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How An MBA In France Made Us Citizens Of The World

MBA students from EMLYON Business School say opportunities in the program have helped them kick-start their careers in Europe


By  Abigail Lister

Wed Nov 28 2018

As international applications to US business schools decline, European schools are seeing growth—3.4% more international students applied to graduate programs in Europe this year compared to last year, while the US saw a drop of 10.5%.

And France is increasingly becoming an attractive destination in Europe for international students—in one 2017 survey, 64% of international students surveyed said that France had, over time, increased its appeal as a study destination.

At EMLYON Business School, the International full-time MBA aims to attract future business leaders and entrepreneurs from all around the world—within the 2015-16 cohort, 69% of the students came from outside Europe, with less than a quarter hailing from France.

EMLYON also benefits from being in one of France's most important economic hubs—Lyon is the second biggest city in the country, and also home to some of the world’s biggest companies including news broadcaster Euronews, and international agency Interpol.

“EMLYON has helped me so much. I’m an Indian who studied in France who’s now working in Germany.”

Anupaul (pictured) says he always thought about working in Europe in the future and pursued an MBA to broaden his career horizons.


“I was working as a data analyst at a startup back in India, and I found that it’s really essential nowadays to actually equip yourself with all the business tools,” he explains. “That was my motivation because that is what is going to help fulfil my future aspirations—an MBA is essential to give you a broader picture."

When it came to choosing a business school in Europe, Anupaul was looking for a top-ranked business school—EMLYON Business School climbed 12 places in the QS Global MBA rankings this year—as well as an attractive city to live in.

“I wanted to study in an environment which is not really touristy, that is going to give me space to grow myself and also explore the countryside of Europe and France,” he explains.

But it was EMLYON's international outlook that offered the greatest attraction. “When you enter the class, the first thing you see is the different people, all with different mindsets,” recalls Anupaul.

“In the program, I was working in a team of six where everyone was from different nationalities—this is the biggest international exposure anyone can get,” he adds.

Similarly, Pedro Souza initially wanted to do an MBA to broaden his theoretical business knowledge, and EMLYON’s combination of international know-how and local business roots were hugely attractive.

“Since Lyon is an area with a lot of international companies, it makes it a good hub to be located if you're looking to start an international career,” says Pedro, who found a job in Lyon this year almost immediately after graduating.

In fact, 90% of EMLYON’s full-time MBAs find jobs within three months of graduating, with 70% working in Europe.

“When you think to go abroad and to pursue an MBA in an international school, you’re looking for as many international encounters as you can have, in order to maximize your network,” Pedro continues.

“At EMLYON, we had a lot of opportunities to go abroad on field trips and even work with international companies during our Entrepreneurial Leadership Project.”

Both Anupaul and Pedro had the opportunity to go to Finland during their MBA, where they met international companies such as Nokia and participated in a design thinking workshop led by Aalto University.


“Right now, after finishing the program, we’re citizens of the world—we can go wherever we want.”

Now, Anupaul is now working as a business intelligence manager at a music startup in Berlin, Germany—and says it’s EMLYON’s global vision that is helping him succeed.

“When I got the first job offer, they wanted to know my experiences, they were super excited and said they wanted those kinds of people in their team,” he notes.

Pedro (pictured) also received a job offer soon after graduating, and now works as a product marketing engineering in automotive and environmental company Plastic Omnium.


“I moved here with my wife and we both really fell in love with the city,” Pedro says. “So things actually worked pretty well for us because we got the opportunity to stay in the city that we really liked, and at the same time I have a job that I was actually hoping for!”

Pedro says EMLYON Business School’s global reputation—it currently sits in the top-100 MBA programs in the world—makes it easy for any MBA grad to access opportunities around the world once they’ve graduated.

“Right now, EMLYON’s ranking really makes it easy for us to discuss the name of the school, and this is something that is raised a lot when you’re applying internationally,” he explains.

"After finishing the MBA program, we’re citizens of the world—we can go wherever we want.”

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