by Jaquelin Jenkins
Hi ACW Members! My name is Jaquelin Jenkins; I am the Director of Cybersecurity Sales for Tangible Security. I joined the North Carolina Triangle chapter of ACW in the beginning of 2022 after seeing a post about women in the channel by Brittany Caito. She was so kind and welcomed me with open arms! It was a no-brainer to join ACW as I had recently built out our partner program at Tangible. I knew that by surrounding myself with intelligent and strong women in the channel, I would be able to learn more about channel sales, gain professional and personal development skills and have fun while doing it. I am so excited for the small group of awesome women in our current group and cannot wait to see how big we can grow our chapter.
Back in May, I recently went to Paris, France for a week as a North Carolina Delegate on a grant from the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina. This trip was developed by Ryan Combs, Executive Director of Research Triangle Regional Partnership. I was able to stand alongside Melissa Smith of the EDPNC, representatives from Delta Airlines and the women of the hour – North Carolina’s Secretary of Commerce Machelle Sanders & Chief of Staff Marquetta Welton. During the delegation trip, I represented Tangible Security as North Carolina positions itself as a cybersecurity leader. Plus, French businesses consider North Carolina as a place for expansion. Our engineers enjoy international projects, and our entire company looks forward to our growth in global endeavors.
The French are very relationship-based, so make sure you use your network as much as possible before arriving to maximize your time there. Taking someone to lunch or dinner is most likely your best way to start the conversation that would lead to business. Do not believe what you hear; Parisians are some of the kindest and brightest people I have ever met!
I am a changed person from this opportunity and am so grateful for a chance to share my experience with my ACW sisters. I hope you take the chance to make the most of your work travel, especially overseas!
4 Things I Learned While Travelling to Paris for Work
- Never be afraid to find out more about an opportunity!
I stumbled across a website advertising a US Commerce Cybersecurity Trade Mission in South America. As I love to travel, and my CEO had asked me to investigate different markets, I was highly intrigued. One email led to a meeting that led to several other conversations. Eventually, I learned about the NC State Trade Expansion Program (STEP) Grant through the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina. This grant is specifically designed to help small businesses in North Carolina fund costs associated with international trade. Qualifying exporters are eligible for up to $24,000 in reimbursements for business-building activities. The trade mission in South America had us visiting a different country every other day, but I know how I am when I travel, and I would be exhausted the entire time. So, I passed as I knew another opportunity would arise. Sure enough, a couple of weeks later, I was introduced to Ryan and was invited to join him on a trade mission to France! I am so thankful I decided to enquire about the opportunity! Shoot your shot; you have nothing to lose.
- Traveling alone is a rite of passage.
I have spent time alone in another country, but it was only one night. Flying, exploring, biking, shopping and working solo in a different country were almost like an out-of-body experience. 75% of the time, I had an enormous smile ear to ear, 15% of the time, I was so jetlagged I was not sure what I was feeling and 10% of the time, I wished that I had my fiancé or sister/best friend with me! What I learned about myself and my independence on that trip was priceless! Be sure you wear a crossbody bag and walk with confidence. On the way to the hotel, I asked my cab driver for any safety tips, which helped a lot in terms of what areas to avoid and at what specific times. I never felt unsafe, and I cannot wait to plan my next solo trip!
- Make sure you carve out ample time for yourself to shop and bring a little extra money for designer items.
I had one day to spend shopping, and it wasn’t enough! I want to go back to Paris just to shop. As expected, Paris is such an international hub, a fashion icon in itself! I went to 7 different Zara’s, 2 Mangos and 3 H&M’s while there – other than the large amounts of people ravaging the great summer sales, it was heaven! Later in the day, I took the train to Valle Village, the designer outlet mall about an hour outside Paris. I could have spent two entire days there. Let me tell you, their outlet malls are NOT like America. After going into as many stores as I could (a lot of the most popular ones had long lines due to COVID restrictions). I was so overwhelmed with all the fabulous threads that I froze under pressure and didn’t buy nearly as much as I wanted to. I ended up with Celine sunglasses and Chloe earrings. Next time I go, it will be a different haul as you receive a 12% VAT Tax Return on all purchases over $100. This is great, but you must get a VAT form from the store at the time of purchase, and you must leave 2 hours earlier than your typical leave time to find the VAT office at the airport to receive your tax return. I wish I had known the entire process before! I took the time at each store to get the VAT form but did not realize you had to go to a specific airport wing to complete the transaction. I am still dreaming of my handbag purchase!
- Go to Paris hungry.
There is every single type of cuisine you could imagine in Paris, and I wish I had known/planned my meals a little better to take advantage of all the magnificent choices. My favorite 3 were the following:
- Beefbar – best steak I have ever had and just an overall amazing experience. Upscale but also fun and affordable. I must admit, I went twice – a great place to take clients and eat alone.
- L’Auberge Deux Ponts – authentic Parisian dinner. The owner, Pierre, is the chef, waiter and hostess. You will feel more than at home with him as it is a 3-course meal with multiple glasses of wine (he keeps your drink full as you eat). It is only 36 Euros for the entire experience, and I am still drooling.
- Pink Mamma – an amazing Italian brunch with fabulous décor and vibe. You must make reservations in advance or check the morning of the day you want to go to see if they have opened any slots!
About the Author
Jaquelin Jenkins is a 5th generation North Carolinian with a passion for serving her community, organizations, and individuals. High energy, emotionally intelligent, and most certainly multifaceted, Jaquelin has a unique background in politics, tech/cybersecurity, and cannabis. Jaquelin is the Director of Cybersecurity Sales at Tangible Security and the Founder/CEO of Cygnus CBD – Raleigh’s 1st Organic CBD Company. She is currently a member of the North Carolina Triangle local chapter of ACW.