Hello Kilian, thank you for accepting this interview! Can you introduce yourself?
My name is Kilian Meanard, I am in my 3rd year of Commercial Development and Management, Marketing-Communication option at Ascencia Business School and I am working as an Assistant Manager for Boulanger since September.
How is your apprenticeship going and what exactly do you do?
My work-study program is going well: I’ve had an excellent integration and I’m learning a lot, both in merchandising and in the implementation of commercial offers. The atmosphere in the store is great, I really like it. On a daily basis, in the store, I install POS (point of sale advertising) / ILV (point of sale information) for the prices, I advise the customers who arrive, I modify the shelves according to the calendar… For example, for the Euro 2020 of this summer, we are in the process of seeing with Sony to make animations in connection with the soccer.
Can you tell us about your background?
I got my baccalaureate ES in 2017. Following the latter, I wanted to enter the STAPS program but I was not selected because of the APB draw. So I worked for Big Fernand for a year as a waiter. After this year, I joined Ascencia Business School in 1st year. I did my bachelor 1 and 2 at Ascencia with an alternation as a sales consultant for Castorama. My missions were to advise the customers, to put the products on the shelves, to make the inventory, to manage the orders and the stocks, etc. In September, I will continue my Ms1 at Ascencia Marne-La-Vallée, in the same program, in Marketing/Communication. I will accompany this course with a work-study contract as Assistant Merchandising Manager for the Ile-de-France region for Lidl.
How is your career at Ascencia ?
The first year went well. I made new friends and the speakers were all nice. We learned a lot as well. The second year was more complicated: the first part was going well, but with the advent of confinement and distance learning courses, the situation became more complex. Finally, the 3rd year was really more complex. Not so much in terms of grades, but more in terms of follow-up. It was much harder to concentrate at home than in class, so I have to admit that I had more difficulty this year. Fortunately, thanks to my internship, I can be active and mobile.
What attracted you to join Ascencia?
At the time, it was a friend of mine who was at Ascencia and who had found the school very good. I had visited a school in Paris before and did not like the experience at all. They were not really close to the students unlike Ascencia, which is more close. For example, they helped me find my work placement, which was my biggest problem. I don’t know if it’s because I don’t know how to sell myself well or if it’s something else, but in spite of that, Ascencia’s training advisors always helped me, gave me good advice, to help me find a work-study program as soon as possible. I like to feel accompanied, it gives me confidence and afterwards I feel much better.
Once admitted, what did you prefer within Ascencia?
I really like the school’s human scale. Everyone knows each other and there is a lot of closeness. The stakeholders and the administration know who we are. For example, when I found my work-study program for next year and went to school, they were all happy for me! I think it’s rare in a school that the administration is so happy for you. I love this connection.
What would be your dream job after your studies?
It’s a bit complicated to answer this question. Since the beginning, I have been in the field a lot, whether for Castorama or Boulanger. Now I’d like to discover something else. I would love to move into merchandising and marketing. What I’m going to do next year will be a learning experience. So far, I’ve learned to sell products well. In the future, I want to learn how to make people love the products. For now, I am moving towards that goal and if I like it, I will continue to move more towards the strategic side of merchandising.
We know it’s a complicated situation right now with COVID, but if you had to name one positive thing about this event, what would it be?
The good thing is that we have managed to keep up with our classes, whereas not so long ago, we wouldn’t have been able to, so it’s already a good thing! Otherwise, on what came out of it… I would say that the most important thing to remember, even if it’s easy to say I agree, is not to let go. You have to believe in what you want and you have to stick to it: you have to give everything to reach your goals.
Soon back, if not this year, it will be next year in any case since you continue in Ms 1. What will you do when you get back there?
In B1/B2 I had about the same class, over time I formed a group of friends with whom I got along very well. I’m already looking forward to meeting them again! I’m also looking forward to the classroom atmosphere and the speakers. I always got along well with them, but in videoconferencing there is no such complicity: there is no such link.
More globally, what do you like to do in life? Do you have any passions?
I’m a big soccer fan, since I was 4/5 years old I’m a supporter of Olympique de Marseille. I was able to go 2 times to the Velodrome (OM’s stadium), the first time in 2015, we had won 6-0 and the second time it was a gift from my girlfriend, for an important match against Lyon in 2019. We won 2-1 and it was really great. Otherwise I like sports in general, especially basketball. I love to travel: I would like to visit all the European capitals. I had the chance to go to Belgium, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Malta and Cyprus. I love to travel in Europe because it is both very close to us, but also very different. And finally, I’ve been to the United States as well.
We end this interview with a small free part: Do you have a last word to say? Anything else you’d like to express?
The main thing is that we must not give up at this moment, even if it is hard, we must persevere, we must not lose hope. I hope that this virus will stop soon and that we will meet again very soon.