Delphine LACAILLE Colombus entrepreneur

Portrait: Delphine LACAILLE, Colombus

Delphine LACAILLE created Colombus to help teenagers choose their own path. Indeed, projecting yourself into training is not easy given the number of existing trades. For teenagers, choosing is sometimes a true journey of the fighter, requiring a benevolent accompaniment.

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An international journey for an eclectic vision of the world and its challenges

During her professional career, Delphine LACAILLE immediately showed an attraction for the international. After a BTS in International Trade, with the idea of making her career in exporting, she went to work for two years in Boston. On her return to Paris, Delphine landed a position as a mineral water development manager with the large Nestlé group. When her husband, working in wine, was offered a job in Chile, Delphine followed him and stayed there for a year and a half, before returning to France in 2006, in Bordeaux.

After four years of refocusing on her personal life, Delphine changed her professional branch by leaving the private sector to join the public. She decided to work in the development of international relations with the city of Bordeaux. This new work allows him to discover new paths: law, politics, foreign affairs and in particular Sciences Po. Then Delphine turned to tourism. With her experience, and a modern vision of her missions, she decides to use her skills to manage events.

When Virginie Calmels arrived in 2014 as mayor of Bordeaux, the two women befriended each other. While Virginie was looking for a trusted person to manage press relations and communication, Delphine accompanied her during her regional campaign. However, the policy was not an environment in which it was able to project itself over the long term.

Delphine then set out to build her new project: after being coached in personal development for a year, she asked herself multiple questions. The idea of setting up a programme, dedicated to professional discovery and community life, to open doors for young people, seems obvious to him. A will: to open these doors that seem inaccessible to young people, impossible to reach. After maturing and implementing this project in the course of 2017, she presents it at a Start-up weekend event in 2018. The Crédit Agricole program allows him to set up this program and test it during the school holidays of Toussaint 2018.

This is how Colombus was born.

Colombus, a program focused on the professional world

Colombus is a holiday camp that aims to introduce young people to the professional world through testimonials, visits and coaching workshops, aimed at young people aged 12 to 14 and 15 to 18 years.

Much more than the discovery of the professional world that gradually arrives in everyone’s life, Colombus allows us to focus on ourselves, far from the family and school context. Through her offer, Delphine wishes to arouse the curiosity of young people, promote discovery and knowledge of human skills, allow participants to exchange and develop their critical minds…. In short, she wants to help them discover the world around them that they are not necessarily aware of.

Upon arrival, the young people have a logbook where they write down everything they are going to do, and can store the business cards they collect during business meetings. During this week of camp, they focus on three pillars through workshops:

  • “Keys for Self” to get to know each other, for an hour and a half every day,
  • “Prepa Pro” aimed at preparing young people on the knowledge to be in business and how to prepare an appointment,
  • “With the Pros” which is a half-day immersion in business.

The aim of the formats proposed by Colombus is to get teenagers out of the simple tests of skills and personality to live experiences away from school. They participate, exchange, meet, and leave with contacts and perhaps new vocations. The opportunity to find your way through the immersions.

Each evening, the participants take a collective look at the past day. At the end of the stay, everyone makes an individual assessment, in order to better know what suits them and pleases them. The aim is to let the young person become an actor in his orientation, because today schooling and questions about the future are a real stressor, in the face of the multitude of possibilities that are proposed as well as the artistic blurring of the trainings.

These camps cover different themes, in order to multiply the possibilities and the meetings. Thus, the urban theme takes place in Bordeaux and the one on the coast takes place in Arcachon. From then on, five universes were put forward to define the themes of the camps: nature and environment, then arts, culture and leisure, human monitoring, trade and crafts or technology.

To promote trades, to inspire vocations

In order to prepare camp weeks for young people, Delphine must find the professional speakers who will meet with the participants. It relies on the support of a team of partners who also intervene during the week.

Christelle Thaeron, relationship coach, is in charge of personal development, “Keys for Self” workshops and individual appointments, but also pedagogy. Mohammed Ajoulou, creator of City-School, is associated and passionate about alternative pedagogy and transmission, interested in the idea of introducing young people to environments they do not know, through an inclusive approach.

According to a 2017 study by Pôle Emploi, 85% of the trades that will be practiced in 2030 do not yet exist. This proves that many new doors will open in the coming years, and many already existing trades will mutate to evolve and meet new needs.

In this market, Delphine has a vision for the future. She wants to pass on to young people what she has learned over the years, what she has learned from her different experiences, her skills. The week of camp for Colombus includes accommodation, transport, meals, various workshops and activities, with 25 to 30 hours of educational content, for 750 euros. The meetings scheduled during this week of immersion are a real opportunity, not only for the students, but also for the professionals. Indeed, many professions are struggling to make themselves known, or are still looking to recruit. In addition to revealing vocations and provoking some interest among the youth, camp Colombus is also a way to build up a small address book. Young people can then stay in touch with companies to get an internship, or learn about the academic path to be completed in order, after the end of their studies, to practice the profession of their dreams. So it’s a real springboard for some companies, certain professions, but also for young people.

Clear development goals and an assured ambition

Delphine LACAILLE is a woman of ambition with a great professional career behind her, having led her as much to travel as to live new and significant experiences. Today, she is a woman entrepreneur with many development goals for years to come. For example, it would like to create a team with directors of airy centres to establish new partnerships. Delphine also wants to make it possible to open new positions in 2020, creating new jobs. If her program is successful, Delphine has the desire to create a rural format in the Landes, to open up more opportunities for young people.

Delphine’s desire to succeed in her project drives her in her actions. His personal satisfaction would be to see young people flourish through these camps. Entrepreneurial ambition also means having the opportunity to be profitable and finance, while reaching as many young people as possible, having many partnerships, being accessible. A great way to open new doors for students, on the eve of their future…

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