Kunal Bassi, 27 years old, an International MBA student at one of India’s best business schools - the International Management Institute (IMI) - in New Delhi, is currently on a three-week International Residency Program at Grenoble Ecole de Management (GEM) with 14 of his classmates. Below he shares his experience.
Why did you opt to come to France for this program?
GEM’s International Residency Program is part of the core curriculum at the International Management Institute (IMI), thanks to a partnership our School has with GEM. This course in Grenoble represents the final phase of our international MBA. This is my first time in France and it has been a great experience. This is really a perfect opportunity to understand France, its business context and culture.
What are the benefits of coming to study at Grenoble Ecole de Management?
There are a lot of benefits. GEM is one of the top business schools in France and Europe. This experience is a real added value to my career, a truly fascinating exposure to how business is conducted in a European context with quality teaching and faculty members. The course and logistics are very well structured, with many opportunities to gel with French culture and get a holistic view on things, it is also a genuine cultural immersion: French cooking class, wine tasting, city tours… Also the company visits to SOITEC, REXOR, SEB, RENAULT TRUCKS were very informative.
How do you think the training you are receiving in Grenoble will help you in your career?
Many European businesses are setting up offices in India, and there is therefore a prominent need to stay in touch with European partners and conducting business with Europe. The training helps in doing business with Europe and getting the cross-cultural aspect of matters, offering us all the necessary tools to succeed in handling such projects. I am just about to start working at Bloomberg L.P. in Mumbai and I really feel the training I am receiving in Grenoble will help me gel with counterparts in different areas in the world. I will definitely be less awkward when dealing with non-Indian partners from now on, having received quality cross-cultural training.
On what aspects do you think GEM stands out?
The most absolute strength is that GEM, whilst it is bustling with activity, never seems overcrowded, it is a well-coordinated and dedicated institution. Students here seem to have a well-balanced student life with a mix of academia and leisure. Another unique quality is the School’s collaboration with GIANT, the innovation campus of which GEM is a founding member. GIANT is offering vast opportunities to GEM students, giving them the opportunity to get involved in pragmatic R&D, a great sense of future innovations and how management of technology plays a fundamental role in business. We had an eye-opening presentation of GIANT, it is a great project. Finally, there are so many different nationalities here at the School. I have met people from all over the world in just a few days. This is also very enriching. It is not just an international experience, it is a global one!
Please tell me about the most interesting anecdote since your arrival in Grenoble?
I think what struck me the most is the kindness of everyone we meet at the School but also in shops, the street etc… France can have at times an individualistic image from abroad, but it is actually the opposite. People we have met are very friendly, everyone is so well dressed and puts an effort in looking good. I will remember the warmth and smiley faces of people here.
What aspirations do you have for your career?
I will be starting a new job at Bloomberg P.L. in May 2012, after I complete my international MBA. I do hope to have my own enterprise a few years down the line.