The VIE (international corporate volunteering) enables young people aged 18 to 28 to work abroad in a French company.The contract lasts between 6 and 24 months and can be renewed one time for a maximum of 2 years.
Margaux Bourgeois has been in the V.I.E. program for more than a year and a half in Athens, Greece, working as a V.I.E. Junior Brand Manager within METAXA, the one-of-a-kind amber spirit, part of Rémy Cointreau’s portfolio. She recalls her experience as a young graduate in a foreign country and her missions amongst the team.
Embarking on the VIE adventure
What has been you career path so far?
I have graduated from a Business School (EM Normandie) with a Master of Sciences in Wine Management (School of Wine and Spirits Business). During the past 6 years, I developed an international academic background studying in different countries around the globe, including England and Chile. I also gained professional experience in the Wine & Spirits sector with internships in France and Belgium. I joined Rémy Cointreau in Paris, in 2018, for my final internship as GTR EMEA Trade Marketing Assistant.
Why did you choose to do VIE at Rémy Cointreau?
It felt absolutely natural for me to begin my professional path abroad and continue exploring the world both professionally and personally. There is so much to discover! I was given the amazing offer to join METAXA with a V.I.E. program of 2 years, which I immediately accepted!
I am also a true epicurean and my passion is the universe of Wine & Spirits. Rémy Cointreau is the perfect company for me, I believe in its values and it offers me an interesting professional environment to grow and develop my hard and soft skills.
Being an open-minded person and having the constant desire to embark on new journeys, METAXA was a great match! METAXA is a one-of-a-kind, modern and dynamic brand that I feel totally in line with. I have found in METAXA amazing hospitality, rich cultural background and magnificent terroirs. I particularly wanted to get closer to the Wine world and discover the island of Samos where we source the sweet Muscat wines for the creation of our premium spirits.
What are your daily missions?
I directly support both Hospitality, Heritage & Special Events and Marketing Directors. My main mission focuses on Education: I am currently developing the “Digital Academy” of METAXA, an e-learning tool that will offer digitally all the knowledge on METAXA at any time and any place. I am very proud of this mission, as this tool is indispensable in the particular context of 2020. I have other great responsibilities and I am involved in many brand projects and their coordination such as events organization, PR activations and POSM development. The variety and richness of my missions enable me to gain experience in many different areas.
Work environment at Rémy Cointreau
How was your onboarding and integration to the team and teamwork?
I am based in Athens and the local team was very welcoming and friendly from the beginning. I had the opportunity to meet everyone individually via “Live my daily work life” interviews. They were very open to show me as many things as possible, whether in work or day-to-day life. Moreover, as soon as I landed in Athens, the local “expats community” took me in, and made me participate in their Greek adventures! Just to give you an example, since I am in Greece, I have travelled to more than 15 different Greek islands, went skiing in the Greek Mountains and discovered many of the beauties of the country and its culture.
What is the most valuable thing you have learnt with us?
In my 2 years’ experience within Rémy Cointreau and METAXA, I can definitely say that I have gained valuable knowledge in the wine and spirits industry. The international opportunity I was given helped me to open myself up. The fact that I have worked on different missions, has forced me to develop an entrepreneurship spirit, and to develop creativity, dynamism and autonomy.
What has been challenging and how did you deal with it?
My main challenge was to make the move and settle for a long period in a country that I did not know anything about: language, culture, work ethics… I decided to leave my comfort zone and start a thrilling new adventure by opening myself to the country and its people. I am still learning every day!
A few pieces of advice
What advice would you give to someone starting a VIE?
I strongly recommend the V.I.E. program to anyone who has the opportunity to do it! It is a wonderful experience on both personal and professional level. Before starting a career, you have so much to explore! The V.I.E. enables you to take a step back, enjoy your life from a wider perspective and open your mind.
One advice: Deciding always involves making a choice, choosing between one thing over another. Do not fear to broaden your horizons!
Would you – and why – recommend joining Rémy Cointreau to other young graduates?
If you want to join a dynamic international group and a premium reference in the Spirits industry; and if you share timeless values such as People, Terroir and Time, Rémy Cointreau is the right place to be!
What’s next for you?
In METAXA, we don’t drink, we explore. I will keep following this motto and keep exploring the world for further Marketing missions in the Wine and Spirits industry. Let’s see what the future brings!