From January 14-17, Le Five de Mundolsheim hosted the third edition of the EM Winter Games. The idea? For two days, the first-year PGE students at EM Strasbourg are grouped in teams and supervised by professional coaches. Through fun, sporting, and creative events, they learn to get to know each other better and to understand the keys to collective intelligence. Here’s a reflection on a unique experience.
A Seminar Conceived and Organized by Cap Career
The Cap Career service’s mission? To help each student to develop professionally and, above all, personally. The whole team is mobilized in order to achieve its objective and organizes three highlights for each year of the course. In the third year, students have the opportunity to try out improv theatre in order to be comfortable with public speaking. In the second year, they participate in EM's Kitchen and try their hand at intercultural management. Finally, for the first year, the aim is to develop self-confidence and confidence in others through a sporting event: The EM Winter Games.
For this event, Cap Career is working in collaboration with sports coaches who are involved in both the organization and the day itself. Frédéric Demangeon, is a coach with the French Handball Federation. He has been participating in the EM's Winter Games since the first edition: “As a coach, our role is first and foremost to design the educational and strategic framework of the event. We then intervene in the implementation and the hosting. It is a matter of establishing a framework, challenging the students, and, of course, debriefing them.” The first day is dedicated to developing individual skills, the second to using these skills to help the group. The announcement of the winners took place over the weekend, with an appearance from Timothée Adolphe, as a bonus, an elite athlete and Paralympic athletics champion, who spoke about the role that the collective played in his own success.
The workshops are designed by the coaches and the Cap Career team. Liane Otteni, a member of the Cap Career team, tells us more: “We brief the coaches based on the soft skills that will be expected the most between now and 2020 by companies according to the World Economic Forum. Furthermore, the majority of first-year students come out of preparatory classes where performance is an individual thing and it seemed important to us to start their business school studies with a seminar on self-confidence and confidence in others as well as the importance of the collective. Among the workshops offered, there was the mastermind exercise, highlighting the importance of communication and the distribution of roles in a team. As for the magic squares exercise, participants are blindfolded. Students need to trust each other, listen to each other, and develop collective strategies.”
“The EM Winter Games allow us to know how to better position ourselves as a team, how to interact with others. We quickly drew a parallel with project management.”
Nicolas & Andréa
The Parallel Between the Professional World and the World of Sport
The challenges students face during these two days provide them with an insight into company life. Although the Cap Career coaches attended the event last year, in the 2019 edition this year, they participated in the workshops as well as in a debriefing with each of the teams. The students then benefit from the expertise of the sports coaches while benefiting from feedback from the Cap Career team. According to Frédéric, “This system provides real educational added value because we work with each other in the feedback we give to students.” This double feedback reveals what has worked well but also areas for improvement for the teams.
Nicolas and Andréa, students and participants in this year's event give their testimonies. Andréa confirms the link with the professional world: “The EM Winter Games allow us to know how to better position ourselves as a team, how to interact with others”. Nicolas adds: “We quickly drew a parallel with project management.”
“It takes them out of the classroom and out of their comfort zone. The aim is for them to integrate skills while having fun and to get to know each other better through the workshops.”
An Event Valued by Students
The seminar is so popular because it is based on a “Learning by doing” approach. Liane tells us more: “It takes them out of the classroom and out of their comfort zone. The aim is for them to integrate skills while having fun and to get to know each other better through the workshops.”
When asked the question “What do you get out of this experience?”, Andréa and Nicolas are in agreement. They explain that this event helped them to develop soft skills that are vital in the professional world such as listening, adaptability, and trust. They also understood the importance of the collective: “In our team, we worked very well together, we realised that this was a strength.”
In order to engage the students' creativity, each team was asked to choose a film theme and create a choreographed routine based on a film trailer! This is an opportunity for them to show boldness, originality, and to understand storytelling, which is widely used in companies.