Frenchman Louis Legros is studying for an MSc in International Management at ESADE Business School. Before enrolling in business school Louis dreamt of being a fighter pilot in the army, but “I am very tall and when I applied I was told my legs would get stuck if I had to eject from the cockpit.” He wisely stepped away from flying and talks today about his experience of Business School.
Louis, 22, studied International Business as an undergraduate, “I actually did a dual-degree program: two years at CESEM (Reims Management School, France) where I majored in International Business and Business Administration, followed by two years at Northeastern University in Boston where I majored in Entrepreneurship.”
The decision to choose a dual-degree program was a combination of wanting to “leave home, get out of France and grow up.” CESEM offered the highest level of international exposure.
Studying in France and America offered very diverging experiences. “The whole education system is different... The diversity was far greater in the US which was amazing to learn from others. Secondly, in the US my campus was almost the size of a neighbourhood and the resources available to students were incredible. Thirdly, in France our classes were mainly lectures in their traditional sense: a teacher showing up reading its slides; in the US professors would try to make classes interactive and give them a discussion format, they would invite guest speakers and be available to us as much as possible. Basically, the main difference is that in the US I had to actually think and reflect on readings.”
Whilst an undergraduate Louis had two internships; the first was in France with the NGI Group , a software and solutions engineering company which produces geo-localisation systems in Sub-Saharan Africa and develops optical fibre networks in partnership with internet providers in France. The second, in the US, was in a BMW/MINI/Porsche car dealership and he undertook a private consulting project.
After graduating Louis says he still “wanted to learn more and felt like I could use an extra year before entering "the real world". I also wanted to get international experience in a Spanish-speaking country. Also, in France the system is very meritocratic and I thought that if I ever want to come home to work, a fifth-year of studies will be a plus on my resume.”
Most students apply to a few Masters programmes but Louis only applied to ESADE Business School. “Putting all my eggs in the same basket was risky but showed my dedication, allowed me to focus on one lead, and gave me the opportunity to submit a well-rounded application.”
ESADE Business School stood out for “its notoriety, its location, its focus on people and diversity, its careers service and alumni network.”
The ESADE careers service have helped Louis on “several occasions in order to perfect resumes or cover letters and to discuss my post-graduate objectives.” And what are these post-graduate objectives? Louis is “having a hard time choosing a path because I do not want to specialise too much. Thus, I am considering a career in consulting as it would give the chance to keep on building my international profile, stay general while acquiring knowledge on various industries, network and meet new people. In other words, keep on developing myself professionally speaking while learning on the field.”
I asked Louis to describe his time in ESADE in three words and if you exclude the words in parentheses he said “diversity (of people), challenges, intensive (environment).”