Total at Work
Let’s get to know Pascale. She helps small French companies expand and create more jobs locally.
“I am a Regional Delegate, working for Total Regional Development, part of our Strategy & Innovation division. I oversee the Île-de-France and the Centre-Val de Loire departments, and 5 other colleagues work across other French regions. Our focus is on supporting employment in France, and we do this in 3 ways: we fund small to medium size companies through a loans program, we help businesses develop a culture of innovation, and then we enable them to export their products or services internationally, by leveraging our global network of subsidiaries. We help about 150 companies a year.”
So how does Pascale deliver this ambitious program? She explains the scope of her daily work. “My job involves being in the field, leading networks, such as local Chambers of Commerce, and meeting companies and local officials. I work with companies on their loan application, then present it to the Total committee. Last year, I helped 32 companies from all fields and types of projects. We are particularly focused on original ideas and renewable energies.”
Pascale is enthusiastic about her job and the impact that it has. “I'm very lucky to do what I do! We offer concrete support to companies and this can really transform their business models. I get to see a lot of different industries, and work with colleagues from diverse backgrounds. It is very rewarding when you see that your contribution has been helpful, and I get a very positive reaction from the local communities.”
Her own background as an engineer has helped Pascale prepare for the wide-ranging nature of her work. After graduating with an engineering degree from INP Grenoble, she began her career working on R&D projects in Grenoble, before joining Total’s Marketing Development team to work on a fuel cards Europe-wide project. She tells us about her next move: “I switched to Lubricants to manage a customer service project; a position that really appealed to me.” Next Pascale took up a sales role, in a team that included trade commissioners and regional leaders. Today, she enjoys the variety of her job. “Every morning is different; I'll visit a new company, discover many things in their workshops and factories and meet lots of people. What motivates me is that I know that what I am going to do will help someone.”
What are the key skills for success in her role? “Firstly, communication. I manage multiple relationships and you need to be comfortable meeting and engaging with new people. It’s also important to be very organized because the job involves a lot of multitasking. There’s also a technical aspect to this job, so I still use my engineering skills.” Finally, Pascale has some great advice for anyone wanting to follow in her footsteps. “Experience entrepreneurship! When you want to help small companies, you have to understand start-ups and have participated in creating a business yourself.”