Don’t Count on Passion to be Successful in the Sports Industry

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You love sport more than anyone you know. You know the history of your favorite sport inside-out. You are at the every home game of your favorite team. You know the life stories of all the players. 

If you were interested in working for this industry, you would be perfect candidate right? Not necessarily. 

 A love of sport alone is no longer what the industry is looking for. What employer’s want is someone with the skills and the vision to lead the sport industry through disruption, who embraces emerging technologies and understands the growing importance of data. 

The MSc in Sports Industry Management at emlyon business school in France works closely with sport industry leaders to ensure that the program meets their needs and delivers graduates who are ready to hit the ground running from day one. 

So what are the most pertinent issues being discussed today that companies in the sport industry need to address?

Data

The importance of data, its collection and its rigorous analysis has been growing in the sports industry for many years. It first made an appearance in baseball, as popularized in Michael Lewis’s book and later made into feature film “Moneyball”. Data was used in player recruitment but it is now used in all different aspects of sport. From player performance to team work, data helps to analyze physical, mental and social factors that will help players and teams learn how they can perform to their very best and create champions.

Data is also used in marketing to decide on when to schedule games, how to engage fans, how to assess the effectiveness of social media campaigns, how to measure financial performance, and so forth. 

The industry needs individuals who understand data, know how to collect and analyze it, and then translate it into innovative strategy. 

Future Tech

A survey conducted by Scrum Ventures in 2019 showed that according to industry professionals, the technologies that will make the biggest impact on the sports industry over the next 12 months are selected fan engagement technologies (78%), such as live streaming, esports and content platforms, athlete performance (16%) and stadium experience (6%).  From an investment perspective, the top three areas of interest were media and content-related platforms, esports and measurement platforms for data and analytics and biometrics.

 These insights are even more relevant in the context of the global COVID-19 crisis. How will this crisis change the sports industry? How can the industry adapt? Creative and skilled people are needed to use technology to keep the industry moving forward. 

Sustainability

Addressing issues of sustainability in sport is important for two reasons, the need to reduce the industry’s ecological footprint; and the role sport can play in raising environmental awareness.

The sports industry has committed to taking action to moderate the environmental impact that it has but much more can be done. How can the world of sport use its influence and fan base to pass on important messages and inform the public of environmental issues?

Sponsorship and marketing

With the rise of the digital era, sponsorship and marketing have experienced a huge change and continues to change with the importance of social media, particularly when it comes to fan interaction. 

The MSc in Sports Industry Management is an 18-month program split between emlyon business school’scampuses in Paris and Shanghai. It prepares you not only to tackles the issues previously mentioned, but also to be prepared for any further changes in the industry. The program is broken up into 4 skill sets and uses project based learning, company visits and networking sessions to put your classes into perspective:

  1. Explore: Understand a world in constant change
  2. Create: Tools and concepts to build for the future
  3. Make it happen: Integrate innovation in a market strategy
  4. Scale up: Go global

Do you have what it takes to join this fast-moving and exciting industry?

For more information download the brochure

From Athlete to Marketing Director: Meet Hanane Sabri from Kipling

Hanane Sabri, Marketing Director of Kipling, part of VF Corporation, in Hong Kong, has been working in the sports & fashion business for more than 20 years. While this is impressive on its own, it is even more so considering Hanane’s background: Before starting her business career, she used to be a French athlete who participated in national & international competitions. She was crowned as champion of France in the 1,500 meters in 2001 in Saint-Etienne and competed in the 2001 World Championships in Athletics in Edmonton. At the same time of her athlete’s peak, she started her career in the sporting goods industry, making her a great example of mastering a smooth transition from sports to business.

And there’s still more to her story. Hanane has reached the highest level in a sport practiced in shorts as a Muslim woman and today, has achieved a top management position in a men’s dominated industry while being a mother of two. She’s challenged the assumptions about female roles in sports and economy and proved that, indeed, women can have it all.

So, what can we learn from her success about progress, resilience and purpose? Tracing her career as an athlete, marketing professional and mother, Hanane Sabri shares with us an insight into her own history, her values and a lesson on hard work.

SJ: You started your professional career at the same time as your athletic career and continued with both for almost 8 years. How did you manage to bring the two together?

HS: I come from a family of workers, so hard work was a primary aspect of my education. My parents were forced to work in very difficult conditions in the North of France to support our family. So, they gave everything at work, never complaining when they returned home. From an early age, I understood that to be successful you had to work hard and be persistent to achieve your goals. My athletic career has also taught me that. I have not been champion of France in the 1,500 meters by snapping my fingers and no other athlete either, not even the talented Usain Bolt!

It’s simple: to succeed in your professional career you have to work hard, to succeed as a mother you have to work hard, to succeed as an athlete you have to work hard, to succeed in your life in  a relationship, you have to work hard and so on! For everything in life, you always have to give your best and above all be attentive to others, but also to your body, to achieve performance.


"I understood that to be successful you had to work hard and be persistent to achieve your goals. I have not been champion of France in the 1,500 meters by snapping my fingers and no other athlete either, not even the talented Usain Bolt!"

Hanane Sabri

SJ: Are you proud to have started your professional career like this?

HS: Of course! It was an intense period, just like my whole life. In fact, I don’t really know how to stop because I’m a chronic hyperactive [laughs]. In addition, Adidas was a very good school for my early career. I had a CEO, Antoine Sathicq, who was a very inspiring manager and who managed us perfectly. I was able to learn a lot in finance, project management and marketing through my various positions at Adidas.

SJ: You are currently Marketing Director at Kipling. Has your athletic background helped you get here?

HS: Totally! My life as an athlete has allowed me to understand three things: The first is that you have to work hard to achieve your goals.

The second is resilience. The ability to keep moving forward despite obstacles, energy shortages, etc.

The last one is empathy, listening and connecting with others. You never succeed alone.

Even if I have practiced a sport that is described as individual, for me it is still a team effort. I had my physiotherapist, my trainer, my hares, my relatives, etc. It was them who helped me, in part, to reach the world championships in Edmonton. For me, it is important to move forward with a team that we respect and with which we feel connected.

In addition, my parents taught me the values of respect, sharing, empathy and performance. The notion of performance is ingrained in me and that is what brought me to where I am today whether in the sports industry or the fashion industry.

SJ: In 2018, you arrived in Hong-Kong and joined the Folli Follie group. Why did you leave the sports industry to work in jewelry?

HS: Actually, I first came to Hong Kong out of love. I wanted to learn Mandarin and take care of my family. As I could not stop working, I joined the Folli-Follie group and discovered the world of jewelry because I wanted to learn and discover new things on the Asian market. I really liked the learning process. After 3 years, I had learned a lot, but I wanted to take on new challenges. So, I applied to VF Corporation. It was not easy but after some interviews, I was recruited! Today I am very proud to work for this brand which immerses me in the world of lifestyle and millennials.

SJ: What inspires you at Kipling and what are your goals in this business?

HS: When I arrived at Kipling I was in observation mode for 3 months. This is a rule that I have always imposed myself in any new mission because you must first understand the company and the brand for which you work. The collections, the market, the brand’s consumers, employees, the functioning of internal but also local teams, cultural differences, company values, objectives and finally the strategy put in place. Beyond the specific objectives of the company, my priority remains the human being and the relationship with others in order to ensure team cohesion and the establishment of common objectives. I love to grow and see others grow. For me, the manager / employee relationship is a win / win relationship, based on respect, listening and performance.

Why did I choose Kipling? I really got hooked with the new managerial leadership in place and especially their objectives and the new vision of Kipling. Today we want to reach millennials by transmitting the message of exploring the world with curiosity but also of lightening their lives thanks to our inspiring and functional products. I totally find myself in this message. In addition, I like to work on new concept stores to offer a real experience to our consumers, be it in store activations or through merchandising visuals, but above all to communicate with Asians using 80% of the digital world. And this may include the entire strategic approach of online distribution for our own sites kipling.com or on our Kipling Store on Tmall platform [the largest E- commerce platform in China and in the world] without obviously forgetting the importance of social networks such as WeChat, Weibo, FB or Instagram, etc. All these subjects are challenges to be met in a disruptive and specific way to create a real competitive difference.

SJ: After such an inspiring journey, do you have any advice for students and recent graduates?

HS: Do everything to achieve your dreams and never give up! For me, nothing is impossible. I am living proof! I have reached the highest level in a sport that is practiced in shorts while I am a Muslim. I have always worked in men’s professional circles when I am a woman who comes from a working-class family and I have done very well. Again, I emphasize the concept of resilience which is very important throughout our lives without forgetting human values such as respect, empathy and listening.


"Do everything to achieve your dreams and never give up! For me, nothing is impossible. I am living proof ! I have reached the highest level in a sport that is practiced in shorts while I am a Muslim. I have always worked in men's professional circles when I am a woman who comes from a working class family and I have done very well."

Hanane Sabri

One of my daily motivations is to ask myself: which actions can I take today that could have an impact on the world, on my family, on the ecological level, and at work? I am a great player and I always take the example of dominoes, because every little gesture can have a huge impact on our lives and the lives of others. Even a smile, a moment of listening, helping someone in need even if he is a stranger to us, and so on! These little actions can give hope. And we have to share this hope because that is what makes us build a better world in the end.

This also applies to the global scale about ecology: I believe in humanity and if everyone makes small gestures, we can build a society more respectful of our planet Earth and leave a legacy for our children.

More about Hanane Sabri

Hanane Sabri joined VF as Asia Pacific Marketing Director of Kipling in Hong Kong HQ in May 2019. She has more than 20 years of experience in the Fashion and Sport Retail industry.

Based in Strasboug, Hanane joined Adidas France in 2000 as a Finance Controller. During that time, she was also a national athlete representing her country in international competitions. Hanane Sabri became Strategic Planning Director in 2004 and took the role of Senior Sport Marketing and Communication Manager in 2006, specializing in Event activation plans, production planning, finance and market analysis. She oversaw international sports events such as the Olympic Games in Beijing, Athens, Vancouver and London, and was directly in charge of the French Olympic Committee and 18 national Federations for 8 years.

Between 2006 and 2015, the highlights of Hanane Sabri’s achievement involved managing contract negotiations with athletes and celebrities for adidas performance & Original, including the renowned Rap Singer Akhenaton , the two times Olympic Champion Teddy Riner in judo and multiple times gold medallist Nikola Karabatic and olympic champion in handball.

Prior to joining VF Corporation, she worked in Folli Follie in January 2016 as their Asia Pacific Marketing Director, developing leading design teams, product management, marketing and communication for 7 countries and more than 150 stores in Japan and China.

Her financial expertise also plays a key role in her success in managing P&L on multi-million budgets across several product lines of the business. Hanane has a Master’s Degree  in  Corporate, Finance and Securities Law at the EM Master Strasbourg Business School and also a BBA and MBA in Finance at Bowling Green State University in Ohio US. She is currently living in Hong Kong with her husband and two children.

© Portrait of Hanane Sabri by [email protected]

About Kipling

The Kipling success story started in 1987 in the heart of the fashion capital of Antwerp (Belgium) with crinkled nylon bags. By injecting our creativity and out-of-the-box thinking into developing thoughtful designs with a casual coolness, Kipling products are created to inspire mobility and enable you to Live.Light. As more than a bag brand, Kipling represents a positive outlook on life, a light-hearted mentality, free spirit, and inclusivity. Today Kipling’s well-known bags and accessories are available around the world in 436 stores in 80 countries and can be found in more than 7500 shops, and on kipling.com.

Today Kipling is part of VF Corporation. Founded in 1899, VF Corporation is one of the world’s largest apparel, footwear and accessories companies connecting people to the lifestyles, activities and experiences they cherish most through a family of iconic outdoor, active and workwear brands including Vans®, The North Face®, Timberland®, Napapijri®, Eastpak® and Dickies®. 


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Entrepreneurship 40+: Meet Anthony Cazottes

Entrepreneur over 40: Anthony Cazottes

Trust in your experience. Make your vision come reality. Be brave to start your business over 40.

Our Entrepreneurship 40+ series introduces you to personalities from the sports industry who followed through with their ideas to start their own business.

In our third interview, we spoke to Anthony Cazottes from Biarritz, owner and founder of the agency French Albion. When he lost his job in 2015, he was shocked at first, but then realised the chance to finally be free to create his own future. A vision he already had for almost 10 years.

Introduction

Your Job / Company Name:

Founder of French Albion, based in Biarritz (France)

Your agency French Albion in 2-3 Sentences:

French Albion is a forward thinking agency focused on introducing Outdoor & Lifestyle brands from overseas to the European market through an innovative hybrid business model.

Careerwise, what have you been doing before you got self-employed?

I started my career in 1998 in the Action Sports industry working for Quiksilver in the UK as a visual merchandiser, then went on to become a sales rep covering menswear in London and looking after a selection of key accounts. In 2002 I came back to the Quiksilver HQ in France to look after the off price business for the Na Pali group. Then in 2004 when Quiksilver bought DC Shoes I was named Sales Manager for France. After 10 years working for the group I sailed off to NIXON in 2008 and directed sales for 4,5 years, this time on a European level. But the biggest opportunity of my career came in 2013 when I was promoted to EMEA General Manager of Electric Europe, a company then part of the Kering group.

Anthony Cazottes Career Path from Quiksilver to French Albion

What was your motivation to start your own business?

I realised over the years that no matter how good you are at your job and how much you represent the brand you work for at the time, you always leave with a hand shake and you never take a piece of the company with you other than memories. In my late 30s I felt a strong need to create something of my own, something I was passionate about and that I would be able develop with my life philosophy in mind, not following someone else’s strategy. In 2015 I lost my job and although it was a bit of a shock to the system it was a relief at the same time, I was free to create, to innovate, to think out of the box… That is what motivated me to create my own business: freedom to think.

How did you move from an idea to business success?

In my case things came naturally, first I was consulting for companies who wanted to come to Europe and through that process I realised there was a need to propose a solution that was different from the classic models of distribution. Once I had the model figured out we managed to attract brands that we chose carefully in the Outdoor & Lifestyle market through my connections in the US & Canada. The first clients are always the hardest to get but once you have a proven track record companies reach out to you for business regularly.

What, in your opinion, makes a successful entrepreneur?

It’s a combination of different things of course but in my opinion motivation, commitment and rationalism are the key ingredients. An entrepreneur also needs to be able to mitigate passion with reality and try not to get too carried away by things he likes doing vs things that need to be done.

How do you think is it different to start an entrepreneurship 40+ than in your twenties?

If you have a brilliant idea in your twenties but you don’t have the experience to bring it to life then you would probably have to rely on other people who can help you make it a reality. Less expertise means the idea needs to be even stronger and innovative to be successful. Starting a business in your 40s is definitely different, you are mainly relying on yourself and the baggage you have cumulated throughout your career. Your contacts, knowledge of the industry and experience are the fuel to your idea.

For a lot of people, the fear of failure is the reason not to start their own business. What would you say to someone to convince them to go through with it anyway?

The risk depends on the business idea and the means to bring that idea to life. If the idea is weak but the means are strong it’s likely that the success will be minimal, if the idea is strong but the means are weak success will come by finding investment which is always easier than finding a good idea. Rather than speak about fear I would prefer to call it doubts, I think all entrepreneurs have doubts, doubts fuel the mind to be better at finding solutions and are therefore good companions to entrepreneurs. Don't be afraid of doubts, if you are convinced about your business idea and you are fully committed then you will be successful. However, my advice would be to ask friends, family and a consortium of industry experts for their opinion before you dive in. Also don’t give up everything you have before you see traction in your new venture. Last but not least, don’t force yourself into an entrepreneurial career out of desperation, becoming an entrepreneur should be a natural path you follow.

How is your daily life as an entrepreneur?

It’s fascinating, the world is your oyster, the opportunities are huge and anything is possible. Of course the reality hangs over your head and acts as a hand brake to funnel your enthusiasm but the balance of the two is what I find the fun part. Being free to decide, working with people I love, no politics, is how my company is run everyday. My daily life as an entrepreneur resembles a lot to my daily life as a person.

What’s the biggest reward of having your own business?

Thinking of an idea, putting it together and launching it successfully is very rewarding in itself but being able to employ people and giving them long term projects is probably what I take most pride in having achieved so far. Also, when brands you look up to contact you through your web page to start a partnership is a great reward.


Interested in meeting other entrepreneurs over 40 from the sports business? We are publishing new interviews regularly in our series Entrepreneurship 40+!

Entrepreneurship 40+: Meet Régis Lauprete

When we read stories of start-ups in the sports industry a lot of the protagonists seem to be in their twenties. While there are plenty of young business founders, there's also a big number of successful entrepreneurs who didn't start their role before they turned 40. In our series "Entrepreneurship 40+", we want to introduce you to some of these incredible personalities.

In our second edition, we had the pleasure to talk to Régis Lauprete who is the president of Magnitude which he found in 2018.

Introduction

Your Job / Company Name: 

MAGNITUDE, I’m the president of the company.

Your Field of Profession: 

I have 25 years of experience in Sales, Marketing, Management and Top Management.

MAGNITUDE in 2-3 Sentences:

As an expert in sales support and sales force externalization, Magnitude develops and implements human and digital solutions to transpose brand commercial ambitions in-store, and to make live the brand consumer experience. We are specialized in the sports industry.

Careerwise, what have you been doing before you got self-employed?

I started my career in a commercial position. First in transport, before realising that this sector was not for me. As ex top athlete, I have always been passionate about sports, so I did all I could to become part of a sports brand. After a short period at Nike, I joined adidas for 7 years. This is where my career, and with it my skills and knowledge of the industry, evolved and I learned to understand the functioning of the market. I started as a sector manager, before taking on the role of a field manager, followed by Key Account Manager, before ending my career at adidas with an international KA position where I took care of one of the biggest accounts for the brand, Décathlon.

For reasons of life choice, I left adidas to join Diesel, as Sales Director Footwear and Bags. I worked there for 2 years, before joining G-Star for 4 years as Country manager of Footwear for France, Spain and Portugal, to launch and develop this new branch for the brand. I worked a very short period at Ralph Lauren. That was my last experience working for brands which allowed me, at 41, to understand that after all these years in which it had been my dream, I had no longer the wish to pursue my career in this kind of organisation.

What was your motivation to found your own business?

To play an active role in my own life in a much more direct way! I was looking at some entrepreneurial friends developing their project, and despite the uncertainty or the round-the-clock occupation of their job, I envied their freedom and their capacity to create their own fortune. I felt ready at this point. I would not have been able to accomplish my own business 10 years ago. For me it was a revelation at almost 45.

How did you move from an idea to execution?

It took me exactly three things:

  1. Externalisation of Sales Force has been in my area of expertise for years, so I had the knowledge and confidence to move forward with my idea.
  2. After helping some friends creating a similar business, I got a clear idea of how it is done.
  3. The moment I met my future partners provided the final push to get started.

How is your daily life as an entrepreneur?

It is never the same. It can be a day at the office or traveling. It always suits me because it is me who decides. I prefer that to an employment.

What’s the biggest reward(s) of having your own business?

The pleasure of building my team and working day to day with them in the atmosphere that I always dreamed of finding in my previous jobs! That's a dream that became reality.

What, in your opinion, makes a successful entrepreneur?

Personally, I knew that it would be easier and in consequence more successful for me to integrate into a project in which I could use my already existent experience and network.
When you have only known salaried employment for years, becoming an entrepreneur is not a spontaneous decision, it cannot be improvised. Above all, you must be ready in your head. It's better to start your own business, because it's your desire, not because you want to run away from something like an unsatisfying job, but rather because you want to take on a more active role in your career. It is a state of mind. It cannot be controlled, it comes to you, and is reinforced through reflection on the project.

How do you think is it different to start an entrepreneurship over 40 than in your twenties?

At 40, if you perceive that if your professional evolution is not reaching the level of your expectation, it will be difficult to continue with the same ambition as before. While at your twenties you have so much time to grow in your role. Life aspirations are also very different in your 20s and your 40s.

For a lot of people, the fear of failure is the reason not to start their own business. What would you say to someone to convince them to go through with it anyway? Which impact did fear have on you?

I would not speak of fear. Being an entrepreneur is above all knowing how to trust yourself, knowing how to question yourself. I would rather speak of risk. The fear of failure paralyzes, while risk management can be very exciting. And failure is part of the entrepreneur’s experience, it strengthens them. So, my answer would be trust yourself. You are the only one who knows if you are ready for this adventure, and it is by listening to your inner voice that you will know if you are ready to go.


Interested in meeting other entrepreneurs? In our first part of Entrepreneurship 40+, we talked to Alban Le Pellec, the General Manager of the consulting agency All-Seasons.

Entrepreneurship 40+ in the sports business: Meet Alban Le Pellec

Sport Business Entrepreneurship 40+: Meet Alban Le Pellec

The sports sector is entrepreneurship to its core. As a quick evolving industry, it is marked by innovation and change, an ideal breeding ground for new business ideas.

Even though the sports sector is known as quite a young industry, with a lot of entrepreneurs being in their twenties, there's actually a significant number which is older than 40. To give you two well-known examples: Dietrich Mateschitz founded RedBull with 40. Bill Bowerman was 53 when he co-founded Blue Ribbon - which became Nike when he was 60.

While we associate young minds with freshness, innovation and braveness, all key factors for creating something new, middle-aged people tend to bring qualities that younger ones lack. Because experience counts. Entrepreneurs who have worked in the same field as their start-up were found to be 125% more successful than those without a background in their chosen sector. Not only do they have the skills and the network, they have the vision and experience on how to lead a company in the right direction, how to obviate classical pitfalls and how to make a tough decision when it is needed. 

We feel that it's time to introduce you to more entrepreneurs 40+ in the sports industry which is why we started an interview series with different business founders on their career and their views on entrepreneurship.

In part one, we would like you to meet Alban Le Pellec.

Introduction

Your Job / Company Name: 

All-Seasons. I’m the founder and General Manager.

Your Field of Profession: 

I have 20 years of experience in Marketing, Sales, Management and Top Management.

Your Business (Idea) in 2-3 Sentences:

All-Seasons offers expertise in Consulting, Distribution and Services for sport brands willing to develop their European business. We’ve got internal and external experts to establish and expand your brand awareness and sales. 

Careerwise, what have you been doing before you got self-employed?

I started my career in sports marketing before changing to Sales. Then I took my first step in the outdoor industry where I gained a lot of experience thanks to eight years at Millet, and after that evolved in the American group, Wolverine Worldwide and its sports division represented by Saucony and Merrell. For more than 9 years, I held several positions as Key Account Manager, Sales Manager France, Country Manager, and at the end, European Strategic Director.

During the last period, I served as President of the Outdoor Commission of L’Union Sports et Cycles, the French Sport Industry representation.

When I got the opportunity to work as CEO for an eye-wear company, I made the transition from sports to fashion. A position I held for two years. During this time, the desire to return to the sports and outdoor world got so overwhelming that I took part as a Mentor in the world’s first innovation hub Le Tremplin (Paris&Co). Then very spontaneously, in January 2020, I decided to set up All-Seasons.

What was your motivation to start your own business?

All-Seasons was born out of a need to support sports brands which have the wish to develop in the French and European sports market in a very pragmatic way. Concretely, All-Seasons takes its roots in years of exchange with Mick Midali, my partner in this adventure. There were needs and missing solutions in the market and we have decided to respond by combining our skills.

With cash being the key, it is important to combine the strategic vision with a rapid but sustainable implementation. And it is on these axes that we position ourselves. Nowadays companies must operate with agility and All-Seasons is there to help them succeed. We are guiding companies in their development of Sales, mostly in France and Europe, but also in North America thanks to our partnerships with Global Sales Guys. At the same time, we guarantee to respect and maintain its brand values while aiming for a higher profitability.

How do you move from an idea to a successful business?

With more than 20 years in the sports industry in different job positions, I know this market quite well, so the idea was evolving for years. To move from this idea to the launch of an actual business, that’s a question of developing a concrete business plan which helps transforming the idea to reality.

Now it’s up to us to convert this into success, even though the recent crisis [Covid-19] might jeopardise our agency's growth. But we think that the economical change happening due to Covid-19 can also be an advantage for us, showing brands that they have to rethink their current business model, their structure, their offers. And our expertise can help on this new journey.

What, in your opinion, makes a successful entrepreneur?

I don’t think I can explain what makes a successful entrepreneur, because I am only at the beginning of my story. But in my humble opinion, I am sure that expertise helps a lot. Commitment. Vision. Also, a clear positioning. Those are key elements.

How do you think is it different to start an entrepreneurship 40+ than in your twenties?

It’s clearly a different situation. At 20, your start-up is based mostly on ideas. And you can start it carefree, because normally, there's no real financial risk. 

At 40, with a family to take care of, you take bigger risks, but you have one strong advantage which is experience. And the success percentage is often higher for experienced people which researchs confirm.

For a lot of people, the fear of failure is the reason not to start their own business. What would you say to someone to convince them to go through with it anyway? Which impact did fear have on you?

Fear is an unpleasant emotion that emerges when you are worried or threatened by something dangerous. That’s why when you start your project, a solid business plan is mandatory. If your plan is well prepared and financial forecast not too optimistic, more realistic, you know where you’re going. The danger becomes smaller and fear vanishes.

However, the fear is always present, it’s a motivation for an entrepreneur. You convert it into motivation.

For sure, you feel it stronger some days, and it’s not pleasant, but it magnifies your happiness once you succeed. Working hard for something we don’t care about is called stress. Working hard for something we love is called passion.

How is your daily life as an entrepreneur?

An entrepreneur doesn’t really have regular office hours. There is so many things to fix, so many projects to follow, so many issues to resolve. We think, we live, we dream with our business in mind all the time. Our days are all different, so organisation is important and finding the time to step back to take in the overall situation is essential. An entrepreneur has to switch from one topic to a totally different one all the time.

Personally my office is at home, so I’ve dedicated a room to work away from my kids, and spend hours on visio-conferences. The days I am not sitting in front of my laptop at home, I am traveling to visit my teams, partners, fairs or retailers.

What’s the biggest reward(s) of having your own business?

The reward, the recognition, is something personal. Each person has different goals in their life. For an entrepreneur every single success of the company feels like your own. It’s the advantage of this position.

For myself, I set up my agency to have the liberty to choose the brands I want to work with, I want to share the same values with my partners, and have more freedom in my day to day job. My biggest reward would be to work with great sustainable brands and make them successful. It would also help a bit to protect our planet.

Boost your knowledge with these 5 online platforms: Free courses to advance your career


"Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young." - Henry Ford



Do you know what makes successful people? To never stop learning. Always be curious about the world, new fields, and ways to improve your skills.
To get you even more motivated: Keeping your brain working will keep it healthy, preventing a bad memory or even Dementia.

So, how can we gain new skills? For some of us, we are lucky enough to have an employer who is interested in developing talents. It’s companies who are willing to spend on further education of their employees, for them to make a better job and bring in new ideas. But the reality is, that most people need to care for their own education. Not all of us have the time to enroll in university for some extra lectures or pay for further education on our own.
Luckily, web 2.0, the interactive web, offers great chances for online courses and tutorials to learn new skills all by ourselves! Of course, it’s not only limited to hard skills, you could even learn about fields you were always interested in. Art, History, Biology, Psychology, there's no limit on knowledge.

Here are 5 platforms to get your brain working - completely for free:

Udacity

Udacity’s platform is directly related to gaining skills for your dream job. With courses about programming, web design, or data science, they offer nano degrees which are accepted as official references. 
Instead of lecturing, they believe in practical learning.
Together with companies like Google, Salesforce, and Facebook, they develop interactive courses for beginners, advanced levels, and professionals.
 However, not all courses are free, so you have to filter in advance.

Some courses we really like:

MIT OpenCourseWare

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, short MIT, is known as one of the high-class universities of the world. Mostly, it’s known for engineering and physical sciences, but their graduate programs offer a wide range of courses. In their OpenCourseWare, MIT made their content from different courses available for everyone, sharing it online for free.

In the course overview, you can filter by topics and departments, for example, Business, Fine Arts, Engineering, etc., getting the possibility to access the course online or download the materials. Furthermore, most of them contain video and audio lectures as well as assignments.
So you have to do your homework! To be honest, it’s hard to follow an online lecture without having the possibility to ask for more details, so we’d recommend it mostly for humanities, psychology, and fine arts.

Here are 3 courses we love:

(not all of them might be important for your work but could interest you on a personal level as well. Just learn, the benefits are yours!):

edX

Not only did the MIT provide their own content, but they also collaborated with Harvard to found edX in 2012. The portal offers courses from universities around the world, so you can enroll in courses from home and in your own time. Most of them are for free, and for a little charge, you can even get a certificate if you need it for your job or a future application. It’s open-source and non-profit. The courses come together from all fields of study, like architecture, law, communication, business, etc.
So feel free to feed all your interest!

Our favorite courses are:


"Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family." - Kofi Annan

The Digital Garage

A platform by Google about Online Marketing? That’s got to be a guarantee for digital skills! And it is. The digital garage’s online courses guide you through the function of search engines, social media, analytics, and more. It’s a great way to spice up your CV and score a career entry in Online Marketing.

We recommend taking all courses, one after another,  to get into the field of Online Marketing.

Inversity

Iversity is a special online platform that focuses on higher education for professional purposes. Their courses are provided by business experts who formed courses in their professional's fields for you to learn. Like most platforms, it offers free courses as well as paid ones. For the free ones, filter for „MOOCs“ in the course catalog.

Three of our favorites are:


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Discover the MSc in Sports Industry Management of emlyon

Prepare to become a future leader in the sports industry. Taking in the specific recruitment needs and dynamics of the sports business, emlyon business school has crafted a Master program by combining their expertise in international management with the market experience of some of the world leading sports companies. 

The MSc in Sports Industry Management in Paris & Shanghai helps young talents develop a fine-tuned comprehension of the international sports business, aspiring to shape future leaders with expertise knowledge and an understanding of the sports economic culture.

Be part of a  business school with a sports business orientated outlook

„The sports business has developed to a massive and fast growing market with very specific cultures and codes. Companies and Institutions need to recruit employees and managers capable of adjusting to the industry specificities rapidly. For candidates, this means that the significance of contributing while understanding and adapting to the unique industry strategies is key.“

Andy Gugenheimer, CEO of Headhunting Agency AG Sport Consulting

Schools that want to provide the kind of graduates to fulfil these requirements need to ask themselves: What does a company look for and which skills does an employee need to bring to further develop the industry?

The best way to figure out the answer is working closely with the industry. The program of the Msc in Sports Industry Management of emlyon business school is grounded on a close collaboration with companies like adidas, Eider, Millet, Patagonia, Petzl, Salomon, The North Face, Wilson and co. Thus providing a well-organized program to prepare their students for a career in the sports business. 

This way, students get the chance to get to know key representatives of the sports world through conferences and expert panels, but also already contribute to and learn directly from the industry through business cases and group projects. 

Great job outlooks after graduation

Graduates often face the problem of not finding a position in their specialised field due to missing work experience or network. Thanks to its closeness to the business, as well as providing practical experience through projects and internship possibilities, that’s a reduced risk when studying at emlyon.  According to a survey in 2017,  95% of emlyon’s alumni have started a job in sports less than 6 months after the end of the program. 

„The MSc in Sporty Industry Management prepares students to be leaders and innovators in the industry - not just marketing roles“ says Antoine Haincourt, Head of the Program, „It will help them obtain positions in upper management that lead the industry to new depths.“ 

Specificially, graduates of the MSc in Sports Industry Management have found  jobs in

  • marketing
  • business & development,
  • global management projects
  • consulting
  • supplies & logistics

and others in companies including Decathlon, KPMG, Puma, Nike, Amer Sport, Vente-privée.com, Oxylane, Hi-Tech Sports, Reusch International, Olympique Lyonnais football club and Salomon.

The school’s been recognised as one number 3 of the best business schools in France in 2019 by eduniversal. With three of the main criteria being the starting salaries after graduation, the program’s reputation among companies, and the level of satisfaction expressed by students, the ranking can be seen as a representation of recruiters. Furthermore, it has ranked 34th in the Times Higher Education’s global university employability ranking.

The program

The high quality of teaching due to practical insights, an international approach and its proximity to the sports industry define the main reason to strive for a degree at emlyon business school.

© emlyon

The MSc contains an advanced management education where students learn about international sports business & culture, social responsibility, marketing, accounting, business analytics, entrepreneurship and  management strategies.

Correspondingly, the program is designed to give students a skillset to understand the dynamics, benefits and challenges of management in the international sports business and develop outstanding knowledge to further shape the industry in the future.

An exchange semester in Shanghai and fieldtrips to the UK, French Alps and Germany guarantee a first-hand experience of other countries’ economies, resulting in an international understanding and knowledge of the business.

Application

The third round of applications for the program is open until the 30th of March. Applications run from November to August 2020. 

The requirements are:

  • Bachelor or Master Degree in any field
  • GMAT/GRE/TAGE MAGE/CAT Test Scores (optional)
  • English Proficiency Test Score (for non native English speakers) 

The selection of candidates happens in an overarching valuation, taking the entire potential, background and motivation of a candidate into account. 

For more detailed information, you can learn more about the program and application here.


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Studying esports: Bachelor programmes around Europe

Finding their way into everyday pop culture and innovative business models, esports has been facing an explosive growth from a small niche to a full grown industry with a $1.1B revenue in 2019 ¹. With "gaming" being recognized as professional sports and competitive industry, the need for graduates and professionals with fundamental knowledge of esports is evolving as well.

While there have been several programmes in the US for years, esports is finally also an upcoming matter for european schools, with Bachelor and Master degrees popping up in 2019 and 2020 in Germany, France, UK and Finland.

If this is a career path interesting for you, here's 9 schools where you can study esports.

Germany

Medienmanagement at HS Mittweida

Overview

  • Field of Study: Media Management
  • Degree: Bachelor of Arts
  • Where: Mittweida, Saxony, Germany
  • Duration: 3 years (6 semester)
  • Language: German

Content

The HS Mittweida is the first (and at the moment only) state school in Germany offering a possibility to study esports - not as a main course though. In Mittweida, students studying media management can deepen their studies at esports and game marketing from the third semester on.

In four semester, students learn the whole process of creating esports business models, with a main focus of the development process and marketing of games and events.

Read more on the school's website: https://www.me.hs-mittweida.de/studienangebote/informationen-fuer-bewerber/medienmanagement.html [DE]

esports Management at HAM (Hochschule für angewandtes Management)

Overview

  • Field of Study: Business Management
  • Degree: Bachelor of Arts
  • Where: Munich | Berlin | Dortmund | Hamburg | Vienna (Austria)
  • Duration: 3,5 years (7 semester)
  • Language: German

Content

Officially, the first school to offer an esports diploma in Germany, HAM created a esports business degree with practical orientation. The focal points of the program are:

  • esports event management
  • management of esports teams
  • esports marketing
  • digital innovation of gaming industry

The degree program is offered semi virtual, so it's split between online and on-site courses. That's a big advantage for the flexibility: Next to studying full time, HAM also offers the possibility to study in part time or as a dual study.

Read more on the school's website: https://www.fham.de/studiengaenge/bachelor/esports-management/ [DE]

esports & Game Management at Macromedia Fachhochschule

Overview

  • Field of Study: Media and Communication Management
  • Degree: Bachelor of Arts
  • Where: Munich | Cologne | Hamburg
  • Duration: 3,5 years (7 semester) incl. exchange semester
  • Language: German

Content

The degree course at Macromedia might be the most extensive one in regard of esports business principles in Germany. It targets students who would like to achieve a management position in esports, whether it's for leading game development, athletes or events.

The six main contents are:

  • empiric research & statistics
  • principles in sports communication & sports sciences
  • athletes management & sports marketing
  • principles in esports & games management
  • esports & games business
  • esports event management

Read more on the school's website: https://www.macromedia-fachhochschule.de/bachelor-studium/medienmanagement/esports-und-games-management.html [DE]

UK

The private education system in the UK is probably the perfect playground for students interested in digital & esports relative subjects. Financing themselves with higher tuition fees, the schools have the opportunity to provide high-end equipment which brings their courses to a next level in hindsight of practical insights into (gaming) soft- and hardware. If you can afford about 13.000£ for your diploma, we recommend taking a closer look at the following schools.

esports BA (Hons) at Staffordshire University

Overview

  • Field of Study: Business Management
  • Degree: Bachelor of Arts
  • Where: Stoke-on-Trent | London
  • Duration: 3 years
  • Language: English

Content

With subjects like Games Arts, Cultures and Design and a digital institute in London, the Staffordshire University has established itself as a "Games university" in the UK. Expanding their offer with a BA in esports was just the next logical step.

True to a hands-on approach, students will learn about the esports business in practical projects from hosting single & team player events and athlete management to a full marketing experience of broadcasting, video editing, content creation and analytics. For this, Staffordshire university is equipped with pro gamer training facilities, an esports arena, a control room with high-tech computers for editing, mixing and co.

Read more on the school's website: https://www.staffs.ac.uk/course/esports-ba

esports BA (Hons) at Chichester University

Overview

  • Field of Study: Business Management / Media Sciences
  • Degree: Bachelor of Arts
  • Where: Chichester, West Sussex
  • Duration: 3 years
  • Language: English

Content

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1vN3U98SR68&

Summing it up in one sentence, the esports degree at Sheffield Hallam University teaches fundamental business and media skills for the esports industry for running events, managing teams and reporting on competitions.

The necessary skills and knowledge are transmitted via a mix of lectures, seminars, exercises and practical activities in their radio room, TV room and newsroom.

As a final project at the end of the programme students will work together with clients from the esports industry to host a live event.

Read more on the school's website: https://www.shu.ac.uk/courses/event-management/ba-honours-esports/full-time

esports BA (Hons) - Event Management at Sheffield Hallam University

Overview

  • Field of Study: Event Management & Media Training
  • Degree: Bachelor of Arts
  • Where: Sheffield, South Yorkshire
  • Duration: 3 - 4 years
  • Language: English

Content

Unlike other business management programmes, Chichester University has a more scientific approach in teaching about esports. While still taking a look at event production, promotion, sponsorship, game play and co, the courses are also built around sports science, psychology and ethics - transferable skills for other postgraduate studies or jobs in various industries.

However, the practical side is not being neglected either with skills development sessions for gamers, staging competitions and work placements.

Read more on the school's website: https://www.staffs.ac.uk/course/esports-ba

France

Specialising your studies on esports in France is only possible when attending a private school. Interesting enough, most, if not all of them, are a result of the partnership of the IONIS Group with XP, the international esport & gaming school.

XP, the international esport & gaming school

Overview

  • Field of Study: Business Management
  • Degree: Bachelor of Arts
  • Where: Paris | Lille | Lyon | Bordeaux | Marseille | Rennes | Strasbourg
  • Duration: 3 years
  • Language: French

Content

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mBcuGQ9I0hY

The XP courses focuses deeply on event management & marketing. By starting with teaching the fundamentals of the esports industry, the students will quickly gain the insights to deepen their knowledge in practical projects. The main pillars of the XP program are:

  • Master the fundamentals
  • Consolidate knowledge to put it into practice
  • Master the skills and develop your own projects

After graduation, careers await in creating events and tournaments, digital marketing and community management.

Read more on the school's website: https://xp.school/Le-Programme/Cycle-Bachelor/ [FR]

esport & Gaming at ISEFAC Bachelor (IONOS Group)

Overview

  • Field of Study: Communication Management
  • Degree: Certifie par I'État Niveau II (Bachelor)
  • Where: Paris | Bordeaux | Lille | Lyon | Montpellier | Nantes | Nice
  • Duration: 3 years
  • Language: French

Content

A classic subject of communication & business management with a focus on the esports industry. The programme is a mix of communication, marketing and event management with basics in psychology, social sciences and accounting. Thus, the diploma at ISEFAC prepares you for jobs in the gaming sector in management, communication and event organisation.

Read more on the school's website: https://www.isefac-bachelor.fr/bachelor/esport-et-gaming/ [FR]

Finland

esports Business at KAMK University of Applied Sciences

Overview

  • Field of Study: Business Management
  • Degree: Bachelor of Business Administration
  • Where: Kajaani, Finland
  • Duration: 3,5 years
  • Language: English

Content

This course aims at giving an all-round insight into the operations of esports as a business. The focus of this degree lies on management and leadership, as well as event management and international operation.

A nice plus for Gamers is the university's aim of keeping their hobbies alive during their studies. For this purpose, Kajaani provides high-performance gaming computers at the campus to use by students outside of lesson times.

Read more on the university's website: https://www.kamk.fi/en/Applicants/International-Degrees/Bachelors-Degree-in-Esports-Business/c0b4b339-642a-43b5-a527-6fbbd7363de4


Sources:

1 https://www.businessinsider.com/esports-ecosystem-market-report?r=DE&IR=T


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What does it take to be a Flagship Shop Manager? An interview with David Brown from Timberland

There’s three things about working in retail that you can learn from David Brown:

  1. Managing a retail team only works when you see yourself as one of them
  2. The right attitude is more important than experience 
  3. Purpose in your career can influence your whole life

As General Manager of Timberland’s new Purpose-Led Flagship Store in Carnaby Street, London, David Brown is responsible for 241 square meter retail space and managing a team of 24 to ensure the smooth operation of the daily business. To maintain this, his management and interpersonal skills need to be over-the-top - and here’s why: A flagship store is the leading store of a brand. Even though the typical KPIs like sales or turnover do matter, the main focus of the flagship store is on drawing attention and visitors. Thus, transforming it into a showcase with an extraordinary shopping experience. 

On one hand, this is achieved through a special interior design and a wide range of products. On the other hand though, the realization happens thanks to a high-quality team which also act as ambassadors for their brand.

The store and its employees are so to speak a prototype of retail, making David an experienced and valuable interview partner to get an insight into the career of a Shop Manager. 

In this interview, we talked with David about his work at Timberland’s new Purpose-Led Flagship Store, his managing skills and - important enough - purpose. 

Dear Readers, please meet David Brown.

So, David, you’re managing quite a big team. 

I’ve got a team of approximately 24 at the moment. 4 of those are managers as well, so making sure that the  delegation is handed out to the right managers in order to keep a smooth running operation of the store. Everyone is working on specific job roles that are required to complete a regular working day.

And what makes your team stand out? How would you describe it?

It’s very important for it to be family-orientated, because if you’re spending up to 40 hours work with certain individuals. You’re probably spending more time with them than you’re at home. The family atmosphere is very important, because I am a great believer in leading by examples. Whatever I do, I would expect my team to be up to the same thing. So family atmosphere is important. 

Talking about leading by example - which example do you give?

I love to give the most basic. We all use the toilet. We clean the toilet. I will mob the floors, so it’s never going to be something that I expect my team to shy away from. Because I am part of the team. So that is my number one example, it keeps a clear message that I am prepared to do anything that I would also ask them to do as well.

That is quite important and they probably appreciate it a lot.

I think it’s important because gone are the days where managing staff exempts you from doing the same work as the team. I am very much a team player and that is how we get positives on the day. And ensuring that everyone is on the same page.

Does it create a community?

Well, right now we have a big community in the store. We go out and work alongside charity shops, getting involved with any events that are happening in the local community. My role then tends to bring that community spirit within the store. If you lead by example, the team pretty much follow suit with that. 

It’s also something Timberland represents, the community spirit that the brand lives in their sustainability projects.

We live and breath that. Last night I was in my local area where we are re-greening the area. The turnouts of 500 volunteers turned up yesterday. And they finished it up with a live gig from which again brought a lot of the community together, so we can reflect that with the store as well.

Jumping back to 2015: What was the motivation back then to apply for the role as Shop Manager at Timberland?

I felt that I needed a change. I have been with my previous employer of work for 15 years. I needed to take on a challenge, and knowing certain individuals that were happy in a - we call it a big peoples-company - it’s.. you’re not serving kids, you’re serving professionals, you’re serving individuals from multiple components of life. And that really interested me. My aim was to go to a company where customer service was customer service. Being a manager you had the autonomy to do things in the store and be able to see the benefits from the work. And that’s what Timberland really stood out for for me. Also, being part of VF Group. Understanding how big the corporation was... we could literally do anything.

So did you find the challenge and the purpose in your job at Timberland?

Timberland has really opened my eyes in terms of purpose and how we bring it directly to the stores where we are selling on a day to day basis. And how we connect purpose to the customer.

Purpose has allowed me to switch from driving a Diesel Car to an electric car. My emissions is zero. And I’ve looked at my household where we have caused a minimum at emissions. We recycle. Food, waste, cardboard, plastic. So that’s some of the things that really have been influenced by working for Timberland.

Just to make a quick excursion, I had an interview with Alicia Pinckney, Designer @Timberland, and she actually said something similar: That she found a purpose in her job and a change in her lifestyle when she started working for Timberland. Which I personally think is amazing as it is something a lot of people aim for.

It’s definitely been life-changing because you’re comfortable, because you can see what the company’s philosophy stands for, where they want to take it. If I give an example, theres not one down-feathered jacket in my store and we have some fairly big jackets. It’s all recyclable materials.  So in-sync with what I do at home, what I do when I’m coming to work, what I do at work, for me, it’s like a cycle, for me being as green as I possibly can and Timberland has definitely kickstarted that.

And do you think you influence Timberland in return as well?

Definitely. I am in a unique position being in a flagship store. You’re able to talk to various levels in the business. They definitely listen, because it’s important. And if you feel that you been listened to, it also inspires you to do more things and to feel good by it.

Looking back on your own experience, if you had to give advice on how to achieve a career at a Flagship Store, maybe even as a Shop Manager, especially for Retail or Sales experienced candidates who would like to reach the next level. What would you say which qualities are absolutely essential for your job?

I think you need to be very open-minded. You need to come to a company like Timberland knowing that the level expectation that is needed has to be grown from within. You’ve got to be prepared to make changes, be prepared to evaluate what you’ve learned previously and how you can have the right attitudes which is what’s going to be needed.  And once you have that, you’ve got the foundation. 

Do you think a Shop Manager should always have been working in retail before?

No. I certainly don’t. That’s qualities that you can also bring even without the retail experience. And still can make a big difference in the store. I think gone are the days where one has to have 100% retail experience. It’s the right attitude and what they can bring to the team or to the store. You’ve got to be open.

Always. And good with people probably.

Yes, definitely. 


The article grabbed your attention and you would like to join the Timberland team? All jobs from Timberland can be found at their company profile and the Timberland career portal.

Editor's Note: Timberland is part of VF, the the global company behind around 30 of the world’s leading sports, outdoor and lifestyle brands.
Timberland ®’s dedication to make quality products is bringing outdoor adventures within your city lifestyle. A global leader in premium-quality footwear, apparel and accessories that is equally committed to environmental and social responsibility

Webinar: Look behind the scenes of VF with professionals from Vans, Timberland & Co.

On two dates next week, VF Corporation gives students the option to participate in 5 webinars with business professionals from various departments of their different brands. Enabling a sneak-peek in what its like to work at VF.

„Students have the great opportunity to actually get to know different functions in very short and straight to the point webinars of half an hour each. If they are looking for some guidance on what field to focus on it is a great “orientation” opportunity as they can do one webinars or all of them! If they are already focusing on one function/career (ie. sales or digital) they can interact with a VF business leader!“

Gabriele Silva, Senior EMEA Talent Acquisation Manager, VF

If the sports and lifestyle industry does interest you, this is a great chance to find out more about the work behind the scenes of various roles in an international successful company. VF Corporation is a global leader in branded lifestyle apparel, footwear and accessories (to give you some facts: with 50,000 associates and $11.2 billion in revenue) and the company behind iconic lifestyle & outdoor brands, like The North Face, Timberland, Vans, Napapijri, Eastpak and many more.

While VF is highly diversified across brands, products, distribution channels and geographies, their One VF culture and approach to doing business provides a unique and powerful competitive advantage.

For a student or recent graduate this means they can start a career in a company that can allow them to move across different brands, functions and countries; this really enhances their learning opportunities! Finally, and most importantly, we are teams of inclusive and friendly people; who are ambitious and eager to keep learning.

Gabriele Silva, Senior EMEA Talent Acquisation Manager, VF

The Webinars

On the 3rd and 5th of December, you can join VF in their webinars online. Especially for students and graduates who consider a career at VF or one of its brands, it allows a first contact with the work and people behind VF - similar to a digital open-door-event.

Below we noted the schedule of both days including the times in CET (=UTC+1) for each speaker.

December 3rd:

  • 13.00-13.30 CET: Digital, with Andreas Olsson, Group Digital Accounts Director
  • 13.45-14.15 CET: Finance, with Elena Frattini, Business Analysis Manager Napapijri
  • 14.30-15.00 CET: Supply Chain & Operations, with Martijn Van Paradijs, Senior Manager Operations Vans

December 5th:

  • 9.30-10.00 CET: Sales & Marketing, with Edoardo Borgo, Sales Distributors Manager, APAC & EMEA, Eastpak
  • 10.15-10.45 CET: Sustainability, with Marianella Cervi, Sustainability & Responsibility Manager Timberland

How to take part

If there’s a webinar that catches your interest, you can easily register for it online. Under this link, you’ll find a registration form where you fill in your details and choose the webinars you’d like to participate in. The VF event team will then send you an e-mail with an invitation to join.


Find more information on the event and how to register here: https://www.jobteaser.com/en/events/57512-connect-with-vf-business-leaders-discover-more-about-your-future-career