As part of its lifetime membership model, ESSEC Alumni has decided to support a different student project each year. For 2018 the association has chosen La Quatrième Roue du Carrosse, an initiative led by a trio of friends, Jean-Baptiste Martinon, Thomas Noslier and Alexandre Malfoy - and supported by the ESSEC Foundation as well as several graduates. The idea? To set off in search of alumni on the West Coast of the USA… on a Rosalie (a double tandem).
ESSEC Alumni: Tell us about the idea behind La Quatrième Roue du Carosse?
Jean-Baptiste Martinon: La Quatrième Roue du Carosse is our final year project. We’re aiming to cycle 2,500 km, from Seattle to San Diego, on a Rosalie we’ve built ourselves with the help of SE2M technicians. The project combines three core areas: sport, the community and a humanitarian dimension. If you’re not familiar with this type of bike, it consists of two interconnected tandems. At every stage of our trip we’ll arrange to meet with an ESSEC graduate who we’ll invite to pedal with us, on the fourth seat of our Rosalie, for however long they would like. The idea is to share a quality, informal moment with them - to ask about their career path, their memories of ESSEC, what motivates them in life… and take advantage of the experience to map the alumni network on the West coast. Oh - and also to have a good laugh. Rosalie will contribute to the fun aspect of the exchange. We’re also keen to include a humanitarian dimension to the project by cycling to raise funds for social scholarships in partnership with the ESSEC Foundation.
Thomas Noslier: We plan to be in Seattle from April 4th to April 9th, in Portland from April 19th to April 23rd, San Francisco from May 23rd to June 3rd, Los Angeles from June 21st to June 31st and finally in San Diego from July 6th till July 20th. We’ve built in a margin to allow for possible delays.
Alexandre Malfoy: And we hope this American adventure will mark the beginning of a more global project, where every year students will go and meet the ESSEC community around the world as part of this initiative.
EA: What are you hoping for in your meetings with alumni?
A. Malfoy: Inspiration, more than anything. All three of us are about to enter the job market; we have a lot of questions about our future and the direction we’d like to go in. And we’re not the only ones: all our friends in our year are in the same position. We hope to find certain answers by listening to alumni talking about their experiences, their career choices and the paths they’ve taken, and how they achieve a balance between their personal and professional life.
EA: How can alumni help you at this stage of the project?
J-N. Martinon: The alumni are already helping us a lot. Our project has taken shape life mostly thanks to our partners to whom we’re really grateful: the Company of Phalsbourg, a real estate company founded by Philippe Journo (E86); Greenmarks, specialists in green mobility; the Bike Traveler, a travel agency specializing in bike trips created by Eugénie Triebel (E10) and Bérangère Florin (E09); Ava Assurances, an insurance company set up by Alexandre Cordier (M93), and from the school, we obviously have the support of ESSEC Alumni but also the ESSEC foundation, the K-Lab, the ESSEC Group’s communications office and SE2M. Not to mention the personal support of Jean Arvis (E74), Julien Renault and our sponsor Jérôme Adam (E00).
A. Malfoy: If you live anywhere between Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego, and are available on the dates we’re coming through, we’d be delighted to meet you. More than 15 alumni have been in touch so far, which is great, but we’d like to come back with more than twenty interviews in total. Whatever your profile, we want to highlight the richness and diversity of the paths taken by ESSEC graduates.
T. Noslier: If any alumni are willing to support us financially, we still need several thousand euros to complete our budget. And if anyone can offer us accommodation or advice, we’d love to hear from you.
J-N. Martinon: And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Instagram! We want to share our adventure with the entire ESSEC community - with the alumni we’ll meet in the United States but also with all the graduates and students who’ll watch our videos and read our articles over the course of our journey.
An interview by Louis Armengaud Wurmser (E11)