Wilfried Fosse: “In the United States, risk brings opportunities”

After studying at the SKEMA Business School, which opened its doors to the international market, Wilfried began his career in New York, a city that has always fascinated him. He tells us about his career in business school, his experiences abroad and traces the evolution of his career in the digital sector in the United States.

The existence of the SKEMA Business School alumni network, which has 48,000 graduates worldwide, with a very rich background, motivated my choice.

Lepetitjournal.com: Why did you choose to enroll in SKEMA Business School?

Wilfried Fosse : After a HEC preparation in Paris, I wanted to enter a business school with an international dimension.

I really enjoyed the international openness of the SKEMA Business School, the campuses abroad and the variety of courses offered. I was interested in the Master’s degreeInternational marketing and business developmentwhich is highly rated.

The existence of the SKEMA Business School alumni network, which has 48,000 graduates worldwide, with a very rich background, motivated my choice.

After a year on the Sophia Antipolis campus, I joined the SKEMA Business School campus in Suzhou, China for a semester for a Master 1. The next semester I did an exchange at a partner university: Munich Business School in Germany. I really enjoyed these international experiences, it was extremely enriching. Then I took a gap year, then I enrolled in Master 2 on the Paris campus.

It was a great challenge, with an entrepreneurial dimension that I really liked.

How did your international career start?

I have always had a taste for international and I very quickly wanted to build a career abroad, compare myself with other cultures, learn different management methods, different approaches to business … After these academic experiences abroad, I decided to carry out a professional experience abroad during my gap year.

Having always dreamed of working in New York, I have applied for various internships in French companies based there. I had the opportunity to do a 6 month internship at Dormeuil, New York.

After studying at SKEMA Business School, my manager at Dormeuil, with whom I had been in contact, offered me a job.Account Manager within the American branch of the company. So I moved back to New York, where I lived for almost 7 years. I was responsible for managing a portfolio of American resellers across the East Coast where we marketed the products, and did some business development.

In my 3 years in the company, I realized, working with these resellers, that many of them have encountered challenges related to digital marketing and e-commerce, areas that interested me a lot.

I was then in contact with Datasolution, a French group based in Paris and Sydney specializing in the creation of e-commerce sites. The group was looking to expand to the United States. They were interested in my background and offered me their first job there: I was responsible for opening the branch in the United States. It was a great challenge, with an entrepreneurial dimension that I really liked.

As the first real employee on site, one of the biggest challenges was developing a customer portfolio from scratch, with production teams based in France. There were a number of challenges, but in the end the experience was very successful. At the end of the first year we signed with a dozen clients and generated a very satisfying turnover.

Sketchfab is a leader in 3D visualization and augmented reality solutions

Where are you today?

After two years in Datasolution in New York, I returned to France because my visa was running out. At the same time, I had the opportunity to meet the Sketchfab team, the company I work for today. I had been following them for a long time and was very interested in the idea of ​​joining them.

I joined the company as Head of business development, first in Paris, with the aim of returning to New York where there is already a team of about twenty people. Sketchfab is a leader in 3D visualization and augmented reality solutions. It’s a bit like 3D YouTube!

We market a Player for 3D models, which we will integrate into e-commerce sites. For example, instead of having a product page with videos and photos, we can integrate a 3D model of the product, which allows us to offer a much more engaging and interactive experience. It is a solution that works very well, so much so that Sketchfab was acquired by Epic Games, the American videogame giant, which brings together almost 5,000 employees on 5 continents.

More and more companies today are turning to 3D. It is a booming solution and there are many opportunities and developments in this area. So I’m really, really happy to be a part of Sketchfab.

In general, I really like American management

What does the management culture look like in the United States?

The managerial culture in the United States is very different from what we know in France. I find that the American mood is generally more positive. The culture of failure is also not the same as in France.

In the United States the desire to undertake is very present. People don’t hesitate to try new things, take risks, and be bold, even if it means failing. Failure is really seen as a way to grow and learn from your mistakes. It is something I learned in the United States and it has brought me a lot.

In general, I really like American management. The way of doing business in the United States is very different. There is no formality, we call ourselves by nicknames among colleagues … All this allows us to establish much simpler relationships and to feel at ease very quickly.

Plus, New York has an energy that you can’t feel anywhere else. It is truly extraordinary to evolve in such a dynamic, enriching and pioneering environment.

SKEMA Business School alumni network helped me a lot when I arrived in New York

Tell us about your commitment to SKEMA Business School.

SKEMA Business School alumni network helped me a lot when I arrived in New York. I was able to attend events, discuss with other graduates, benefit from their advice … It was great to have this local support and allowed me to make my first friends on the spot.

I then wanted, in turn, to share my experience with other graduates. So I became an alumni network ambassador in New York. We organize many events (debates, conferences, etc.) which allow us to exchange between graduates. I am also a donor to the SKEMA Business School foundation, which aims to support students affected by Covid.

Skema Alumni is a great way to benefit from expat feedback

What advice would you give to young graduates of SKEMA Business School who wish to build an international career?

At SKEMA Business School, we are fortunate to be in a very dynamic school that is open to the world. First of all, I would advise students to take advantage of the various campuses of the school abroad to have international experiences, in China, Brazil, South Africa … It is truly an incredible opportunity and it is a great opportunity to take a first step towards learning. market internationality.

Furthermore, SKEMA Business School offers the opportunity to complete a gap year, between Master 1 and Master 2, to enrich one’s professional experience. I highly recommend taking advantage of this year to enrich your professional career by doing an internship abroad.

Finally, the Skema Alumni network is a great way to benefit from expat feedback. Graduates are very helpful and always happy to provide advice and share their experiences. This network is one of the great strengths of the school and you shouldn’t hesitate to use it.

An interview by Soraya Benaziza

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