Where are they now: an interview with alumnus Julian Arnaud

[caption id="attachment_763" align="alignleft" width="300"]Julian with his International Immersion Project team in Cairo, Egypt Julian with his International Immersion Project team in Cairo, Egypt[/caption]

Following his Global MBA, Julian moved into a career in his dream field: the video game industry. Transitioning from working internationally to working in France and changing both sectors and functions made Julian's job search complex, but having a clear vision of what he wanted, taking full advantage of networking opportunities, and keeping an open mind helped him land exactly where he wanted to be. Read on for Julian's story, and to get his advice for current MBA students or job seekers.

Can you briefly describe your current role and responsibilities?

I'm now working for Gameloft as HQ Producer. My role is mainly to lead the development of mobile video games from pitch to release (along with content updates), to ensure deadline, budget and quality, to remotely manage development teams in our foreign studios and to synchronize with the other teams working on the project (QA, SD & VFX, writers, legal, marketing, PR, top management).

Was there anything in particular about the Global MBA that helped prepare or qualify you for this position?

The Video Games industry is particularly difficult to enter at the mid/senior level if you have no former professional experience in it - no matter how high your motivation or knowledge of this sector is. The reason why I decided to do an MBA was precisely to operate a career switch. During the GMBA, I had courses that helped me better structure my thoughts and better understand international companies and their subjacent specificities, such as Prof. VANWIJK’s Strategic Management. The mentoring program led by Prof. Aarti RAMASWAMI also offered me the opportunity to meet key persons in the video games industry among the impressive ESSEC alumni community.

What advice would you give to current our future MBA students who are beginning their job search?

Keep an open mind and don’t think you are so special: competition on the field is F-I-E-R-C-E and, once in the recruitment process, do not put too much weight on your wage. Certainly important, salary should not be your main focus if you plan to be a happily balanced leader/manager. Once your dream companies’ list is ready, expect to make concessions if you really want to join one of these companies.

Network as much as possible: there are so many ESSEC alumni willing to help you, starting with Aline RUTILY who will joyfully share her address book with you. Attend as many events as possible. At some point, it will have a positive impact on your career. Steve Jobs perfectly epitomized this idea saying that “you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future”. He was right !

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