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[Alumni Story] - Romain DARDEL

18 April 2024 Portrait
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In 2018, I joined Rennes School of Business completing after a competitive entrance exam for a DUT in Marketing Techniques in Vannes. I quickly noticed the similarities between the Programme Grande École and my DUT studies.

When I arrived at Rennes SB, I joined the Warlock association as an 'active prod member' before taking up the post of Treasurer.

For my exchange semester, I decided not to go for semester 3, unlike most of my fellow students, because my aim was to get a double degree abroad for semesters 5 and 6. So during semester 3, the classes were mixed between French and international students, which was a very enriching experience.

For semesters 5 and 6, I managed to get a double degree in Switzerland at the University of ZHAW, with an MSc in International Business condensed over 18 months.

Why did I choose Switzerland? I wanted to improve my German and work in an industry that is almost endemic to Switzerland, and which was, and still is, my greatest passion: watchmaking. I got an internship in France two weeks after graduating from ZHAW, then a permanent contract, before returning to Germany for another permanent contract with UhrTeil AG. So I work in the watchmaking industry, and I speak German every day - mission accomplished!

  • Can you tell us about your job?

I'm currently an industrial project manager at UhrTeil AG, responsible for coordinating the various projects with customers and suppliers, in French, German and English.

At UhrTeil AG, we produce watch components and even movements and complete watches for several independent brands. In addition to my role as project manager, I'm also in charge of 2 watch brands: Andreas Strehler and STREHLER.

To give you an idea, the average price of an Andreas Strehler is CHF 110,000 (around €112,000), while a STREHLER is CHF 20,000 (around €20,300), which puts these brands in the ultra-luxury category.

At our company, we manufacture the different models for these brands from A to Z, with total control over the production process. I'm lucky enough to have a great deal of freedom in terms of product design, strategy, marketing management and communication, as well as many other responsibilities. My time at UhrTeil AG has given me a wealth of expertise in these areas.

  • What is your greatest achievement?

The launch of our second brand in May 2023: STREHLER. I had to manage the development of the product and the brand, the creation of the global strategy, the creation of content, the website, the definition of schedules, etc...

Since the launch of the brand, I've also been in charge of customer relations, personally answering all their queries. It's been a great success, with a full order book for the coming year. 

  • In your opinion, what's the point of the Alumni network and how do you get involved?

For me, it's about catching up with old friends and meeting other Alumni. It's also an opportunity for me to interact in French in Zurich.

I like to take part in events from time to time, such as an afterwork at Clouds in Zürich, a restaurant in a tower block with a panoramic view of the city.

  • What advice would you give to a recent graduate?

Don't be content with doing the strict minimum, be curious, be keen to learn new things and strive for excellence to stand out from the crowd.

  • Do you have a hidden talent/passion?

I was captain of the Rennes SB League of Legends team for 2 years. I was also involved in setting up the Cyber Tigers, the e-sports structure attached to RGG (Rennes Global Gaming) now called Ukiyo. We created the teams with a friend, which enabled us to take part in the online Ecricome Challenge when COVID came along.

  • The final word?

I'm contactable if anyone has any questions about watchmaking or life in Switzerland.


Find Gabriel on LinkedIn 

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