Baptiste Olivier from Luxembourg and Eloi Didot from France are not only set to graduate together from the ESCP Bachelor in Management (BSc) programme in 2024 but also share an exceptional journey—an internship at Thanry Group in Ivory Coast, focusing on reforestation and social business

Their dedication at the crossroads of finance and environmental sustainability embodies a core principle of our Business School: genuine advancement is only achievable when intertwined with ethical considerations and sustainable practices in the business realm.

ESCP Bachelor in Management: A Global Learning Experience

Embarking on the BSc offers a transformative journey that transcends academic borders and embraces diverse experiences. As Baptiste succinctly put it, “What interested me when choosing a Bachelor was mostly the scientific part. ESCP offered me the unique opportunity to study math and statistics while being able to travel all around Europe while switching campuses.”
This sentiment resonates with many students like Eloi, who added, “I chose ESCP for the European track, the reputation, and the chance to study liberal arts subjects alongside science.” The students also emphasized the unique combination of academic rigor and global exposure that ESCP offers, enabling them to explore a myriad of subjects while immersing themselves in the rich cultural tapestry of different campuses.

Despite the comprehensive nature of the BSc curriculum is designed to provide students with an insight into the many facets of the business world, Eloi and Baptiste embarked on this educational journey with distinct visions for their futures.

“My aspiration to work in social business has been with me since childhood,” Eloi revealed. “Back then, the concept wasn’t entirely clear to me, but as I delved deeper into its essence, the alignment with my values became evident. Opting for ESCP was a deliberate choice because it not only crystallized my path but also offered the most seamless and well-structured route to the professional future I envisioned.”

Conversely, Baptiste’s aspirations pointed firmly toward Finance. “My enthusiasm for the Finance course in my second year, along with the exposure to mathematics, statistics, and macroeconomics, solidified my trajectory,” he stated. His appreciation extended to unexpected courses like Intercultural Skills, initially underestimated but later proven invaluable during their internship. “As I navigate a profoundly different cultural context now, I’m facing novel situations, and I’m thankful for having undergone that course,” he expressed.

The opportunity to blend academic pursuits with cross-cultural interactions is actually a hallmark of the ESCP Bachelor programme, an enriching journey that moulds students into versatile individuals prepared to navigate the complexities of a globalized world.

Exploring Finance and Environmental Sustainability: Internship in Ivory Coast

Diving into a realm where finance meets environmental sustainability, Eloi and Baptiste’s internship in Ivory Coast with the Thanry Group is a testament to the intersection of business and ecological responsibility. 

The Thanry Group, a leading logging company in Côte d’Ivoire, stands out for its commitment to eco-conscious practices. Eloi, expressing the significance of their project, shared, “Our task here is about doing some digital marketing for the company. That means creating a website, managing social networks, and on the ground, taking pictures for the social networks.” This multifaceted role highlights the group’s effort to bridge modern business strategies with a commitment to environmental conservation.

Dedication to reforestation is indeed a pivotal part of the Group’s ethos. “Through its reforestation activities, the Thanry group has already reforested 12,107 ha, or around 3,184,141 trees since 2004,” explains Baptiste.
Their ongoing efforts underline a conscientious approach toward nurturing the environment. A crucial milestone for the group is its 2024 carbon project, aimed at contributing to the fight against climate change and deforestation. Baptiste emphasizes, “The goal is to plant more than 3 million trees. This project will then achieve, at the end of 27 years, a sequestration of 5,233,104 tonnes of CO2 from the IPCC default values.” This initiative encapsulates the Thanry Group’s vision of intertwining economic activities with broader societal well-being and sustainable development.

Eloi and Baptiste’s involvement in the project underscores the invaluable role of business acumen in catalyzing meaningful change. By marrying financial expertise with environmental consciousness, they exemplify the potential of the corporate world to make a positive impact. On the other hand, the Thanry Group’s commitment to the general interest and social responsibility serves as an inspiration, demonstrating that profit and the planet can harmoniously coexist when guided by a dedication to sustainability.

Cultural Immersion and Insights from Africa: Impact and Lessons

Cultural immersion often fosters a profound understanding of the world, as Eloi and Baptiste’s experience in Ivory Coast illustrates. Eloi’s observation that “the culture is very different… and even though here they speak French, it’s a very different French” sheds light on the intricate nuances that language and cultural identity can encompass. Their time spent in Ivory Coast provides a unique lens through which they perceive the rich mosaic of African societies, demonstrating the transformative power of stepping out of one’s comfort zone.

The duo’s interactions with local communities also highlighted diverse perspectives, prompting Baptiste to note, “Here, you see how people reason and react, the weight of the politics… it changes your point of view not only on Africa but on the world.” Their firsthand engagement with issues like deforestation, social dynamics, and local customs deepened their comprehension of the intricate web of global challenges. Eloi and Baptiste’s willingness to confront unfamiliar traditions has not only broadened their horizons but also expanded their capacity to embrace the unfamiliar, thus becoming cultural ambassadors of mutual understanding.

Eloi and Baptiste’s engagement with local communities uncovers the complex intersection of social, environmental, and economic issues, offering a holistic perspective on the challenges faced by developing nations. Their candid realization that “the fault is shared” between local communities and international demand for commodities highlights the intricate dynamics of sustainable development.
These experiences transcend the classroom, shaping their perspectives on interconnected global problems. Through their immersion in Ivory Coast, Eloi and Baptiste exemplify the potential of cross-cultural exchange to drive empathy, inform decision-making, and foster a sense of shared responsibility for our world’s interconnected challenges.

Eloi and Baptiste’s journey through the Bachelor in Management (BSc), their impactful social business internship in Ivory Coast, and their profound cultural immersion exemplify the multifaceted education of global citizens. As they engage with diverse communities and navigate the intricate dynamics of social, economic, and environmental issues, they emerge as catalysts for change. Their story should serve as an example of the transformative power of education, reminding us that knowledge transcends boundaries, enabling us to build a more sustainable, interconnected, and compassionate world.

Are you eager to start your personal journey in Management Education and Social Business? Learn more about the Bachelor in Management (BSc) at ESCP Business School!

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