Getting Down to Business in Marseille

At Kedge Business School I am not currently doing an internship through the program. This program is not directly through Pitt and therefore has different functions as well as a different structure. Although, I am still continuing to work virtually for my job at home which has certainly added a need for good time management.

Trip to Paris, France

At Kedge the learning environment is certainly quite different than that in the States. There is a strong importance on attendance as well as active group work in almost all of my classes. You are only allowed to miss a total of two absences in each class which in the states might seem strict, we only have ten classes per course. In addition, the classes are three hours long, which requires a lot of discipline in distractions and staying in tune with the professors pace. I am currently taking four courses that are aimed to encompass the studies I was pursuing at Pitt. I am taking Foreign Investment in Emerging Markets, Business Context and Culture, International Law and a French language course.

I have noticed a trend at Kedge where many of the courses tend to all come back to international business and the impact it has across the world. Which I have found to be very useful, because it makes you stop and understand how you can impact the world through interactions that would typically just cover an investors pros and cons rather than the country being invested into. I have learned that the best way to excel in these courses is to actively participate in group work and to ask clarifying questions often. In the States there is a common group development where one or two people really take the lead and the rest of the group slacks off, because the percentage grade for group work is so low. Here, the opposite happens. The group work holds a greater portion of your grade and therefore everyone is equally compelled to contribute their fair share of work as well as keep other members in check. Asking questions has also become a very important addition in the classroom. Different from just clarifying the material you are being taught, the questions I find myself asking most is for clarification of assignments or group work. In many ways the class setting here is very much ‘figure it out’, which for a perfectionist can be a truly daunting task. However, teachers aren’t so willing to breakdown the step by step process of how to excel. Meaning you gain a lot of independence to make these decisions for yourself and within groups.

Views in Marseille

I do believe, that these courses are in many ways setting me up to excel in Law School. For one thing, my international law class has already taught me how to take notes as a lawyer who needs to find the importance in a mass of material. The nature of becoming independent while also still working in groups is something I believe will be very handy come next fall. Most importantly I am beginning to feel out the dynamics of business in France and internationally as well. The importance of the work you are doing while also still allowing yourself time for a life and enjoyable time. I sometimes think this school comes to a bit of a crossroad with this though. I say this because the nature of many of the students and faculty here is extremely laid back and easy going, ‘laissez-faire’ if you will. However, the structure of the classroom and the strictness of administration suggests an atmosphere where the two wouldn’t be able to blend together well. Whereas four years of this might not work well for me, at the end of the day it gives me an environment that I must work with. Something different from what I know and yet still requiring the same thing; adaptation and education.

Escargot in Paris