From a grounding in Chemistry in her native India to international marketing and business development studies at emlyon that have spanned France, Sweden, and Vietnam as one of a truly cosmopolitan intake, Anamitra has already seen and done a lot along her academic and professional path. She recounts her eye-opening choice of emlyon business school and the MSc in International Marketing & Business Development, as well as the next steps.
You arrived at emlyon with a rich track record, educationally and professionally speaking.
“My Bachelors and initial Masters studies back in India were in the realms of Life Sciences and Chemistry respectively. I also arrived at emlyon with professional experience under my belt in regulatory services and business operations, as well as with leading tech and healthcare companies. Luckily emlyon is the kind of school that actively welcomes students from all kinds of backgrounds, meaning you don’t have to come from a particular mold.”
Why the switch to France, emlyon and the MSc in International Marketing & Business Development?
“After my scientific beginnings, I started to gravitate towards business development. I wanted to delve more deeply into marketing strategy but was conscious of the need to broaden my skillset to adopt a more 360° approach to business before taking the definitive leap from student to working professional. I weighed up the pros and cons of an MBA as opposed to a Masters. This, plus the international component to what emlyon offers and the MSc in International Marketing & Business Development in particular, swung it for me. In fact, I would say the international aspect was truly decisive in choosing emlyon over other business schools.”
What have been the main learnings from the MSc to date?
“The program provides you with genuine insight into marketing and business development but, essentially, not just core skills and bodies of knowledge. The approach is holistic, with a firm focus on international exposure and the honing of key competences such as negotiation and entrepreneurialism, underpinned by a learning by doing approach that is delivered by industry experts as well as academics. This is exactly what I was after, along with the melting pot of students from all manner of geographical, educational, and professional backgrounds that you encounter on a daily basis.”
This diversity to the program benefits you in what ways?
“When you find yourself in a class comprising 17 nationalities (including Russian, Lebanese, and Chinese, to name but three), a wide age range, people with a variety of different work experiences behind them, and educational profiles that span Engineering, Finance, Accounting et al, it’s difficult not to learn from those around you. This melting pot means that your classmates are all coming at problems and examining business issues from very different angles, which if we are honest is very likely to be the case in the kinds of industries, companies, and positions in which we’ll end up working.”
How does this fit in with the professional preparation the program offers?
“Diversity is one of the driving elements behind the program but this needs to be backed up by concrete experiences, as well as services such as job platforms advertising vacancies and connecting us with recruiters, CV clinics, and help with finding internships and eventually full-time employment. Throw into the mix a semester abroad studying business in Vietnam and a one-week long international seminar in Sweden providing academic, professional, and cultural exposure, and there has already been so much to learn. All of the above is bound to serve you in working life.”
What did you derive from these two international experiences?
“The Stockholm experience was mainly student-organized, entailing company visits (including Volvo), a tour of the Swedish parliament where we met with members and had insightful discussions about the political system, investigation of the areas of AI and marketing with a company named Bambuser, an introduction to Swedish culture and….my first sighting of snow in my life! This experience helped us to work like professionals right from the start and reach out to companies and try organizing visits, planning, scheduling, networking etc. These are important skills to succeed in the corporate world. The time spent in Vietnam at the French-Vietnamese School of Management provided us with unparalleled insight into social media marketing, brand communication, and supply chain management, all within the Vietnamese and broader Asian context. In short, we were confronted with both the opportunities and challenges posed by doing business in that particular part of the world, making us even more industry ready.”
You will graduate in 2024. Are the next steps already mapped out?
“Well, the more immediate step is my Masters thesis. Marketing and business development is definitely the twin direction I want to pursue. One thing’s for sure – I have caught the bug for learning and working abroad, so the main decision I will have to consider is the geographical destination. Taking my learning back home to India and applying best practices has become a serious option following contact from several Indian companies offering management roles. I am still weighing up my options but exploring more countries and continents very much remains on the cards, in the short or longer term.”
What advice would you give to those considering the path you are currently on at emlyon?
“It might be easy for me to say from my current position but…you’ll never know if you don’t try. Having a personal and professional project in mind is obviously key but having the courage of your convictions to throw yourself into the kind of melting pot we have here at emlyon is just as crucial. As far as I’m concerned, there are only benefits to be had.”