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Why I Left The US For An MBA In Europe

Peter Taylor swapped the US for an MBA in Europe as he was craving the international exposure that would accelerate his career

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Wed Oct 21 2020

BusinessBecause

Peter Taylor spent close to seven years working in the US after college, accumulating experience in consulting for Capgemini and operations for McMaster-Carr. But his careewasn’t giving him the international exposure he was after—which is why he swapped the US for an MBA in Europe.  

He wanted to add an international dimension to his career and skillset. Fluent in the French language and familiar with the culture—having spent seven of his childhood years in France—it made sense to focus his MBA search there.  

Emlyon Business School prevailed, and in 2018 he enrolled on the school’s 12-month, full-time International MBA.  


Emlyon Business School: An education in multicultural management 

Peter’s experience in consulting and operations had exposed him to complex problem solving, people management, and the intricacies built into each stage of business operations. The Emlyon Business School MBA was the bridge between that skillset and multicultural management.   6ed918f77137e0e44dae1c8dfd0d49b3d2f39d13.png

My experience on the MBA really opened my eyes,” he admits. “In my first project group on the MBA, one of us was a detective from Shanghai, there was a lawyer from Brazil, two engineers from India, and then me. I knew how to work within diverse cohorts, but this was on a whole other scale. I loved it.” 

The current class of 2020 consists of 64 students and 32 nationalities. Students hail from countries like Angola, Brazil, China, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, and Australia. The average age of students is 29. 

Sharing a classroom with such a diverse cohort of experienced professionals greatly developed Peter’s teamwork skills. To successfully complete projects groups must identify each individual’s strengths and weaknesses, and use that information to work together towards a shared goal. 

The MBA classroom also places professionals in an environment where they have to develop their ability to maneuver cultural and personality differences.  

“I used to think my career had hit a glass ceilingand that the MBA was more of a basic requirement in order to progress,” Peter (pictured) explains 

“But it was a great refresh button for me. It gave me the chance to relearn everything in a classroom setting, and to build a new network from a cohort of extremely talented individuals. 


Building an MBA career in France 

Peter chose to remain in France after graduating from the Emlyon International MBA. He believes France is the best place to obtain international experience right now.  

The MBA also built his network and gave him plenty of opportunities to interact with French companies through planned company visits and networking events organized by the schoolPeter even worked for the French management consulting subsidiary of the Canadian IT services firm, CGI, as a consulting manager during the MBA's six-month Entrepreneurial Leadership Project with a group of students.

"I was hosting clients for the CGI global center of excellence for supply chain management based in Lyon," he says. "There, I was exposed to the most innovative use cases and technologies in the marketplace. That's where I met the team at o9 Solutions, a US software firm that had just secured unicorn status."

Upon graduating Peter joined o9 Solutions, a US software company, where he leads pre-sales cycles in brand manufacturing and retail across Europe. It’s his first time working in a sales-specific role, and he’s calling on his previous work experience in consulting to sell artificial intelligence enabled planning platform to global companies. 

The platform improves the collaborative planning processes of teams across sales, finance, and supply chain to make data driven decisions. This is something which is in especially high demand, considering the current uncertainties in today's business environment.

Through o9 Solutions, Peter has worked with clients like Nestlé, Pirelli, Nike, and Walmart. “I’ve been inside these companies on a consultant basis, so I know how they work,” he explains. “This really helps in the selling process when demonstrating our software and pitching to them. 

“In my role, I need to understand business models, complex technology, and each client's particular challenges: How do I communicate a clear business case for each prospect? How can I simplify the benefits our products can bring to their business specifically?” 


The value of an MBA 

Ultimately, the MBA helped Peter elevate his existing skillset while expanding his intercultural management ability and giving him a helicopter view of business. 

In his pre-MBA roles he was focused on one skillset over the other; the MBA blended all of his skillsets together and allowed him to improve in all areas, he says. And although he admits personal development is harder the more senior you are, an MBA gives you the knowledge and credentials to drive your career forward.  

“You may be expected to log bigger results, your responsibilities may be more extensive, and you may spend more time managing other people than evaluating yourself, but an MBA can be key to unlocking your full potential. 

Student Reviews

emlyon business school

Student

Verified

4/12/2023

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.

Student

Verified

18/03/2023

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

Student

Verified

23/11/2021

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.

Fabian

Verified

7/06/2020

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.

Student

Verified

14/10/2018

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.

Student

Verified

9/06/2020

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.

Student

Verified

21/11/2022

On Campus

Entrepreneurship

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.

Student

Verified

25/05/2020

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.

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