Mélissa Faucher worked in fashion and advertising for a few years before she switched over to the community services sector. For the past six years, she has been an outreach officer for young entrepreneurs. Her mission is to develop entrepreneurial potential among 16- to 35-year-olds through an array of activities.
Tapping into this experience, she started up her own social economy enterprise in July 2013 – an advertising agency known as Grosses Têtes, which pairs up non-profits with qualified student teams for the purpose of developing communication plans and promotional materials.
A two-pronged mission
We provide students and recent graduates with the opportunity to kick-start their career and get their entrepreneurial juices flowing. Their involvement in multifaceted advertising initiatives gives them hands-on management experience. Since the agency was founded in July 2013, a number of promising young professionals have hit the ground running and begun making a name for themselves.
We also help the organizations we work get up to speed in a field that is often outside their own expertise. They feel a real sense of empathy and support from our team, since we embrace a “big picture” approach to our work and make sure we have an in-depth understanding of the issues at stake.
We are solution-driven and always on the lookout for innovative tools and projects to make our clients’ day-to-day operations easier. And every year, we hold a contest that lets budget-limited non-profits present a case to a class of university students.
The first thing is my somewhat unorthodox academic background, which enabled me to develop skills in sync with my strengths and my personality. I hand-picked and completed three certificates in all, which I found extremely empowering.
The second thing is my entrepreneurial experience, which has helped hone my creativity and resourcefulness – two things you really need in the field.
And the third thing has been my job in the community services sector, which exposed me to a large number of social innovations. I quickly figured out that moving forward requires being able to “go with the flow” when it comes to exceptions and changes. For the past six years, I have had complete freedom to try new things, mix them up and rethink them, troubleshoot, brainstorm, and construct and deconstruct ideas to really push the envelope.
My marketing management certificate gave me a solid foundation to build on after I had finished the two other certificates that led to my bachelor’s degree. The faculty members at HEC Montréal and their commitment to providing a quality education laid the groundwork for applying my knowledge. A few of the courses I took were particularly fascinating, namely consumer psychology, marketing communication and market studies. I use what I learned in those classes every day.