Nice, the French Riviera. Its given name, La Cote d’Azur, meaning the Blue Coast, says it all. Sun-dappled beaches and crystal clear blue waves—not the first place you’d expect to study a business degree.
Look west, and you’ll find Cannes, home of the world-famous film festival. Look east, and you’ll reach Monaco, haven of the super-rich and home of the Grand Prix, where a 500-foot yacht is as common as a supermarket.
But alongside this renowned coastline is a hub of business like no other in Europe, with an abundance of opportunities in tech, energy, and even aeronautics.
Meeting the demand of this growing community is EDHEC Business School, whose Global MBA program offers students the lucrative opportunity to enjoy the Riviera lifestyle while tapping into a thriving economy.
Here are five reasons to study your MBA in the south of France:
1. Tap into the innovative economy
It may be a cliché, but when it comes to rivaling California’s tech oasis Silicon Valley, it’s hard to look beyond the south of France. Sophia Antipolis, Europe’s leading science and technology park, sits a stones-throw from Nice.
The innovative ecosystem has grown since the late 70s, and is now home to over 2200 companies, including IBM, Oracle, Samsung, Schneider Electric and Huawei, and 36,000 employees.
Less than half an hour from Sophia Antipolis, the opportunities for EDHEC MBA students to get involved in tech are abundant. A one month digital innovation elective in partnership with IBM explores the future of technology including design thinking, AI and blockchain.
Tech extends beyond internet startups. Innovating the energy industry through technology—or cleantech—is one such industry which has also found footing in the Cote d’Azur. Nice Eco-Vallee is large development of eco-offices and cleantech leaders, which aims to create up to 50,000 jobs in sustainable development in the region.
2. Become an entrepreneur
In the wake of Sophia Antipolis, dozens of startup communities have sprung up in Nice, like the European Center of Enterprise and Innovation (CEEI), an incubator which hosts events for entrepreneurs, and the French Riviera Rockets, an online community which allows fellow entrepreneurs to share opportunities and information.
The opportunity for budding entrepreneurs are rife on EDHEC's MBA.
EDHEC’s own incubator accompanies student and alumni startups from ideation to fundraising and gives access to the world’s largest incubator, Station F in Paris, where EDHEC hosts 40 startups per year.
Students can chose to take an entrepreneurship elective and then opt to do a business plan as their tailored project option where, under the supervision of faculty, they can put their learning and experiences into practice, meaning that three months of the 10 month program can be dedicated to all aspects of start-ups and entrepreneurship.
3. Outstanding quality of life
Given the Cote d’Azur gets 300 days of sunshine a year, and is a short drive to Alpine ski slopes, it’s hardly surprising that cities like Nice are a favorite for students and European holiday makers alike.
The EDHEC campus sits just minutes from the beach, a particularly refreshing alternative to the stressful environment of the MBA classroom. On top of this, MBA students have their pick of student association and club activities, like the Finance Club or Women in Leadership.
4. International opportunities
While you’d be hard challenged to leave the picturesque surroundings of Nice, EDHEC has international opportunities in the palm of its hand.
Just minutes from the campus lies Nice International Airport, the perfect platform for students to discover the varied delights of Europe and beyond.
The Global MBA is not just global in name. For each specialization track, students are offered a one-week study trip with options including London, Singapore, Paris and San Francisco plus a one week learning expedition to South Africa as part of the sustainable business course. EDHEC also has campuses in five cities around the world.
5. Propel your career with a committed career service
The thriving ecosystem in the South of France, and its quick access to the European market, makes Nice a tantalizing platform for post-MBA job-hunting.
EDHEC’s Career Smart program is designed to accompany participants throughout their journey, giving them the right tools and support to define their career goals and create a search strategy to find the right opportunity.
Each student can get up to 50 hours of direct assistance, through workshops and one-on-one coaching as well as two weeks dedicated to career planning and job search strategy.
In Nice and beyond, EDHEC MBA students have found recent employment at companies like Amazon, IBM, Deloitte, Roche and Booking.com.
EDHEC’s community stretches far beyond the walls of its South of France campuses. EDHEC Rendezvous events bring together its 40,000-strong alumni community for networking and talent days across the world.