Between two business trips around the world, Blandine Michaut describes us her journey at SICPA after having worked 11 years in the paper industry. Dynamic and with a taste for adventure, Blandine enjoys her job where every day is different and daily challenges are present.
When and how did you join SICPA?
I joined the Technical Assistance team at SICPA in June 2017.
What was your perception of SICPA before joining?
I heard about SICPA for the first time during the “Grand prix des couleurs”. Indeed, SICPA sponsored a contest open to all students from 2nd to 3rd year at the EFPG (Ecole Française de Papeterie et Industries Graphiques de Grenoble).
SICPA crossed my path again when I settled down in Lausanne. At that time, I did not have for an objective to join the company, but having friends working there, I always kept an indirect contact with the firm.
Why did you join SICPA? What convinced you to join SICPA?
I decided to join SICPA after 11 years in the paper industry. The company I was working for decided to relocate. I continued working for them for a few years as a consultant, but the distance complicated my work and my social life.
At that time, I was already in charge of the technical assistance for Europe and Asia. When the position of Technical Advisor at SICPA opened, it was a logical follow-up offering me great and new perspectives. It was the right time to do it – a , change in industry and, products and as well as an opportunity to discover a new dynamic. Having always heard positive feedbacks about SICPA, despite its discretion, I gave it a try.
What were your previous experiences before joining?
After my degree in Paper and Graphical Engineering, I travelled six months in Slovakia and then a year in the Philippines for local development projects. Two extraordinary experiences with sometimes difficult but nevertheless, magical moments.
When I came back, I picked up a more conventional life and started my professional career in an American company in Luxembourg as a Technician Process. I learned a lot in Project Management, but I quickly realised I needed more adventure and at that moment, I joined a Brazilian company. Active in the pulp industry, they were looking for someone able to develop their technical assistance in Europe. I then spent six months in Brazil to attend a training before settling down in the German-speaking part of Switzerland to work. I grew together with this position for 11 years.
What did SICPA bring to you professionally and personally?
For me, it is the human side that comes first: cohesion and collaboration. I discovered passionate people who were engaging and enjoyed sharing their knowledge. It was hard to absorb everything, but I still learned a lot by their side.
What is your main objective in your job?
My main objective is to assure customer satisfaction. Generally, technical assistance is requested when the customer encounters some issues. It can have a “frustrating” side because we are the firemen and firewomen of the moment, but it brings a lot of satisfaction to see that the help we provide is valued by the customer.
Describe your typical working day at SICPA?
It is difficult to describe a typical working day. We often have objectives in the morning, but it is rare when we do what was planned, whether in the customer’s factories or at the office. We must be flexible and handle priorities since we are the technical point of contact for the customer. For this reason, we interact with many different departments of SICPA throughout the day.
According to you, what are the key soft skills necessary in your job?
Organised, flexible, humble, able to listen, collaborative, critical, open to travel and determined – all these competencies are necessary to become a good Technical Advisor over the years.
How do you manage your professional and personal life?
It requires a lot of flexibility. It is not always easy to juggle between both, but it is part of me today. It would be difficult for me to consider having a job 100% at the office. Travelling and interactions with customers gives perspective to our job and is a source of satisfaction.
If you could choose only three words to describe SICPA and your daily life at SICPA, what would they be?
Respect, Discretion and Engagement.