Published Mar 23, 2020
Grad Spotlight: Jean-Charles Dervieux (Amazon, Hertz, ContentSquare)
Jean-Charles Dervieux is closer than ever to his entrepreneurial dreams thanks to his success in the B2B world and Full Sail's Digital Marketing master's program.
Jean-Charles Dervieux was halfway through his MBA by the time he realized he was in the wrong industry. The Florida native was trying to work his way up in the banking world with a sales job at Wells Fargo when he noticed that his most profitable leads all came from the same source: LinkedIn.
The professional social networking site was still in its infancy, but Jean-Charles' numbers spoke volumes. He realized that he'd never make the money he needed to become an entrepreneur if he stayed put. "Social media and digital marketing was the way to go to be very successful. There was a lot of demand, and it was still fairly new technology," he says.
Jean-Charles immediately started looking for schools offering a master's in internet marketing, but he came up empty — until he found Full Sail University. At the time, it was the only school he found offering the degree (now titled Digital Marketing). The online format was an added bonus. "I could maintain my full-time job and go after a second master's," says Jean-Charles.
The pivot started paying off right away in one of Jean-Charles's first classes. "The introduction course talked about writing and being friendly from an email perspective. That's sometimes forgotten when you're at work." He learned what information he needed to include in digital correspondence to get responses and communicate more effectively with his team.
Full Sail also helped Jean-Charles establish his current habit of reading business books for at least 30 minutes a day. "We weren't using textbooks, it was industry bestsellers and books that focused on day-to-day information," he says. "In my MBA, it was a lot of textbooks and theories. With Full Sail, it was creating plans where you'd set up your financials within paid search to make sure that you're moving in the right direction."
Armed with his new knowledge, Jean-Charles started applying for Digital Marketing Director positions at small- to medium-sized businesses. Over the next few years, he learned how to build and optimize websites at several business-to-business companies.
Jean-Charles' first big professional win came at a larger company called Haystack (now Dealer.com). "The company was losing about $2 million a year, and I was hired to help rework internal processes for a better customer experience." Within eight months, Haystack was back in the black.
Those numbers caught the attention of Hertz's corporate office, and they hired him as a Digital Optimization Manager. Jean-Charles hit the books again for new certifications in user experience (UX) and helped Hertz rebuild their website. Soon after, an Amazon recruiter found Jean-Charles on LinkedIn.
Jean-Charles isn't allowed to say much about specific products he worked on at Amazon. However, he helped broker deals with retail stores and apartment complexes to place Amazon Lockers in their buildings.
Plenty of business-minded people would consider Amazon a final destination, but Jean-Charles still has the entrepreneurial itch. He's recently decided to leave Amazon for French company ContentSquare, where he'll offer consulting to their West Coast clients on web analytics.
Jean-Charles' success didn't come overnight, and he has practical tips for anyone who wants to make their own moves. "I recommend everyone read as much as they can. Make it into a routine that's 30 minutes to an hour a day," he says. "Referencing a book [in an interview] showcases your knowledge, interests, and curiosity, and that's so crucial for tech companies."
The site that first introduced Jean-Charles to digital marketing has made a huge difference in his career as well. "I've always maintained a very powerful LinkedIn profile. Make sure that you network with the right people who are influential within the marketing arena. A majority of my jobs came from LinkedIn."