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Deal with top French company will lead to 50 jobs a year for Loughborough students

Helen Smith – Head of Careers, Loughborough University with Stephane Legrix - Human Resources Manager – Oxylane (Lille

Loughborough University have signed a unique deal with a leading French sports company that is expected to lead to 50 jobs a year for international students.

Over the next five years Oxylane (Decathlon), a sports research, manufacturing and retail firm, aims to recruit Mandarin speaking staff for careers in retail, finance, and the supply chain for the development of their business in China.

In addition, as Oxylane have stores all over the world in countries like Brazil, Vietnam, India and Russia, there may be further opportunities for Loughborough graduates in the future.

The recruitment partnership between Loughborough University and Oxylane (Decathlon) is unprecedented and the Careers and Employability Centre at the university will be instrumental in supporting and implementing the agreement.

Loughborough University and Oxylane (Decathlon) signed and launched the agreement during a one-day recruitment event at the university last October.

It was a fast-paced day which was started with a basketball game, followed by company presentations in English and Mandarin, group interviews for 29 interested students, and then individual interviews with a team of Oxylane’s HR managers and research team Leaders.

This led to job offers being made to successful candidates, which was great for Loughborough students as the normal job application process can take weeks, even months.

Louise Donaghy, Employer Liaison Manager in the Careers and Employability Centre, said this was an important opportunity for Loughborough University, particularly in the current climate.

She added: “It is hugely positive for Loughborough University’s international students that an employer of Oxylane’s size and stature in the global sports retail industry is targeting them.

“For such an employer to choose Loughborough with the offer of 50 international graduate level positions per year is unprecedented and is testament to the employability of Loughborough graduates.”

Oxylane chose Loughborough because Decathlon, their retail arm, already had a positive relationship with the university. Moreover, they felt Loughborough’s sporting culture, sports technology heritage, and students with a team ethos were a good fit for their company.

Oxylane designs, manufactures and markets innovative technical sports products, employs more than 50,000 people and has an annual turnover of six billion Euros. Decathlon, the sports retail division, is present in 15 countries with 560 stores.

Helen Smith, Director of Careers at Loughborough, said “This is a great example of the strength of the university’s international employer links, and is a very effective graduate recruitment model which might be echoed by other businesses.

“Oxylane and other Chinese companies recruit graduates from universities all over the world, and Loughborough University has proven to be a source of high calibre candidates for them.”

Chinese students account for more than 40 per cent of Loughborough’s 2,700 international students. Many are doing business related courses and are keenly targeted by Oxylane (Decathlon) and other employers.

Helen added: “We expect to run more events of this kind with Oxylane and other employers, for both our international and home students.”

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