Internships, stays abroad, professional gap years, international internship programs, etc.—the options available to EM Strasbourg students are numerous. How does one choose one’s path? When he arrived at EM Strasbourg, Boubouba Bathily was certain of one thing: he wanted to study finance. Discover his journey, from doing an exchange at the University of Seville to the French International Internship Program (VIE) in Los Angeles.
Boubouba, can you tell us about your initial plan when you arrived at the School?
When I arrived at EM Strasbourg, I wanted to study finance. Today, I am a controller at the social branch of Club Med–payroll. My position is well in line with my initial plan: I work in the field of management, but I chose the social branch because I am interested in this aspect and get along well with my manager.
Which steps allowed you to narrow down your plan?
As a student, I had preconceived notions about the finance industry. I imagined the character from The Wolf of Wall Street! Thanks to Cap Career’s guidance, I did away with my own clichés and most importantly learned more about myself. The AssessFirst personality test we were given in the first year of the PGE revealed my social skills, which I now take into account when making decisions.
I was planning to go to the USA via the French International Internship Program (VIE), but I knew that my level of English was lacking. With Cap Career, we worked out an action plan to enable me to reach a B2 level by the end of my program. I landed a VIE contract at Safran as a junior financial controller in Los Angeles. This was a real personal victory: I gave myself the means to achieve my goals and I succeeded. I am the only one in my graduating class to have gone to the USA on a VIE.
This experience was decisive. First of all, it was undeniably a professional springboard, but it also propelled me on a personal level. Away from my family and friends, in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis, I realized how important relationships were to me. This is an essential source of motivation for me, and I pay attention to it when making career choices.
With your experience and hindsight, what advice would you give to a student?
Advice #1: Get to know yourself, your values, and what is important to you. It is essential to making the right choices.
Advice #2: Give yourself the means to believe in your dreams and succeed. Once a goal is set, you need to define a road map to get there.
Advice #3: Go see Cap Career! Coaches are there to help you understand what motivates you, build a strategy to achieve your goals, and support you throughout the process.