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Switching From Science To Business With An MBA From EMLYON Business School

From her full-time MBA in France, Emma Devos got the business acumen she needed to take on a leadership role at big pharma firm Bayer



Tue Aug 21 2018

Emma Devos has always been passionate about life sciences and its applications to the real world.

While working in highly technical roles and leading global projects in the pharmaceutical industry, Emma found herself having to deal with operational challenges on a regular basis.

Emma realized that to improve business processes and influence decision-making she needed to build upon her business acumen. For Emma, the full-time MBA program at EMLYON Business School, ranked in the top 100 in the world, was the key to filling this knowledge gap.

Emma was drawn to EMLYON’s highly diverse cohort—over 20 nationalities are represented in the MBA class, made up of 89% international students.

EMLYON offers a life science specialization, which Emma believed would deepen her knowledge of the industry from a business and strategic perspective. And Emma loved the city of Lyon itself and was excited to explore it during her MBA experience.

Around 90% of EMLYON's MBA graduates are employed within three months of graduating—Emma landed a project leader role at top pharma firm Bayer in Switzerland right after the degree.

BusinessBecause caught up with Emma to find out more.

How did the role at Bayer come about?

I started the search for my next challenge fairly early during the MBA at EMLYON Business School. Before doing the MBA, I knew I wanted to transition from working for an equipment provider to joining a top-ten pharma company, and to get a position related to project management, program management or strategic planning.

On the one hand, it was relatively straightforward to identify opportunities which fit my search, because I had well-defined criteria. However, the search was also limited due to the availability of open positions. While I networked to find opportunities, my winning strategy was to invest my energy in shaping cover letters and CVs to these few open positions.

It worked out! I got several interviews which allowed me to identify the job that matched what I was looking for, and that's how my job at Bayer came about.

How did EMLYON enable you to transition from science to business?

The MBA at EMLYON certainly gave me the complete toolbox I needed to gain confidence in my abilities and to develop the business knowledge required in my current role. The program's solid core curriculum allowed me to be familiar with fundamental topics in finance, strategy, and marketing, to name only a few.

I also gained practical knowledge through the numerous case studies we had to solve. Combining analytical skills from my engineering background helped me solve these cases while learning new business concepts. Finally, the entrepreneurial concepts that I encountered during the MBA turned out to be highly applicable to the corporate world.

What stands out from your MBA experience at EMLYON Business School?

My MBA experience at EMLYON was not only about courses and projects, it has been an enriching experience as a whole. By the end of the year, I realized that I'd become more agile in my thinking; that I was combining various concepts in my approach to business problems, and that I was truly 'connecting the dots'.

The tools we learned during the design thinking and entrepreneurship courses helped us adopt innovative approaches for other topics too. Additionally, I improved my communication skills which makes a big difference now in my daily interactions with peers and senior management.

The MBA confirmed that working with international colleagues is a powerful and constructive way to build solutions. Now, I am looking forward to further applying skills and concepts that I learned during my MBA in the next steps of my career.

Student Reviews

emlyon business school




On Campus

Intense courses, helpful professors

I am an international student in my 3rd year and I love going to this school and do not regret chosing it for my BBA. The classes are helpful, professors are always there to help as well and we have a very understanding administration.




On Campus

Leadership in an amazing city

I decided to do my exchange in Emlyon because I wanted to get out of my comfort zone, and I found a space with very capable People.. participatory, empathetic and full of leadership. I will never forget Lyon, apart from giving me an unforgettable experience, he gave me great friends




On Campus

A lot of opportunities professionally and socially. A unique program in France.

You can choose your courses and do your internship, exchange whenever you want. It's flexible and adapted to the needs of each student. A great program and a great city! Professionally, it opens a lot of doors for you to find internships or jobs in France or abroad thanks to the network and career events.




MSc in Digital Marketing

Combining both worlds into one, this course gave me all the on-demand technical skills in data science while maintaining a business-oriented approach. Thanks to the strong academic profile of this university I was able to secure an internship and full-time job at Amazon.




Top Business School fostering innovative entrepreneurs

EMLyon is one of the best business schools. The campuses, associations and courses offered provide the students with the best options to build the future they have chosen. The various opportunities to study and work abroad also offer a deeper understanding of the world, not only economy-wise but social, which helps the student become as well a better individual and not only a pre-formated business school student.




Emlyon campus in Paris

It has a great international community and you have access to many international tools, courses and professors. I had many networking events and workshops for students. Campus and some details of the program could have been improved or need to be bigger in order to have a better student life.




On Campus


Overall good content and good activities. Lack of administration but still ok. Good flexibility and liberty offered to the students. Finally, the amount of internship is also a good way to improve qualifications.




Good Reputation and International Business School

The course was not well adapted but it was up to the mark. The professors are very well experienced and their experience comes in handy while working on assignments. The facilities on the campus are top class. Truly professional. I really like spending time in the learning hub and using all the available resources. Lyon is an amazing city. You will never get bored.




On Campus

MSc International Hospitality Management

The best educational experience of my life so far! It’s been full of exposure and great connections. From Lyon to London, Paris, Los Angeles and Las Vegas! Truly an exceptional way to discover the world of hospitality.




On Campus

Real networking opportunities

- meeting new people, specially professionals during seminars or evening meeting at school. - going abroad to study luxury - being involved as an ambassador to promote the school and the program I was into (MSc LMM) - having such a great professional core




On Campus

white baccalaureate in the world of work

I really appreciated the MS SDAI as a whole. The teaching staff, the different subjects, the university exchange, TEM... I started my internship in a consulting firm having acquired a solid foundation. Downside for CentraleSupélec, which I found far too academic for a program such as this.