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From Johannesburg to Paris: the international career path of Medhy Guillard

Today, the spotlight shines on Medhy Guillard. Based in Paris, he has been with the company for eleven years in a variety of roles – in fact, eight to date. He’s currently one of our Customer Success Managers, a role he describes as being “more like a farmer, compared to some of my colleagues who are more like hunters”. It’s all about cultivating success then – and his priorities are the wellbeing and growth of client accounts as they deploy solutions and embark on new projects.  

It’s work he is very much at home with, especially having held a similar role within the company some years ago. Nonetheless he sees it as an essential step in his career path; an opportunity to update and evolve his knowledge and methodologies. He says: “Working for five years in South Africa – a different region, a different market – forced me to unlearn and relearn ways of working, and about the portfolio of services we now provide to our clients.” 

 We asked him to tell us more about his international career path.  

Q. You seem to be an easy-going person when we see your posts on LinkedIn. Is this what helps you create a strong bond with your team and your clients? 

I guess everyone is different. I truly believe a good atmosphere helps a lot in a work environment. If you feel relaxed, happy, and appreciated, it will definitely reflect on your work. Joy and happiness can light up your day and doesn’t negatively impact your work. Yes, you will still have good days and bad days, but it will create a stronger bond with your team and a better relationship with your clients.  

Q. In your video, you explain that you had the opportunity to build your own team in South Africa. Can you share with us one of the biggest challenges you faced as a team leader? 

“Do what I say, not what I do.”  As a manager, I’m convinced that you must lead by example. If you want your team to give it all they’ve got – then you have to show them that you are also doing it yourself. It’s easy to just tell people what to do – based on your own ideas - but you have to be by their side, helping them to achieve it.

Q. Moving to Johannesburg, must have been quite an experience. How did it go? Do you have some anecdotes to share with us?  

I have a great many – including some that I have sworn never too disclose! Seriously though, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to play with lion cubs, and to walk with cheetahs, and I went on a lots of safaris!

One interesting work aspect – and typical in South Africa during my time there – was the ‘load-shedding’. These are power cuts – planned or unplanned – that could happen day or night, across the city. It wasn’t unusual for us – right in the middle of the day – to take our laptops and spend half the day working in the nearest coffee shop. Maybe that’s why Johannesburg was voted the most romantic city of the world – we were often spent our nights, living and dining by candlelight! 

Q. One last question: what advice would you give to someone wanting to work in account management?  

Listen to your clients – but do not automatically agree to everything they say. You need to create a strong and long-lasting relationship with them, but they also have to understand what you can do for them without putting your own business in jeopardy. 

About the author

Magali joined Arkadin in 2011 as Global Head of Internal Communication and Values Champion. Her objectives were to underpin delivery of our company’s business strategy, ensure strategic support across all of Arkadin’s business areas, set up global processes and programs, and deliver measurable impact in helping people explore and understand our 4 core values and the part they play within our company. In addition to her initial role, she is now in charge of our employer brand and focuses on refreshing our positioning and content through a strong digital media strategy via a new careers site and social media content. A graduate of the Paris - Sorbonne Nouvelle University, she spent her early career working with several consulting companies before joining Arkadin.

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