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7 Reasons Why I Loved Going to Business School

7 Reasons Why I Loved Going to Business School  main image

Sponsored by EDHEC

High-flying Colombian student Andrea, 29, spoke to us about her experience attending a top business school in Nice, France.

After winning the Eiffel Scholarship in 2016, I finally took the plunge and packed my bags for a lovely studious spell in the French Riviera, to study an MSc in Corporate Finance and Banking in sunny Nice. I had initially studied economics and finance at university and worked in banking for six years, because deep down I knew that moving abroad for business school was my best bet if I wanted to realize my dreams and help rejuvenate my country’s lagging economy. Knowing that EDHEC is renown for its finance programs, it didn’t take me very long to choose my business school.
Of course, it’s been trying, and I’ve had to clear a few hurdles, but I have no regrets. Here’s why.

1. I know that I’ll be using everything I’ve learnt throughout my career

Unlike many of my friends already working in business who’ve had to submit a theory-heavy thesis for university, everything I’m learning at business school will come in handy when I’m working. Currently, I’m working on a master’s project which, unlike the academic research theses that are mandatory in most business schools, will actually help me learn things that I’ll be using later in my career. Working with a group of students, I’m building sell side financial analysis of the American restaurant chain Domino’s Pizza, which is fascinating.

2. The cultural immersion is amazing

One of the best things about business school abroad is that it forces you out of your comfort zone and introduces you to a cross-section of highly talented people you’d never have met otherwise. I am lucky to have built very close friendships with lovely people who’ve helped me grow as a person intellectually and emotionally. Because of them, my weekends and life in Nice outside of the classroom are ten times more enjoyable.

3. I fell in love with Nice’s seafront, lovely terracotta Matisse museum and little bistros…

Obviously, I didn’t decide to attend business school in France just to sightsee, but while in la Côte d'Azur, I thought I may as well indulge. From personal experience, I’d strongly recommend to seize any opportunity to study abroad in this utterly magnificent region of France because it’ll take your breath away. I’m fortunate that my campus is right in the middle of Nice and just off the world-famous Promenade des Anglais by the seafront, where I often have my lunch with coursemates. EDHEC have campuses in Lille and Paris - they’re definitely on my bucket list of cities to visit.

4. Business school is my golden ticket to a dream job

Back in Bogotá, I studied economics and finance at Universidad del Rosario, then moved into risk management for Colombia’s third largest bank, Banco Davivienda. To break into corporate fiscal management, I knew that I needed to to acquire technical knowledge in corporate finance to complement my knowledge in financial markets, financial risks and assets and liability management.
I applied to business school because I was genuinely interested in applying theory to real business cases, and knew only a business school could provide the services and support network needed to help fulfill my goal. I was right, at EDHEC all the courses I took demanded real business case studies. When looking at business schools, EDHEC stood out because their graduates frequently move into sustainable finance jobs for incredible recruiters I aspire to work for one day, like the International Monetary Fund, the International Finance Corporation or the World Bank. While I’m here, I can make use of the school’s alumni department and various student associations to build my professional network and improve my job prospects.

5. I’m gaining all the soft skills I’d need to work anywhere

Unlike a university course, business school has given me unique opportunities to develop the soft skills I need for a career in business, like pitching and team work in a multicultural environment. Due to the international nature of my school, I’ve also had to study business cases in China, India and other places to understand how some of the things I’m learning might translate abroad. I’ve also learnt how to become more tactful when dealing with different cultures and am able to understand English spoken with accents from around the world, which, all joking aside, is a vital skill…

6. One day, I hope to help rebuild Colombia’s economy from the ground up

Colombia has endured one of the longest civil wars in history – a conflict which has displaced millions –but, thank God, it looks like things are finally getting better now. In 2016, the revolutionary armed forces of Colombia and the Colombian government signed a promising peace deal, after fifty years of treacherous civil war.

In the years to come, Colombia will need fresh ideas and bright young minds to stand a chance of healing and developing. That’s why I hope to help inject new life into its economy one day, using all the new skills and insight I’ll have gained during my time in France.

7. I’m learning French, and hopefully I’ll be fluent soon.

My course was fully taught in English, but thanks to the free French language lessons offered by my business school and life outside of my MSc, I’ve been able to learn some French. From watching TV in French to ordering restaurant meals in French, I’m still working on doing my best to improve my French language skills, but I’m confident that I’ll be fluent in no time. Wherever I end up working, whether in Colombia, France or elsewhere, I’m certain that my language skills will benefit both me and my employer.

This article was originally published on May 22, 2017. 

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