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Diandra, V.I.E. program, Germany

What has been your career path?

After getting a high-school diploma specialized in science, I went to prep school for economics and business, with a science option. Then I went to the ESC Rennes School of Business, where I got a dual degree: a master's in management and a "master of science in international accounting, management control and auditing".

What is your current role in Arkema?

Currently I am in the V.I.E. program and working as a junior financial controller in Düsseldorf. I have been here since July 1st, 2015.

What exactly does your role consist of?

As a junior financial controller, I take part in closing the monthly and annual accounts, I track and analyze the analytical accounts of the various functions, I help manage the monthly reporting and sending the information to Arkema France. I also take part in drawing up budgets, then monitoring and analyzing them, and I set up new control instruments and indicators.

What do you like about this placement?

This assignment gives me the chance to work in an international setting, which is what I was looking for. It puts me in contact with people from different cultures and I'm learning to adapt to those cultural differences. Furthermore, I have assignments with a lot of responsibility that I work on autonomously, but I can always get help and advice so that I am always learning. The working atmosphere is pleasant and the work is interesting.

Why did you choose Arkema for this V.I.E. program?

I was looking for a job abroad with an international group in the pharmaceutical or chemicals industry. Arkema was among the companies I had in mind. I applied via the Civiweb site (which is Business France's website for V.I.E. programs). I had a phone interview in French and then another one in German with an operational director in Düsseldorf. Two weeks later, I got the job!

What difficulties have you had to overcome?

Between my induction into the company and the working environment, assimilating all the new information, handling the V.I.E. assignments, getting used to the culture and the language, and finding a place to live, the first few weeks after moving to Germany were really challenging.

What are the advantages of doing the V.I.E. program in Arkema?

Working for a young and fast-growing group like Arkema is a rewarding experience, and it quickly gives you a sense of responsibility. You feel guided in your development towards possible opportunities in the Group's locations around the world.

Is there a particular memory from your V.I.E. experience that stands out?

I had the opportunity to visit production plants in Germany to help take inventories. That gave me the chance to get a different perspective on the work that I do every day. I visited two plants, the one in Vastorf (thiochemicals) and the one in Leuna (oxygenated products) and so had the chance to see the activity behind the numbers.

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