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Specialized MBA Syllabus Helps Students Land Jobs In Blockchain, Luxury & Venture Capital

The MBA syllabus is changing as employers demand more specialist skills. We spoke to MBA graduates from EMLYON Business School to find out more


Wed Mar 27 2019

Getting MBA jobs at top firms today can be competitive.

In 2018, Deutsche Bank reported 110,000 applications for just over 600 positions, around 177 applicants per position. Goldman Sachs, in 2016, was estimated to have an acceptance rate of 1.6% for its summer analyst program.

What can MBA graduates do to stand out?

Employers now want more from MBA graduates than a degree in general management alone.

According to a 2017 UK survey, employers want more specialist skills. 65% of employers surveyed identified the lack of a skillset which would aid specific vocations, such as accountancy for in finance, or brand management for the luxury industry. 


It’s no wonder then that business schools, like EMLYON Business School in France, are incorporating specializations into the MBA syllabus.

For six months in the second half of the EMLYON MBA, students can follow a path into a specific industry, tailoring their MBA experience to their own career needs.

Students choose one functional specialization—from International Strategy, Marketing, Finance, and Digitalization—and one contextual specialization—from New Venture Management, Entrepreneurship, Luxury Brand Management, and Life Sciences.

As part of the EMLYON MBA, students also take part in an Entrepreneurial Leadership Project (ELP), a consultancy placement in the industry of their choice.

Consequently, EMLYON boasts a 92% employment rate for its MBA graduates, the second highest in France.

We caught up with two EMLYON MBA graduates to find out more:

Priyanka Maurya, Class of 2017


Priyanka’s aspirations for standing out from the crowd in the luxury industry drew her to the MBA at EMLYON. Working in the world of fashion and cosmetics, including for Estee Lauder, she found her relatively limited work experience was holding her back.

“I wanted to become a successful business woman, and, one day, a CEO,” Priyanka says.

What stood out from the EMLYON MBA syllabus most was the opportunity to advance her knowledge of the business side of luxury—a business which she had entered after her Bachelor’s with limited formal training and experience.

Priyanka’s specialization was in International Strategy and Luxury Business. Not only was she excited to study the luxury industry in France, a global center of luxury, she also had the chance to move away from cosmetics specifically and towards a wider understanding of the luxury world.

The specialization included modules on brand management and consumer behavior—all through a lens of ‘luxury’. Priyanka notes that this equipped her with a sophisticated understanding of the nuances of luxury, and the factors that distinguish it from ordinary consumer business.

Part of breaking into the industry was through practical experience and network-building during her time on the MBA at EMLYON Business School. Priyanka’s ELP consisted of a seven-month consulting placement at world-renowned luxury brand Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessey (LVMH), where her focus was on marketing and global talent management.

She now works at Fast Retailing, a multi-billion-dollar Japanese clothing retailer which includes brands such as Uniqlo.

Yuan Liu, Class of 2018

Yuan (pictured) was also pursuing “a career breakthrough” when her attention turned to the MBA syllabus at EMLYON. Her background was in finance, having studied her bachelor’s in business administration and finance, and had worked at various companies in the US and China in risk management.


“I was looking for some fresh air,” Yuan recalls.

With some experience of working at multinational companies, Yuan was drawn towards the specialization in International Strategy and Multinational Enterprise (MNE) as a means of enhancing her profile.

This included a seven-month ELP working at Circle, a money sharing and crypto-currency application. It was here that Yuan’s interest was piqued by fintech and the exciting and growing blockchain market.

This practical experience led naturally into Yuan’s current role as an investment manager at Olymp Capital—a venture capital firm based in Paris focusing specifically on blockchain resource development.

Every day, Yuan deploys these specialist skills which she learnt during her specialization on the MBA at EMLYON Business School. “I flip back to my old MBA slides to find something that overlaps with my ongoing work,” she says.


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.