In this series, we are interviewing members of our club, so that you can get to know each other a bit better. Today we talk with Cédric ‘Caribou’ Barnet about his life and work in the region.
What brought you to the French Riviera? How long have you been here?
When my wife told me she had a job opportunity in the French “Alpes-Martimes”, it took about 3 seconds to get my full approval. I have lived in multiple different countries but I was born in the Alps (Grenoble) which I sometimes missed while I grew up abroad.
So the idea of coming back to France where our family lives, and living close to both mountains and sea on the Mediterranean coast, in a multinational and dynamic area that is Sophia Antipolis just sounded splendid.
There were also enough potential opportunities for me as an IT Consultant to find my way here career wise. Another key factor is that our kids could join english sections throughout their education which is important for us!
Could you tell us about your professional career? What do or did you do for work?
My work has always revolved around computers and networks, especially within the Apple realm. My dad bought his first Mac the year I was born, and there has always been these fun Apple tools to play around with at home.
I first started as a technician and salesperson in an Apple Premium Reseller Store that I helped get off the ground in Grenoble. After four years, my travel bug hinted that I should visit some other place.
I got married and moved to Seattle with my wife who found a post-doc in Seattle, USA. I joined an Apple Consultant Network company that provides IT services to businesses with as a junior support engineer.
I’ve learned the US top notch way of providing high quality of service to our clients. Through training, passion, and experience over the years, I would rapidly get promoted until I became the Lead Technical Consultant of our company, taking on more responsibilities and providing more expert advice.
What does the company that you work for do?
When I came back to France, I was looking to pursue and continue to grow in my beloved career. Working as a Consultant at Abelionni means wearing multiple hats, including:
- Developing our customer network in my area (PACA and beyond)
- Meeting with prospects
- Designing the best modern solution to fit our clients needs with security, mobility, and scalability in mind
- Making recommendations, providing expert advice for businesses, acting as IT managers, CIO or CTO.
- Implementing solutions and providing high level support for them
- Accompanying and leading long term partnerships with our clients/friends
- Researching and monitoring new robust ways to face upcoming challenges and solve problems with existing technology
- Training in IT fields. Such as Security, Mobility (MDM), Identity management, Networking, Cloud infrastructure, Backups…..to stay on top of the state of the art
As a team of 7 consultants across France with over 200 clients in Europe, UK, USA, Australia, Africa, we can help small and large businesses with simple to very complex needs in regulated sectors such as banking, pharmaceuticals, aerospace, research, public institutions etc…
Why did you decide to start your own business?
I am currently employed but I do share an entrepreneur approach in the work environment.
Having worked in small companies, I am acquainted to the different roles at play and how to run a successful business.
I like the EOS (EOS – Entrepreneurial Operating System for Businesses) methodology for its logic and modular implementation in a business.
What would be your best advice to others thinking about living or working on the French Riviera?
Having lived here for only 3 years, I think it’s safe to say that if you like outdoors activities and enjoy a warm climate, you won’t regret it 🙂 I believe there are enough wonderful places and people to discover around here for a lifetime. My advice would be to enjoy!
I joined for the authentic desire to simply meet up with peers from all around the globe in an open-minded friendly environnement. And this is exactly what I found during the first and only event I attended so far. So I’m excited to meet new and known faces the next time to share rich conversations and pleasant moments!
Fun facts about Cédric ‘Caribou’ Barnet!
Since when do you live on the French Riviera?
It’s been 3 years, arrival amidst full COVID pandemic. So it’s taken longer than expected to socialise.
Where are you originally from?
Our beautiful planet earth! I was born in Grenoble, France. But mostly lived abroad starting 3 months of age. Examples of countries where I have lived are Senegal, Seine et Marne, Singapore, Stockholm, Seattle, Sophia-Antipolis… to stick with ‘S’es.
What languages do you speak?
French, English (more US than UK), some Spanish, and old memories of Swedish
What is your favourite wine?
Clairette de Die is one of my favourite sparkling wine. It really depends on what to pair wine with. I don’t drink red wine. So I’d go for a good Alsace Sylvaner/Pinot Gris. Or a nice sweet Rosé for summer BBQs.
What is your favourite spot on the French Riviera?
There are too many great places for outdoors sports and more. One of my favourites is Camp Romain for mountain biking. I could also mention Baou de Saint-Jeanet for climbing. Gorges du Loup for Canyoning. Cap d’Antibes for Sailing/walking/drinking. Gourdon for Paragliding!
What French word do you find difficult to pronounce?
‘Tortue’ and ‘lointain’ – French is so hard. I feel sorry for anyone trying to learn this difficult language with more exceptions than rules.
In case you are wondering – there is no link between my nickname ‘Caribou’ and Canada. Just some college friends mistake with an Elk, that I adopted 🙂
And I hope the article is not too long and boring to read. Can’t wait to meet and share fun times at the next events!