An interview with a volonteer
Martin Bury, 22, holder of a BTS vocational training degree in transport, started a corporate volunteer scheme at Geodis in Chad in June 2009. In the company of his manager, Laurent Cario, he shared his initial thoughts on the experience.
“CORPORATE VOLUNTEER SCHEMES CAN ONLY BE POSITIVE FOR THE FUTURE”
Why did you decide to do a corporate volunteer scheme?
Martin Bury: “I wanted to gain experience overseas. The corporate volunteer scheme (CVS) interested me because the pay’s better than a regular training internship. Also, the length of the scheme (from six months to two years) means you get to fully adapt to the company and see your projects through to the end.”
Laurent Cario: “For the company, it’s an excellent system. It enables us to take on young people educated in our professions who want to further their training and acquire international experience.”
What kind of responsibilities does the young volunteer have?
Laurent Cario: “Martin arrived on a Friday evening and by Monday morning he was already at work. I quickly entrusted him with the responsibility of supervising operations. He soon picked up the basics and got into the swing of things himself. Today he manages a team.”
Martin Bury: “The structure wasn’t fully up and running when I arrived so a lot of things need to be set up. I have to do a bit of everything and I'm learning a great deal. I've been given responsibilities and I have a certain amount of autonomy in my work, while at the same receiving plenty of support from my manager and gaining from his experience.”
CVSs are often seen as springboards. What career prospects does it open up?
Martin Bury: “I chose Geodis for its capacity to offer me a career through its presence in 120 countries. Companies are on the look-out for young people with a CVS in hand and that was one thing that motivated me. It's a unique experience that you shouldn't pass up. It can only be positive for the future.”
Laurent Cario: “My priority when I take on a volunteer is to project them into a future at Geodis. So the scheme is both on-the-job training and a talent breeding ground for the company. Volunteers get the opportunity to progress in a company by taking on its values.”