Career Story: Axel du Mesnil

13/12/18



Can you give a brief description of your role at Bureau Veritas and how long you have been in this role?

My role at Bureau Veritas is Digital Product Manager and I have been in this position for a year and a half now. Prior to this I was working as a Project Manager, managing the implementation of our digital solutions for our key clients. A key aspect of my role as a Digital Product Manager is to develop the digital strategy of the North West Region. This involves gaining an understanding of our customers’ needs and how we can meet their requirements through the development of technology. Once we have developed the digital solution, there is the product management element of my role. We build a roadmap around the product to ensure that we are continuously developing and improving the product to match our clients’ needs and continue to add value to the software. I also need to continuously drive internal channel of communication with the sales team to maintain their level of expertise in our latest product capabilities and present the right solution to the right clients.

Solution implementation remains a key element to my role. Through the management of a team of project managers, I ensure that the transition from the contract negotiation to the delivery phase is a smooth process. That the full scope of the project has been clearly understood across the team and the project plan matches the expectations. I follow up on each implementation with a clear focus on maintaining the highest level of deliverables quality and client satisfaction level.


What initially attracted you to apply to work at Bureau Veritas?

I joined Bureau Veritas as a graduate. I had accomplished a joint bachelor degree in Computer Science and Business Management at Oxford Brookes University and then pursued a Masters in Technology Entrepreneurship at University College London. The first thing that attracted me to the role was the size of the company and the global network. Bureau Veritas portfolio of existing clients is a catalogue of blue chip companies that can be delved into. The company touches on such a wide spectrum of sectors and industries that there is a breadth of opportunity to play around with what technology works for some clients and what may not work for others.

In addition to this, the digital division in Bureau Veritas was not very mature at the time. With an educational background in Information technology and strong entrepreneurial skills, there was an opportunity for me to be really involved in the design and decision making around the digital journey of the company.


Given the nature of your role, how would you compare Bureau Veritas in its digital advances to other companies?

Bureau Veritas is now placing investments in its digital portfolio at the forefront of its development strategy so we are only just getting to grips with our digital strategy, both internally and externally. However, it seems the TIC industry is moving at a fairly slow pace when it comes to adopting new technology to bring value to existing services. Bureau Veritas is therefore placing itself in a position where it is setting the bar for the rest of the industry.

Although we are not the first company that comes to mind in the world of Digital Innovation, we are seeing new and interesting technology becoming our norm within Bureau Veritas such as, drones, blockchain, virtual reality, augmented reality, machine learning etc. We are increasingly discovering great opportunities for the business and like I said before, setting the bar for the industry.


What sort of opportunities do you feel are available with Bureau Veritas?

Being a part of Bureau Veritas, you are exposed to a large variety of different markets and technologies. You may join the company through one technology or software, but as you enter the wider digital team within Bureau Veritas you find that you are exposed to completely different technologies in different sectors where we offer a wider variety of services. This exposure provides fantastic development opportunity.

Personal development is also key to Bureau Veritas and we recognise this through different training programs made available to employees. Bureau Veritas pushes its employees to have mentoring and attend training courses. For instance, all digital project managers go through Prince 2, which is a global recognition for effective project management demonstrating to our clients the highest level of expertise.

In the digital world of Bureau Veritas, we maintain a linear and flexible hierarchal structure with cross divisional expertise, providing opportunity to progress to managerial level and taking on new resources at a fairly rapid pace.

Bureau Veritas also have a development scheme in place called Grow Your Talent, which I was nominated to join in 2017. The scheme gives employees the opportunity to set out a plan for development within the business and a path of how to achieve this. With executive members of the business taking the role of a mentor to participants, I felt that Grow Your Talent was a great opportunity for me to get to know the wider business and learn key business skills that would help to progress my career.


What is your favourite part of your day-to-day role?

Being a part of a great team where we can bounce ideas off each other and work together to achieve incredible results. There is also a great professional - social balance in our team. We have a breakfast club on Fridays and occasional drinks after work. Having this relaxed working environment and a good support network is a great asset in my day-to-day role.

Also I am fortunate in my role to get first-hand experience of client satisfaction. Winning a new contract, seeing positive feedback from end users, clients’ recommendations which all leads to business growth and the development of our great team. This can be very rewarding.


What is the best piece of advice you would give to yourself as a graduate?

Network as much as possible, as early as possible. Networking with people across the business will bring fantastic opportunities, for instance how an unknown technology can bring us a new client and an exciting project to implement. It is a much nicer work environment when you know people in the business. I didn’t do this enough in my first year, but my current manager, Kyle Veitch, is of great support to open doors and connect me with the right people in the right regions. It also allows you to get as much information about our products as possible and where it will and won’t work within the business. The product’s success relies on this.

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