Alumni Spirit | Gain confidence by doing what works for you

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Christophe Bellier, INSEEC alumni


Originally from Pontpoint in the Hauts-de-France region,Christophe Bellier believes in his town’s motto: “Do what you must.” After occupying no less than seven different posts at Continental today he is head of marketing intelligence and strategic project planning. As captain of his team, he keeps his eye on the prize while dealing with challenges linked to the Covid 19 crisis.

The revelation

After a disappointing junior year in a basketball sports-study program at Lycée Charles de Gaulle de Compiègne, he changed direction and finished high school with a baccalaureate in tertiary science and technology. He decided to pursue his studies in both theoretical and practical subjects, leading to a two-year degree specializing in commercialization techniques.

This diploma not only provided a foundation in business fundamentals, but a well-rounded education in general, allowing him to develop technical skills. Now a diligent student, he considered enrolling in a preparatory class for competitive examinations to join the likes of HEC, but finally opted to take the national business school exams and received an advanced master’s degree in International Business at INSEEC.

“In our last year at INSEEC, we were asked to do a work-study program in order to put our academic knowledge into action and experience the reality of the professional world. My year was sort of the test year, as it was the first time they offered a work-study program. The school-work combination was really a winning strategy for me!”


A do-it-yourselfer, were several events helped Christophe Bellier drive in the nail that solidified his self-confidence. Among his favorite memories of student life is his graduation ceremony at INSEEC, an unforgettable gathering that pumped his confidence meter.

“I am proud to have succeeded after making a few missteps during my high school years. In our final year, my classmates had been scattered all over the world doing their work-study programs. We were a very close group, so it was a real pleasure to see everyone again, especially in that context. To tell you the truth, I am still in contact with these people…over 15 years later!”

A bit of a thrill-seeker, Christophe Bellier was also the one who created Xtreme, a sports club at INSEEC, helped by a handful of fellow students. With his henchman Kévin Favrat, they let loose in the white-water park at Cergy-Pontoise, or stole away with club members in a bus headed for Normandy, to bungee jump off the Souleuvre viaduct.

Three-point shot

Christophe Bellier believes that it is essential to create a network, and to start in the first years of your studies. He encourages all students to get lots of experience through internships, to make connections and to join a variety of clubs and associations.

For him, it was a passion for basketball that brought him together with Pierre Guirard, who then opened the doors at a well-known German automotive equipment manufacturer. That was how Christophe Bellier started his career at Continental, where he learned to be a sales manager.

“I learned the job with a sales executive. When he was promoted, I was offered his sector in the Champagne-Ardenne region. It was both exciting and stressful because it happened at the same time as my midterms, my senior thesis and my thesis defense…In short, I was offered a long-term contract at Continental before I’d even finished my degree!”

The future is now

To create an environment that nurtures professional fulfillment and innovation, associates at Continental share fundamental values such as trust, a desire to win, freedom to act and teamwork. So, if you ask him about the future, Christophe Bellier sees himself still working in the company, but tackling new challenges.

“That would mean that I’m still having a great time doing what I do! My career has developed in a very healthy environment, where I am frequently given the opportunity to change positions, so I’ve never had time to get bored.”

He adds that if he had to throw a bottle into the sea, he would put a message inside to reassure future generations along the lines of: “you may run aground, but you will grow so much.” A way of saying that if sometimes you have to suffer in silence, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

“Anything is possible”

When he is not visiting his family in Brittany, where his father comes from, Christophe Bellier reenergizes by training for triathlons. A demanding sport that combines three tests of endurance: swimming in open water, cycling and running.

“After 25 years of basketball, it was like starting from zero. Swimming, pedaling and running—I had to learn everything! Training with a group of friends, we increased the distances little by little until we made the famous Ironman race, which covers 226 kilometers and has a fantastic motto: ‘Anything is possible,’” he enthuses.

Perhaps the 3.8 km swim during Ironman gave him a chance to contemplate the words of the race’s Marvel superhero namesake: “records are made to be broken!”

His advice: “Be curious about everything”

Even if there are always subjects that don’t necessarily excite you, Christophe Bellier thinks that you shouldn’t neglect any of them. A fan of geopolitics, he believes that everything can help you increase your capacity to think and criticize—in the Greek sense of the word. In other words, develop one’s judgment and understand the world around us.

“When we were in school, the director of INSEEC told us that we were the elite with a small ‘e’ and if we wanted to become Elite with a capital “E” we would have to work hard, commit ourselves and make the most of the school’s multidisciplinary approach,” “he recalls.

The school-work combination was really a winning strategy for me!

Christophe BELLIER


Updated 19 October 2022