After a first edition led by Thibaud Huriez, currently a student at UC Berkeley, theOdyssey’s crazy managerial experience was renewed by two brothers : Clément and Romain Meyer, students of emlyon and Paris-Dauphine respectively. Return to their unique adventure to meet the world!
Hello everyone, can you introduce yourselves?
Clemente: Hi everyone, my name is Clément, I’m 22 years old. I am passionate about personal development and organization of human interactions within companies. I am currently a student of the emlyon business school and I am, with my brother Romain, the second duo of the Managerial Odyssey.
Roman: Hi everyone! I am Roman and I am 24 years old. I have a little sister and a little brother with whom I embarked on the most incredible adventure of my life. I am passionate about sports and personal development. It is this latter point that prompted me to embark on the managerial Odyssey with Clément after graduating from Paris Dauphine University last year.
What is the managerial odyssey?
The Managerial Odyssey is a 6 month journey across several countries for. explore and share new management practices. Our goal: to find companies and people who want to break the codes of traditional business
This year we plan to travel through 8 countries, meet more than 150 employees and 50 companies.
The project is divided into 3 phases:
- Preparation for the trip : logistics, financing, communication preparation, etc.
- Travel : generally 6 months of travel in several countries, 150 collaborators and more than 50 companies met.
- The transmission : conferences, final report, articles: this moment will be an opportunity to return to France and share all your discoveries with French companies and professionals.
How did you find out about Managerial Odyssey?
We discovered the Odyssey during a conference in Emlyon then through the social networks and the association’s website.
We then contacted Romain and Thibaud, the founding duo of the association.
What prompted you to embark on the adventure?
We were attracted by several elements on the 3 phases of the project:
- Preparation for the trip: we liked the idea of being totally free in designing our odyssey. There is a research framework with the association, but the duo is completely independent of their adventure. This entrepreneurial aspect attracted us a lot. Having to raise funds, convince companies, develop a communication strategy, manage the relationship with partners were new skills and a very interesting challenge for us.
- Travel : discover every day companies all over the world, new cultures, new places, new people. Each day is different, which makes the adventure exciting.
- The transmission: hold conferences, change mentality and engage with professionals much more experienced than us. We really like the idea of sharing our findings with professionals and students.
Experiencing siblings: Obvious?
We have two types of reactions when we explain that we are on this journey between brothers:
- You are crazy, I could never have done this with my brother / sister.
- What a chance to do it as a family.
We are more oriented towards the second reaction. We have always been very close and have shared a lot of things together for a long time. It is a real possibility of being able to do it between brother and tests.
On the other hand, being so close brings a mutual sincerity that can sometimes be a source of tension!
Feedback on launch (partner search, road map definition, etc.)
Launch is a very inspiring time. The beginning is approaching, everything has to be built and invented.
For our part, we spent 4 and a half months preparing for our departure. The roadmap may depend on duets, but some elements are common:
- Choice of countries;
- Partner search;
- First business meetings;
- Framing of the project, of your needs, of your desires;
- Preparation for communication;
- All logistics (insurance, mode of transport, etc.)
Who were your partners for this edition?
This year we have financial and non-financial partners.
- Our financial partners
SNCF, Imfusio, The NextGen Enterprise, Altman, Cofidis Group, Paris-Dauphine, Master 010 – Design Innovation in Management (CIM), emlyon business school, emlyon alumni, LITA.co
- We also have non-financial partners, who offer us invaluable travel assistance.
Planète Grandes Écoles, whom we thank again for this article and which is a great relay for student projects, we have a coach, Thomas Bouchard, who accompanies projects like ours, the Great Place To Work network, the AirZen radio.
We are very happy with our partner team and try to apply all the best practices we see in business with them.
Which countries are crossed in this second edition of the Management Odyssey?
This year we started with Norway and Iceland. We then went to Brazil It’s inside Colombia, then to Canada it’s at United States of America. While we do this interview, we go out South Korea. We will conclude our trip in Vietnam !
Your best memory?
There are several! We lived fabulous moments in Iceland, discovering incredible landscapes. We also visited a very innovative kindergarten where we attended a compliment session between 4 year olds (rituals at school every morning), a highlight.
In Brazil the visit of the Rocinha favela, in Colombia the visit of Comuna 13 where we could observe the extreme poverty but also the crazy creativity on the part of Brazilians and Colombians! Moments of great intensity every time.
We have also had great moments in our professional meetings with exciting and very inspiring people.
What do you think are the contributions of an adventure like the Managerial Odyssey?
The Odyssey’s contributions are manifold:
- The human adventure : a moment of very strong sharing with a person of your choice. A journey that holds incredible surprises, surprising encounters and overwhelming moments.
- Constant learning : fundraising, partner management, article writing, communication – the project requires a lot of skills and allows for steady progress.
- Travel : discovering new cultures, traveling, meeting new people: traveling is an essential part of the project and will allow you to discover the world by living a very enriching professional experience.
- The network : Managerial Odyssey is a very powerful way to build a network internationally and in France. The project, in fact, allowed us to deal with people who would otherwise be very difficult to reach.
- Many other elements that are difficult to measure : openness to a large number of subjects, maturity, extraordinary memories, change of mentality, different aspirations …
What were the main difficulties you encountered during this world tour?
Obviously this is a very demanding experience, we encountered several difficulties:
- the logistics : with Covid we found ourselves in quite comical situations. In Iceland, for example, Clément tested positive 5 hours before departure …
- Work / leisure balance : this balance is sometimes difficult to find. We have a lot of work and at the same time we want to exploit the countries in which we find ourselves.
- Diversity of expectations : writing articles, conferences, communication, professional meetings … There are many different things to do, which can sometimes be difficult to manage.
All these difficulties are interesting to progress and learn while traveling.
Upon your return, what will the next steps be?
On the way back we will have the whole part of the transmission, of sharing our discoveries. Then, we let ourselves be carried away by the opportunities that will present themselves.
Traveling opened us up to different subjects such as education, for example. Why not a new project around this!
Any advice for students who don’t dare to take a trip around the world?
A project like Managerial Odyssey is a winner for everyone. This is a rare experience that mixes travel and work. You can start on any topic you are passionate about, companies will follow.
If you don’t have the courage to start, the simplest way is to create conditions that leave you no choice. For example, take the first train or plane ticket.
Finally, it is an experience that will forever change your life both professionally and personally.
Read also: Mélissa: “Studying in the United States”