First job abroad? Take a look at the “International Business” module at Montpellier Business School

A final-year student in the Master Grande École programme, Michäel will graduate in October 2015 from the International Business course, which will see him spend his final year on academic exchange in San Diego (USA), at Alliant International University. It’s a module dedicated to those looking to begin their careers abroad.

Having started at Montpellier Business School in 2011 following a prépa scientifique and then spending his first year as President of Iris Live (one of the student association of the school), his attraction to North America and its Entrepreneur culture drove him to spending his second year at Barry University, Miami (USA): “I’ve always wanted to develop my skills abroad. In my second year I was able to take part in an academic exchange to the United States, a country I like for its lifestyle, as well as for its professional approach which values know-how, interpersonal skills, and motivation.”

After a three-month internship in London, Michäel began his year at a company in Paris. The international aspect of his experiences comforts him in his engagements abroad. He applied for a specialisation in International Business for his final year. “I’m going to finish up my double degree with an MBA, which opens a lot of doors in business internationally, but particularly in America. From this point on, as an MBA student in San Diego, I know that once I’ve graduated, I have the opportunity to do a year’s placement (Optional Practical Training) in America. American companies are keen to offer opportunities to young graduates looking to improve their potential. However, as a foreign student it won’t be easy to get a contract since the recruiters select candidates based on skill as much as who does and doesn’t need sponsorship. So I think I’ll have to fight for it! [Laughs]”

On the academic side of things, there aren’t a lot of contact hours in the US; it’s very different to the French model. However, there is a substantial amount of individual work and the libraries are pretty much a home-away-from-home. “Being a well-organised person, I’m going to attend a lot of professional events to focus on meeting graduates and building a network of business contacts which is often how things are done over there; you can go out to dinner one night with someone and two days later find yourself in an interview or with a few new contacts.”

Michäel recommends this module to anyone looking to go abroad for their first job, even if they think they’re not necessarily very likely to do so. “There’s so many options in final year, and despite this we’re still always perplexed. But I say that you need to follow your desires, concentrate on your targets and give yourself the opportunity to achieve your goals. My year abroad was an excellent way of judging my ability to adapt while achieving my desire of living abroad… and if I could, I’d do it all again! The older students are always good at sharing their experiences with the younger students. Also we’ve got the chance to benefit from two foreign degrees without having to do loads of extra work! It’s all down to Montpellier Business School.”