Career Opportunities in France? ESCP/EMLyon/ESSEC and Profile


Erin

I have 10 years of work experience, 9 of it working for a small, independent financial advisory firm where I'm currently the operations manager. I have management experience, but on a small scale given our company is less than 10 people (max 2 reports at any one time, and currently only 1). I'm also technically a licensed financial advisor, which doesn't transfer to France of course.







I've long dreamed of moving to Europe and working there, but as an American that's not so easy. Given the fact that my BA was in History, I would also like to get some more formal business education, so I'm looking at MBA programs in France with the main goal of finding a company who will sponsor me for a visa afterwards (so targeting corporate jobs, probably in operations or project management). I speak French fairly well already (B2) and plan to continue improving.







I haven't taken GRE yet, but I'm studying currently and have already been admitted to the MBA program at EM Lyon (pending satisfactory test scores). I'm not horrible at tests, but I certainly don't expect to be 165+ range on GRE Math (160 seems more realistic unless I get lucky). I add that because I know HEC and INSEAD are the top two in France, but I don't think I'll be able to get in without top notch test scores.







So I'm looking at ESSEC, ESCP, and EM Lyon. In talking to the recruiters at ESCP, however, they threw me for a bit of a loop by suggesting that I'd be better suited for the EMBA rather than the MBA (their argument boils down - be the small fish in the big pond rather than the big fish in the small pond). I hadn't considered this possibility until yesterday, but the thought of having a more European cohort in the EMBA rather than a foreign one--for networking purposes--is certainly attractive, as is the idea of being able to keep working for my current company remotely from France and having some income while in school.







I'd love to get some feedback from those of you who know the French employment market. I understand there are no guarantees, but what your thoughts on post-degree employment possibilities between the three schools? What about between an MBA vs. EMBA?







Thanks!

[Edited by Erin on Nov 15, 2020]

I have 10 years of work experience, 9 of it working for a small, independent financial advisory firm where I'm currently the operations manager. I have management experience, but on a small scale given our company is less than 10 people (max 2 reports at any one time, and currently only 1). I'm also technically a licensed financial advisor, which doesn't transfer to France of course.<br><br><br>
<br><br><br>
I've long dreamed of moving to Europe and working there, but as an American that's not so easy. Given the fact that my BA was in History, I would also like to get some more formal business education, so I'm looking at MBA programs in France with the main goal of finding a company who will sponsor me for a visa afterwards (so targeting corporate jobs, probably in operations or project management). I speak French fairly well already (B2) and plan to continue improving.<br><br><br>
<br><br><br>
I haven't taken GRE yet, but I'm studying currently and have already been admitted to the MBA program at EM Lyon (pending satisfactory test scores). I'm not horrible at tests, but I certainly don't expect to be 165+ range on GRE Math (160 seems more realistic unless I get lucky). I add that because I know HEC and INSEAD are the top two in France, but I don't think I'll be able to get in without top notch test scores.<br><br><br>
<br><br><br>
So I'm looking at ESSEC, ESCP, and EM Lyon. In talking to the recruiters at ESCP, however, they threw me for a bit of a loop by suggesting that I'd be better suited for the EMBA rather than the MBA (their argument boils down - be the small fish in the big pond rather than the big fish in the small pond). I hadn't considered this possibility until yesterday, but the thought of having a more European cohort in the EMBA rather than a foreign one--for networking purposes--is certainly attractive, as is the idea of being able to keep working for my current company remotely from France and having some income while in school.<br><br><br>
<br><br><br>
I'd love to get some feedback from those of you who know the French employment market. I understand there are no guarantees, but what your thoughts on post-degree employment possibilities between the three schools? What about between an MBA vs. EMBA?<br><br><br>
<br><br><br>
Thanks!
quote
Duncan

The key obstacle for you will be your knowledge of business French and your acculturation to the national culture. In an MBA taught in English, you will mostly have foreigners so those barriers will not be addressed. There are some courses taught in French which are open to people at the B2 level. I suggest you aim at those because they will get you deeply into speaking French and working in a French working style. I know that IÉSEG, NEOMA, TBS and many of the various Sciences Po have programs optimised for people with that level of French.

I don't think the EMBA or part-time courses generally help you: full-time programmes will give you access to internships, intensive group work and careers support. They also give you visa status (which I imagine you need) and modest funding through the CAF. 

The key obstacle for you will be your knowledge of business French and your acculturation to the national culture. In an MBA taught in English, you will mostly have foreigners so those barriers will not be addressed. There are some courses taught in French which are open to people at the B2 level. I suggest you aim at those because they will get you deeply into speaking French and working in a French working style. I know that IÉSEG, NEOMA, TBS and many of the various Sciences Po have programs optimised for people with that level of French.<br><br>I don't think the EMBA or part-time courses generally help you: full-time programmes will give you access to internships, intensive group work and careers support. They also give you visa status (which I imagine you need) and modest funding through the CAF.&nbsp;
quote
Duncan

Just to anticipate objections:
- Most of those programmes in French will lead to a MS (mastère spécialisé or maîtrise) rather than an MBA. An MBA sounds nicer but your choice should focus on what meets your professional and personal goals.
- Yes, an MBA will be aimed at older students than a MSc or MS in French. Those MS students will have whip-smart and will keep you on your feet.
- Yes, graduates os top MBA programmes in France generally earn more than MS students [but there can be exceptions, like MiF degrees and some high-value SMIB degrees). However, most of them will either speak French perfectly or will be working outside France. 

[Edited by Duncan on Nov 15, 2020]

Just to anticipate objections:<br>- Most of those programmes in French will lead to a MS (mastère&nbsp;spécialisé or maîtrise) rather than an MBA. An MBA sounds nicer but your choice should focus on what meets your professional and personal goals.<br>- Yes, an MBA will be aimed at older students than a MSc or MS in French. Those MS students will have whip-smart and will keep you on your feet.<br>- Yes, graduates os top MBA programmes in France generally earn more than MS students [but there can be exceptions, like MiF degrees and some high-value SMIB degrees). However, most of them will either speak French perfectly or will be working outside France.&nbsp;
quote
Erin

The key obstacle for you will be your knowledge of business French and your acculturation to the national culture. In an MBA taught in English, you will mostly have foreigners so those barriers will not be addressed. There are some courses taught in French which are open to people at the B2 level. I suggest you aim at those because they will get you deeply into speaking French and working in a French working style. I know that IÉSEG, NEOMA, TBS and many of the various Sciences Po have programs optimised for people with that level of French.

I don't think the EMBA or part-time courses generally help you: full-time programmes will give you access to internships, intensive group work and careers support. They also give you visa status (which I imagine you need) and modest funding through the CAF. 


Thank you for the feedback! The visa issue is definitely something I need to get clarification on for the part-time program, as you are correct that that's something I would require. 

As far as the language/culture challenges, I agree that's going to be an obstacle. Are there any books (in French) or other resources you would recommend to prepare myself, either in terms of learning business vocabulary and/or culture?

[quote]The key obstacle for you will be your knowledge of business French and your acculturation to the national culture. In an MBA taught in English, you will mostly have foreigners so those barriers will not be addressed. There are some courses taught in French which are open to people at the B2 level. I suggest you aim at those because they will get you deeply into speaking French and working in a French working style. I know that IÉSEG, NEOMA, TBS and many of the various Sciences Po have programs optimised for people with that level of French.<br><br>I don't think the EMBA or part-time courses generally help you: full-time programmes will give you access to internships, intensive group work and careers support. They also give you visa status (which I imagine you need) and modest funding through the CAF.&nbsp; [/quote]<br><br>Thank you for the feedback! The visa issue is definitely something I need to get clarification on for the part-time program, as you are correct that that's something I would require.&nbsp;<br><br>As far as the language/culture challenges, I agree that's going to be an obstacle. Are there any books (in French) or other resources you would recommend to prepare myself, either in terms of learning business vocabulary and/or culture?
quote
Duncan

You will not be able to get a visa for a part-time course.

A year working in French in a business course, even with people with B2 or C1 French, will do more for your skills than any book. Acculturation, even at the level of body language and microgestures, is hard to gain without immersion. I started with <<Comment vont les affaires>> but at your level you should also consider the DFA, DFA2 or DAFA. However these are really aimed at people in trade roles rather than managerial functions with lots of specialised vocabulary and jargon. 

[Edited by Duncan on Nov 15, 2020]

You will not be able to get a visa for a part-time course.<br><br>A year working in French in a business course, even with people with B2 or C1 French, will do more for your skills than any book. Acculturation, even at the level of body language and microgestures, is hard to gain without immersion. I started with &lt;&lt;Comment vont les affaires&gt;&gt; but at your level you should also consider the DFA, DFA2 or DAFA. However these are really aimed at people in trade roles rather than managerial functions with lots of specialised vocabulary and jargon.&nbsp;
quote

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