For almost a year, the world has practically ground to a halt as a result of the continuing pandemic. Despites many downsides, there have also been some surprising benefits and new opportunities. Florine Spiga (Grande École 2019) is an example of this. Motivated by a quest for adventure, but more than anything by a wish to support a cause which is close to her heart, she tells us about the Lapland Trophy, a charity challenge to support the fight against breast cancer.
What do you remember about your years at IÉSEG, and what were the highlights?
I loved my master's at IÉSEG, especially the international aspect of the School with the à la carte courses taught entirely in English, the people I met there and the possibility of going abroad on an internship or an exchange. The highlight of my time there has to have been my exchange to Buenos Aires, Argentina. This experience, thousands of kilometres from home, allowed me to enjoy seven months of adventure and discovery.
When you left the School, what was it that led you to enter the Lapland Trophy?
The experience is partly linked to the current pandemic.
The story began in March 2020 when my first half marathon was cancelled. I was still determined to take up the challenge and ran the 21km on the scheduled date.
Succeeding at that made me want to challenge myself even further in the future.
It was during lockdown that I found out about the Lapland Trophy, a women-only charity challenge for two. Combining three of the passions I share with my mother - sport, travel and volunteering, I had no more doubts... I had found the next challenge to take on - with my mum.
Can you tell us a bit more about the Lapland Trophy?
It’s a unique five-day challenge, which takes place in Finland in the Arctic Circle in January 2022. For three days, we will have to tackle all kinds of sporting events: snowshoeing over more than 14km, FatBike, cross-country skiing, an obstacle course… and all in temperatures that can drop to -30°C The aim of the challenge is to support the charity Vivre comme Avant which supports women with breast cancer. We will also represent the Ruban Rose association, which provides information on breast cancer screening.
What really decided it for us was a desire to get away from it all and really challenge ourselves through sport while supporting a cause that means a lot to us.
How did your studies and your years at IÉSEG help you with this project?
My training at IÉSEG gave me the confidence to launch myself into this project.
I wrote my thesis on sports sponsorship which really helped me to create a sponsorship file so I could approach partners for their support. This is working well since we currently have two sponsors: Mani Bijoux, with whom we have created a special Lapland Trophy capsule collection in order to raise funds (https://www.instagram.com/mani.bijoux) and Pierre & Vacances which helped us finance this project.
Something else which also helped me were the digital marketing courses I took at IÉSEG. They enabled me to create a relevant brand image for my team and start building a community on social media.
And finally, IÉSEG and IÉSEG Network are now by my side by helping to publicise this charity project!
What advice would you give to students who are currently thinking about their future?
The advice I would give to students who are lucky enough to be at IÉSEG at the moment (even though conditions which are not so great this year) is to take the opportunity to get out of their comfort zone. IÉSEG offers so many opportunities (internships abroad, study breaks, university exchanges) which can really act as a springboard for your career. It’s also thanks to this that I got my first break as a CRM Project Manager in a large European hotel group (Pierre & Vacances Center Parcs) - by being comfortable in English but also in Spanish - and this is a real asset in business.
Finally, the last piece of advice I want to give to students is that when you have a project that’s close to your heart, even if it seems difficult, you have to be daring, find a way to succeed and always believe in it.
If you want to follow our progress or support us in our adventure: