“How the Army nourishes my job as a consultant and my civilian life”

Alexia Boutantin-Sandron travaille sept semaines par an pour la réserve.

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Posted on Feb 3, 2021 2021 at 6:45Updated Feb 3, 2021 2021 at 9:49

“Three years ago, I joined the operational reserve of the English Navy at the end of my higher military preparation course (PMS) Marine General Staff. An extraordinary year which allowed me to deepen my knowledge of the organization of the Armies, to initiate myself into military discipline and to strengthen my desire for engagement. I like to surpass myself every day and for a long time, I was determined to become a reservist! Today, being a reserve officer brings me a double advantage: to invest myself in exhilarating military activities, while pursuing a professional activity that fascinates me.

On the civilian side, after a first career in publishing and communication, I developed a passion for digital technology and innovation during a professional experience abroad. It was the opportunity to discover a very dynamic sector for which I had a real crush! When I was 25, I completed a master's degree specializing in digital management and subsequently, I joined Sopra Steria as a consultant in the insurance and social protection sector. The choice of the company when we are reservists is key: it is essential that the employer allocates time to the employee to fulfill his military commitments!

“There are many arguments to convince an employer to free up time”

Today, I carry out an average of seven weeks of activity per year for the reserve, five of which are taken from the account of days allocated by my company within the framework of a partnership agreement with the General Secretariat of the Guard. national (SGGN). Beyond the interests that this partnership represents for companies, it is undeniable that my commitment to the operational reserve is a real plus for the teams and my direct management. Reliability and commitment, solidarity, surpassing oneself, stress management, appetite for a job well done and ability to adapt (useful in these times of Covid crisis): there are many arguments to enhance one's experience in the National Guard and convince a employer to free up time for an employee-reservist.

My expertise in digital project management and data management allows me to contribute in a concrete way to the digital plans of the Ministry of the Armed Forces. As a reservist, I had the chance to participate in the realization of innovative projects such as the creation of a unique access platform to military support, but also to the organization of events such as Combattantes @ Numérique, which aims to strengthen the attractiveness of digital technology within the Ministry of the Armed Forces. I occupy a position like any other soldier and participate fully in the project. My vision and my ideas are listened to and taken into consideration.

“The army brings a lot to my daily life as a consultant”

These missions allow a real complementarity with my civilian life, both on the issues and on the methodology. In the same way that my digital skills benefit my military life, the reserve is a real advantage for the civilian side. Beyond values ​​such as a sense of commitment and team spirit, it gives me a new perspective and an ability to challenge myself. Tenacity, rigor, ability to adapt, the synergies between the two worlds are far more numerous than one might think and, for three years, the army has contributed a lot to my daily life as a consultant. All the same, it must be admitted that a little organization is necessary to meet the requirements of this dual function of consultant-reserve and know how to appreciate a (very) active life!

I am fortunate to have found this balance which greatly contributes to my personal development. When I look back, I tell myself that I could have joined the operational reserve earlier. There are many training courses and trades for reservists and thanks to reserve-company-defense partnerships, more and more companies are facilitating the availability of collaborator-reservists. In the context we are going through, the National Guard offers a formidable response to the will to serve that is imposed on many of us. “

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