Reciprocity: Corporate Social Responsibility at the heart of the Bachelor in Management at Rennes SB
As part of the Bachelor in Management (BiM) at Rennes School of Business, students participate in the Reciprocity module, a project-based learning experience in the context of a humanitarian or non-profit organisation.
The Bachelor in Management (BiM) at Rennes School of Business is a three-year programme during which students learn about the fundamentals of management in an international environment, through a combination of theoretical and hands-on learning. At the end of the programme, students decide between continuing their studies to a master’s level in a specialised subject or entering the job market directly.
The Bachelor in Management is available to study in a mix of French and English language, or accessible to non-Francophone students with the 100% English track.
CSR at the heart of the learning process
During their studies at Rennes SB, all students complete at least one introductory course to CSR or Business Ethics. During the second year of the Bachelor in Management, students must complete the Reciprocity module in order to obtain their degree.
The module aims to develop students’ social awareness, humility and empathy, along with their capacity for project management, as they team up with an NGO or a non-profit organisation in order to carry out a humanitarian project for which they will be evaluated as part of their programme.
A reciprocal exchange
The projects undertaken as part of the Reciprocity module are mutually beneficial for the students and for the association or non-profit organisation that takes them on.
Students are able to develop their interpersonal skills in a non-profit context and strengthen their qualities as socially responsible citizens through the tasks set for them by their host associations, whilst the association benefits from the fresh perspective of the younger generation, and the practical application of the business skills learned during their Bachelor in Management. In this reciprocal exchange, the student gains in maturity and humility, and the association benefits from new skills and the perspective of a younger generation.
Reciprocity projects can take place in a range of organisations, giving students the opportunity to work for a cause that is close to their heart. In 2021, one group of BiM students were able to organise a sporting event called “La balle est dans votre camp !“ (The ball is in your court!) in partnership with LADAPT and former Paralympic athlete Hadda Guercouche, during The European Week for the Employment of People with Disabilities 2021.
Allison Koc, a former bachelor student who continued her studies with a specialised MSc at Rennes SB, explains that “during the Reciprocity project, we volunteer for an association in Rennes for one semester. I volunteered for the food bank and was responsible for preparing the annual food bank collection with 18 other students from my class.”
Irina Purcarea, Programme Coordinator of the Reciprocity Project, tells us a bit more about the structure of the module:
“The School works with over 30 different partners every year, ranging from local associations such as La Banque Alimentaire de Rennes, LADAPT and La Maison Internationale de Rennes, to international organisations such as UNICEF, Red Cross and Amnesty International.
Through the Reciprocity Project, students acquire project management skills by working on real projects in partial autonomy, whilst being accompanied by Rennes SB and their partner organisations. They will apply their academic knowledge and the skills they have developed in other structures, for the benefit of the organisation
they are working with. At the same time, through the Reciprocity project, students will enhance their awareness about the social and environmental issues of their city and deploy concrete actions to address those issues.
Students participating in the Reciprocity Project have the advantage of “learning by doing.” During the module, they acquire knowledge of project management and skills that they will later apply to a real project. Students practice prospection, event management, fundraising, actions for raising awareness, the production of a film/ report/use of different communication media, development of marketing studies and effective use of communication tools. By the end of the module in mid-December, we organise the final project review with the teams of students and the non-profit organisations they are working with and each team of students presents their work and the results obtained to officially complete their project. This presentation acts as a “lessons-learned“ exercise, during which they can reflect on the overall experience of working as part of a team on the project and receive direct feedback on their performance from the organisation.”