Keep going. Keep growing.
Updated: Jul 8
Julien's story with the Group started almost two years ago.. From Switzerland to Hong Kong, SAR China and back, he has learned to keep going and keep growing..
Becoming an adult…
Well, my journey in Richemont started almost two years ago during the Summer of 2018. At that time, freshly graduated from HEC Lausanne with a Bachelors in Management Sciences, I wanted to make my first move into the professional world. Not really sure about what I was looking for, I remained open to any interesting opportunities. I spontaneously applied to Richemont and was looking for an internship in Finance or Marketing. However, they offer me an opportunity to work in the Learning & Development department.
My leap into the corporate world started early in September at the Richemont Headquarters in Switzerland, making me one of the youngest employee on site at that time. Impressed was maybe the first feeling I experienced whilst passing through the Bellevue reception upon arrival, and it was also the first one I felt when the airplane landed in Hong Kong, SAR China…
From west to east and back west
My position working in the L&D department was definitely anyone's dream first experience. My role consisted of supporting the director and team with local and global strategies.. My most memorable experience during my internship in Switzerland was being put in charge of organising the Digital Leadership training sessions. It was such an amazing feeling having had the opportunity to challenge myself and achieve a successful outcome.
I’ve always wanted to get out of my comfort zone and experience new places. I decided it was time for me to take on an experience abroad, so I flew to Hong Kong to start another internship on the other side of the world. Thanks to the my director in the headquarters, I had the opportunity to continue my journey in Richemont’s L&D department and spread what I have learnt in Switzerland to the local team in Hong Kong, SAR China.
When I arrived in Hong Kong, SAR China, my objectives was to immerse myself in this completely different culture. My experience in Hong Kong, SAR China was the most challenging yet and I found myself learning something new everyday! Discovering people’s behaviors, eating new food and exploring the architecture was just some of the many things I experienced during my adventure there.
I still remember having a conversation with my friend the night before I left for Hong Kong, SAR China. We sat on the couch and decided to type it into Google Maps. “Ah okay, it’s huge!”, we said to each other.
Whilst doing my internship in Hong Kong, SAR China, I was accepted for the Masters in Finance at HEC Lausanne. I then took a chance in applying for a part-time position in the Real Estate Department and now I am back to where it all began, at the Richemont HQ, working as a Business Analyst at 60%, whilst studying.
I learnt how to self-govern and take on responsibilities during my various experiences within the group, gradually allowing myself to develop other skills and be more confident within myself. The fact that I traveled to Hong Kong, SAR China introduced me to new working methods, which was somewhat different to those I was used to in Switzerland.
My manager in Hong Kong, SAR China taught me so much! His motto was “why”. Every time before I did something I would ask myself “why”. It made me think on how I could do things differently and understand why I am doing it. This motto made me see the bigger picture. It was very inspiring. It helped me to get people involved in my ideas and for that I am really grateful.
During Lunch & Learn in Hong Kong, SAR China there was a workshop in how to write Chinese characters correctly. We were all laughing at my terrible attempt in illustrating the letters. I couldn’t even hold the pencil in the right way! The fact that the entire lesson was in Cantonese also didn’t count in my favor. Let’s just say it was a very interesting experience. Sometimes putting yourself in a bizarre situation can be really fun!
Something else which taught me a lot was when I had to present the Swiss and French culture to the summer interns, almost 20 students from different universities, in Hong Kong, SAR China. I had to step up and take leadership by teaching the students various facts about Richemont. I explained to them the key concept around luxury and what working in the group entailed. I was a bit nervous, because it was my first time presenting to such a big group in both a foreign language and country. Now I am much more comfortable with the idea of presenting.
Things aren’t always the way you expect it to be.
At the beginning of my journey at Richemont I had no idea how the departments were structured. It was eye-opening to realise the complexity in which the group operates. I am proud to say that I have a better understanding now.
The second thing that I have been impressed by is the dedication of some people - the way they work with such passion commitment to the Group. I’ve had the chance to work with truly inspiring people!
I am excited to see what the future holds.
Though I have learnt too much to even express in words, I also think that I myself have made an impact within the group. I try to constantly bring a fresh perspective to the table and teach my fellow employees things they might not have known before. On top of that, I try to be a great buddy and come to work with a big smile every day. I mean who doesn't like positive vibes at the office?!
Richemont has been an unforgettable adventure and I can't wait to continue my ride on the Swiss luxury train. For now I am taking it day by day and living in the "why".