Interview with Jean-Dominique Criscuolo, in charge of University Partnerships and Pre-recruitment for BNP Paribas

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 Jean-Dominique Criscuolo

BNP Paribas has maintained long-term relationships with the world of academia so as to develop a privileged relationship with students and thus attract those who best fit our needs. The Toulouse School of Economics is of course one of these schools. The excellent degrees on offer are particularly appreciated in our line of work.

Thus, we have two objectives: firstly, to be involved in the content of the courses taught at TSE to allow them to evolve and to better fit the needs of our profession, and secondly, to promote banking careers to the students and ensure the recruitment of candidates with significant potential for the BNP Paribas Group.

  1. What types of skills do you most value in an Economics and Statistics student?

The skills that we look for when recruiting an intern, a trainee or a recent graduate depend on each position. In Economics and Statistics students, we look for good modeling skills and the ability to use analytical tools, an understanding of how financial markets work, the ability to identify and manage operational and financial risks, and the ability to use and interpret various statistical models, to mention only a few examples of the technical skills we look for. However, we are also looking for people with a certain amount of soft skills, such as the ability to work in teams, to listen and to explain tasks in simple terms. The candidate should also be organised, rigorous and able to summarise complex issues clearly.

  1. What is the best way to apply for an internship in your organisation?

There are roughly 300 types of jobs at BNP Paribas, some of which didn’t exist two years ago. From data scientist, agile coach to IT inspectors, the new jobs created by the technological revolution are broadening the range of careers in our company. Each year, we recruit nearly 2,000 trainees, 1,500 interns and 300 VIE (Volunteer for International Experience). All our offers are on our careers website: group.bnpparibas/emploi-carriere. The student should apply directly to the position of interest online. Before applying, it is important to ask yourself the right questions: why am I applying? Why this position? What is the link with my studies?

  1. How can a candidate stand out when applying to your company?

We are not looking for people who think they know everything, but students with curiosity and potential for growth within the company. To stand out, we advise candidates to know what their professional project is, and to be able to talk about it. To this end, it is important to inform yourself about the practices and evolution of the job in question. Social media such as LinkedIn and Twitter are a considerable source of information. Furthermore, it is important to understand what the interviewer is looking for, to avoid slip-ups and prepare answers for certain questions! It is also crucial that the candidate shows their desire to join by using previous experiences as examples, with concrete actions and results obtained in the past. Last but not least, be yourself, stay natural ­– it is the best way to transmit your enthusiasm and motivation.

  1. What are the things to avoid when applying?

Most importantly, an effective application is one that corresponds to the needs of the position. The CV must clear, concise and understandable by everyone (by the HR people but also the people working in the field). Don’t hesitate to proofread yourself to make sure that there is no important information missing, such as dates of availability and the title of the position that you are applying for. You can also emphasise some key skills that define you. Avoid including leisure activities that do not add any useful information about you or your skills. Finally, be honest, it is better to have a gap in your CV than some made-up experience.

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