What has been your career path?
I have an engineering degree from the National Institute of Applied Sciences (INSA) and I added to that with a master's degree in management and marketing from the ESSEC business school. I worked as a marketing consultant in the industrial sector for five years before joining Arkema in 2012 as a strategic marketing and communication analyst. A year ago, I took on the role of product manager in monomers; chemical components used in the manufacture of paints, inks, and materials.
What is your role?
Product managers have two main responsibilities: the integrity of the product line, and the profit margin for the products. It's a bit like being a conductor, where all the different departments make up the orchestra. The product manager coordinates between R&D, production, and the supply chain to achieve strategic objectives.
What is your typical working day like?
No two days are alike. I spend my mornings managing operational problems, which are matters of urgency. I often have to travel to the plants or the research centers, where I take part in meetings. I go to the plants or the R&D centers to speak with all the different parties (researchers, process, production, QHSE, etc.) and make the decisions that are right for our product lines. At the end of the day, I also try to dedicate some time to marketing analysis and reporting on our product strategy.
What do you like about your job?
I like being at the intersection of different problems, whether technical or a question of business, HSE, etc. I like engaging in dialog and listening to the different parties to arrive at the right decision. It's really satisfying to work as a team to find solutions to problems concerning our activities and our products.
What are your qualities with respect to this job and what do you do well?
This job requires you to be versatile, intellectually curious, and to have a certain openness of mind. You have to be able to get into the details and the technical aspects while maintaining an overview of the activity as a whole. Lastly, you have to know how to prioritize your time and the cases to be dealt with.
Is there a particular memory that stands out from your time Arkema or linked to your job?
I did my end-of-course internship in Arkema, nearly ten years ago. Then, I went to work as a marketing consultant in the industrial sector for five years before finally returning to the fold in Arkema. The team that managed me at the time of my internship is the same as today. I stayed in touch with them and we maintained a good relationship.