Why MBA: EMLYON Business School 2010

An American doing an MBA at EMLYON who hopes to pursue a career in Western Europe


Meet Helen Ross. A 28 year old American who is currently doing an MBA at EMLYON. Before embarking on the year-long program, Ross worked in management and IT consulting in the United States. With a Bachelors degree in cognitive science and a Masters in Computer Science, we asked Ross why she took the plunge to do an MBA. 

“Well, I’ve always known that I enjoy working with people as opposed to computers. Last year I decided to do an MBA because I wanted to make sure I had a well-rounded education in business.”

Being in France, surrounded by some of the world’s finest wines and gorgeous French men would seal the deal for some, but Ross wanted more when she geographically chose Lyon. “I knew I wanted to do international business, so I looked at schools that were in Western Europe. However, I also knew I wanted to go somewhere that I didn’t speak the language, so I ruled out England. I considered schools in Switzerland and in Nice but Lyon took the gold. The location of the campus is perfect. It’s also perfect for enjoying a glass of wine after a lecture with classmates.”

With the chance to wine and dine in some of the world’s best venues, what’s not to love about Lyon? Ross believes it’s hard not to love it. “What I really like about Lyon is that it is a mid-sized city that has a lot. They have an amazing arts community, one of the best parks, a great world heritage area, a zoo, and a great metro system.”

In terms of the IMBA, with a strong emphasis on entrepreneurship and a hands-on learning style, Ross was sold. When asked what drew her to the program itself, Ross eagerly elaborated on the year-long consulting project that EMLYON offers. “The year-long consulting project is where companies propose a project to the school and several students form a team to consult this project. It’s cool because you have to research this company that is real and truly exists. To combine and relate the situation to the material you learn in class is really amazing.”

The year-long consulting project and the international diversity in the student body allows the students to develop the skills needed to achieve success. “I’ve learned a lot from my classmates. It’s one thing to work with international people in your home country, but to be in another country and to have to adapt to their culture... it’s quite different! Realising this difference is essential for working in international business.”

In the future, you will most likely find Ross working in a position that involves international business in the transportation or supply chain industry. “I’m looking for work in Western Europe, France would be preferable. I’m also considering Belgium and the Netherlands!”

What is one thing you would tell someone who is about to start an MBA at EMLYON?
Get to know your classmates. You can learn more from them than you could ever imagine!

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