How Louis became the Business Consultant he always aimed to be (Video)on 15 June 2021 for Professionals
Business Consultant Louis Deville-Cavellin joined Exellys in 2019. He started as an Analyst at Swift in the Services Marketing team and integrated on the Swift payroll at the beginning of April 2021. During the recent virtual graduation ceremony of his Exellys Start Smart class, Louis and his Talent Development manager Leslie Hemmerechts reflected on his experiences of the past two years and how he benefited from Exellys’ Start Smart Program.
You can watch the full recording of that talk right here or just keep on reading…
Louis, what was your academic and professional career like before joining Exellys?
I studied Business Administration and IT at the university of Montréal in Canada. After graduation, I started working for Pfizer and stayed there for three years as a Subject Matter Expert in Capacity Planning & Scheduling. I really liked my job because it was a good combination of logistics and IT, but after a while I started to miss home – I’m actually from France. I decided to move back to Europe, and as my girlfriend was located nearby Brussels, I started looking for work in that area.
I came into contact with Exellys through LinkedIn, and though I had multiple contacts with other companies as well, it was Exellys that really attracted me. I liked how personal the process was, I didn’t feel like I had to over-sell myself. My contact with Exellys’ Talent Scouts felt way more like a conversation rather than a presentation.
After the initial interviews I had to pass some tests that were not easy, and that made me feel like Exellys could offer me a challenging workplace. I really believed that Exellys would help me further develop my soft and hard skills.
Finally, I was also seduced by the prestigious list of Exellys’ clients. I really wanted to work for one of them.
You mentioned the challenging selection procedure. In 2019, The Exellys Talent Scouts screened 2.156 candidates and you were one of the 60 consultants to receive a contract. So let me hereby compliment you on being part of the 2.1% top talents! So after becoming part of our team, what have you enjoyed most about Exellys?
Well, I liked the fact that during my first interviews with potential clients, I felt like my needs were really heard. Exellys wanted to find a mission that would work for me as well as for the client, they are always looking for the win-win situation.
I also like the autonomy that we are given in terms of how we use the training budget. I found the group trainings valuable, because they’re taught by instructors with high leadership roles. So it isn’t just theoretical, they can really draw from their own experience. But apart from this common training, I also liked that I could choose what I wanted to learn more about. I wasn’t obliged to look for the trainings that were linked to my mission but was invited to be curious about learning new skills. Broadening your perspective is always a good thing I think, for yourself but also for your employer.
Last but not least, I enjoyed the relationship with my coach, so with you, Leslie. It was a relationship of trust. Any time I had an issue or a doubt at my customer’s, I was keen to talk about it with my coach, because I knew he would always look for the best solution for me as a consultant and for the client. Always looking for that win-win.
I shared some doubts during the two years, which is normal for a young professional I think, and Leslie always came up with some pragmatic approaches that I could use in my day-to-day job. For instance, I was having trouble relating to my stakeholders at Swift, and Leslie encouraged me to invite them for regular coffee breaks, so I could rely on a personal relationship with them rather than always having to send out some e-mails. That has really helped me a lot.
Now that you have finalised your two years with us and are on the Swift payroll, do you have any feedback for Exellys?
Yes, I do. First of all, I know that continuous improvement is very important to Exellys and I would urge you to keep investing in that. As consultants, we are regularly asked to fill out surveys, and I always felt that Exellys took my feedback to heart and used it to find pragmatic solutions. So just keep doing that.
Second, I was very happy to hear that you have a plan for alumni as well, because we are a strong group with a variety of skills and experiences, and it can be very valuable to keep that community alive. A community within which we could share insights and challenges with each other and have discussions together.
Finally, I really enjoyed the hackathon. I thought it was a great experience to work with some consultants that have different views and skills (some that are more business oriented and others that are more IT oriented) and look for a common solution. But it would be nice to take it one step further and really work on making the solutions we came up with actually happen. Although nothing is keeping us from doing that, so I suppose this is a bit of feedback for me as well.
Well, you’re probably right that if you want to go into production with your idea, the initiative lies with you, but we could indeed investigate how we could facilitate that as well. Think about how we can help in finding investors, customers, analysing the viability of your solution – that is definitely something that we can take with us.
Thank you, Louis, for taking the time for this interview, and we wish you the best of luck in your career at Swift.
Would you like a smile like Louis’ and find a job that really suits you? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us, we’re looking forward to meeting to you!
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