Maria Schools, this school campus located in the heart of the capital but also available online, aims to train in jobs in the digital world, learn to code or learn the basics of storytelling. Answers from Agnès Alazard, co-founder of the campus.
What is the principle of the Maria Schools?
Agnes Alazard: Maria schools is an online campus in Paris, created in 2020 by Annabelle Bignon and I, whose ambition is to train his students on digital behaviors, skills and professions: learning without code, become product manager, or even master the art of storytelling. Our three schools (Lion, Maestro and Hero) cater to profiles from all walks of life: people in retraining, employees of large groups or start-ups, self-employed workers … all things being equal. The training aims to equip students with the essential skills (soft skills and hard skills) in the digital age to increase their employability for life. Inspired by Montessori methods, without imposing hierarchical barriers, in a playful, joyful and deeply stimulating context, we offer a learning experience that places interdisciplinarity, collective intelligence and the sharing of know-how at the center of pedagogy. Our motto: learn by doing. Maria schools it is also a company with a mission, whose raison d’etre is to work for a balanced digital world within everyone’s reach and to allow everyone to reinvent themselves through lifelong learning.
Agnes Alazard: We want to empower each individual to reinvent themselves, to provide the means to maintain their employability throughout their career.
How did this idea come about?
Agnes Alazard: We were immediately convinced of this in our previous professional lives: training is the lever for the successful transformation of individuals and companies, and it is possible to learn at any age, regardless of their knowledge or background. In the digital age, it is essential to train people to adapt constantly so that they remain in control of their professional life in the face of profound and incessant changes in the business world. Maria schools responds to this urgent need to continually train adults: mood, methodologies, tools, uses, it is essential to constantly reactivate one’s skills. We want to empower each individual to reinvent themselves, to provide the means to maintain their employability throughout their career. With our offer adapted to the transformation of professions and the planned obsolescence of skills, we form a pool of professionals who have understood that learning to learn is the first skill to acquire and allow companies ready to rely on their employees to succeed in their mutations. .
What are Maria Schools’ short-term ambitions?
We continue to target our programs to all audiences, wherever they are. Free admission is a pillar of our campus: for example, the Saturday Lion formation gives access to more than 200 students a year to the start-up ecosystem since 2016, free of charge. Furthermore, we are developing our offer, with the desire to open new schools, in particular one on the themes of CSR. We are in fact seeing that more and more companies are engaging in ecological and social transformation. And then we also aim for international development, we are starting to have demand, especially in Europe, Belgium and Switzerland.
What’s your business model?
We offer short training programs, from a few days to a few weeks, structured in different online or face-to-face formats. Some intercompany programs are aimed at people looking to acquire new skills or change jobs; these people will be able to resort to different financing methods according to their situation (the Personal Training Account, Pôle Emploi, OPCO of their company, etc.). We also offer in-company programs to organizations that invest in their employees as part of their training plan to enable them to improve their skills.
Why did you choose to become an entrepreneur ?
I come from a family of entrepreneurs and although I started by choosing the path of subordinate work at the beginning of my career, I have always had a very entrepreneurial mood: act with passion, work hard, test, explore, accept failures, learn continuously, make an impact on a daily basis and contribute through my actions to make sense of my professional commitment. In 10 years I have lived a wonderful entrepreneurial adventure within Aufeminin… without being a founder. So when the question arose about the shape my desire to disrupt the world of vocational training would take, entrepreneurship took hold. Both to have the freedom to build the company as we wish, and to have only the limits of our imagination as a constraint. And then the association with Annabelle makes the adventure even more exciting!
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