Madeline Grossepièce is currently a Bachelor 2 student at Ascencia Business School in Evry. Ambitious and dynamic, this hyperactive student is a real example: handball champion and student in work-study, she also follows a double degree course in distance learning within a university, and plans to spend a year in Ireland before coming back to continue her studies within Ascencia.
Why did you choose to study at Ascencia ?
I chose to study at Ascencia because it is one of the only business and management schools to offer a work-study program from the first year of the Bachelor’s degree. I wanted to create my first professional experiences from the start. The selection of students also takes into account their projects and ambitions, so Ascencia was an obvious choice for me. Moreover, the school offers the possibility to do the whole curriculum from Bachelor 1 to Ms 2 in alternation with a recognition of the diplomas by the State, via the RNCP certification.
Since my last year of high school, I have wanted to specialize in international business, and Ascencia offers me this possibility as soon as I complete my Bachelor 3 in a work-study program, with 50% of the courses taught in English, which emphasizes the school’s unique international dimension. Ascencia Business School is the choice of a business school that is accessible, that gives you a diploma and that makes you professional.
What do you think of the teaching you received in your bachelor’s degree?
The Bachelor’s degree is comprehensive. It allows us to obtain theoretical bases with teachings such as law, general culture or economics, but also technical skills that are more focused on our experiences, whether they are current or future. The aim is to explain and then put into practice general and specific business cases in the fields of marketing and communication.
Throughout our Bachelor’s program, the teaching is evolving and in correlation with the development of our missions in companies. The 2 days of classes are essential for the other 3 days of the week in the company. In addition, this rhythm allows for a weekly presence in the company, ideal for ensuring a smooth client/supplier relationship.
The school provides quality teaching with a constructive association between teachers and professionals. This allows us to get the best out of each student. In addition, at the beginning of each year, students are curious to discover the new courses offered by the school; I am thinking, for example, of Personal Branding, a lively course that helps us evolve in the professional world. Ascencia is a business school where challenge and teamwork are put forward during strong times, organized over several days. Each class from Bachelor 1 to Ms 2 creates business projects presented during a final pitch. These exercises allow for the application of all necessary resources in one or more subjects. In Bachelor 2 for example, it is about setting up a communication campaign.
You are only in Bachelor 2 and are already under a work-study contract. How did you get your job as a sales representative at Wittur Group?
I got this job through an unwavering desire to learn; I have a thirst for knowledge. I attended several hours of company search seminars at the school in order to learn how to look for a work-study contract, to know the codes of conduct to respect, as well as the specificities of this program. After that, I spent several hours on the internet and on professional networks looking for the slightest offer of work experience. I created a professional email address and my clothing style became professional as well. My only two criteria were to work in a sales department and to learn more every day. It is this versatility that opened the doors to my current contract.
For me, being in my second year post-bac doesn’t mean I don’t have skills or faculties. The most important thing is the will to work, the desire to learn and above all to believe in what you can bring to the company.
What are your missions?
As a commercial attaché, my missions are diverse and evolving and require me to mobilize different knowledge learned at school. I carry out the main part of my missions within the commercial department but I am also led to carry out specific missions in other departments. On the commercial side, I prepare quotes and enter orders on two CRMs. My company having an international dimension, it is in my missions to manage the orders coming from abroad as well as to take care of the various applicable incoterms. I then send delivery dates to customers and ensure that they are met. The autonomy acquired in the company allowed me to obtain a new mission in the sales department, which is my own. I am in charge of analyzing Excel data between the number of quotes that the business managers make and the number of orders that the customers place.
The data is collected and analyzed via pivot tables and then communicated to the sales manager. This mission requires me to mobilize technical skills on CRM, Excel but also commercial skills to optimize customer relations. This is a first step towards the position of sales manager, which I would like to occupy within 5 years. At the purchasing level, I make technical modifications to the suppliers on the CRM and then send them the modified purchase order. In the logistics department, I prepare the customer orders when the products are received in the warehouse.
I coordinated two projects within the company: the first was the management of a contest organized by my company during an open house. I created the rules of the contest as well as the communication poster and finally distributed the information to my N+1. At that same open house, customers wore name tags that I had created via a direct mail piece. The second project was the management of the common box within my department. I have set up common procedures for managing mail processing in order to optimize its daily use.
What do you think of the alternation system?
For me, the work-study program is a springboard into the professional world. It may seem trivial to write an email, yet a professional email is a skill that is acquired through business experience. The work-study program allows us to transform what we have learned into what we have achieved. The business world is changing rapidly, and it is now the combination of diplomas and experience that is most important to recruiters. Indeed, they are looking for versatile employees who can adapt quickly to any situation. To do this, you must already have been confronted with similar cases, and the work-study program meets this criterion, thanks to its longer duration than end-of-year internships, for example.
The professional world of tomorrow is built around its network, the work-study program allows the creation of an enriched and strong network, which offers many opportunities. Once you get into the work-study system, you can’t get out of it.
What qualities do you think are necessary to successfully combine classes and work?
Qualities such as dynamism and motivation are essential. It’s a unique curriculum choice that requires commitment. Being in a work-study program means wearing different hats, so attendance is an essential quality. This is where the benefits of work-study programs will prove themselves in the professional world. The course/work combination is provided by a leitmotiv, it is important to believe in one’s ambitions and to give oneself short, medium and long term objectives in order to advance a little more each day. A failure is not a fatality; it brings strength and additional maturity for the next day. Finally, the last quality that makes it possible to combine classes and work is versatility. The simple fact of changing in the same week from one institution to another, from one city to another or from one means of transportation to another shows that versatility is a quality that should not be underestimated.
You have a rather atypical background, since in addition to your courses and your work-study program, you are also a high-level sportswoman, and in parallel to your studies, you are following a course in English at a university. How do you manage to reconcile all these activities?
My atypical background is my greatest strength. For two years, I was a high-level handball athlete in a boarding school, which required resources that forged my personality and values that are dear to me such as determination, ambition and team spirit.
My cultural curiosity and my taste for knowledge led me this year to follow a double curriculum. First, I am in a Bachelor 2 program at Ascencia in a work-study program, and secondly, in a Bachelor 1 program in Economics and Management at Paris Saclay University in a selective distance learning program. This dual curriculum requires rigor, autonomy and diligence. To reconcile the two courses, organization is essential. Every Sunday, I establish my schedule for the week: it includes classes at Ascencia, my work schedule at my company, my daily sports sessions and finally my e-learning classes at the university. The pace is intense, that’s what I like, that’s what I’ve always been looking for, I’m a workaholic; my days start at 6am and end at 11pm. I don’t see all these activities as barriers but rather as enablers. If I can keep up this pace, I will be able to hold a position of responsibility under pressure. Sport has taught me to manage my stress in the face of difficulties. Being an atypical profile, I differentiate myself in front of recruiters, which is what allowed me to land my current position.
You are planning to study in Ireland next year in one of Ascencia Business School’s partner universities. How did this project come to your mind?
This project did not come to me overnight, it matured for a year. Since high school, my level of Spanish has been higher than my level of English and this is only half of what I want to do in my career. I would like to follow the international business specialization in English while continuing the work-study program, and being bilingual is essential. My Bachelor 1 year was the trigger for this awareness. I don’t have a fluent level of English and this will be a disadvantage to me at a key point in my career, it is inevitable. Going to study abroad for 9 months in immersion was an obvious choice. Ascencia encouraged me and followed me in my steps. In contact with the school’s pedagogical director and then with the Collège de Paris group’s general manager, I chose the Irish capital, Dublin, within a partner university, the Emerald Cultural Institute. The choice of Dublin is a personal challenge, the accent is very pronounced there and this will require me to be very adaptable, a necessary quality in business. The Emerald Cultural Institute is a particularly interesting university for me since it offers a program in international business. I will be able to become bilingual and have an introduction to the Bachelor 3 program. The medium-term objective is to become trilingual, an asset for the position of European Sales Director. The success of this project will represent the culmination of my first cycle of study and will give way to great ambitions.