marketing, I feel like I am still missing some crucial knowledge for my future. So, I decided to leave marketing and start something new. I turned to economics and management more specifically towards innovation and technology. It was in my opinion the most logical choice after my previous studies. I think this extra degree will open much more opportunities in the future but it will also allow me to be a step ahead on innovation or at least understand what future technology may offer. Working in digital marketing pushes you to always be aware of any current or future innovations. I am looking at different schools in Europe. Schools in the US are too expensive!
What do you enjoy about Boston?
The working opportunities, the American culture, the history of the city, the lifestyle, its influence in the tech industry and the fact that there are people from all around the world, including a large French community. Looking for an internship in a tech startup in the US, I had two choices, Silicon Valley or Boston. Having half of my family in Boston, the choice was simple and since I am half American, no documents were needed and I had absolutely no administrative difficulties at all. I live in a house with my older sister in the suburbs near Boston. The prices in Boston are very similar to those in Nice. A lot of things are going to be cheaper but good and healthy food (which in France would be considered normal) is expensive. I miss French bread and food (laugh).