Béatrice Moulin: “emlyon business school encourages students to get involved in projects they are passionate about…”

Jul 25, 2018

With more and more employees losing interest in their jobs, Béatrice Moulin (Grande Ecole Program, 2009) decided to create Switch Collective, a consultancy she co-founded that helps people find (new) meaning in their career. Ready to “switch gears”?   

How was Switch Collective founded?

Nearly 91% of employees consider themselves disengaged from their jobs. People want to reinvent they way they work in order to adapt their job to their lifestyle rather than the other way around. This desire to change is why we started Switch Collective. We want to teach people to “shift gears,” to invent the career that matches who they are.

How do you explain today’s “search for meaning” in working life?

The world of work has changed radically with digital technology. According to various studies, some 50% of today’s professions are going to disappear. This doesn’t mean that there will no longer be any jobs, but rather that people will have to adapt more and continue to get training throughout their lives. Our parents grew up in a world where nearly everyone had a job. Personally, I began my career in 2008, in the middle of an economic crisis. When you are unemployed, you ask yourself more questions.

New digital tools have also changed the way people work. Take for example today’s “digital nomads” who work one week in Lisbon, the next in Rome, and so on. With these new trends, it’s no surprise people want more freedom.

How can we learn to “switch gears”?

We have developed a 6-week course in which members receive exercises and content every day to help them ask themselves the right questions and reflect on their experience. They meet and talk with people from other backgrounds who are asking themselves the same types of questions and we help them find answers and take action through workshops. “Switching gears” doesn’t necessarily mean changing career paths. The idea is to help people understand why they don’t like their job anymore and what they can do to change this. Sometimes, it means just a few small tweaks, without switching to another company.

What did you take away from your studies at emlyon business school?

The melting pot of ideas. The ecosystem naturally encourages students to “do”, to get involved in projects that they are passionate about and that energize them. Through the incubator and the Fab Lab, the school provides the resources to bring these projects to life. This is the essence of the “early maker” spirit.

A saying that inspires you?

“There can’t be any large-scale revolution until there is a personal revolution”. It comes from Jim Morrison, and nicely sums up the spirit of Switch Collective: big revolutions start out with personal changes.

A passion of yours?

Hiking. Generally speaking, I love activities that allow me to focus, to calmly reflect. It is a quest for meaning. Every year I go hiking for two weeks or so. I’m planning to go on a trek in Peru.  

A bold personality?

Alexandra David-Néel, a great adventurer. Among other feats, she was the first woman to visit Lhasa, in Tibet, in 1924. She snuck into the Forbidden City dressed as a beggar and a monk.

What is your next “switch”?

I’ve already switched gears several times and there will be many others. For the moment, we are inventing new projects with Switch Collective. For example, we are going to launch “Switch Off”, a method to learn to slow down and take a break from it all.

Imagine you start a new company…

It would certainly be related to senior citizens. I am frequently shocked by the way they are treated. Tackling the question of dependence is a true challenge for our society.


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