Developing interest and a sense of responsibility towards what surrounds us is fundamental in the growth path that leads our students to become the decision-makers of tomorrow.
Thus, ESCP Business School strongly encourages their active participation in diverse extracurricular experiences to measure themselves against real-world challenges.
Student life on each of the campuses is shaped by the initiatives and activities offered by some fifty Societies that organise networking, artistic and cultural events, political discussions, sports tournaments, and various social and humanitarian actions.
To better understand how an ESCP Society works from the inside – and what drives our students to invest their free time for the common good – we met some second-year students of the Bachelor in Management (BSc), engaged in the management of the SPF Paris Society.
The Why: Education is (still) a privilege to many
In November 2020, Constantin Caspar had a stimulating conversation with his fellow BSc classmate Julien Lessel. “As we realized that access to education was one of our largest privileges, we both agreed on our desire to ‘give back’, in a way or another,” tells us Constantin.
“After doing some research, we heard for the first time about SPF, the Student’s Philanthropic Foundation, created and led by students. It acts on a global scale to support the education of children in South America and Asia. Their concept and their vision immediately sparked our interests,” adds Julien.
Soon after, Constantin and Julien applied to found the Paris branch of the student-led charity, and today, their team already counts 14 driven BSc students from 10 different countries.
The Who: Everyone Can Make an Impact
SPF is deliberately run by students for students. “The Foundation has branches worldwide, which means we can build a network with different university students all around the world,” says Yiyin Xu. “Everyone can join and contribute to alleviating poverty and hardship by using its strengths and potential.”
Joining a Society is also a great way to make a practical and concrete contribution while testing and reinforcing the skills acquired during the programme. “This experience not only helped me to develop my managerial and organisational skills further,” adds Yiyin, who is responsible for the fundraising at SPF Paris, “but also allowed me to improve my ability to communicate with people.”
There are many hard and soft skills you can acquire, depending on your role in the Society. “Personally, I learned how to handle a team, more specifically how to set up meetings, and interact with “colleagues” in order to organise a successful event. A situation I was not used to at all,” admits Julian.
The How: Charity with a sustainable twist
The events organised by our BSc students enable them to contribute to the larger projects that SPF is currently supporting, such as building safe and inclusive schools in Nepal or increasing participation structures for girls and women in Peru, Guatemala, and other Latin American countries.
“We have had many successful events in the past, but the one that had the biggest impact was held last April, an actual clothing drive,” explains Ella Brockhaus.
“As BSc students, we move locations every year, and sometimes we have to let go of some stuff – most of all clothes. So this year, we wanted to help ESCP students give their old clothes a new purpose and donate to charity while doing so. The School indeed taught us that sustainability could – and must – be intertwined with everything we do. And we have fully embraced this direction.”
By selling 2nd hand clothes and through numerous free donations, the team was able to raise some funds and give the leftover clothes to a local charity directly in Paris.
“Our clothing drive definitely generated value in our community since it allowed us to raise awareness in regards to situations of children in countries, such as Nepal and Peru, that most of us might not know of otherwise'” comments Constantin.
“Throughout all our project work in class, the Bachelor has taught us how to work effectively in extremely diverse teams, which has helped all of us at SPF to collaborate so well!” concludes Constantin.
“I would strongly encourage every Bachelor student to join SPF Paris during their ESCP journey. It is a way to give something impactful back to society while doing fun activities and making new friends. Moreover, SPF is represented in numerous well-known and prestigious Universities, so there is a good chance to be well connected within a group of people sharing the same interest. “
Are you interested in joining Constantin, Julien, Ella, Yiyin, and the rest of the SPF Paris Team? Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop a message on their Instagram @spf.paris.