At ISC Paris, we are committed to upholding the spirit and values of our founder, embodied in our philosophy of Action Learning. Action Learning links classroom learning with real-world business skills. Our educational programs are top-notch, but we also emphasize the experience component; experience solidifies what our students have learned, and helps them learn about their own personalities and talents.
A visionary founder
Paul Icard–founder of ISC Paris–was a teacher and corporate director, most notably serving as director of human resources at the iconic Paris department store Printemps. He was also an artist, studying with the abstract art pioneer Francis Picabia. He studied psychology extensively, even writing a book on workplace psychology. Paul Icard was a multi-talented and dynamic personality. After founding ISC Paris, Icard molded our institution in his image. Icard had the visionary idea of a business school focused on corporate internships and association-based projects. In 1962, his ideas came to life, as the Institut Supérieur du Commerce de Paris. At the time, this was a revolutionary approach; a business school focused on the values of entrepreneurship, innovation, teamwork, and engagement.
To work toward the goal of Action Learning–learning while doing–Paul Icard set up the “learning through entrepreneurship” system alongside the classic business school curriculum. He envisioned “small entrepreneurship labs” within ISC Paris–today, those “labs” still exist as Student Enterprises. Student Enterprises allow ISC Paris students to apply what they’ve learned in class to the real world of business. This was a totally new approach at the time, but it soon caught on throughout the world of higher education.
From theory to practice: ISC Paris Student Enterprises
The cornerstone of our instructional approach at ISC Paris is our unique system of Student Enterprises. Student Enterprises serve as a bridge between theory and practice. They are the ideal place for our students to dare, experiment, succeed, make mistakes, and persevere. Throughout their time at ISC Paris, all students have the opportunity to create or work in a “real” business with a staff chart, a corporate purpose, a budget, and challenges such as identifying, targeting, and retaining clients. Students learn how to manage, how to make decisions and manage conflicts. They develop their soft skills and their human and interpersonal skills. This key experience allows ISC Paris students to develop self-confidence and self-reliance.
The Student Enterprise system has evolved over the years. Today, there are also many opportunities for student entrepreneurs–through our incubator and our PEPITE network which offers the possibility of student entrepreneur status in the French system. Students in our work/study programs can also take advantage of corporate immersion experiences.
A curriculum targeting personal and professional growth
For 50 years, ISC Paris has been a center for high-level learning and talent development, but also for personal growth. We are particularly focused on respect for the individual personal, and on personal and cultural expression so that our students can develop their own unique talents and skills.
Our innovative approach emphasizes a “flipped” approach: our professors motivate students to work on their critical thinking skills, to check their sources, to develop their curiosity, and to combine hard and soft skills. ISC Paris promotes the sharing of ideas and creating cross-disciplinary communities: skills that are highly sought-after in today’s business world.