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We@PS Podcast

Beginning a Career with Publicis Sapient

- Welcome to another episode of We@PS. I'm Halley Marsh and joining me are my co-hosts, Nadine Bennett and Nick Easlick. We are all part of the global talent acquisition team and come together each month to give our listeners an inside look at the people behind Publicis Sapient. As usual we're going to start with another one of our bites sections where we share our thoughts and opinions on recent articles that we've been reading. Nick, what do you have for us this week?

 

- Yeah So I recently read an article about the 2021 guide to graduates getting hired. So post-college essentially. So it went over like tops jobs in cities and industries to get your big start. So I have great news for 2021 grads.

 

- Okay.

 

- Share.

 

- Thank your lucky stars that you didn't graduate in 2020 because it wasn't a... So there's a bunch of data about like how last year was obviously a bit of a bust, but it wasn't until October of 2020 that students started finding jobs back at the pre pandemic speed. So 2021 grads, you're still entering a job scene of a bit uncertainty, but far, far less than what it was last year. So as more people get vaccinated and pandemic restrictions ease, employers are starting to signal their plans to really dial up entry-level hiring by more than 7% compared to 2020. So that's the good news. So talking about the first step into a new career it can seem a bit daunting I remember back in the day it was for me. So Harvard college career advisor, Gornick Ying says growth begets growth. So go where the growth is. So where's the growth? Three industries around the rise right now. Transportation-

 

- I thought you were going to say Publicis Sapient 'cause I was all for that.

 

- No, I mean, well, part of the industry would sit within Publicis Sapient so tech is one of them, so that I would say. But yeah, we're growing shout out new careers group here. So anyways, so the three industries transportation or logistics, healthcare, and tech. So those are the three fields that accounted for the most entry-level openings in the US. So jobs like nurse, speech pathology, wellness specialist which is sort of interesting, kind of owed to some of our previous bite sections. Software engineering, data engineering, product manager, customer service rep. So it was sort of the in terms of volume most new hire or new positions for new hires. So top cities though, so hiring new talent was also interesting on the top are New York, DC and Chicago mostly concentrated again within healthcare, software and transportation but not far behind are cities like Dallas and Boston which are growing the quickest. So I think Dallas was going to see like a 40% increase in entry-level hiring this year, thanks to a couple of companies, JP Morgan and Walmart in particular. So smaller cities also got in the mix here. So Tampa Bay and Morgantown, West Virginia believe it or not Tampa for more of the tech scene. I know, right?

 

- Sorry.

 

- So shout out to our Morgantown listeners. Tampa Bay, for more on the tech scene, Morgantown for more of that. So whether you'll eventually decide between multiple opportunities or you're just thinking about really what's most important GORUCK has a list of 10 factors to consider when choosing the right position for you. So these 10 factors, they aren't ranked but I've ranked my top three. And so Halley, Nadine I won't ask you to rank yours but I want you to pull out one that you think is the biggest reason or biggest thing you've learned that you've carried through with you to your, where you're at now in your career from your first position out of school. So-

 

- Okay.

 

- Ready, ready.

 

- The top 10. Brand name of the company. The network you'll build. Hard and soft skills you'll develop. Opportunity to explore. Opportunity for upward mobility. Your manager. The job's location. The job's pay. The company benefits and work-life balance. So the top three that I pulled out that again, if I look back and my first job out of school and I think back now, 13, 14 years later, what the most important things to me that came about from that first opportunity were number one, my manager. Number two, was the hard and soft skills that I developed in that job. And then the third was the network that I built. So yeah. So you guys, I'm curious, Nadine, what were some of-

 

- I used to be the same, Nick. Although I'm gonna shift up the one, two, three. One is network. Because now with the nature of how people job hunt and how people connect and get their next opportunities I know it's the age old saying but sometimes isn't what you know, but who you know who's just going to give you a chance. And if you've listened to our interview with Uttar Zenko in our German office recently she's a real good example of that of not necessarily having the skills for the role but having the really, really bang on attitude for it and learning and adapting. So I love that, oh.

 

- So mine's totally different.

 

- Let's hear, let's hear.

 

- So I picked opportunity to explore. So my first job out of school, I was a consultant. So I think that when you go to a big consulting firm like Publicis Sapient, I think that what you have here is an opportunity. And this is what I found too, as a consultant right out of school was an opportunity to try on a bunch of different stuff. Every client project can be something different, I learned something and then I was able to figure out things I liked and didn't like, right. And it was like, but all within one job. So because you don't really know, let's be real. At like 21 or 22, like exactly what you love to do and so that's the thing. And I've totally carried that with me through my career and trying different things on and being like, okay, I like this part. And you're continually like learning what you like and don't like, and fine tuning your job and making it your own, your career. So anyway, thanks, Nick. That was fun.

 

- Yeah.

 

- Nadine, what do you have for us?

 

- So we've talked about this subject in the past but I thought it was a good time to have a quick refresh because I was reading an article on The Muse recently written by Jenny Foss and it's the six job search tips that are super basic but people often forget them. And I think it serves as a good reminder to make sure you're really getting your name out there not just as a resume or CV in someone's inbox and in an applicant tracking system, but really getting to shine with the tools that you have to shine. So I'm going to go through these six that she suggests. So one verbatim, as she suggests make yourself a smack in the forehead obvious fit. So when you're applying for a job, it's really likely that your resume or your CV will be screened by someone who's a recruiter like ourselves, right. Or potentially even an automated system. So making sure that what your CV actually does is demonstrate how you're appropriate for the role. So study the job description, excuse me and make sure all the available information you have on the position is reflected in your CV. And secondly, don't limit yourself to online applications during your search, do a bit of digging have a look at your would be peers on LinkedIn, get on the radar of the very people that might influence you getting an interview. And so a pro tip on that is to look at the people inside of the companies that you want to work and use social media to potentially connect with them which I love that. Similar theme, but remember that your resume and LinkedIn profile aren't tattoos and yes, you love your new resume that you've written and it looks wonderful but if it doesn't match you for a particular role, don't be afraid to change it, modify it and switch it up and swap bullet points in and out. Accept that you will never bore anyone into hiring you. And she says, don't get her wrong. You absolutely must be polished and articulate and professional through your job search. However, people sometimes translate that into must be boring corporate robot and all of this correctness isn't going to make you look sort of stage and disingenuous but give your self the permission to be both polished and endearing and get a bit of your own personal story out there. Five very quickly. If you're not on LinkedIn, you very nearly don't exist and I would echo that. I use it to research all the time and make sure that you're using that social media tool and harnessing its power. And finally, your thank you matters. And I think that's such a nice touch because do you know what? You don't always get the job. It's not always the right time but it's really important to stay connected to people and keep those bridges dare I say, lubricated and dropping a thank you note is a really nice touch to the people that were involved in the process. So I would highly recommend that as well. Any other tips from you both that you would add to that?

 

- I would just echo two of the tips and that is don't just limit yourself to applying because we all know that in certain jobs we get dozens if not hundreds of applicants. And so it's always nice to put your resume or CV to the top by a connection and even a common connection if you don't know the person or something to connect you to that company or that hiring manager, or that recruiter carries a ton of weight. The second is the LinkedIn thing and that is like low-hanging fruit. But think of it as like a, it's a must have, it's almost as important as a resume. And even if someone does... 'Cause I can get why people don't want a LinkedIn because they get spammed by it or it's just one more thing that they have to maintain if you're, or you want to be active in your job search put it up and then like totally unsubscribe from it later once you're done with your search or you don't want to... Just disregard it or delete it for all we care. But if you're interested in an active in your search that I think is almost as important as having an updated resume.

 

- Thanks Nick.

 

- Yeah, no, I would totally agree and echo all of those job tips. I think that there is, the one that stood out to me that I would just reiterate is like, be yourself, right? Like, and so we we've talked a lot about like that boundary, right? Between being authentic and still having your boundaries and all of that. However, I want to know who I'm going to work with, right? Like you want to get a sense of that and that matters throughout the interview process. Don't be the, I think you called it a corporate robot.

 

- Sorry everyone.

 

- Can I ask you a question around the thank you note? What's your guys' take on the thank you note?

 

- I like it.

 

- Yeah, I like it as a close out, just as a, it was great-

 

- Email though, right?

 

- Yeah, oh yeah. Yeah.

 

- A hundred percent. Yeah.

 

- Yeah, yeah.

 

- Yeah, I don't need like a-

 

- Handwritten mailed in.

 

- Well, especially now that we're all at home, I'm not gonna like give somebody my home address. Like, no, you can't go overboard with the thank you note. I had one person send me a thank you cookbook because I mentioned, I like Mexican food on the call and it was just like a little bit like, that was a little much.

 

- Yeah.

 

- Too much fam.

 

- That felt a little bit like I was like... Or maybe I had it like on a Pinterest page or something I was like, oh, I feel a little bit stalkerish.

 

- Yeah, yeah.

 

- So just a straight up normal thank you email. Is lovely.

 

- Yeah. A couple sentences, bing bang, boom.

 

- Yes.

 

- Yeah, I mean, and include something specific from the conversation. Don't make it, like, I don't want it to be like a template that you send out that's totally generic. It should be like personalize it, but not overly personalize it with like a cookbook mailed to your house.

 

- Yeah. I think eventually that's going to flip though that we, not only do we want our candidates to send thank you notes, but in some ways I feel like us or we as in the hiring managers or whatever should in some ways be thanking them, our candidates for taking the time to speak with them. Because I think, it also could be role specific, but-

 

- I do think, yes, I agree it's real specific. But I a hundred percent agree with you. I mean, that's why we say, we tell recruiters like you should always call them after they interview with us. Be like, Hey, how'd it go? And all that. So...

 

- Yeah.

 

- Well, thank you Nadine. That was great. So the article that I have to share is a lot more depressing than what you guys talked about. So just as you know. So first of all talking about, well, this is a recent study that came from the World Health Organization and it's about the impact of working long hours specifically 55 plus hours a week. Okay.

 

- Yeah.

 

- And they have been able to say that and directly attribute that to 745,000 deaths per year.

 

- Wow.

 

- I know. And so they... And just to elaborate on that a little bit, like it's directly like stroke and heart disease and about three-fourths of these are men and it's the worst in Southeast Asia and Western Pacific regions. And so this, and by the way this was a study done from 2000-2016. So this was before the pandemic, right? This is on average.

 

- That's shocking. Isn't it?

 

- I know, it is shocking. And they think now because of the pandemic and like that it's worse because during lockdown they've seen working hours increased by an average of 10%. And I can tell you that this personally rocked me because I do tend to work more than 55 hours per week and there was a quote from the WHO chief that said, no job is worth the risk of stroke or heart disease. And so I can tell... So I just read this very recently. I can tell you, I'm keeping a little post-it note here in my desk drawer where I'm like, how many hours did I work today? And like, I'm making myself stop because it's like if I do all the other things take care of myself which I arguably don't always do, right? Like we talked about my lack of exercise and whatever, I have a sweet tooth before. But like this is something I can control and I can make a choice to work a little bit less, to not get something done, to let my to-do list carry over for a day, if it needs to, to let those emails. I mean, I'm a zero inbox person every day, right. Like I work till it's all gone. I don't need to do that.

 

- No.

 

- So, like I literally have thought about this article constantly. So I'm just curious, like, I don't know if either of you have this problem that I do of consistently working that much. And so it's, I don't know. I just, I see it also as something maybe in our industry.

 

- Yeah.

 

- Too. I'm finding it hard to stop.

 

- Yeah. It's also tough when you get feedback of like, oh great job, thank you for your help with this. And then it's like, okay, well, I have to do that much and, or more next time in order to get the same praise or so I get, that can be-

 

- Yeah. It's a responsibility. I feel a responsibility, right. There are certain people who are counting on me and so I feel like I have to... Anyway, this is Halley.

 

- Yeah. Yeah and, I don't feel that as much but obviously, Halley our jobs are very different and our responsibilities are very different and who we're accountable to is very different. I have a and it's not only since being remote for three years, but also just kind of in my nature that I have... I can fairly easily turn it off and turn it back on.

 

- I'm so jealous. I can't even tell you.

 

- But again, that's part of the role that I have and the responsibilities that I have. I don't have 30 people, 40 people on my team that constantly are pinging me and need me or have a question to ask or... So I don't have that as much, but I again, I just have that ability to go back and forth. And also too like I, because we're so connected we have email on our phone, we have... My desk is 10 feet away in the other room I can, if I need to jump in and do something really quick as well. So I don't know. The other thing is from our interview a couple of weeks ago or whatever, I got a basketball hoop, so I'll go outside for like 10, 15 minutes and it's like a total stress relief for me. So I'll do little things like that that help me just to kind of look down-

 

- Yeah. I'm horrible at all of those things too. Like, don't even... Like first I would need to stop working 55 plus hours a week then I'll worry about taking little breaks and sessions throughout the day. Like let's baby steps here. What about you, Nadine?

 

- I think it's just a really sobering statistic and I'm sort of in I'm halfway in between you and Nick, Halley. And that Nick and I have a very similar role and we don't have the responsibilities and people to consider that you have in your day-to-day life but I'm really terrible at turning off at the same time. So I don't share that with Nick. And I went for a weekend away to Devon which is a beautiful location on the south coast a couple of weeks ago. My first weekend away for a year with my family and I thought about work nonstop, like not a joke. And so I think it's really important that we prioritize these tools and mechanisms too to stop that. And I've mentioned it in a previous podcast we've got a program director here in the UK who leads RFS business, and he asks all of his employees, what have you done today to contribute to your a hundred year life? How are you looking after your financial professional personal and emotional health today? And he really hammers that home. So I think, do you know what? I know it's a bit idealistic and a little bit fluffy, but we could all like look after each other a little bit in that sense and really encourage one another to switch off, to not reply, to park it for another day when we can and the-

 

- I'm officially asking my team to stop pinging me-

 

- Yes. You should do it darling.

 

- So, how about that, guys?

 

- Yeah, yeah.

 

- I'm putting it out there in the world.

 

- But Halley, I think you have a really, I don't know. You have a platform a bit, right? Like to be able to set the tone for the rest of your team and not only the rest of your team but other teams that are adjacent to it.

 

- Oh, great. Now I'm feeling even more guilty, Nick. Not only am I going to die early now, I'm also leading a bad example. No you're but you're totally right and you are a hundred percent right. I am a big fan of, I do the delayed delivery email because I don't want to set that tone, right. That I reply at night, but I'm still doing the work at night, even if people don't know that, right. So you're a hundred percent right. So we can continue my therapy session on this later. And on that note, I wanna thank you both for another great bite section and off to now our next interview.

 

- Thank you. Today, I am joined by Charlotte Quatresols and Jill Duma. Charlotte is a junior product manager based in our London office and Jill, a software engineer based in our Chicago office. Both were hired through our early career program. And Charlotte and Jillian will share more about their journeys as new graduates and their accomplishments so far. Jillian and Charlotte, welcome to the podcast.

 

- Hi, thank you for adding us.

 

- Hi. Yes, thank you.

 

- Welcome we're very excited. And we like to kick off by understanding a bit more about where our guests are from because we believe that shapes who we become today. So we like to start by asking everyone where did you grow up and what were you like as a kid? Let's start with Charlotte.

 

- Yeah, I'm French. I grew up in a city called Annecy, it's in the French Alps next to the Italian border. It's beautiful. It's really, really gorgeous. There's a lake that's surrounded by mountains and it gets super hot in the summer so you can go and swim in the lake and it's super snowy in the winter so you can go skiing because it's just 20 minutes away from the slopes. So as a result, I was super active as a kid. Everybody there is like very into sports and things like that. So I was involved in a lot of sports, super active, always doing the activities with my friends. And I was a very curious kid, always longing for new activities, new experiences. And my dream was to as an adult were live in another country. So now I'm happy I'm in London now, but I love Annecy.

 

- Ah, so Charlotte here's a little piece of information. My family live in Chamonix, so they are just up the road from Annecy. And Annecy has my favorite Panner raisins in the world because they're the size of my head. So I love going there for a bit of Danish pastry vibes and lovely. It's a beautiful place. I am so jealous that water, crystal blue. Anyway more on that offline. Jill, what about you?

 

- Yeah, for sure. So I grew up in upstate New York kind of in the Capitol district area which is like Albany in New York. I moved around a bit. So like for elementary, middle, and high school I like went to different schools for that. But I, similar to Charlotte I very much was always into like trying new things whether it was sports or like afterschool clubs. And I think that trying new things at a young age allowed me to grow my confidence and not be afraid to take on new opportunities and that like led me into trying even more new things after like went to college and whatnot. Like I played rugby for a season. That was a very interesting time. But yeah, just like into whatever and always like taking on new opportunities.

 

- Well, that's a really neat footing into my next question actually Jill, 'cause I love the rugby piece. You're so brave firstly, I would be afraid of the ball and every other player on the pitch, but where did you attend college and what major did you choose?

 

- For sure, yeah. So I attended Rochester Institute of Technology which is also in New York. It's a little bit west closer to Buffalo, New York. And I studied media arts and technology, which is a major no one really knows, but that's okay. It is a unique major a combination of graphic design and front end development and that's kind of where I started gaining interest in like web development and software engineering. I initially started out as industrial engineering realized that was not for me and so quickly changed this unit over into this major which allowed me to blend art and tech. 'Cause those are two areas that I'm like super passionate about.

 

- Did you find, you had lots of like, the friends that you made there, like were you all really similar? Did you find? Or was that, loads of different people from different walks of life? I always find it really interesting with this kind of area of expertise. If people share quite similar interests so it's quite varied.

 

- Yeah, definitely. I think RIT, so it's a massive school. So there are so many different types of people, cultures which was like very kind of shocking at first to me, I grew up in a very like small town so like not super diverse, but yeah, definitely going to RIT just like opened my mind to so many more things and just like about other people and cultures and whatnot. So yeah, I definitely surrounded myself with a bunch of people with different perspectives and whatnot and so that really helped me grow as a person.

 

- Yeah, definitely. I love that. And Charlotte, what about you? Where did you study?

 

- So after graduating high school I did two years of Class Prepas which is something that only exists in the French system and after that, I went to ESSEC Business School which is a business school in Paris where I undertook a master's in management degree. Most of the modules I took were around entrepreneurship, digital project management, innovation, all these kinds of things because I've had a passion for novelty and throughout my studies, I've traveled a lot. I lived for six months in Singapore, four months in London, two months in New York, four months in Lisbon and I did a year in Paris during that time. So that was great.

 

- That's so great. We had a guest previously who also joined us through early careers and she had spent a year in Korea as well. And I just, I think it's so brilliant like learning different cultures and how different people interact in different sort of communities I think is brilliant and can only serve you well as you go through your career. So how did you then get connected Charlotte, with Publicis Sapient?

 

- So I found out about Publicis Sapient on LinkedIn. I was performing my last internship at LVMH. I was in London and working in e-commerce. And I was trying to figure out what to do next, this would be my first job so I wanted to kind of find the right path. And I'm a very creative person, I work a lot with emotions but for this big decision I wanted to have a down to earth approach because it meant so much to me to find the right job. And so, after hours and hours of introspection and talking with family and close ones, I landed on five main factors that my next job would need to comply with for it to be the right decision for me and the factors where I wanted to learn a lot during my job. I wanted to be exposed to various projects and various people. I wanted to be... I wanted the job to be in line with my own values. I wanted it to allow me to own my time, take time for myself and have good work and life balance. And I wanted it to be located in London because my fiance was working in London. And so I was contemplating a career in consulting but then I just came across, a product manager offer on LinkedIn clicked on the description, it looks like a job where the learning curve would be quite steep and the exposition to projects and people would be quite various. And looking at the website I had a good vibe from the website. I saw the core values. I saw the testimonies from the people there and it looked like something that could, tick all my boxes.

 

- Yeah.

 

- And so I applied and I was super eager to go through the process and throughout the process, I was more and more confident that this could be the one that ticks all the boxes so I was just over the moon when I got the offer.

 

- Yay. And good for you because with our management consulting team, I think the beauty is like you can, within your career in Sapient, you truly can have so much variety and if it's a pivot that you want to make it's a pivot that's available to you. But I've noticed that product are really like an attractive proposition for people these days. I have a lot of people that talk to us about the strategy piece and then they're like, oh, hang on a minute and talk to me. Talk to me about Agile. Talk to me about delivery. Talk to me about making this recommendation a reality. So that's really interesting to hear it from the other side being the recruiter. And Jill, what about you? How did you get connected with PS?

 

- Yeah. So RIT has a massive career fair every fall and spring, and PS has always been there which is a great, they always got a little booth there. And I had actually heard of PS through another classmate of mine who also happened to end up working at PS as well. And I just kept going to the booth and talking with the people there. And the other thing that was really cool about the recruiters, I guess at the career fair, where they were actual alumni from RIT which like even made more of a really good connection there. And the last time that I ended up actually talking to them I ended up getting interviewed by someone that I would be working with into the Chicago office so that was like even more cool. But yeah, I definitely did not imagine myself in consulting like did not even know consulting really was a thing until I started looking more into PS. Initially when I had talked to the recruiters at the career fair, I really liked how they described how PS has a start up like culture.

 

- Yes.

 

- But it's very much an established company which is like good 'cause job security. And I also liked the idea of like obviously with consulting comes traveling for work and that was very much something that I had started thinking about more. And actually one of my first projects I ended up traveling for work and that was a really cool experience. As well as Charlotte said that working on a bunch of different projects and not just like sticking with one thing the whole time, like my career would be at the PS. And also the fact too that we work in so many different industries I think that's fascinating. Like currently right now I'm in travel hospitality but very much like in the future would love to try out like maybe energy or like telecommunications. Something like that. Like I still haven't really pinpointed what like vertical industry I'm really interested in but I like the fact that there is variety.

 

- Yeah, totally. And that's the beauty of it. And I love what you said there, Jill about having a startup culture within the kind of the bigger infrastructure of being part of publicist group, because it's really hard to bring that to life and trying to articulate that to people. You've got to like see it to believe it and how it all works and how we weave together. So with that in mind, Jill describe the early career program that you're a part of and how it worked for you.

 

- Yeah, definitely. So I joined in July of 2019 and my like early careers program started off with a two week jumpstart which is our orientation. For that I actually got to travel to Toronto and got to see their office, which is beautiful.

 

- Cool.

 

- Yeah, that was a really cool experience. And also got to meet the other new hires in Toronto and we all became like super good friends. So not only did I have my Chicago cohort I also had my Toronto friends that I've made. And after we had finished up orientation there was about three months I want to say of just training which was awesome because definitely coming into a role as a software engineer where my background was in computer science, I very much had that imposter syndrome of like, do I know what I'm doing? I don't know. But definitely the training that PS has provided which was like overall, like backend, front end, dev ops kind of like a little bit of what software engineer is all about because there's so many different paths that one could go down. But with training that they kind of gave us like this overview, which was super helpful and like a nice refresher of things to kind of expect down the road. And then after that, like initial and those were all just like online trainings from Udemy, LinkedIn Learning, whatnot. And then after that we were assigned an account that we'd be shattering on and my first account was the children's place, which that was the travel account I was mentioning and I got to shadow there and there was also another cool opportunity, I got to work with like another new hire as well. So like we were both kind of on the learning journey together while we were on this first account. And then after that, like kind of after you're done with your shadowing period, you kinda just like you go in which was like, cool, I'm very much the type of leader that's like dive in and get going. But also like the idea of like having that kind of backup mentor person that you can go to if you needed assistance. But also the other part of the early careers program I truly enjoy now is like being a part of it. So I've been a part of early career panels. I've been like talking with other new hires, that have been just recently hired for PS. I've been assigned to be campus hire buddies with some people like I currently have one who's like based in LA and another one that's based in Chicago which is really cool. And then also being a mentor on my account that was definitely something I was looking forward to. She also, the developer also started in October, 2020 and like, as she was onboarded to our team, my people manager told me that I was going to be her mentor. So I was really excited for the opportunity and I'm looking forward to more opportunities like that.

 

- Yeah, it's great. And it's so important. Like when I... I don't know about you all but when you look back to the people that played such a massive part when you start a job, doesn't matter what level you are. It's that buddy, it's that person that you can have an informal relationship with that tells you kind of how to circumnavigate things that sometimes you don't want to ask your boss. So I think it's a really powerful relationship and I think it's great. And Jill, one of the bites we did recently, Nick and myself said that one key component of success in your future career is network. So things you touched upon there about, your buddies in Toronto like these will be your work buddies for goodness knows how long and you never know when you're going to interconnect in future and that's what I love about the organization. Like you say, little startup, massive geographical reach with all sorts of different countries and cities. So yeah. Thank you for sharing that and Charlotte, over to you.

 

- Yes. So I joined Publicis Sapient in October of 2020. I joined remotely because it was during COVID but that was really good actually. I was very apprehensive about starting remotely but we started as a cohort of, I think we were like 30 people. Product managers and software engineers. And for the first three weeks of our employment we were together all the time. So remotely together in zoom rooms. But, as time went on we had a side WhatsApp chat where we would chat during the day, get to know each other a bit better. You kind of see the personalities of each person and figure out who you feel like you have a good vibe with and so at the end of the first week some of us met because pubs were open then. Some of us met and we became friends

 

- Oh, so nice.

 

- Yeah. And we're still friends today, we're a group of six and we get on really well altogether. So that's really cool. And apart from that, the early careers program is great especially when you start remotely because you always feel included and connected to other people. You're not kind of just someone behind the camera, you're part of a larger group. So that's nice. You have emotional support. Every week, we catch up altogether with our early career bestie, her name is Cara and-

 

- Cara, happy birthday to Cara for yesterday by the way.

 

- Yes. Happy birthday Cara. We have a catch-up with her every week where we talk about our week, how we feel, how's our project going. Every week we also have a training session with someone from the company about various projects that we can come across as product managers. So we can do design thinking, also some technical literacy so all kinds of things. Super interesting. We've also had some formal training around agile so now we are all a certified agilists. We'll be having another certification in a few weeks now. So that's great. There's a lot of investments in our development as professionals. And we get to meet a lot of people as part of the early careers program, because we started as a cohort. And something else that is great is that from day one we are assigned sort of a support group. We have a people manager. So this person is basically our manager that's the person we report to, but it's not our bus per se we can have a totally genuine relationship with them. We have an executive sponsor, that's someone who's quite senior who's in charge of putting us on interesting projects. We have a buddy who is someone we can have a more informal relationship with. And so all of these support group from the beginning is great to help you network, help you achieve your own goals and just feel good in the organization.

 

- Yeah and hats off to you for joining in the thick of the COVID universe and actually the way you've described that would reassure lots of people that their experience isn't diminished in any way. Like, I think it's that feeling of connectivity and it is interesting Charlotte, isn't it? 'Cause there's a certain professional intimacy that you get when you've made friends over teams, like that's special. That's really special.

 

- Yes. Yeah, yeah. And if I can add to that, I have friends who were hired in other jobs at the same time as I was and they were not necessarily part of any cohort or anything like that, they would just, be a new joiner in a team. And some of them were sharing with me how difficult it was, especially because sometimes people you know on zoom meetings they don't necessarily put their camera on. And even two months in the job they were like, I just feel like a tool to them because I don't really know them. I don't even know what they look like. I'm not sure they remember what I look like from the one time I put my camera on and it can be very difficult, but for me definitely not that kind of experience. So that was great.

 

- I'm really pleased to hear that. And you touched upon something that we're going to go on to next actually, and the projects that you've been working on. So talk to me about a transformation project that you've worked on that you're most proud of. And what was your role within that?

 

- So the project that I worked on that I was most proud of is actually not what we typically call a project. So I got in touch with one of our colleagues in France who had developed a model to calculate our CO2 emissions as a consulting company.

 

- Fascinating.

 

- Yes. And I got in touch with him. His name is Iyad, and I asked if I could use his model. I used it to calculate our expected emissions for the next project I would be working on. I did then I got in touch with my executive sponsor who is the client partner on the project showed him the results, he supported me a hundred percent on that. And he came up with the idea that we would include those results in the client pitch. So that we could spark-

 

- Awesome.

 

- Yeah, that's awesome. So we put the results there. We put also the the savings that COVID created because of remote work. So that sparked a conversation with the client and how we can reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. And then as a company, Publicis Sapient pledged to invest in carbon emission offsetting projects in order to make that project entirely carbon neutral and then the client accepted the project and so we went ahead and make this entirely carbon neutral. And this was so great that now with this specific clients, we are going to do that every single time, we have a new project with them and that's very well received by the clients because it positions us as someone who is supporting their strategy to be more eco-friendly and yeah. And that's something I'm really proud of because that's a big impact that I was able to have within the company on my own initiative and I was really supported to go ahead with it. And yeah, that's something I'm really, really proud of today.

 

- Way to go, Charlotte. That is so impressive. You're our very own Guetta. Like, sustainability honestly I know for some people it's lip service and I know for some people they live and breathe it like they make day-to-day choices and what an impact to make. I am really impressed. I love that. Well, great story. So soon into as well. And Jill, tell us about the projects that you've been working on.

 

- Definitely. I just want to say Charlotte that was amazing. That's so cool. I mean, being able to make such an impact in such a short time, very much goals.

 

- Goals. I wish we had some background music, Jill. I wonder if our producer, Sarah can put in some like, some cheers and applauds, but you've got-

 

- Yes, absolutely. Yeah. That's amazing. Yeah, I would say one of the projects I've been most proud to be working on is my current project. And the reason why is this project I've been a part of since like it initially, like it started. So I've seen it kind of through its fruition from the ground up. So initially they were like maybe three developers and now we're like this team of like 13 with like a product manager a scrum master like all these people that like initially weren't there. And just like, I also just being a part of, so one thing I've been super involved with is I'm helping out with like designs of the web application that we're building so working very closely with our amazing designer. And the fact that not always developers get to like necessarily work really closely with like how a web application looks and whatnot where most of this focus on the functionality and just like making sure it works. But very much also the fact that I am very interested in that aspect of art and tech blend of things. I'm very fortunate to be able to work on a project that allows me to experience this as well. And yeah, the project is going amazing. The clients so far is like love what we've been doing and been extended on the project so hopefully more work to come. But yeah, very much excited to see like how this project can help our client, especially because they were in the travel hospitality. So a lot of companies in that industry, obviously, because of COVID we're trying to think of new ways, new and innovative ways to generate more business and obviously create more opportunities for people to know about their brand and whatnot. And that's kind of what this project has been working on.

 

- Yeah.

 

- And, yeah.

 

- It's really interesting. You picked up on something there that I've been kind of percolating on the past couple of years because you said working with a designer, you don't normally get to sort of flex those design muscles, so to speak. And I find as a recruiter, there's a danger of being quite binary. So you're either a software engineer or you're a designer or you're this, or you're that. And since I've been at Sapient, I've met people that are so multifaceted and actually they do truly sit at the intersection. And Hiba was a recent guest of ours who is an associate creative director by day in Dubai and by night is doing her PhD. And I can't even pronounce the title of her doctorate. It was something to do with the... It was within the arts, but it was super, super academic and the way she thought was a blend of the two. Academia meets creativity. So do you feel that you've been able to tap into some areas you didn't realize you had? Or is it something you've actually been in pursuit of as someone who likes the two?

 

- Yeah, absolutely. It's very much something I've been in pursuit of. I've definitely talked to some like UX people as well, like within the Chicago office of how I can start to get into roles where I can be a little bit software engineering but also a little bit of UX.

 

- Yeah.

 

- 'Cause user experience is something I'm also very much interested in as well. Kind of going back to the beginning of like, how I like to try new things, I just wanna do everything. And I understand that obviously that's not always the case but yeah, very much-

 

- Yes.

 

- Yeah.

 

- I know. And in fact-

 

- Moana, yeah.

 

- The next thing I want to ask you, Jill is what excites you about your future at Publicis Sapient? So, is that... Tell me more about that. Is this the kind of theme coming through?

 

- Yeah, definitely from the people I've talked with so far they said like, obviously it's not impossible it's just, you have to find those right accounts and the right opportunities for you to get into those sort of like combination roles, but very much, so like, I've seen the opportunity to grow at this company and very excited for that. The fact that like early careers, at least for software engineers, they have a very nice laid out plan for how to get from like a junior associate to a senior. So like we're not like alone on this journey but they do provide us with a little bit of help along the way. But obviously everything that we do we do for ourselves very much from the beginning, PS has taught us that we are our best advocates and that's something I very much-

 

- Totally.

 

- Took to heart because-

 

- Yeah.

 

- No one else is going to fight for your career except for you. But obviously you will have support on the way as you go along. And then you also on the opportunity to just like mentor other people very much love my first experience with mentoring one of the junior devs at my current account and very much looking forward to doing more with that if more new developers come onto my account. Yeah, just looking for more opportunities to grow and just become a better software engineer, but as well as more of getting into UX and design and whatnot.

 

- Absolutely. And I love that you touched upon your personal brand being a really powerful tool because again, in one of our previous bites recently Halley talked about LeBron James, and he's just done a campaign with Mountain Dew and it's basically amplifying all of the amazing work he does behind the scenes in his personal brand. And we can all dial up a bit of that internally because we are, like you say, individuals responsible for that and to be comfortable to do it. Lots of women in particular struggle with like really shouting about their successes. Google does a training, a training kind of a course if you will, to help you shine or shine the light on your own successes, like talk about your own success comfortably. And it's really fascinating. We did it recently and there was like 20 women and I was like, who wants to go first? And we just all stayed on mute.

 

- I've taken that course before I absolutely loved it. The I am Remarkable Workshop.

 

- Well done, Jill. Yeah, thank you for that. I am Remarkable Workshop. But it was eliminating like, people though, it's people with tons of experience, people with less experience and all of us were the same. We just were really uncomfortable coming forward. So love that. Good hack, Jill. And Charlotte, what about you? What excites you about your future at Publicis Sapient?

 

- What excites me is to be able to take initiative and really be supported for it. It was part of my five main factors. I wanted to be exposed to various people, various projects. And what excites me at PS is that if I set my mind to something I feel like I will be able to achieve it. I feel like I will be supported and that I would be able to reach my own goals and fulfill my potential the way I want to do it. So that's something that's super exciting for me. I don't feel like just a number in a payroll.

 

- Yeah.

 

- I really feel like a person whose passions whose interests are acknowledged and are cherished so that's great.

 

- And that kind of answers my question about why an upcoming graduate would choose to work at Publicis Sapient, but for any prospective talent listening to this podcast, what advice Charlotte, would you give someone looking to begin their career or at beginning of their career?

 

- The advice I would give to someone just about to start their career is to really take the time required to figure out who you are and what you want and what is going to make you happy and make you proud and not your ego not the person other people may want you to be or you may want to appear in front of other people, just take the time to reflect on who you are and what makes you happy and take decisions based on that.

 

- Yeah, Jill what's yours?

 

- Yeah, very similar to Charlotte's. One thing that I thought was easier, at least for me it was like starting to eliminate things you don't like I think, at least for me it came easier then it allowed me to focus more on the things that I do like it which helped me narrow down the type of industries I wanted to go into and the type of companies that I wanted to work for. And then also for anyone just like going into a new role, I always like to give the advice of like don't feel like you should know everything on the first day, like that's what onboarding training is for. I know I very much felt that way when I first joined and I also talked to other coworkers, and like, yeah like I thought I need to like know, hit the ground running, like know all these technologies and whatnot but companies hire you because of your potential not because you're an expert in that role already. So that's very much a nice reminder that I even tried to remind myself sometimes it's like, I'm constantly on a learning journey here at PS, I'm not going to be necessarily expert at everything because technology itself is just constantly changing. So yeah.

 

- And enjoy that process. That's brilliant.

 

- Yeah.

 

- Yeah. I love that. So we've reached the rapid fire question round the Sapient seven. So Jill, I'll start with you and then Charlotte, I'll come to you. But we're just looking for some interesting insights into both as individuals. So I'm going to kickstart. Jill, what's something new you've learned in the last 30 days?

 

- How to make Coq au vin which is a French dish.

 

- Wow, what is... That's high brow. Is it good?

 

- Yeah, my friend and I felt fancy. Surprisingly

 

- Ah, well done. I'm impressed. Charlotte, that should be a dish I'd imagine that you can rustle up quite quickly as a French person, no.

 

- No. Absolutely not.

 

- No, okay. So what's something new you've learned, Charlotte?

 

- Plenty of financial terms because I work with traders at the moment on a project I'm working on. So learning all of their financial lingo.

 

- Yeah, yeah. I'm sure there's lots of it.

 

- Yes.

 

- Next one then, Jill. What is one trend you're paying attention to?

 

- I like following like exercise trends. I'm very into just like being active and whatnot and just like mixing up my workouts. 'Cause I'm also the type of person that gets very bored of things.

 

- What's the latest?

 

- Just doing some new ab things, trying to get those summer abs.

 

- Nice. Yeah. The washboard ab action.

 

- Washboard ab.

 

- Love it. What about you, Charlotte?

 

- I feel like a nerd because I'm always answering, work answers. So the trend that I have my eyes on right now is the extensive use of QR codes.

 

- Mind blown, by the way with those little things. I only learned recently that your camera gets it to open up. I've been going along saying, oh no my phone doesn't work with that. I don't know what the hell that is. The executive recruiter for Publicis Sapient, everyone. Thank goodness, I don't need to know the tech. Okay. Moving swiftly on. Jill, what's something on your bucket list?

 

- Skydive over the ocean.

 

- Nice. Good one. Charlotte.

 

- I got engaged before COVID and haven't been able to get married because of it. So now I want to get married to my fiance and get that done.

 

- Oh, congratulations. Well keep us posted-

 

- Thank you.

 

- On the date.

 

- Yeah.

 

- Jill, did you have a nickname growing up? And if so, what was it?

 

- Yeah, sometimes people just call me by my last name, which is Duma.

 

- Is that on the... That's quite rugbyish, isn't it? The surnames and sporty as well. Yeah, yeah. Same. And what about you Charlotte?

 

- Yeah, so my surname Quatresols, in French it's basically two words, quatre which is four number four and sol which can be plenty of things, doesn't really mean anything on its own. Anyway so and the first letter of my first name is C so people would call me at C quatre S because that's for C Charlotte, quatre four, S sol.

 

- Oh, good stage name. That's prepared for alternative career just in case you need it.

 

- Yeah.

 

- And Jill, what's the most valuable thing you learned from your parents or family?

 

- I'm learning how to be happy on my own.

 

- Aww, that's a really good one. Charlotte?

 

- Learning to be myself and not someone people want me to be.

 

- Yeah. I love that. In this conversation, you've mentioned that a couple of times and I feel like it takes a long time to get to that point for a lot of people. So I think it's really great that that's what you've been brought up with 'cause it's so important. And Jill, if you were on a deserted island what album would you take with you?

 

- I would take an album, "How to Be a Human Being" by Glass Animals.

 

- I saw Glass Animals in North London about three years ago. Yeah. Really amazing. Love that.

 

- They're so good vibes.

 

- So good. So good. Charlotte, what about you?

 

- I would take an album from Mika.

 

- Yes.

 

- Yeah, I love him. And I'm actually part of his, 5% top listeners on Spotify in 2020.

 

- Amazing. I love that.

 

- So, yeah.

 

- So I'm the top 1% of Beyonce listeners. That's impressive, isn't it? Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I'm obsessed. She probably should be a bit worried. I'm a bit stalkery. And then finally, Jill, what book are you reading right now?

 

- Currently, I'm reading "Witness to the Revolution" which is a book of interviews from activists, organizers and like racial justice groups and from the late 1960s. So a lot about like anti-Vietnam war and whatnot. So it's been-

 

- Interesting. It's a good one?

 

- Yeah, so far.

 

- Oh, cool.

 

- And the person has been able to interview like a ton of really like, just like people I would have never imagined like you could be able to-

 

- You could even get access to. Yeah.

 

- Yeah, exactly.

 

- Yeah, that's so cool. What about you Charlotte?

 

- I'm reading "Normal People" by Sally Rooney.

 

- Yeah.

 

- Yeah, I love it. It feels like a comfy cotton bed sheet.

 

- Yeah.

 

- I don't know.

 

- I just watched the TV adaptation of it and it was so good.

 

- Yeah, I wanna watch it. Yeah.

 

- No spoiler alerts, but really good. Bloody good acting. Really good. Okay, on that slightly unprofessional note, Charlotte and Jill, it's been super fun. Thank you so much for being here today, I've loved getting to know you both. Before we let you go, can our listeners find you if they want to connect professionally on LinkedIn?

 

- Yeah, for sure, yeah.

 

- Absolutely

 

- Fantastic. So again, we really appreciate you joining us on the We@PS podcast.

 

- Thank you.

 

- Awesome, thank you.

 

- Thanks again for listening to another episode of the We@PS podcast. Don't forget to subscribe in whatever app you choose and check us out at careers.publicissapient.com. Until next time I'm Halley Marsh.

 

- I'm Nadine Bennett.

 

- And I'm Nick Easlick.

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