Bastien, trainee Project Management Officer at Crédit Agricole Assurances

Bastien is a trainee Project Management Officer at Pacifica. Find our more about his experience as a sandwich course trainee.

22 years

How were you recruited?

It all started last year, when I saw the place offered on the website of my computer engineering school, the ESGI. I thought it looked interesting so I applied and had a first, operational interview followed by an interview with HR. Within 2 weeks, I had a job offer to join the Crédit Agricole Assurances on a "professionalisation contract".
I was offered some other jobs, but I chose Crédit Agricole Assurances because the work involved was interesting and corresponded to my career plans. The position and the company were "sold well" to me! It really made a difference to know that my future company included its sandwich course and other trainees in a genuine policy of development and investment. And then, the head office is well situated as it's in Montparnasse (15th arrondissement).

I know that the company has been in a partnership with the ESGI for 2 years. It makes itself known to students by taking part in induction seminars, exam panels, "Open Days" on the main fields in computing (development, IT security, etc.) and the annual speed recruiting event.

(Editor's note: Crédit Agricole Assurances currently has 6 trainees from the ESGI).

Can you tell us something about your job and how you spend your days?

I'm lucky to be able to cover two different jobs in my work.

First of all, I'm a Project Management Officer - in other words, I run a portfolio of about 100 projects in the project management section of my department. I update the schedules for the projects (Phases, Steps, Tasks, Workloads, etc.) with a view to providing a report on the team's activities and workload to the different managers. This serves as a status report on the progress made with the projects, and alerts managers if there is going to be an excessive workload or a delay in delivering a project.

I also have a role as a Project Owner's assistant on a project to overhaul the commissioning of appraisers for our policyholders' harvest claims. Appraisers will be commissioned using a new computer tool that we are in charge of developing. The project began when I arrived and will take 2 years. Throughout this large-scale project, my contacts are the appraisers, assistants and supervisory staff of the Special Risks Management Units (UGRS) in the regions, not forgetting the IT Department that is developing the solution. To draw up a set of specifications, I had to travel out to the Montpellier UGRS, for example.

Day to day, it's pleasant working at Pacifica (Editor's note: a subsidiary of Crédit Agricole Assurances) because there is a good atmosphere. When I arrived, we celebrated the company's 25th anniversary with a whole weekend on the Côte d’Azur. My department regularly organises events and activities. At the moment for example, it's a betting game on the Euro tournament, and next week I'm going on a management seminar. More generally, we have plenty of opportunities to get together with the other Crédit Agricole Assurances entities, like in June on Neighbours Day or in January for the New Year's Wishes evening!

What is it like being a sandwich course trainee at Crédit Agricole Assurances?

As I said, the company really invests in its young people and its part-time trainees.

When I arrived, I attended an induction day where the company was presented to us, so I was able to get to know more about the group and the sandwich course trainees in the other Crédit Agricole Assurances entities (Editor's note: Predica, CACI, Crédit Agricole Assurances Holding, La Médicale, CAAGIS). We regularly get together with this community at after-work sessions, breakfasts, picnics (if the sun comes out!) and recently, a laser-game. We are also integrated in the community of sandwich course trainees of Crédit Agricole SA.

Finally, HR organises a day every year to develop our employability and prepare us for the job market: a morning session on our career plan and CV, an afternoon of mock interviews

What are your plans after completing the sandwich course?

After completing this sandwich course, I'm hesitating between applying for a Graduate Programme in IT and Projects at Crédit Agricole SA or in another bank or insurance company.

If not, I'd like to apply for a specialist masters course in financial IT to complete my training.

I'm also open to a permanent contract in a consultancy firm or bank.

What is sure is that my experience at Crédit Agricole Assurances will be a great experience to have on my CV!