Sarah, Aurélie and Kim – A story of great friendship

Our experts Sarah Deschênes, Aurélie Le Guen and Kim Mac Dermott met through work several years ago. And since then, they’ve formed an inseparable trio. We interviewed them to learn about the story of their friendship, which makes them grow in their profession as well as in their personal life.

Despite their differences, Sarah, Aurélie and Kim are united by a strong bond of friendship. It grows and blooms through their kindness. In this third article of our Human above all series, three CRM specialists share about their decisive meeting at a previous job.

Sarah, Aurélie and Kim: Three Tech Professionals

Sarah Deschênes first joined the XRM Vision team as a business analyst in September 2019. As of June 2020, she was promoted to the role of functional architect. You may know her through  the vast knowledge she shares on our blog. Maybe you’ve also enjoyed this foodie’s recipes in our Festive Recipe 2020 Magazine.As for Aurélie Le Guen, she was the last of the XRM Vision to arrive. She joined us in October 2020 as a business analyst. She is also an assiduous spectator of Montréal Complètement Cirque.Finally, Kim Mac Dermott is the pioneer of this group of friends at XRM Vision. In 2017, she joined our tribe as a solutions architect. Since then, she has stood out through her strategies and her versatility, which she combines to offer solutions adapted to customers from various industries. She has also shared her knowledge by creating tools to measure the maturity of a CRM and by participating in several hackathons. And while she is a heavy hitter in all her professional endeavours, she’s also a true baseball enthusiast.

Sarah Deschênes, Kim Mac Dermott and Aurélie Le Guen (from left to right), dressed for a western evening.

Interview: 10 questions for Sarah, Aurélie and Kim

1. How did you all meet?

We met through work at different times. For each meeting, it was in a context where one helped the other. The birth of our friendship still illustrates the dynamics of our trio today. Kim was living in Toronto when Aurélie started a team project in Montreal. A manager gave her Kim’s number for advice. They spent several evenings on the phone reflecting together as part of this project, analyzing its various concepts. A year later, Sarah joined the team. Aurélie was responsible for her integration, and she was then assigned to a project led by Kim.

2. When did you know you would become friends?

At the beginning, we did several projects in pairs: Sarah and Kim, Aurélie and Sarah, Kim and Aurélie. Quickly, our shared values became obvious: we liked quality and a job well done. And above all, we had learned to respect each other’s work and opinion. We didn’t always see things the same way. But we realized that our points of view are always complimentary, since they’re founded on the same values. We all learned from each other, and we weren’t afraid to share ideas given the immense mutual respect that grew between us. A professional love at first sight!

“We all learned from each other, and we weren’t afraid to share ideas given the immense mutual respect that grew between us.”

Quickly, weekend deployments to one each other’s kitchens and end-of-day conference calls morphed into activity plans for the evening or weekend. We went through some demanding situations together, which gradually blurred the lines between professional and personal friendship.

3. What has made your friendship last throughout the years?

Our desire to help each other, the feeling of getting a lot from each other and being able to give back makes us close. Like all groups of friends, we enjoy telling our stories, and receiving feedback and advice. Our minds are always on turbo speed, which makes professional and personal conversations dynamic, although difficult for others to follow!

“It's like we always have someone in our blind spot protecting us and challenging us not to forget anything.”

4. How do your differences help you on a daily basis?

We never have the same initial approach to solving a problem. We help each other take a step back and look at the situation from a different perspective. It's like we always have someone in our blind spot protecting us and challenging us not to forget anything. By combining our ideas, and making a few compromises, we always achieve something better than if we had done it alone.

5. You work in technology, an environment where women are still a minority. Has your friendship been decisive in this context?

Indeed, our friendship is all the more special in this context and it lives on through the years. Our trio forms an absolute support system; it makes us individually stronger since we always have a trusted person to confide in, get advice from, or to help us put something into perspective. This is a richness that we would wish for anyone wanting to evolve in a world where they feel like they’re a minority.

6. What do you love to do most together?

Aurélie introduced us to the Montréal Complètement Cirque festival a few years ago. It’s a festival that brings together all the circus arts and the École nationale du cirque. It presents a program of all types of circus arts, from clown shows, tightrope walkers and incredible acrobatics.

Montréal Complètement Cirque
Photo : Andrew Miller, Montréal Complètement Cirque

Almost by tradition, Aurélie always chooses an experimental show. We have many good memories of great discoveries, and some memories of stranger ones... We’ve been to at least one show a year since we started!

7. When tension is high at work, do you have any relaxing activities you do together as friends?

Yes, we also have our spa days! With work and the routine of everyday life, it’s an opportunity to force ourselves to relax and take the time to chat. A spa afternoon always feels good.

The trio’s spa recommendations

Kim : the relaxation chairs at Mont St-Hilaire spa(in the fall, the trees are beautiful) Aurélie : the sauna or the silent room of the Scandinavian Spa Sarah : Balnea, with views on the water

But the activity we do the most is meet for dinner! Whether trying out new restaurants (often during the MTL à Table event), or enjoying the sun with a good BBQ or sushi... any meal together is good!

8. We see the complicity of friends in what makes them laugh. What makes you laugh?

When we recount a story that happened to us in detail or think back on memories. We laugh at our frustrations when life doesn’t go as fast as we would like, or when things take an unexpected turn.

The trio in various activities
The trio in various activities

9. How does your friendship transform you?

Our friendship allows us to flourish through trust and respect. Our desire to help each other allows us to grow both personally and professionally.

10. Finally, what maxim defines your friendship?

Sharing is Caring. We all value sharing knowledge and the desire to help and support the people we meet. Thanks to Sarah Deschênes, Aurélie Le Guen and Kim Mac Dermott for sharing their story with us. Cheers to their friendship!

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