Employee Interview – Business Management

How and why did you start working at ALTEN?

I’m originally from France and have lived and worked in the UK for 8 years. I wanted to have a new challenge. Hamburg looked attractive on the market for me, and for personal reasons, I was open to finding a new position there. I was contacted by ALTEN, I checked the Group, their website and social media and find it quite interesting. It also looked like the company offers many opportunities and many employees had different nationalities. That was why I got interested. The process was also quick and I managed to find a project within weeks.

Concerning your professional and international background, why did you decide to work and live especially in Hamburg?

Besides personal reasons, Hamburg is a hub for the aerospace industry and has a great connection to Toulouse, which is another key player in this sector. So to me, Hamburg sounded like I could get the best of both worlds, professionally and personally. The city also has many companies in the chemical industry sector, where my professional background is in. I saw a lot of possibilities combining it all together while working at ALTEN.

You started as a Consultant at ALTEN. What was your first project about?

In my first and only project, we supported our aerospace client in offshore activities. That means a transfer of work and design, and being in exchange with the international clients and companies that we worked with. Besides, we reported to France, which was handy for me due to my language skills. We made sure that all suppliers had the support that they needed. I started as a Consultant in that role, but after a few weeks, I switched into the role of Project Leader. Lucky enough, I was asked by the management to take the lead in my project quite fast. That showed me the management had a lot of trust in me. Now, I work as a Business Manager in the same project, and for other projects, as well. Which is an advantage because I know the project and the colleagues. I know how the consultants work and how I can improve the management of it.

How did you switch your career from a Project Leader to a Business Manager?

In my project, I worked very closely with management. In general, there are blurry lines between the roles of a Project Leader and Business Manager, so you work closely from the start. And I thought I would love to learn more about how to build a business, how to manage a business. I was also interested in the aspect of negotiation and learning new skills. And ALTEN gives you that chance. The company can teach you how to develop a business from scratch. Then it all clicked for me. Luckily, my Business Manager already had me in the back of his mind. So I openly said, that I would be interested and then it happened pretty fast. ALTEN sounded like it was full of opportunities workwise to me, and that just proved my impression.

You have been working as a Business Manager since 2020. What is the main challenge, besides the current pandemic, in your position?

The biggest challenge is to learn how to do business. Who and when to contact, to talk to new people from scratch. Building new relationships. So I prepared all of my phone calls beforehand and the first times, it was really hard. I sounded like a robot. However, it is like trial and error and in the end, you find the solutions for your clients’ problems and that’s why they pick you.

What is your daily work life like and what are your tasks?

Busy. There is no real barrier. You have to multitask. Contact clients, build new businesses, find solutions, pitch ideas. I also work closely with the Recruitment department. We look together for new talents and the right skills for the projects. As a BM, you also need to keep in touch with your consultants. Discuss with them their career, how they want to develop. That is why we also work closely with the Career Development Department. But the work is exciting. It is active, flexible and keeps you busy and that is what I like about it. That is why we become Business Managers.

What is your favourite part of this job?

What I like most is getting in touch with new people. Getting to know new industries, not only the ones I already work in. I learn a lot. The best thing is, you see something build. You see the results.

What 3 skills do you think should a professional have for working at ALTEN?

Being communicative, adaptable and autonomous. The first one because you need to communicate with ALTEN, with the customer and your team. You will change projects after a while and you will meet new people. That is also, why you need to be adaptable and autonomous. It is not like a common job where you only focus on the technical part. You also need these soft skills to be successful.


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