VIE: personal experience
Seeking professional experience in an emerging country, Elme de Loitiere went to Indonesia on a VIE mission.
“There are many cultural differences, especially when it comes to doing business”.
1. Why did you choose this VIE and what are your duties?
I was doing an internship in ENGIE ’s international management in Paris and I really wanted to gain an experience working in emerging countries in the field of energy.
For the VIE I was based in Jakarta, and share my time among three business lines of the Group. My three main tasks were looking at market openings, marketing the ENGIE brand, and creating synergies between local business lines and headquarters in Paris.
2. What have been the benefits and challenges of this VIE?
The greatest benefit has been to work in an international subsidiary in the energy sector. I have been able to see how to run a project from A to Z because we are in a smaller structure compared to Europe, where there would be many people working on the same project. Indonesia is also a very strategic country for the Group.
The biggest challenge has been the cultural one. The Indonesian people are very friendly, but there are many cultural differences, especially when it comes to doing business. It takes a little time to understand how to work, which is why it is important to be open and flexible. However, there is no particular difficulty.
3. What were the recruitment and integration processes like?
The recruitment process was easy. Thanks to the international management, I was able to contact local managers directly and be put in touch with delegates from emerging countries. One of these was looking for a VIE, so I had an interview that went well and was soon off to Indonesia.
4. What indispensible advice would you give young graduates wanting to experience a VIE?
I advise young people to take advantage of opportunities to participate in the Group’s development in countries where there are many projects, and also to try to have an international experience.
The essential ingredient to success is adaptability and having the ability to speak and write a foreign language.
5. After the VIE, what are your career plans?
I have since been hired on a local contract in business development. In the longer term, I plan to continue development, but in another country or at headquarters. My goal is to learn as much in the field of project management and finance. I always seek out interesting and diverse experiences.