Fabien Cherance, Actuary on the AXA Global Graduate Program, AXA Global Direct South Korea
I’ve always enjoyed travelling. I’m a curious person and I knew that I didn’t want to stay only in France. Before coming to work at AXA, I’d travelled around Europe and South America. So after my first assignment on the graduate scheme, which was in France, I wanted to head to Asia and explore the business opportunities there – and here I am!
I’m an actuary, working in pricing. It’s my job to improve techniques to better price products. What I really like about my job is gathering information from many departments and bringing answers to the rest of the company. The company is interested in the newcomer graduates so it’s easy to communicate with other divisions. People are always very willing to advise and help.
Everyone in AXA Global Direct South Korea has been really friendly and welcoming. After work we go and have dinner and that has been the case almost every day of every week of this month. The speciality here is barbecues and there’s a pork belly barbecue dish called Samgyeopsal – I love it. The food is really spicy, even more than Mexican food, so you have to eat carefully and slowly!
My two top tips
Learn the language. Yes, it’s a big challenge but make the effort. Not because you’re going to learn to have in-depth conversations but because it is really appreciated when you are polite to people. So just to be able to say hello and introduce yourself. It makes life at work really easy too because you get to be friendly with people and then you don’t feel like you’re going to work!
Have a personal relationship with all your colleagues. Be open-minded about building personal relationships with your work colleagues. Going out and eating together after work is a big thing here. Even people you have just met will invite you out to do after work!
The one thing I’ll take back to France with me
Better communication skills. Because of the language barrier, you have to work harder at communicating with colleagues. I think that when I come back to France I’ll be able to communicate more freely with other teams.