BSB: ZHENG Yi, MGE and MSc Global Marketing & Negotiation
"Before BSB I was kind of shy and naive, I didn't know what to do in the future. Now I feel I am prepared to try anything, I am not scared about being an adult and create a career anymore."
Was your experience at the Burgundy School of Business important?
Yes, it is a very precious experience for me, I feel I have been changed in a good way. Thanks to my abroad experience, I have learnt handful of professional skills in BSB which are very helpful for my future career. More importantly I become more independent and more professional, those qualities mentally prepared me to embrace the upcoming professional life.
Which program have you chosen? (Specialization, professional year, semester abroad)
For me the biggest achievement I found from my study is that improved my French in the first year, because I kind of forced myself to study in French track, and those hard times did paid back eventually. I'm also very grateful to be chosen to exchange abroad, it was one of the happiest memories in my life. I met many good friends from all over the world, and I got the chance to experience other beautiful cultures. And as lucky as I was, one professor from HangYang University recommend me to a Korean pharmaceutical company for an internship. It was completely unexpected and very useful for me to understand Korea business environment. I believe those international working experience will help me in my future job.
Which aspects of your studies did you like? What will you remember from your experience?
In BSB I had many professors from different countries and different industries which i think is very good for business study, because business needs both theoretical knowledge and professional experience. Many professors share with us about their professional experience, about the problems they had met and the solutions they had found. For me it was very interesting, and changed some of my ideas about business.
What are the assets of our school?
I think the assets of BSB are dynamism and innovation. The different between BSB and other business schools is that our school is very open to different ideas, for example there are many professors from different domain, there are special majors like Wine Management and MECIC that traditional business school don't have. Also there are many events, students activities and many exchange students from all over the world.
If we had to take a "before/after" picture of yourself, what would have changed?
Before I was kind of shy and naive, I didn't know what to do in the future. Now the difference is I am prepared to try anything, I am not scared about being an adult and create a career anymore.
What would you like to say to a fellow citizen to recommend our school?
I would like to say that no matter what is the reason makes you come to BSB. At BSB you will find knowledge and you will find friends, and you will have many opportunities to do wonderful things that you would not expect at first.
Interview with Kang li, Market Segment Executive at TOTAL
Could you please introduce yourself? Where are you from?
Hi everyone, my name is LI Kang. I’m from Yantai, a beautiful coastal city in Eastern China. From 2008 to 2012, I studied in Sichuan International Studies University. During my bachelor studies, I got the chance to do one year’s exchange in France. This year has left me a deep impression and has encouraged me to come back to France for my future studies and work. The first time I got to know Grenoble Ecole de Management was during a French school presentation in Chongqing. After a series of exams and interview, I was enrolled in Grenoble Ecole de Management for a 3-year “Grande Ecole” French program from September 2012.
Can you tell us about your experience since you finished your studies at GEM?
After I finished my studies at GEM, I decided to come back to China and work in a French company. Thanks to one year’s apprenticeship (working and study program) at TOTAL in Paris, I was recommended for a job opportunity in TOTAL’s Chinese affiliate in Shanghai. The working language is mainly English, but I still kept contact with my old French colleagues and friends in Paris.
Even as Chinese, I took some time to adapt to the fast speed life step in China, especially in Shanghai, the biggest Chinese city which is also called “Oriental Paris”. You may be surprised by the ownership rate of smart phone in China, but you will no more be surprised if you have experienced the all-done convenience with smart phone which covers all aspects of your life in China.
Can you describe the experience you had in Grenoble?
The “Grande Ecole” French program is a rich and challenging program. But once you succeed to follow and graduate from school, you will congratulate yourself with all the experiences you gained and leave Grenoble with many lifetime memories. GEM is a typical business school which can not only provide you the most advanced knowledge in every business aspect but also keeps you tightly connected with the real professional world.
Besides school life, I also joined an excellent association- Jeunes Ambassadeurs. This association gathers international students from three cities in the Rhone-Alpes region: Lyon, Saint-Etienne and Grenoble. Every student is binomed with a local professor or manager who will be your coach during one year’s term. Until today, I still get close touch with coaches in this association and joined its subsidiary brunch – JA4ever – in Shanghai.
You had several professional experiences in France and now you’re working here in Shanghai as Market Segment Executive at TOTAL, can you describe that?
I really cherish all my professional experiences in France. As foreigners, we face more challenges in job searching than French classmates. I spent two months in looking for my first internship required during the gap year. Even though the searching time is long, it gave me an overall view of French job market and helped me to get familiar with many French companies.
I did my first one year internship in Group SEB, a famous French small electronic appliance company. I worked as an assistant of international product manager for both Calor and Rowenta brands. This one-year internship is one of my most valued experience from which I learned a lot and I felt that I was stepping to the professional world. In the last year of my master, I chose an apprenticeship program which allowed students to work and study at the same time. Students in this program should know how to balance and manage time since we face the same workload at school and we have to handle work duties at companies.
What is different about working here and working in France?
The working style is quite different in China than in France. It’s complicated to explain all the differences in one paragraph. I do not totally agree with some cliché saying that Chinese people work 7/7 and French people take all year’s vacation. In France, I really appreciate every morning’s office greetings and the coffee time among colleagues. While in China, once entering the office, people begin to work and try to finish every day’s duties in the shortest time. Most of people do not know each other if they don’t have project in common. In this sense, I think some casual talking with colleagues may have a positive effect on your work.
What do you like about Shanghai?
Shanghai is a very attractive international city. It provides all resources you need for your life, your work and your dream. You can get the latest news, experience the newest technology, and meet all kind of people. In Shanghai, you can live every day as a new life.
What advice would you give to a student who is willing to study abroad?
Nowadays in China, more and more students are willing to study abroad. It’s a positive phenomenon which means Chinese people are willing to keep pace with the world and to improve themselves by acquiring international experience. While, before going abroad, it’s important to set up clear short-term and long-term goals and to make sure that they are ready to face all difficulties in a foreign country. After going abroad, I suggest students put themselves into local life and make more friends from different countries, especially not to close yourself and stay only in your compatriot’s circle. That’s what we say: live as local people. Last but not least, you will definitely meet all kind of difficulties in studies and work. Challenge yourself and never make such excuse like you are a foreigner.
Life in Grenoble: one student’s account after a year in France
Grenoble may not be in the top 3 biggest city in France, but it is one of the leading European cities in terms of high-tech industries. The city is famous for the higher education systems which means there are a lot of young students here...
I had to get myself an apartment to live in before I came here. When I searched online, I started to realize the cost of living is much more expensive than in China (500-600 euros on average per month in France). But luckily, all the people can get the allowance from the government (170 euros for my apartment per month), which means less financial burden. This was the first time I realized how equality, or égalité, works on everybody in France.
Right after I was settled down, I became deeply fascinated by the peaceful lifestyle here. The bright blue sky, the slow moving tramway, and the various buildings with different styles...I feel like I am walking in the utopia of my dream. I spend several days rambling around the city. Take a walk along the tramway, participate in a local fair...Everything seems to be so interesting and curious.
But that feeling didn’t last forever. When I started to attend class at GEM, life appeared to be hard for me. First and the most difficult part here is the language. I thought my French level was good enough, which turned out to be wrong because I wasn’t able to follow the teacher during class. In addition, teamwork seemed to be mandatory in every class. But I could barely understand what my teammates were talking about, not to mention discussing with them in French. Luckily, my classmates enthusiastically helped me. They gave me their notes and answered my questions so patiently. Three girls and I become friends really quickly. We went outside and had dinner together, and they even invited me to their house for a party, which I never expected.
I also want to talk about the weather here. I felt cold nearly all the time except summer. What has surprised me the most is that people wear their down jackets a lot – even in April!!! I also found out that it rains a lot, which made me unhappy, because I am a girl who yearns for the brilliance of the sun all the time. How I wish every day is a sunny day in Grenoble.
Even though I don’t like the cold, I still love the nighttime view here, especially the Christmas markets, which I was very curious about because we don’t celebrate Christmas in China. At the market, I found so many new things – for eating, for using, for giving...Wandering around at the fair was really a great pleasure.
Apart from what I’ve mentioned, Grenoble is also famous for its ski resorts nestled in the surrounding mountains. Grenoble hosted the 1968 Winter Olympics. Our school gives students a one-week holiday for us to enjoy the joyful activity of skiing. A little regret here is that I haven’t gone skiing yet, but I will try some time later.
One year has already flown by so quickly. How I wish I could stay here long enough to see every aspect of this city and this country!
(By Anjie Pei)
I am very happy to have come to Strasbourg for my studies during my youth. EM Strasbourg Business School was my dream school, a truly unique and distinctive European and international business school where the realization of my projects begins. The welcome and activities organized by the student associations gave me an unforgettable experience and made me discover a beautiful and vibrant city and region.
I look forward to every single brand new day since I came to EM Strasbourg Business School because it embraces diversity, distinctiveness, and internationality.
I really get to learn a lot in classroom, define my professional project and meet new people here in the heart of Europe as an international student.
I had the opportunity to do my second year internship at EM Strasbourg in the communication department, a very challenging and multicultural experience!