“People are open and really listen to you; it gives you more room to explore your own potential, as well as adding value to the team.”
Gaelle has both a Bachelors and Masters in Management from ESCP Europe, Paris and London, as well as a Masters in International Business from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai. She previously worked as an intern for the financial services audit department of Ernst & Young in Paris and as an M&A intern in the TMT team at Lazard Paris, followed by a full-time TMT analyst position at Lazard Paris.
The key thing for me is the flexibility you are given. At Arma, having a non-hierarchical structure, people are open and they really listen to you. It gives you more room to explore your own potential, as well as adding more value to the team.
You feel able to go and speak to the Partners, without having to go through your VP or Director. Working this way makes it more exciting and you feel more confident and can add more value to the team.
“Hands on” experience
I was recently working on a project where I was given the opportunity to go to the client’s offices for one week in Germany. Being the main point of contact for the client meant I could structure the days as I wished, and the team really trusted in me, which makes it feel meaningful. At a larger firm you wouldn’t usually get this opportunity as you would be one of many and aren’t given the chance to interact directly with the clients.
I really enjoyed working on a fundraise in the digital media industry. I was able to work one-on-one with the Partner leading on the deal and it was a tremendous experience to be given that much responsibility. This exposed me to a deal from start to finish, from the preparation phase to the management of the process to contacting the investors. You, of course, have the financial aspects as well, such as constructing a business plan for such a high-growth start-up, which made it fun and interesting. The management team were young and vibrant, so I was able to really relate to them and understand their goals for the business.
It was a real 360-degree experience and I really saw myself maturing during the process. I now have the confidence in the type of role I can take on in a deal going forward, especially on execution, which I didn’t have the opportunity to experience before. In terms of expertise it really opened my eyes to the fundraising process and the learning curve is something I can take and apply to future projects.