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On 3 November 2016, the students of the MSc in International Project Development hosted the firm SI2P, the French leader in fire prevention training. “This visit heralded the launch of the case study our students will be working on for six months,” explained Anne-Sophie Courtier, the programme director. This year, the assignment will cover the topic of “how to remain the leader by innovative teaching.” 

The students watched a presentation in English of the environment and the rules to respect in cases of fire risk. “This theoretical training was followed by practical training during which the students had to use extinguishers to deal with real fires,” added Anne-Sophie. “So they discovered the theory and practice of regulatory fire prevention training.”

The training forms part of a business project with SI2P. “The students work on this continuous, experiential group-project between October and March to solve a problem set by the firm.” The aim of the business project is to put the students in a real-life situation, in which they have: how to remain the leader by innovative teaching.” The project will invite them to go beyond the dominant models to analyse the problem cross-functionally, covering different aspects such as competitive challenges, the regulatory context, different teaching materials and approaches, and the development of a customer satisfaction survey. The project will lead to the development of concrete recommendations to the partner company concerning the feasibility and implementation of the teaching innovation project (process, investments, financial fallout, competition, etc.) “They will report their conclusions to the firm in March 2017.”

This exercise is perfectly illustrates the “Learning by Doing” methods used in the MSc in International Project Development. In addition to the pedagogic interest of this field mission, their collaboration with our students will be extremely beneficial for SI2P. “Solving the problem will require multidisciplinary expertise to take account of every aspect of the business project,” stressesEric de Folleville, head of SI2P. “This kind of expertise is usually found in management schools. With its knowledge of the business environment and its multicultural approach, NEOMA Business School was clearly the best equipped organisation for our project: a regional school with an international dimension for a regional problem with international repercussions. We are attempting this innovative approach to go beyond received ideas and other dominant models and to benefit from a fresh look at a topic that we already understand well.”