I interviewed Mortadha Jouini who discussed Moving from Academic to Professional World.
Can you provide a background or introduce what's involved in this transition from academic to the professional world?
Well, Dustin, thank you for giving me this opportunity. Well, to answer your question, I think that the transition between theory academia to professional life is a quite complicated question. In academia,students are exposed to theory courses, to exams, sometimes to practicum projects, to research work, but it's not what companies or what real life or this international business expects from us. In academia, we our target is to have an A or a B, to pass an exam. But real life is more about a--is a lot more about than that. When people will choose what college they go to they believe that at the moment they graduate, it's just over--life will be easy but I believe that at the graduation moment is just the beginning. It's the beginning of an improvement process that we need to follow during the whole career. It's not about having a diploma in engineering or supply chain management or whatever. It's about trying to be updated with the technological changes, with the business changes and--which means being a student for life. And unfortunately, what I feel today is that a lot of students believe that studying, making some research, stops--ends at the moment of the graduation. The other point is that even when we do some work placements or some internships, students are there learn about the job but not to learn about the work. We can be very good in what we do, but if we don't--if you're not aware about the professional environment, that can make a real integration problem. In this transition, we can't [inaudible 0:02:34.8] university. We can't have--if you're open-minded, you ask questions if we--try to make efforts to understand the professional environment. But believing that having A's in all subjects will make--will give the possibility to have a good career, I think it's not a good path. I don't know if that answer your question.
Is there any more you can talk about how things should be done to do this transition better?
Yes. I think there is--there is some work that has to be done by university teachers. The first duty is on academia people who are teachers. They need to explain to students that we're living in a very dynamic world and that--for--I can give you some example. Somebody today with an information technology diploma from 1990--what--I mean, what does it mean today? Technology has changed, has--it's developing very fast. So, if the person doesn't make efforts to be aware of all the technological evolutions, you will be just good for the 1990s--for the '90s technology but not for today. So, we need to explain to people that--to students that apprenticeship is a whole life--is a permanent process and the only thing that we can learn in the university is to how to--how to able to learn things rapidly and to be--to have the facility to be--to integrate in different environments. No more than that. But everything links, for example, to supply chain management, to I.T., to--I.T. background to management. Yes, it's good, yes, it's necessary but it's not the most important thing. Everybody today with the MOOCS can learn about--can learn these things in one week, in six months, but what we really--I believe what we really need to learn before all these things is--the difference between theory and professional life is that--is--I mean, also the human intercultural dimension, that's something that we can't--we don't--totally present in academia. And with these efforts, I think things can be--can change. Of course, students must make an--they--efforts and--when they're in internships, in work placements, they must--to be more open-minded and not to be there just to learn technology but learn all the other things link to the human dimension.
Do you have any final recommendations?
Well, yes, I can give some--for example, in supply chain management, we can take two students, both having master degrees in supply chain. After five years of career, what makes the difference from them, the experience, the choices they made for their careers? But if a person was a recruiter and if I have one student with certification. I can know that this person has more ability to be integrated and to be open to business changes. So, for example, trying to see professional certifications, trying to read updated books, trying to show that we are aware of evolutions linked to our working field, I think, can be good samples of being open to change and making efforts to have a good career.
Can you provide a brief background of yourself?
Yes. So, personally, I was a student in a engineering school in France. My first background is I.T., technical background. But at one point, I said--I.T. is good but it will be always a support field. So, my idea was to combine business with I.T. That's why I have added a master degree, international business with dimension of supply chain. Today, I'm working as a junior at Capgemini. And it's a position that gives me the possibility to couple my I.T. background with the supply chain processes in the business. I believe that in the 12 to 30 years coming, people need to have the double competency, combine I.T. with business.
And thanks for sharing today.
Thank you very much, Dustin.
About Mortadha Jouini
Supply Chain Consultant at Capgemini