It’s been five years since I joined Cream Consulting as a Business Manager – and when I look back to how it all started, I can’t help but smile at the unlikeliness of all of this happening. I met Cream when I was a Solvay student working as “Campus Recruitment Coordinator”, aka the guy managing the relationships between Solvay students and companies. If it were not to sell Cream a spot at our Job Days, I would have never met Alice Castagnet, the Talent Acquisition Manager who invited me to an interview a couple of days later.
I never found my recruitment process either heavy or stressful, it was mainly some interesting and passionate chats about how we envisioned working together, society, and how one could impact the other. As Vince Lombardi once put it: “Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.” I really felt that’s where I would belong since this “individual commitment” gave every Cream employee the opportunity to rise and shine, and to launch his or her own initiative – we call it intrapreneurship, one of the pillars of Cream’s culture.
I never saw myself as an entrepreneur but I like the idea of being able to launch projects and ideas that can improve the way the company works. That’s how “Creamer for a Day” started up, a shadowing-project helping students understand what it actually means to “be a Cream consultant”. Many people told me that it wouldn’t be possible – but Cream supported me and the project is still live, 5 years later (by the way, next occurrence is on March 31st)
But at the heart of the business management role, there obviously is the business. I’m not really a hard-core sales, looking for cash as sharks do for blood – so the Cream way of working based on building and strengthening relationships felt right. Because that’s what the job is all about: meeting people and creating something together – something that is sustainable, profitable and valuable. I believe this way of thinking helped me grow a lot, and fast, and helped me meet some amazing people – to all the Bertrand, Jérôme, Axel, Natacha, Jan, Luc, Julian, Cathy,… thank you! You make the job simply a lot more fun!
When I look back, I realize that a lot has been done in five years. I had the chance to coach and mentor many people (and I have to say that I currently have an all-star team), to join Cream’s Executive Committee and to help the company drive and thrive. Always trying to lead by example, to listen and to help, I also know that the road is far from over. The path to being a “perfect-manager” is a never-ending one. But I’ll keep on working and I know that, at Cream, I’ll be surrounded by the right people – the ones that were already there when I joined, and those who got onboard since.
Because in the end, it’s what makes people join and stay – the people. The consultants with whom I work (or worked!) are the best. Their energy, motivation, creativity are the cornerstones of Cream’s culture and mindset. To all of them, I would just like to say a big THANK YOU!
I am truly looking forward to seeing what life holds in store for us. A man I greatly admire wrote that “real generosity toward the future lies in giving all to the present” (Albert Camus). With the team and ambitions that we have, I know that we are giving it all. The business will keep on flourishing, we will stay true to our culture, and we will keep on growing. Isn’t that exciting?!