Soon after graduating from EMLYON Business School in 2008, Catherine Siarri discovered management control and financial analysis in Canada. Interestingly enough, although these specialist areas can seem particularly dry and intimidating to many, Catherine quickly found them fascinating: “It's a great way of getting a precise overview of a company, which enables you to make the right decisions regarding its future. For me, management control and financial analysis are not intimidating; the problem is often that the wrong people end up doing these jobs. You need to have an open mind and be communicative. What actually are the company figures, if not a way of communicating about its health and activity? It's a decision-making tool for all departments and a key element in terms of added value for the company”.
How did the EMLYON FOREVER network in Canada help you with your career?
It wasn't until 2011 that I tightened up my contacts with EMLYON and took charge of the Canada graduate network, thanks to which I met the Managing Director of Guerlain, who was an EMLYON graduate, and through whom I learned that the company was recruiting for the post of Management Controller in Canada.
Why did you feel the need to take care of the EMLYON network in addition to your professional work?
Today, I share the responsibility with Marine Mielle (EMLYON graduate Class of 2011). I think it's important to maintain good relations with those who, like us, spent definitive years at EMLYON. But it's also a useful tool in terms of maintaining professional contacts. We all know, for example, how useful it can be to have information about upcoming vacancies early on. That does not replace experience and skills of course, but a network can help to open certain doors. It can make all the difference at crucial moments, especially when you're looking for a job.
Here we have 30 graduates who are part of the network and meet up for meals or activities like curling when we can make it, which gives us the opportunity to share our experiences in Canada in an informal, friendly atmosphere. It also allows us to welcome new arrivals and help them settle into life in Canada.
What do you like about life in Montréal?
I think that young graduates, wherever they come from, shouldn't hesitate to move abroad and move around when they graduate. But you should always prepare well, and that's where being part of a network can be a real help, you just have to make sure you use your networking opportunities...