Entrepreneurship And Beyond – Pawan Reddy’s Student Exchange Experience At Emlyon Business School, France

As part of the Student Exchange Programme at IIM Trichy, I got an opportunity to spend three months at Emlyon Business School in France.

One of the reasons for choosing Emlyon Business School among multiple IIM Trichy’s partner universities was its focus on entrepreneurship. The university’s startup incubator is a testament to its strong focus on entrepreneurship. The first incubator in France, it has been running for 33 years and has built up an impressive track record, with a total of 1,400 companies that have been founded. After founding Digifellas, a digital marketing startup, which has been successfully running for two years, I have always wanted to explore and understand international markets.  My time at Emlyon gave me an opportunity to meet entrepreneurs, Venture capitalists, and angel investors which helped me get a better perspective about the startup world in the international context.

The exchange programme at Emlyon Business School offers a holistic experience. It gave me insight into the crucial aspects of entrepreneurship as well as time to travel and explore the places. The class, with students of over 70 nationalities, was culturally diverse. More than half of the time was spent in discussions, presentations, and projects. I had ample opportunities to travel to different parts of Europe, which added to my learning and experience. I managed to travel to 18 countries in a span of 3 months – from stepping foot on King’s Landing from ‘Game of Thrones’ in Croatia to seeing the Northern Lights in Iceland and experiencing the culture and tradition of Austria, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, Hungary and Belgium, among many others. It was an enriching and a fulfilling experience.

An exchange programme student at Emlyon gets the opportunity to take up sports such as handball, basketball, volleyball, football, badminton, table tennis, rugby, and horse riding. I took up horse riding and got an opportunity to be trained by their coaches. France is known as the World’s top skiing destination. The Ski Club of Emlyon organizes Ski weekends. It was a thrilling experience. I also enjoyed playing football and watching some of the Champions League matches held in France.

Student life at Emlyon revolves around its different associations. Emlyon has 34 associations for all tastes (for instance, the BDI for international student’s integration, Sup de Coteaux for wine lovers, BDE for party lovers, BDS for sports lovers, Commuz for music, Gourmets for food and many others). Associations are very significant in the Emlyon spirit. They facilitate the vibrant student life one witnesses at Emlyon. Usually, at least one event per day happens on the campus.

In today’s world, managers must adapt to working with multicultural teams flexibly.  In such scenarios, knowledge of foreign cultures is becoming significant. The Student Exchange Programme is a unique opportunity to spend a trimester at a foreign university and gain global exposure.

I would undoubtedly say that going for an exchange programme was one of the best decisions of my MBA life.

Pawan Reddy

PGPM 2017-2019, IIM Trichy

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