Legacies of the CEFAMily

Karine Chaux and Thibaud Petelet: Mother and Son

We are joined by Karine Chaux, a proud alumni and Dean of CEFAM, who has a unique story to share. Not only did she graduate from here, but her son, Thibaud Petelet, is currently a student as well.

Why did you choose CEFAM?

Karine: After completing a year in England and obtained a degree in LEA (foreign languages), I wanted to complete my linguistic skills by acquiring more “technical” skills in the field of international trade and Marketing; already at the time…CEFAM was the only school in France offering a double degree with renowned American universities. For the anecdote, internet and social networks did not exist, so it was simply in the “yellow pages” that I found this school, unique in its kind…

Thibaud: I chose CEFAM because ever since I was little, I wanted to go to the United States and other countries. Thanks to CEFAM, I will be able to study in the United States and, above all, have the chance to obtain a business degree recognized throughout the world. So, I will be able to work and travel in different countries. It will provide me with a lot of freedom and opportunities for my future. The multicultural approach that I can find at CEFAM, fosters a comprehensive understanding of global business practices.

How has CEFAM played a role in how your career turned out? 

Karine: The “international promise” has been kept! I have worked for companies that needed bilingual employees and who had the ability to adapt to interculturality. When I returned to France, I worked as a Marketing Consultant, carrying out market studies in Europe on behalf of American clients. Being French and having studied in the United States was obviously a real asset for this job. Skills that I still use in my position today by developing CEFAM internationally.

What are some of the skills you acquired through CEFAM that you still use today?

Karine: I of course use “hard skills” that I have been able to acquire through my academic and professional career but more than ever I use a certain number of “soft skills”, essential for a managerial position: listening, empathy, pugnacity, stress management, adaptability… During my recruitment interviews (as being an employee or an employer), I confirm that yes indeed, the “soft skills” are the ones that help you to get the job: they make the difference between several candidates!

What have you observed about your mom’s experience with CEFAM that made you choose it?

Thibaud: Thanks to CEFAM, my mother was able to travel and meet people from all over the world. She acquired real international exposure, and this was a source of inspiration for me.

How CEFAM has impacted your life?

Thibaud: CEFAM has had an impact on my life, especially through the people I have met. I have made some very good friends who are now part of my daily life. I have also developed a more open view of the world by being interested in new subjects. CEFAM provides personalized support services including career counseling and academic guidance. CEFAM prepares me for the challenges of a globalized world and to be successful in my personal and professional life. My first two internships also allowed me to acquire some professional experience in the field of accounting and finance.

Having been a student here yourself, and now, as the Dean with your son attending CEFAM, What does the CEFAMILY mean to you?

Karine: “Never say never…and be open to opportunities” here is my philosophy and my advice! after having “sworn” that “I would never go to a business school”… I did one, I manage one… and here I am, mother of a boy who is following the same path but who will certainly follow it in his way with his own personality and his own ambitions…I remember the emotion of my parents at my graduation ceremony in the United States, certainly one of the most memorable days of my life… For several years, I have had the great pleasure of conferring the CEFAM diploma to the students and it is a real emotion each time, for each of them. They are the ones who make me find the motivation to get up every morning!

Thank you to this fabulous school, CEFAM, and to CEFAMily, of which I am a part of with my son. CEFAMily is also for me, my classmates, my colleagues, my teachers, the students, and all the alumni (some of them are still very good friends!);

What unites all of us without a doubt: a passion for the international world and the English language, great career opportunities and a lot of humility

“Céfamien one day, Céfamien forever…”