Inspiration and Creation: Taking Your Dreams Far
Adventurer & Senior Consultant at Capgemini
It is one thing to simply be a dreamer, always with your head in the clouds, never quite focused on the world about you. And it is quite another to be a creator, taking those dreams and applying them to the world about you.
This week, we have young French adventurer and consultant Antonin Guy here to discuss not only his past work experiences but also his current project, the Electric Odyssey.
The Electric Odyssey is a world-wide tour via electric vehicle, meant to prove the efficiency of electric mobility. Antonin Guy is an example of someone who has been able to take his dreams and aspirations and make them into realities.
Hello Antonin. How has 2012 been for you thus far?
This year as you may know has been one of the most important years of my life. I have been lucky enough to be a part of the global scale project known as the Electric Odyssey.
This trip has taken me to the United States, to Japan, here to Singapore and more places are to come. This trip has been very important to me because of what it represents: an idea and a dream becoming reality; a point being proven.
What inspired you to study Engineering in University?
I focused on Engineering for five years of my life for a couple of reasons. Firstly I knew that I was good at math and physics, these subjects came easy to me so there was an impetus to stay within these fields. Second, because I was good at those subjects there was a level of comfort with those fields, when something feels comfortable that is a start.
Third, I wanted to be in an engineer job, I simply knew I wanted to focus on the technical aspects behind creating things, and that is the first step to pursuing that kind of degree. I must say though that I did switch into studying business after for a year after Engineering, which is what has led me to my current consultant job.
Let’s talk about your research work in the past. What have you devoted your time to?
The research work I have been involved in has primarily focused on innovation management. I have been involved in around four studies with students from a business school in Paris. These studies eventually led my team to the question: How can we innovatively promote electric cars. And what would be the impact of electric cars on other vehicle industries.
While these questions have not been fully answered yet, because of my current project, we are on a quest to find these answers.
What was one of your most interesting endeavours?
In the past I would have to say my first public sector job working for the French Environmental Ministry. For six months I had my eyes opened, I realized I wanted to do something about the environment.
Tell us more about your business consultant job now. What are the things you do on a day-to-day basis?
I am currently working as a management consultant at Capgemini, an IT service and consulting firm.
I help companies transform themselves. For example: I would work on making a company more eco-friendly or green. For this you might have to figure out new ways of changing the minds of employees to get them to think green and to provide better services to clients.
Was transitioning between engineering and consulting easy?
Yes, it was very easy. In France they hire people from different fields in different companies. The consulting company saw that I thought like an engineer, was more practical and saw that this could be applied to consulting management. This was how I have been able to work for the Environmental Ministry in France, as well as the Unemployment Ministry and now as a consultant.
What are the career challenges you face and how do you work to overcome them?
The main challenge I face is dealing with my own dreams. Sometimes I will have an idea emerge and it becomes so prominent that I have to see it through. I will sometimes work non-stop on one idea until it becomes ready, until I can actually apply it to something. This obviously takes my thought process and time away from focusing on other things.
Based on professional experience, what career advice would you give to aspiring engineers entering work in electrical energy or similar fields?
Try to be innovative from a technical point of view but remember that at some point, in order to see these ideas become real, you yourself have to become realistic. Know that someone will need to buy into your innovation, so when creating or imagining something, keep a possible future buyer in mind. Essentially you should always Dream Big, but keep realistic. Still, when you have a profound idea or dream, you should try everything until it becomes a reality.
How did the idea for the “Electric Odyssey” come into fruition?
Initially it started as a simple conversation, my friend and I wanted to travel but not as regular tourists. We wanted to meet people we would never meet in person, people that you could only meet on a great journey.
And at the same time we were working on electric vehicle mobility and we wanted to prove the efficiency of electric mobility.
Finally the two ideas came together. And we decided to push for electric mobility through the motto: “If a standard electric car can make a world tour, every single person is able to use it to go shopping.”
After almost a year and a half of planning and convincing people to sponsor us and to believe in the movement, we finally got the green light to go. And we haven’t stopped since.
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