EM Normandie: not just a business school, a family too
I joined EM Normandie after a DUT (2-year diploma) in Business and Administration Management. I sat the competitive exams and the atmosphere had me hooked straight away. I should also say that my brother went to EM Normandie 10 years before me, and was quick to reassure me that it was the right choice... I had been accepted at other institutions but I trusted his judgement - and it worked out great! I loved studying there, and I think it was an absolutely perfect fit for me. The people I met there are now some of my closest friends, and when I see all the accreditations EM Normandie now has, and the reputation it has in the business world, I think I made a great choice.
From business to entrepreneurship
After the first year of my Master’s, I spent a year in industry. I did an internship with Crown in management control, first at their Paris headquarters, and then supporting the setting up of a new factory in Slovakia. This let me work out exactly what I wanted to do, and I ended up with a Master’s in Audit Finance. After I received my degree, I applied for a job with Lafarge as a management controller. I built up my skills by moving from quite an operational position to a more strategic role with an opportunity to tackle corporate issues. After 6 years, the company merged with the Swiss Holcim group. They offered me a job in Zurich but I had an idea for setting up a business, so I took advantage of the opportunity to give it a go!
Made in Frogs was a blog for several years before it was a shop, and I ran it along with my partner Guillaume. We had always been aware of our behaviour as consumers and we wanted to promote Made In France and focus on creators. The blog worked well and we wanted to move from writing to sales by launching a concept store in Rennes. We kept the name of the blog for the boutique, and we had the advantage of already knowing a great network of suppliers. We opened in November 2016 and it took off straight away. We benefited from media coverage and word-to-mouth. At the same time, we used trade fairs to connect with creators.
Now, we spend 100% of our time in the boutique and on our online shop (madeinfrogs.com), and we love it because we are selling products that we know inside out, and we have a real connection to both our customers and our suppliers. That’s the part of running my own business that I like best: meeting people and bringing them on board. You also have the freedom to do lots of things and to work on projects you care about! What’s more, we’ve just opened the Fine Epicerie: just opposite Made in Frogs! It’s a space dedicated to all things delicious - a real treat for foodies.
Nurture your networks to save time
Thanks to the Alumni network, I’ve been able to meet so many inspiring people! In particular, I took part in an event they organised in Paris that focused on women with fascinating career paths, and that motivated me to start my own project! When you have the opportunity to learn from the experiences of others, it’s a real boost and it saves you so much time.
Marion's advice :
" Grab opportunities with both hands! That means making the most of your time as a student, and engaging with other students, lecturers, alumni... If you live in the present moment and work towards your potential each day, you can build yourself a great future! "