For the past three years, the Academic Director of the PPA Business School* has asked me to chair the judging panel for its annual MGC Awards. In this challenge, 120 students in the fourth year of their MBA programme dive into our wonderful world of trade fairs and shows. Divided into 20 groups of 3–6 students, they find a company (an exhibitor, an organisation using a trade show or an actual show organiser) and offer to make themselves available to them for a period of 3–5 months. They carry out a comprehensive assignment for the company with the aim of making their participation at the show a complete success.
Throughout the process, from the pre-show negotiations (sales side) through setting up the stand to post-event follow-up, the students really get to know our world, almost as if they were exploring a new planet. They have given 200% and obviously grasped all the potentialities and opportunities. In the companies they will soon be joining, these 360 students (from three year-groups) will become our best ambassadors. A great way to familiarise them with our industry, in harmony with the initiatives carried out by UNIMEV.
Working with the school’s management team and the students themselves, what really impressed me was their enthusiasm, this almost naïve creativity that is so refreshing. I also liked the team spirit of this year-group. Even though only three groups (about fifteen students per year out of 120 in the year as a whole) were selected and received an award, they showed a very positive and mutually supportive attitude. It was a thoroughly rejuvenating experience that I look forward to repeating next year!
Managing Director, Promosalons
* PPA Business School, with over 2,800 students on work-study programmes, is the first French post-Bac business and management school operating exclusively on a work-study basis. All the qualifications the students study for are listed in the French national vocational qualifications directory (RNCP) – Level 2 for 3-year programmes (Bachelor’s degree) and Level 1 for 5-year programmes (Master’s degree).