Applying design thinking to your career, by Sonia Boisdur (SK 2012)

31 January 2020 Career

Never before has it been so difficult to make career choices. How do you avoid being paralysed by the fear of getting it wrong, of losing your job, or of not bouncing back. How do you choose a job that’s right for you? That makes sense for you? I’m Sonia Boisdur, a graduate of the SKEMA Class of 2012.

I used to work in the luxury marketing sector. At first, I was a good little soldier, I fit the mould just like I was expected to, I was ready to climb up the career ladder. But in reality, after eight years I was miserable in my job, I found no meaning or purpose in my work and I was exhausted... Sound familiar?


Since then, I’ve found my path and started my own freelance business, working as a design-thinking workshop facilitator. I’ve overcome my fears; I’ve found my work-life balance. It feel like I’ve created a life that really suits me! To help others to do the same and get out of their comfort zone, I’m helping with the deployment of the ‘Design Your Career’ programme, 3 workshops to get you taking action quickly, prototyping your ideas, drawing on the power of the group... and to ensure you never have to make your professional choices alone again! For this, we will use Design Thinking, but also rely on the solidarity of participants. Several alumni have already been helped by this programme.

Alice Maupin (SK 2014) talks about her experience of the Design Your Career programme: 

What led you to take part in the DYC programme?

The desire to change professions in order to be more aligned with my values led me to experiment with design thinking workshops. That’s how I met Matthieu Sabourin, who told me about his “Design Your Career” workshops. At the same time, separately, I was doing a career assessment with Meige Rivet, SKEMA’s Careers Manager for alumni, and she suggested I contact a former student of the school: Sonia Boisdur. As fate would have it, at that time Sonia happened to be co-facilitating the “Design Your Career” workshop I had just signed up for to discover the concept before committing to the full series of three workshops! These workshops enabled me to explore other possibilities by talking to people with a variety of profiles, a neutral perspective and no hidden agenda who, like me, were there to explore their career options. The different points of view of the people around the table helped me to confirm certain choices, to realise my strengths, qualities and the areas I need to pay special attention to in order to work in a professional environment that is a good fit for me and in which I can imagine myself well into the future.

What was the DYC experience like for you?

After the first workshop, I signed up for the next two. The limited time you have to think about important questions forced me to draw out the elements that I considered essential to thrive and feel fulfilled while maintaining a good work-life balance. Because there was no judgment or sentimental attachment, I was able to express myself freely with no filter. Listening to others helps you realise certain important things that you don’t necessarily feel able to express. The group shares a rich experience thanks to the strong sense of mutual help and support. 

In what ways did DYC enable you to move forward in your thinking about your professional future?

DYC confirmed my desire to get into training and it made me realise that a plan is never set in stone, because the context that surrounds us is constantly changing. What matters is setting a goal and making sure you can achieve it. The way to achieve it may vary over time depending on how the context evolves. What is important is sticking to the criteria you set for yourself (values, salary, constraints, etc.).


If you’ve been asking yourself questions about your professional future and you feel it’s time to take action with the help of a group of supportive peers, join the next Design Your Career session I’ll be running in Paris with Matthieu Sabourin, a facilitator and expert in design thinking (who is full of energy and so helpful and supportive!). These workshops are held in French.

Here’s a special ‘new year’s resolutions’ offer to help you start the year on the right foot. As SKEMA alumni, you get 50% off the total cost of the programme, which means you pay €100 for 3 workshops instead of €200.

The next 2020 sessions in Paris:

  • 8, 15 & 29 February
  • 14, 21 & 28 March
  • 11, 18 & 25 April
  • 9, 16 & 23 May
  • 6, 13 & 20 June

To register, please email and

To find out more about the Design Your Career programme, visit (in French)