An MBA in France is a dream come true for thousands of global business professionals. But what are the advantages of an MBA in France? As part of our webinars, we spoke to MBA and EMBA alumni from top French business schools to find out about their experiences as ambitious business management students in the country. Find out what they had to say…
An environment with global reach
Getting your MBA in France is just as much about international exposure as it is about immersing in the local environment. If you are looking for diverse perspectives, study trips around the world, and global job opportunities, you can rely on France for your business education.
Erika Courteille graduated from her MBA in 2021. She explains that one of the reasons for choosing ESCP Business School was the possibility of studying in two global cities as part of the same program. She picked Paris and London for her international studies. In that way, she could really tick the box when it came to obtaining a global perspective.
Jonelle Hanson was living in Germany when she found herself in a similar situation. She enrolled at the ESSEC & Mannheim EMBA because she was looking for diversity in business culture.
“I heard that Mannheim is mostly recruiting from German companies, and I really wanted to have a broader perspective of what it’s like in a French company vs. a German company,” Jonelle says about her motivation to study in France.
“Coming from the US and working only at American companies, I was interested in hearing what’s different culturally between the two. I was also interested in the lecturers – the German side and the French side.”
A campus that fits your culture
Most of the time it is difficult to get a feel of a particular business school before actually setting foot in the classroom. How do professionals in France experience the little things that make up the culture on campus?
On Unimy, you can get a unique look into business school culture and the values of the university community. For example, with MBA Cultural Fit , you can easily find institutions that emphasize collaboration over individual accomplishments or vice versa.
For Priya Verma, Global MBA alumna at ESSEC Business School , it was this spirit of collaboration that contributed to her positive study experience:
“I would say that the cohort was quite strong because everyone supported each other. There was a lot of cooperation and support from the school.”
She found the resilience and cooperativeness of her class paramount in tough moments such as the Covid-19 outbreak:
“Even in those times I saw the cohort performing exceptionally well. Whether it was case competitions or getting a job, we were quite quick in those processes and it was motivating to each one of us – seeing the other one perform so well.”
The MBA Cultural Fit looks at six dimensions to shed more light on school culture. For instance, the dimension of formal vs. informal relationships studies the level of formality between faculty and students. Are respectful relationships emphasized or are professors viewed as peers by students?
Ricardo Arenas, 2021 MBA graduate from Audencia Business School , gives an excellent example of what it means to study in a more informal environment:
“[From the beginning], we were able to start sending messages to professors, to the international office to learn more about the program. This is something very useful because sometimes you are deciding which elective you are going to take. So for me it was very important to start having these relations with the future faculty in order to know more about the program.”
Find your city
You will also need to consider the type of cultural dynamic you want from the country and city of your MBA destination – and your budget.
When Xinwen Jiang was deciding on an MBA, she settled on France because of the cultural similarities with Spain, where she was working at the time. But when she had to narrow down her options, the city of Nantes seemed to be the deciding factor for her. She had already heard a lot about the charm of this place years earlier, which eventually contributed to her decision to enroll in Audencia Business School . Nantes is a vibrant town, but it is also known for its green and relaxing neighborhoods.
Of course, plenty of others prefer to opt for Paris – a unique destination where culture, business, entrepreneurship, and art never sleep. However, for MBA students, the cosmopolitan spirit of Paris inevitably goes hand in hand with its higher cost of living.
“In Paris, if you don’t have a very clear idea of what your budget is, you can be spending way beyond your means,” says Victoria Rogers who used to live right by the Eiffel Tower before graduating from her MBA at ESSEC Business School in 2019.
As you can see, your business school experience can differ greatly depending not only on the country but also on the city where you choose to pursue your MBA.
France is culturally diverse, globally oriented, and business-minded in equal measure. Without a doubt, it has something to offer everyone. With Unimy, you can narrow down your options and discover the French business schools that match your preferences and fit your culture .