12 Jun 2017, 11:01 CET

Rue d'Athènes 16, Paris

This is the address to our customer service center in the middle of Paris. 2,4 km to the Musée du Louvre or 1,8 km to Sacré-Cœur or 2,7 km to Arc de Triomphe, to give a hint about its location.

There were seven customer service specialists, five sales managers and one end user manager working at the office. My stay at Rue d'Athènes 16 included a lot of interesting and varying things. Like the chance to be guided through all the different stages in the sales process by the customer service specialists. Everything from ordering paper from Skärblacka paper mill to sending it to the customer.

I also got the opportunity to travel with some of the sales managers. One day we visited local customers in the area around Paris, but I also traveled a bit further to customers in Bordeaux in the south and Isbergues in the north near Belgium. I even got the chance to follow some sales managers to Düsseldorf and the world’s biggest packaging fair Interpack, to see how we are presenting BillerudKorsnäs in this type of context.

I did a lot of exploring of the city during the evenings and weekends. Sometimes I traveled by metro to the more distant parts of Paris, but mostly I walked around. The first couple of days I went to all the important tourist places, the things you are “forced” to see and do in Paris.

Then for the remaining days I asked my colleagues at the office what they preferred and which places they liked the most. I finally found out that my favorite place was to walk by the Seine. One evening I brought a book and some food from Rue des Rosiers to the Seine and watched the sun go down beside Tour Eiffel. I felt like a real Parisian! …or at least I felt slightly less like a tourist.

I really enjoyed my stay in Paris and at our customer service center. It gave me a greater understanding for the whole business chain, how everything is connected. Like for an example, if a paper machine stops in Skärblacka it’s not just a local problem at the mill, the problem expands and affect a lot of people at the sales offices. People that must solve these problems with their customers at their local markets, several thousands of kilometers from Skärblacka. But we are good at this and that’s one of the most inserting lessons from this period!

The chance to meet new coworkers, eat a lot of baguettes, to learn more about working in other cultures and to follow the politic debate and election in France, were other interesting and memorable parts of this journey.