Justine Guinard, assistante commerciale export en alternance, chez Pouliquen SAS.

Profile: Justine, work/study sales assistant

You might have the chance to meet a certain tall, smiling brunette if you visit us in Cléder. Justine joined our team a few weeks ago on a work/study placement as an export sales assistant.
A local girl, she’s currently pursuing a degree in International Sales and Development at ISFFEL in Saint-Pol-de-Léon, Finistère. Just 20 years old, she already has a technical diploma in international sales, speaks multiple languages and has completed her first sales. Learn more about this ambitious young woman.

What are your responsibilities at Pouliquen?

I’m responsible for sales prospects in Japan and Dubai. I respond to price inquiries and establish solid business relations that will lead to partnerships. I also do sales prospecting and enter orders. I’m just discovering this task, learning all the steps from when an order comes in to when it’s shipped.
I also take care of lots of other little things like making name tags for trade shows and looking for new graphics for the shallot label redesign.
I really like diversity. At Pouliquen, you never know what to expect: no two days are alike. It’s impossible to get bored!

Which languages do you speak?

I’m fluent in English and I’m perfecting my Spanish and Italian. I’m also familiar with Czech from the time I spent as an intern in Prague during the first year of my technical diploma.

How did you find your internship in the Czech Republic? What sector were you working in?

I did my internship in Jablonec nad Nisouat Vinolok, a member of the Preziosa Group. Vinolok makes glass stoppers for wine bottles.
In the first year of my technical diploma, we had to do a business creation project for our law and economy course. My group wanted to create glass jewellery in Italy, and Preziosa was the name we made up for our fictitious company. Our professor told us that the name was already taken by a Czech company, and that our high school even had some contacts there as some students from previous years had done their internships there. After getting some information about it, I went there myself.
My internship went so well that my class went there on a school trip the following year.
In the second year of my technical diploma, I stayed in Brittany and did my internship at Viviers de Roscoff as a fish market sales assistant. The fish market auction system is the same as for vegetables.

Why did you decide to come to Pouliquen?

I met Gérard Quillévéré (editor’s note: the company director) at the 30th anniversary celebration of my technical diploma programme at  Lycée Kreisker  in  Saint-Pol. Gérard is a former student of the programme. Our meeting gave me an idea of possible post-technical diploma careers.  I wanted to learn more about his company.
I applied to other places, but they didn’t feel as right to me. Here, Gérard introduced me to the team when I came for my interview. The other companies didn’t even think of doing that. I thought that was great.
Because the company is close to my school, ISFFEL, I don’t need to have two separate lodgings for when I’m in class and when I’m at work. The commute isn’t that far, either, which is good.

What do you like about the company and the fresh vegetable sector?

The international aspect: being in touch with the whole world. It’s frustrating to be limited to France! Here, I can work with Spain and Italy and use my language skills.
In terms of logistics it’s more complex, but it’s interesting to see all the details you have to consider.
When we have new prospective clients, I do research into the trustworthiness of the contact and the security situation in the country. It’s a task I take care of from end to end.
As for the sector, my particular interest is the cosmetics industry. I thought I’d be disappointed not to work in that field. But in the end, working with squash and cauliflower is just as satisfying. The role is more important to me than the sector.

What interests do you have outside of work? What are your favourite pastimes?

I did theatre for ten years. I stopped when I was in my last year of high school and began my first work placements. Rehearsals were on Saturdays, and I couldn’t go any more.

Does theatre come in handy now in learning about the sales profession?

Yes, I think so. I was nervous about going on stage, but I always wanted to get back up there as soon as the performance was over. It’s the same with customers: I prepare my notes and phrases in case I forget what to say, but in the end, when it’s going well, I make call after call.

Besides theatre, how do you spend your free time these days?

I enjoy going out, like everyone my age. I prefer outdoor activities like walks on the beach, and  sharing meals with friends. And reading.

What would you like to do after your degree?

Continue to gain experience, and maybe later become a travelling sales representative. I like working with foreigners, but I’d also like to know what it’s like to work abroad.