Interview with Thomas Besnard

Published: 01 November 2018,

I joined Amaris when I was 22 as a Recruitment Officer, and I’m now Department Manager in Hong Kong. I work with the business development teams.

 

1.   How did your academic curriculum at SKEMA influence your career?

The main advantage of studying at SKEMA was the career guidance support they provided, and how rapidly they could adjust my curriculum to match my professional ambitions. Towards the end of my internship at Amaris, and two months before I was supposed to fly to the US to study at the Raleigh campus for a semester, I heard about plans to open a new Amaris office in China. Strongly motivated by this challenge, I discussed it with SKEMA and was encouraged to pursue this opportunity. And so I left for Suzhou instead, to do a semester in Entrepreneurship and Innovation, in full-immersion mode in a Chinese environment.     

It’s because of my ability to adjust and my determination that Amaris assigned me this project, even though I didn’t speak Chinese. My full-immersion semester convinced them to give me a chance. Today, I’m Department Manager for the Hong Kong subsidiary.

2.   What  role did SKEMA’s network play in your career and in your life?

SKEMA boasts a network of more than 40,000 alumni, but also 3 campuses in France and 3 abroad. The alumni network is very active, for instance, every two months they organise alumni events in Shanghai, which attract more and more people.  Alumni networks are an invaluable resource to understand a new environment, benefit from feedback on a wide range of topics, and approach companies. Before joining Amaris, I reached out to SKEMA alumni who were already working in the company to ask for advice and guidance. I’ve been glad to fulfil this role myself since joining the Group.

3.   Of all Amaris’ core values, which are the ones that convinced you to join the Group?

I was particularly drawn to the Group’s “performance” value, and so starting my career at Amaris was an obvious choice. After my internship in Barcelona, I still had many questions about the Group, but I was sure I would be given an opportunity, and above all that I’d be able to contribute to emerging projects.  I chose to integrate the excellent training I had received at SKEMA with Amaris’ professional expertise. It’s important to join a group where ambitions are limitless.  I had so many dreams when I graduated, and Amaris gives me the opportunity to make them come true, every day.   I will never forget the incredible feeling I experienced flying from Shanghai to Tokyo to open Amaris’ first Japanese office, on my own, at the age of 27.

4.   What made you want to move to Shanghai and then to Hong Kong?

SKEMA students are strongly encouraged to study and work abroad to gain experience in international environments. Eventually, some prefer to develop their career in their own country, while others choose to travel the world.   That said, all SKEMA students are trained to operate outside the constraints of borders. I chose to move to China to really push my limits, in line with my academic and professional ambitions.

5.   Why did you choose Amaris over more established consulting groups?

I wanted to join a dynamic, constantly evolving group, and work with people from different backgrounds. During my internship, I soon realized that I’d love to continue working within the Group. Amaris knows how to empower young graduates because it’s in its DNA – it was this trust that motivated me in my decision to join.

  

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