Throwback to the start of our first Swiss hub with Marie Timmerman, Business Manager in Geneva

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In this interview, discover how Marie’s determination supported the creation of the Geneva hub and contributed to the establishment and success of MIGSO-PCUBED in Switzerland!

What is your background at MIGSO-PCUBED and what is your role?

I joined MIGSO-PCUBED in October 2021 as a Business Manager, with the objective of developing our activities in Switzerland.

In order to immerse myself in the company’s culture and activities, I began by supporting our Lyon-based activities, while developing our expansion strategy.

After eight months of immersion, I moved to Geneva to open our first office and adapt our international business model to this new market.

And that’s how the Swiss MP adventure began!

 

Can you tell us about the creation of the Swiss hub?

Our Geneva hub opened its doors in June 2022, after several months of legal and administrative procedures, market research, and developing local contacts. We arrived in Switzerland with no historical clients: a blank page on which we could create our own strategy. The launch phase of our business was punctuated by intense prospecting efforts to enrich our knowledge of the local context and expand our network. We took many different approaches.

In less than three months, we launched our first assignment with a key player in the energy sector. As a newcomer in a niche market, the main challenge was to make ourselves known to the region’s major industrial players.

What projects is MP Switzerland working on at the moment?

Within in the past a year and a half, we have already succeeded in diversifying our activities. Our customer portfolio now extends beyond the French-speaking part of Switzerland, and across multiple sectors (Medical Devices, Microelectronics, Energy, Healthcare and Public Sector…) with projects of all types: development and industrialization of high-tech products, materials traceability, construction of a new production site, organizational transformation, ERP implementation, etc.

In addition to these operational engagements, we also support our clients in the setup and implementation of their PMO organizations as well as in the improvement of their project maturity through new methodologies and tools adapted to their context.

 

What are the next challenges and opportunities for our Geneva hub?

We passed an important milestone in our development at the end of 2023, achieving a balanced budget and a diversified customer portfolio. We can say that the launch of MP in Switzerland has been a success!

This year, our challenges lie mainly in structuring our organization, strengthening our presence with existing customers, and diversifying our activities.

Switzerland has a very rich industrial base. Nevertheless, the PMO ecosystem is still underdeveloped, which offers us enormous potential for growth. We’re giving ourselves the means to achieve our ambitions by remaining focused and passionate!

How is life in Geneva?

La vie est belle! There are many preconceived notions about Geneva as a city, such as it being all about watches and finance. When I arrived, I was struck by the many facets of this city, both corporate and international. But, above all, life in Geneva is good; it is a mix of nature and cultural dynamism. People here take their time: “as quickly as possible and as slowly as necessary”.

What do you like the most about your job at MP?

Being a Business Manager at MP means being close to your teams and customers. Human relations are at the heart of my work, and my days never look alike. One morning, I’m interviewing an exciting candidate and qualifying new collaboration topics with key prospects, and another day I’m immersed in strategic discussions with my colleagues on the best ways to harmonize our practices and bring more added value to our customers. Juggling all these hats is probably what I enjoy most.

Since the start of this adventure, we’ve crossed paths with so many incredible people. In my opinion, these encounters are what make our work so rich.

After 2 years at MP, can you tell us about an achievement or initiative that you're particularly proud of?

I conducted a retrospective with my teams at the beginning of the year, during which we all shared the most significant professional or personal event of our 2023. For two of them, it was coming out of a very complicated period in their lives by joining MP. That’s when I really realized the impact we have as an employer and that I can have as a manager.

I’m even prouder when I see how far we’ve come in 2 years and the commitment of our team who embodies our values every day. It’s important to take the time to celebrate and share every victory, big or small!

What advice would you give to someone considering working in Switzerland in the field of project controls?

Since Switzerland is an attractive country, the job market is particularly competitive. The first question every candidate should ask themselves is: how can I stand out from the crowd?

It’s not just a question of experience or certification. To me and the company, the difference lies in human qualities and a passion for the job. Open-mindedness and flexibility, ease of communication, the ability to listen and analyze, and solution orientation are all essential interpersonal skills for success in a project environment.

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