Interview: Sabri Souici and Nicolas Kail, professionals and speakers at Eucléa Business School share their experiences of distance learning.
Hello, who are you and what do you do?
Sabri: Hello, my name is Sabri Souici, I am 23 years old and I am a consultant trainer for the firm Possibility, specialized in business consulting and training. This is a very interesting position because I work in Marketing, Communication and Human Resources. I recently graduated from Omnis in Strasbourg last July. I have a Master 2 Executive Operational Manager.
Nicolas: Hello, my name is Nicolas Kail and I am a commercial developer. I have been self-employed since 2012, when I created my communication agency “Sales Take Off”. We support our clients in various fields: communication, marketing, sponsorship or advertising. For example, we created the sales department of the start-up Velleminfroy, known for its mineral water.
What do you teach at Eucléa Business School?
Sabri: I teach three streams: Ms Management and Corporate Strategy, Ms Human Resources and Bachelor 3 Sales – Negotiation. I cover different subjects such as website creation, internal communication or quality management.
Nicolas: For my part, I teach at Bachelors 3 Sales – Negotiation and Management – Management. I share my knowledge in different areas: management and performance management, budgeting, sales management control, sales assistance tools etc.
How did you adapt your courses to the current situation?
Nicolas: I did not have the chance to know the teaching before the arrival of Covid since I started last November. So I have not yet seen the alternants in real life! There is a lot of theory in my classes, so I try to energize this with my experience by punctuating my classes with anecdotes. Unfortunately, the alternates have trouble activating their cameras and without facial expressions, it is quite difficult to know if they are following or if they have understood!
I also punctuate my classes with regular questions to students: their professional experiences, their jobs, etc. I try to use these things to image my classes so that they can better understand and feel concerned.
Sabri: The funny thing is that I experienced the first lockdown as a student! So I know very well what they experience and what they feel on a daily basis. I am a digital native so I have no problem with all the tools we have access to on the internet. So I took everything I went through as a student and turned my modules into a function.
For example, in person I talk a lot. From a distance, I speak very little and it is the alternates who teach a certain way. We exchange for 20/30 minutes and then we move on to case studies related to what I just said. At that time, the alternates are dispatched in small groups and work on the subject of the day. I always prefer the camera: I push them to put it and I also put mine because it seems to me really important to be able to see each other to exchange. I also adapted my course materials: I avoid powerpoints and prefer Canva presentations or videos that I edit myself.
Did you get any feedback from your students?
Nicolas: I accompany two groups. Overall they are quite satisfied although some would like a more dynamic course with less reading. I am nevertheless obliged to put some in order to first go through a theoretical phase before being able to exchange and put into practice in a second time. Also, it allows them to directly have the courses written since I send them everything after the course.
Sabri: The students are very happy with the way I work and have asked me to continue doing this. Since I am young, I try to establish a real relationship with them and they know that they can contact me whenever they need it. For example, during the week of the website creation challenge, some contacted me at late hours to help them and I was delighted!
What do you think about the means set up by the establishment to adapt to distance learning?
Sabri: I think that Eucléa Business School was able to adapt quickly and efficiently to provide courses for students on work-study programmes. However, and this is less about the school but more about the platform, I find that Teams does not offer many options to teach and follow its students fully. For my part, I created a platform on Discord because I can create as many workspaces as I want. It also allows me to see in real time what is happening. It also allows me to see in real time what is happening.
Nicolas: For a first experience, I am happy because the policy of Eucléa Business School totally corresponds to me. I never wanted to become a «teacher» strictly speaking but here, I intervene with the alternates and I share my experience more than I teach, it’s really pleasant, even remotely! And my 30 years of career in sales are a real asset to teach!
What advice would you give to students about distance learning?
Nicolas: We are in a business of human and market relations. So we have to communicate if I have any advice to give to the students, it is to participate in class, as soon as they can. Participation is essential. It is an exercise that gives confidence to speak in public or in front of several interlocutors!
It is an exercise that gives confidence to speak in public or in front of several Sabri: A proverb that I like and that summarizes our situation: “Nothing is impossible to the one who wants.”