Spending two weeks immersed in the culture of France gave me a unique opportunity to understand global business issues from a different perspective.
From the morning commute strolling through quaint cobblestone streets, joining the masses on public transportation, to the lectures and daily interactions with international business students, the program challenged me to grow professionally and personally. The curriculum blends academic and cultural experiences together as a way to take a deeper-dive than the traditional classroom setting.
During the course of the program, our group studied at the EmLyon Business School. EmLyon consistently ranks as one of the top business schools in France drawing talented students from all over the world. As part of the experience, our cohort worked closely with the EmLyon international MBA students on a global issues project, attended lectures, and traveled to Geneva, Switzerland to visit the United Nations and the World Trade Organization. The program also facilitated company visits for more hands-on learning. I had the opportunity to visit both a Blockchain tech startup, and an established pharmaceutical manufacturer in the span of one week! The experiences in and out of the classroom built lasting bonds that will last long after the trip is over.
Lyon is the second largest city in France, and is known as the “city between the two rivers” (Rhone and Saone). The city never felt too overwhelming, but there was no shortage of restaurants, shops, and historical sights to explore. In fact, Lyon is recognized as a UNESCO heritage site which gives its cultural offerings a world-class reputation. The program is structured around academics during the day, but allows for evenings off to explore all that the city has to offer. Our group was also able to take in an exciting soccer game at the Groupama Stadium.
A visit to Lyon isn’t complete without indulging in the local food. After all, Lyon is the “Gastronomical Capital of the World,” making it a foodie hub. While visiting I ate at a typical “Bouchon,” a type of restaurant that serves traditional Lyonniase cuisine including sausages, duck, pork, and some regional French wine of course. Trying out new and local cuisine and wine was a priority of mine while on the trip and I was not disappointed!
Most students in our group took advantage of the free weekend in between coursework to travel and explore beyond the city limits. Lyon is conveniently located a quick rail or plane-ride away from other European cities making it an easy spring-board for a quick getaway. My team and I headed towards the mountains to check off our bucket-list item of skiing the Alps. Valmorel is a ski resort village located in the Rhone-Alps region with breath-taking views of the French Alps at elevations reaching up to 7545 feet!
Part-time MBA Student, UConn School of Business
Eileen currently works at ESPN in the Direct to Consumer Sales & Marketing department by day and is working on completing her Part-time MBA degree (expected graduation Spring 19) by night.