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How does the sport students practice shape their careers?

Manuelle Malot , EDHEC NewGen Talent Centre Director

In this article, originally published in French in The Conversation, Manuelle Malot and Geneviève Houriet-Segard, respectively Director and Deputy Director of the EDHEC NewGen Talent Centre, present their latest study on how students' sporting activities shape their personality, skills and, ultimately, their career plans.

Reading time :
3 Apr 2024
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On professional social networks, the start of each week brings its share of publications from executives and managers boasting about their sporting achievements over the weekend. With a host of photos, they show off the endurance (marathon, trail, cycling, triathlon...) or agility (climbing, surfing, kiteboarding...) they have demonstrated in free practice or in competition, as skills they consider useful in the context of their work. The benefits of sport for physical and mental health are well established. It has also become a means of personal and professional development.

 

At a time when we sometimes point to a generation glued to its screens, 2,600 business school students gave us details of their sporting activities, the way they have shaped their personalities and the skills they have developed in relation to their career plans. The aim was also to understand how the position held in a team sport can help optimise career choices and fulfilment at work.

This 'Sport and employability' study was conducted by the NewGen Talent Centre, EDHEC's centre of expertise on the aspirations, behaviours and skills of new generations of graduates. In it, we explore what develops the skills and shapes the personality of the younger generations to encourage their professional investment and fulfilment.

 

Gender differences

The younger generation are almost unanimous in defining their relationship with sport as both a pleasure and a stimulating pressure. Three out of four young people play sport regularly, more to challenge themselves than to win. Two-thirds know how to motivate themselves, without needing a coach. However, if they prefer to compete for a club, it's mainly for the social connection.

A number of gender differences emerge in the relationship that the younger generations have with sport: young women take part even more than men to excel rather than to win. Men take part more regularly and compete more for a club than for themselves.

 

Which sports for which skills?

To identify key skills, sports have been grouped into categories according to how they are played: as a team for team sports (football, basketball, rugby, etc.); in pairs or double face-to-face for combat or opponent sports (tennis, judo, fencing, etc.); individually and assessed on a physical measure (time, distance) for timed or measured sports (swimming, athletics, archery, etc.); individually and marked by a jury for artistic or acrobatic sports (dance, figure skating, diving, etc.).

 

Overall, individual sports, particularly timed or measured sports, have been more structuring for women and opposition or team sports for men. One student explains: "The team spirit I found in football taught me how to defend my personal interests while working to achieve collective goals. What's more, the idea of pushing yourself physically, combined with the necessary creativity, particularly when it comes to dribbling, has taught me values that are indispensable to me today.

 

Sport seems to act as a catalyst for the development of management skills among young graduates. Resilience, enthusiasm and agility are the skills that the younger generations tell us they have developed the most, whatever the sport, and these are traits that recruiters are looking for. This trio of skills is the one that tennis players have developed the most. It's also worth noting that 38% of tennis players have improved their critical thinking skills.

 

Above all, football enhances collaborative skills for 83% of players, and reliability for almost half. Dancing, meanwhile, develops attention to detail for 80% of enthusiasts and precious creativity for 55%.

 

 

According to the students, while all sports develop enthusiasm and agility, each type of sport is more particularly conducive to the acquisition of certain skills.

Position in the field

If we imagine the company as a team sport, 32% of respondents see themselves in the role of captain, 27% in the role of coach, 19% would be an attacker, 14% a defender and 8% a referee.

 

To gain a better understanding of the ambitions implicit in these choices, they were also asked to identify themselves according to three career ambition profiles taken from a previous study. The first, the competitors, focuses on ambitious career development, motivated by the prospect of a managerial position, hierarchical responsibility and attractive remuneration. The second, the committed, is focused on global issues, motivated by the general interest, the company's culture and values, and the usefulness of its mission. The final profile is driven by a desire to innovate, motivated by the challenge, freedom of action, autonomy in the tasks assigned and project management. These are the entrepreneurs.

Depending on their gender and ambition profile, students position themselves as follows:

This article by Geneviève Houriet Segard, Deputy Director of the EDHEC NewGen Talent Centre, and Manuelle Malot, Director of Careers and NewGen Talent Centre, has been republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons licence. Read the original article.

 

Photo by Gonzalo Facello

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Comment le sport pratiqué par les étudiant(e)s façonne-t-il leur carrière ?
3 Apr 2024
How does the sport students practice shape their careers?
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#EDHECVox How does the sport students practice shape their careers?

In this article, originally published in French in The Conversation, Manuelle Malot and Geneviève Houriet-Segard, respectively Director and Deputy Director of the EDHEC NewGen Talent Centre, present their latest study on how students' sporting activities shape their personality, skills and, ultimately, their career plans.

Discover this article online:
https://www.edhec.edu/en/research-and-faculty/edhec-vox/how-does-sport-students-practice-shape-their-careers

Read the original article (fr): https://theconversation.com/comment-le-sport-pratique-par-les-etudiants-faconne-t-il-leur-carriere-223765

Or download the full study here: https://www.edhec.edu/sites/default/files/2024-03/EDHEC_SportEtEmployabilite_2024.pdf

#EDHEC #MakeAnImpact #PassionNeverRests

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