Schneider Electric has a unique model that ensures we are a company that is multi-local. Our Multi-hub strategy splits our headquarters among our three primary regional markets, Europe (France), Asia (Hong Kong), and North America (Boston). With this model, employees and leaders are empowered to make decisions that benefit the local environment.
Ivan, Sabrina, and Amy take you through what it’s like to move to and work in our 3 global hubs around the world.
Ivan: Moscow to The Hive
Ivan Kling, Influence Director
I started working for Schneider Electric Russia in 2011 as an external consultant and in 2013 joined the in-house team to lead press relations in Russia and CIS. Later on, my responsibilities evolved and included government affairs and academia relations. A year and a half ago I joined the Global Communications team and moved from Moscow to Paris, one of Schneider Electric’s global hubs. Relocation turned out to be a very positive adventure for me and my wife. Schneider’s International Mobility Center (IMC) supported us during all stages and saved us the headache related to this big change in our lives. The company even provided a career coach to my wife, who helped her finetune her CV according to the local standards, and she quickly found a job at an international company in Paris.
I enjoy living in France and working for the global hub where you meet a lot of people from different countries and different backgrounds. Here you really feel what it’s like to be a part of a truly international and diverse company. Schneider Electric’s business is geographically balanced and a global role requires collaboration with people in different locations. Within my typical working day, I talk to colleagues from Asia, Australia, and the Americas, and it’s very easy to reach out to all the time zones when you are based in central Europe.
Our Paris office is called the Hive and is located in the Rueil-Malmaison suburb of Paris on a Siene river, in just a few steps from a beautiful park. It became the first building globally certified as ISO 50001 compliant, which is the international energy management standard. If you are planning a trip to Paris, schedule a visit to the Hive!
Sabrina: Brazil to The Hive to Boston One
Sabrina Nazario, Global Internal Auditor
My journey with Schneider Electric started in my home country of Brazil where I took on many different roles throughout the years. In 2016, I moved to France where I worked in one of our global hubs, also known as The Hive. In March of 2019, I accepted a new position. With this new position came many challenges and moving to the United States was one of them. I am now based in another global hub, the Boston One office.
Moving to the global hubs of Schneider Electric was very interesting indeed. I am passionate about learning and living in different cultures, and that’s one of the things I love the most about Schneider. Here, we don’t really have borders. Moving around is quite easy, and is not as difficult as it might be in other companies.
Moving around does have its advantages and disadvantages, but with many people in the company from all over the world, it’s likely you’ll find someone from your home country in the same office. For my job, I travel a lot, so I make sure that whenever I am in town, I go to the office to meet and work with colleagues. In the office, there are plenty of activities we can participate in (panels on various topics, birthday celebrations, and more), so it’s always great to go in and participate in these fun activities.
Working in two global hubs has given me a lot of learning experience and exposure. I get to know people from many different departments and backgrounds and we often bump into senior executives in the coffee area, and they are all open to spending a few minutes chatting.
Like I mentioned, there are also some initial disadvantages and adjustments that you need to adapt to when moving to a new office location. Every location has a different culture so it can be difficult to adapt to different rhythms and habits at first. Something I noticed is that in the Hive, most people went down to the cafeteria for lunch and conversation, whereas in Boston, many people stay at their desks for lunch. With time you make new friends and things start to get easier. Now I have a group of friends that I have lunch with when we’re all in the office.
Overall, my experience in the Schneider Electric global hubs has been pleasant and I’ve enjoyed my time learning and living in various cultures around the world. Since moving to Boston, I’ve even become a hockey fan! I’m a proud Boston Bruins supporter and try to catch a game whenever I’m in town.
Amy: Hong Kong
Amy Lee, Corporate Strategy Director
After spending a few years in management consulting in the Greater China region, I was eager to get global exposure beyond China. I also wanted to be able to spend more time with my family in my hometown Hong Kong. Finding a global role based in Hong Kong is is not a walk in the park, not to mention my set of industry, company type, and company value preferences – but I am lucky to have found Schneider Electric.
Thanks to Schneider Electric’s multi-hub strategy, there are many global openings in Hong Kong, and I joined the Corporate Strategy team in early 2018. Looking back at this 2-year (so far) journey, the experience has been fulfilling
A truly global experience – Many companies hire a Chinese person into a global position based in Hong Kong to handle China-related topics, but this is not the case at Schneider. I have worked with the China team for sure, but I also have the opportunities to work on global topics and with groups across the globe. It is the same for many other local talents working in the Hong Kong office.
Cultural and time zone respect – One thing that amazed me is how we handle the time zone challenge. Many of us are willing to start/stay behind a little bit early/longer so that no one has to do calls at crazy hours. And it is not just about time zone; I feel the same level of respect on cultural/political topics in my conversations with many of our colleagues. I think this mutual respect could be attributed to our multi-hub strategy, which has trained our people to work with different cultures and time zones. Practice makes perfect.
Flexibility to move – As we are not pinned to locations by functions, Schneider has more flexibility to move people around the globe. And perhaps since we are used to working with people from different backgrounds, local teams are demonstrating openness to accept overseas talents. Such a global platform is a key selling point during my interview process, and I am not disappointed.
Now I am ready for my next chapter of the adventure. I am looking forward to leveraging Schneider’s global platform and exploring life in another hub. What’s next, Boston or Paris?
With Schneider Electric’s multi-hub model, employees are not pinned to a location. Do you want the experience at a global company that doesn’t limit your potential to one location? Search for open positions and apply with us today at www.se.com/careers! It’s time to explore your global opportunities!