Volontariat International en Entreprise (International volunteering in business), or VIE for short, is an initiative created and managed by Business France, the French national agency for international business development.
As a French-owned company CEVA Logistics has now embraced VIE, and is starting to use it as a model for international internships at all of its global locations.
As an international trainee within the VIE Program, candidates travel to CEVA overseas locations where they work alongside the local team for a pre-determined period of 6-24 months and have the opportunity to absorb the local culture. In addition to support from the local CEVA management, the candidate is also taken care of by the local French Embassy.
For International trainees, VIE provides an opportunity to learn about the logistics industry and CEVA’s business, experience overseas working and engage with a new culture. For CEVA Logistics, VIE assists in attracting new talent, and assessing potential new employees and their abilities in a real-life scenario.
International trainees receive a monthly allowance, which varies according to the assignment country. The program is mainly aimed at students, new graduates and job seekers aged 18 to 28.
Fabien Poublan was the first CEVA VIE trainee. He has traveled from his home country France to work within CEVA’s Indian operations for a 12 month assignment. Here’s what he has to say about VIE at CEVA:
This is the brilliant thing about VIE: it gives enough autonomy to explore new functions, leading to a thorough understanding of our field of activity.
"In December 2019 I joined CEVA India’s finance team. Six months have passed and I have already learned a lot both professionally and personally.
Workwise, my managers have given me the opportunity to develop my skills in finance, with various dedicated functions such as periodic reporting or budget planning, but they also made sure I could think “out of the box”. This is the brilliant thing about VIE: it gives enough autonomy to explore new functions, leading to a thorough understanding of our field of activity."
"For instance, I have assisted several colleagues in their field sales meetings, which enabled me to meet and interact with customers, understand their requirements and analyse our own capacity to fulfil them. I also spent time in the Mumbai operational centre, to understand the whole logistic process from a customer call on the export side to a box unloading at the consignee.
This logistics induction would not have been complete without spending time at Mumbai Airport and in the various transit sheds we operate from. Put simply, the first months of my VIE enabled me to understand logistics from A to Z: and I believe this is a vital asset, also for somebody working in a support function such as finance."
“Of course, a VIE is a personal and human experience too. From that point of view India is a place of particular interest. I’m the only non-Indian at the office - but since the first day my colleagues have welcomed me warmly and supported me. In India the working environment is very different from the one in France; the idea of a team is perceived somewhat differently, with closer bonds between individuals. For instance, we had an important and cheerful celebration for Christmas, with a Secret Santa involving more than a hundred people! Everyone in the office gave and received a gift. Some of my colleagues have also enabled me to interact with the rich Hindu culture, and have taken me to temples and places of interest at weekends.
My next challenge is to learn Hindi, in order to interact more with people - as English is not always spoken outside the big cities. I’m very happy to have chosen CEVA as a company and India as a destination!”