On May 6th, three ninth grade classes from the Chantereine secondary school of Sarcelles experienced a back-to-school day like no other.
Instead of returning to their regular classrooms, they journeyed to the Vivendi headquarters for a day of creativity with a team from Universal Music France and Blue Systems.
Their mission: to imagine, from the catalogue of the famous record company, a promotional strategy for an emerging artist. This initiative, facilitated by the teams from Entreprendre pour Apprendre (EPA), was organized by Earthtalent by Bolloré as part of its partnership with the United Way L’Alliance (UWA). The UWA is committed to priority education zone in order to help the youth in its orientation. Within its Youth Challenge program, the UWA fights against school dropouts.
At 9:30 AM, more than twenty collaborators mobilised to coach the students are present and motivated. The collaborators include the Export Project Manager, Communication Manager, Label Director, etc.
Spread among six working groups, their role will be to present to the students, through a practical case study (the release of an album whose artist has recently signed with Universal Music), a new profession: Project Manager in the music industry.
Half of the group will therefore work on the development of a launch event, while the other half will formalise the artist’s image, from its style to its logo.
« The collaborator-coaches are there so that young people can let their daily lives, their tastes, their dreams, the brands they love, speak for themselves and guide them in their creativity», exmplains Lucile Tricard, Human Resources Director at Universal Music France.
Around 10:00 AM, the students arrive, and work can begin.
The EPA and UWA leadership teams keep an accurate track of time: students and their coaches have two hours of brainstorming, a quick lunch and around an hour to prepare a quick pitch for their ideas. These pitches will be presented in front of the whole group in the afternoon with visual support.
Coaches are present and involved, but will not interfere with the students’ creative process.
« Everyone has a role. Everyone must be able to express themselves and be valued throughout the day » as Venesa Thaci, Territorial Manager for the Val D’Oise UWA, points out.
This approach is important for the Bolloré Group.
« The objective is to provide them with a vision of the future, a vision of their future », explains Ange Mancini, President of Ethics and Corporate Sponsorship of the Bolloré Group.
Ange Mancini adds « we need, very early on, to give them desires to do something, while showing them to always work hard without losing pleasure and sense of humor ».
The benefits of this method are also pointed out by Najwa Gambillon, who is a French teacher. “It’s a very different speech from school. Here, they are involved, they are active, it can only help them”, she says. « This is the third year in a row that I have been involved in projects like this one and students are always very eager to meet professionals. It is informative for them and for us.»
A time to reveal your talents
At 2:00 PM, it’s already time for presentations. The members of the jury arrive in a large room bubbling with energy. Each group has 5 minutes to present its project and 5 minutes of Q&A. By the end of the day, the jury will determine its favorite projects.
Throughout the presentations, benevolence reigns: secondary-school pupils are shy at the beginning, but they gain confidence by relying on their carefully prepared notes and the encouraging look of their coaches in the audience.
When the favorite projects are announced, each group is congratulated by the jury and receives full and constructive feedback on their presentation. A feeling of satisfaction emanates from the room. “The day went well. We didn’t think it was going to be like this,” says one student who neither knew the company nor the artist. “The coaches taught me not to be afraid to say out loud my ideas, to stop hesitating and always have a try,” adds another student.
On the Universal side, for which this type of mobilization day was a first, the operation was a success.
« We are delighted! It was cheerful and lively. Our employees have learned a lot » says Lucile Tricard, who firmly believes that the inter-generational bond created during the day is essential.
« I found this day extraordinary » agrees Agnès Bongo, Universal Music France’s internal communication and CSR manager and coach for the day. « I was impressed by the ability of students to seize ownership of things. They were highly motivated. »
Building on this success, the team from Earthtalent by Bolloré organised another creative day with two other ninth grade classes from Sarcelles on May 20th at Blue Systems headquarters on the theme of sustainable mobility.
« These days reflect the Group’s commitment to youth, create meetings between different collaborators within the Group who do not meet often and, above all, offer a magical atmosphere that cannot be found in any CSR report » concludes Dorothée Van Der Cruyssen, International Solidarity Commitment and Corporate Sponsorship Director of the Bolloré Group.
N.B.: The Youth Challenge program was launched by the UWA on November 9th, 2018 in several priority education zones. Cyrille Bolloré has signed a partnership agreement with the UWA for the Group through its Earthtalent by Bolloré corporate sponsorship program. Twenty-one other major French Groups have also joined Défi jeunesse, whose ambition is to support 15,000 students by 2020 to fight against school dropout.
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