Cédric, 36 years old, BI consultant, has worked all around the world for 6 years. England, Argentin, USA, South Africa: he’s been a globe trotter BI for many short missions, before settling down in Dubai in 2015 to develop his company’s activities…
What kind of Globe Trotter BI are-you ?
I’ve been a globe trotter for a few years, and now I’m a permanent expatriate !
After an Erasmus in Spain to study, and then a few contracts in Dominican Republic and England, I’ve always felt attracted to foreign countries. 7 years ago, I set up a BI infrastructure for a French branch in South Africa on a EPM project. I flew there a few more times after that for various projects, especially the setting up of a TM. At this point, South Africa was a springboard to signing new contracts everywhere, in USA, Argentin, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, Canada, England and now Dubai where I have just settled down.
What triggered your decision to travel:
Curiosity ! The desire to discover new horizons. Combining business with pleasure: breaking the habit while discovering other working methods and other cultures.
What was the best part of these international experiences ?
First, I’d say discovering new people, having to work with different manners of thinking, exchanging point of views. By working abroad, you gain greater rigor and greater sense of adaptibility with others, and it becomes more and more natural with time. Also expatriate people in foreign countries are way more open, it’s easier to exchange, there is more proximity in day to day work and that’s a really great side of it.
I really enjoyed bringing a BI know-how in countries where the BI maturity was different. Aside from technical aspects, it’s also a lot of change management, you set up a whole BI infrastructure from scratch. Offering this kind of novelty truly is rewarding.
What surprized you the most:
Working methods are very different from a nationality to another. If you take Dubai for instance, the melting pot is huge : 12% natives against 88% foreigners. You need to be flexible and adapt. Also, not working in your mother tongue will force you to compensate with greater quality of expertise. It’s challenging !
How was your integration ?
I’ve always been lucky. I got along very well with people and built strong friendships on each one of my missions.
What about a negative point ?
It can be hard to meet natives, and it’s common to only socialize with expatriates who come and go in cycles. You have to make an effort and reach out to others.
If you had an advice for a future Globe Trotter BI ?
Just do it ! If you really feel like it, the anxiety is normal : I promise it will vanish once you are out there !
Did you consulted any websites in particular before leaving ?
Before leaving, it’s a good idea to get in touch with consulates and check their websites. The administrative parts are never easy : some Facebook groups offer tips and advices, in Dubai I use « Ze French » for instance.