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Portrait

Frank Zschiegner - STU 2006 - in charge of economic development for the city of Vélizy-Villacoublay

Posted on | Alumni Portrait
Portrait by Lauriane Gabelle on February 11, 2013

Between music and concerts, Frank studied geography in Germany, specializing in economic geography. He did a one-year exchange at Sciences Po as part of the International Program. He discovered Sciences Po and Paris and wanted to continue his studies there. The Master's degree in Territorial and Urban Strategies (STU) seemed to him to be the logical continuation of his initial training as a geographer, while allowing him to complete his university career.

At the end of his internship at the Institut d'Aménagement et d'Urbanisme, and after two months in Germany, Frank returned to France to look for a job in economic development. He had ten interviews, including one for a job in Massy. The interview with the DGA and the director of economic development went very well, especially on a human level. Frank got a fixed-term contract, two months after his return to France.

For a year, he participated in the implementation of an economic development strategy. Frank was then recruited by the Evry agglomeration for an equivalent position. After a year and a half, his former "boss" in Massy was looking to build a new team in Vélizy-Villacoublay. Frank was then offered a position in this commune as economic development officer in a team that also dealt with employment and transportation.

His work has two essential dimensions. The first dimension is endogenous and consists in retaining the companies already present in the area, by providing them with premises, adequate means of transport and employee services in a broader sense. This also implies knowing the real estate offer and the construction of missing premises with the help of the Urban Planning Department. It also means working upstream, on housing for example, so that a sufficient supply is made available to people working in Vélizy, which should also facilitate travel within the geographical area. The second dimension is exogenous. It involves thinking about the economic fabric to be attracted, prospecting, communication and marketing. We also need to work with our partners (e.g., the Regional Agency or the Paris Saclay Public Establishment), as well as organize various business and HR clubs, such as those that exist in Vélizy. You have to listen and know your contacts well.

Frank has been working in Vélizy for almost 4 years now, but an important change is coming as the competence of economic development will be transferred to the agglomeration. Despite the uncertainty, this is an exciting prospect for Frank as it gives him the opportunity to work on a new scale.

Frank's advice

« The relational aspect is very important during the interviews. The hierarchy must seem clear and the missions well defined, and I must ask precisely who does what, who validates, and with whom I will work. The human aspect in the teams is essential ».


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