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emlyon MSc in Sports Industry Management students participated in a challenge launched by the International Automobile Federation. The task in hand? Work in teams to devise a potential solution to diversify the business done by the federation, involve more young people, and propose ways for the federation to capitalize on the opportunity. Three emlyon students recount their experience.

Q. How did the initiative begin and how did you get yourselves organized?

Brieuc Bascher: “Operations began in September 2021, in direct relation with the emlyon Early Makers class. The Program Director was involved in the selection of projects and then the teams were formed randomly, but based upon algorithms and personality descriptions that we had submitted in advance. From then on, we worked in a fairly organic way starting with brainstorming all together, and then delving into the financial aspects of the proposal we were building up and how to apply our ideas etc. I would say we worked on the basis of about five weekly meetings.”

François Legoedec: “Six of us were banded together, after which we started on a rhythm of two weekly meetings. Setting ourselves targets and deadlines was crucial to the teamwork asked of us. After that initial stage, roles were split in terms of who worked best with whom, although in the case of actually designing the presentation of our proposal, we had to select the best-qualified person to do so. Otherwise, it was a team effort from start to finish.”

Loris Fradin: “My team and I were banded together like Brieuc & François. We started by allocating each other a role based on our core competencies and preferences. From then, we were meeting twice a week to share our personal work and findings.”

Q. What do you feel were the main benefits of this preparatory stage of the competition?

Loris Fradin: “Team cohesion and time management, for certain. Plus, learning how to deal with a team that was more or less imposed. We had to put a lot of work in to be able to attend the General Assembly in December 2021, so let's say reward for that work was also a great source of satisfaction.”

Brieuc Bascher: “For me, it provided an ideal preparation for the kind of situations we will experience in our careers – you apply for a job but don't choose cur colleagues, so to be put into a group and then have to learn to work together was both challenging and rewarding.”

François Legoedec: “The main interest for me was the fact that we were already working on something of real use to a client, akin to what we’ll experience once working in the industry. In addition, I also appreciated the chance it gave me to work with members of the cohort with whom I would have not otherwise collaborated.”

Q. What were the main lines of your proposals that saw you invited to the General Assembly?

François Legoedec: “Our proposal Revitalize the FIA was based on three main targets – improving mobility, raising road safety awareness, and attracting youth engagement. We identified the federation's African Road Challenge as a means of achieving all three.”

Loris Fradin: “Our project was focused on the development of tourism in Saudi Arabia, with a particular emphasis on motorsports. In order to offer a certain equality of opportunity, our suggestion was to offer two rallies – a real one for those with the finances to own luxury sportscars and a second, virtual one providing a mix of online tourism and e-sport.”

Brieuc Bascher: “Our team opted for a primarily digital solution. We devised the idea of a platform enabling subscribers to access specific content relating to tourism, mobility, and driving rules, but also to follow their favorite driving events live and identify those happening closest to where they live.”

Q. You all attended the General Assembly. What were the key takeaways of this experience?

Brieuc, François & Loris: “The whole experience was of obvious professional benefit, starting with the initial consulting and teamwork phase. Attending the General Assembly was another matter, as it involved presenting in front of a jury, so speaking in public. This presented a great opportunity to develop one's self-confidence, to learn to pitch, and to deal with the stress of such an event. However, it was a positive stress as this chance we had could maybe provide us with an initial foot in the professional door. We established contacts with potentially interested suitors from the Dominican Republic, Switzerland, Austria, Germany, and Malawi. This may not bear actual fruit but the mere fact of presenting and trying to sell our proposals was an opportunity not to be missed.”