ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT SERIES
Stefany Chatelain-Cardenas from Colombia studied the AISTS MAS degree in 2016. Coming from a strong sports background as a former Junior National Triathlon Champion, Stefany has always had a passion for sports. With both a bachelor’s and masters in marketing she decided to combine her professional background with her passion, which led her to the Olympic Capital and respectively her dream job with the organising committee of the Lausanne 2020 Youth Olympic Games.
AISTS – Your passion is sport and you’ve managed to combine your previous international professional experience with your AISTS degree nicely. What made you want to pursue a degree in sports management?
After working for 5 years at an insurance broker company in Paris, I wanted to go back to my first love – sport. Since I was young, I was immersed in the world of sport because my father was a professional cyclist and because I had the chance to practice triathlon at a certain level in Colombia, but a health problem prevented me from continuing. Nevertheless, the positive impact that sport had had in my life always made me dream and I told myself that a good compromise was to combine my passion with my job. That is why I decided to pursue studies in sports management and move to the Olympic capital!
AISTS – You started working with Lausanne 2020 at the end of 2016? How has this experience been, how did your position evolve and what is your current role within the organising committee?
The experience in the YOGOC is very rewarding!
When I started, I was involved in various projects, such as the analysis of options for choosing the venue for bobsleigh, skeleton and luge competitions because these competitions were not on the program in the bid phase. Cost, transportation, feasibility and sustainability studies were key to making the right choice, and this was one of my first tasks.
Since 2017, I have been focusing on “youth engagement” projects and this makes me very proud because Lausanne 2020 really wants the youth to play the main role and this has allowed us to carry out incredible projects.
AISTS – The Lausanne 2020 Games are coming up quickly. What will be your specific job during the Games? What are you most looking forward to?
This is a very good question because most of the “youth engagement” projects I work on need to be ready before the games. Lausanne 2020 wants young people to be ACTORS and not just spectators of the games. This is why we have been working closely with schools and universities to bring YOG to the youth before, during and after January 2020. Here are some examples:
- 140 Eracom students designed our mascot Yodli (name found by pupils and students from UNIL) which was chosen by 500 young Swiss Olympic athletes.
- Some HEMU graduates focus on the official Lausanne 2020 song and the music that will accompany the medal ceremonies.
- The design of the Olympic cauldron, medal trays and podiums was done by ECAL students. The construction of the cauldron and the production of the podiums will be done by the EDC and CFOR apprentices.
- A multitude of projects are also done with the schools, as for example the drawings that the pupils will make to welcome the athletes in their rooms at the Vortex – our Olympic village.
All these projects allow young people to prepare the games, like an athlete, and then to be able to experience them in the best way in January 2020. After Lausanne 2020, they will be proud to have made the games with us.
AISTS – What one thing did you learn at the AISTS that you still keep in mind for your work today?
Being passionate about sports or being a former athlete is not enough to understand all the subtleties of the Olympic movement, so Professor Chappelet’s courses are regularly useful to me. Professor Joe Maguire’s sociology classes have multiplied my motivation to work in sport because they helped me understand how sport can be used to leave a positive impact on society. The projects we are carrying out with young people will leave a mark on their lives and we hope that it will inspire them for their future career.
AISTS – Do you have any advice for those looking at the next step in their sports administration career and wanting to get into the sports management world?
Finding the job of your dreams means to find the job that makes you get up every day with the desire to go beyond yourselves and give the best. My two tips are to take risks and to be prepared to work for sports that we do not practice or that we do not necessarily know in detail. It is sometimes more tempting to apply to a large sports structure, but it is especially in small ones that we learn a lot because we have the chance to manage several topics.