French Business School

My classes at SKEMA business school are much different than Pitt. It took me a few weeks to get used to the learning environment here, although I feel well-adjusted now.

On my first day of class, I had an International Marketing lecture from a professor who grew up in France and has roots in Russia and Belgium. He spent a good portion of the lecture discussing a special wash and asking us questions about how the wash he was describing differs from a regular wash. It seemed as though the other students understood what he was talking about, given that they were responding to his questions and explaining how they might market the products. For the first few minutes, I thought he was referring to a washing machine. I then realized that he was saying “watch,” as in a wristwatch. I often have trouble understanding certain words and phrases that my professors say, due to their accents. I have professors from France, Italy, and a few who seem to have grown up and lived in too many places to count, which makes their accents quite unique.

The most interesting part about my classes is when the professors tie in their work experiences to better explain the content from the lectures. Four out of my five professors here own their own businesses, and my Brand Management professor owns a luxury brand in Italy. My Digital Marketing professor often shows us work she has done for clients as examples. I find that these types of real-world examples make the lectures much more enjoyable and easy to follow. We also don’t have textbooks for any of my classes. This means I have to rely on my notes to help me study for exams.

Overall, I didn’t have to make any major adjustments, except for making sure I am very attentive in class. The biggest things I had to adjust to were the professors’ accents and the length of the lectures. Sometimes it can be difficult to focus for three hour classes. I know that when I go back to Pitt, the hour and fifteen minute classes will go by quickly.