With a dual Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Management from the University of West Georgia and a Bachelor’s in International Business from ESCEM Poitiers, Khanor Michael Runzi decided to move from the USA and join the European Triple Degree at emlyon business school. Graduating in 2017, Khanor has excelled his career in Europe and credits the program in preparing him for the challenges that he faced.
1. Why did you decide to join the European Triple Degree - Grande Ecole?
In the modern international business environment, I think we face an increasing need for the ability to see from multiple perspectives. I wanted to join a program that would enable me to learn from multiple countries’ perspectives on the same topic and be able to actively handle the cognitive dissonance that comes along with it. I found the European Triple Degree program while I was searching and was thrilled with the prospect of getting to have 3 professors for each course, sharing their countries’ perspectives and philosophy. In addition to this, the schools involved in the program each had a fantastic reputation which I realized would give me immense flexibility in the global job market.
2. What was it like studying at 3 different universities during 3 years?
It was intense, but in the best way possible. The European Triple Degree program isn’t just about what you learn, it’s about how you learn it. The first year of the program was the most intense academic year that I had ever had, not specifically because of the course content, but the speed at which we were learning. That intensity built resilience, adaptability and comradery in a way that I still appreciate to this day. In addition to that, the opportunity to try out new locations during the masters was very beneficial as well. I have found that one of the quickest ways to develop and improve is to push yourself outside of your comfort zone. Every time I moved countries I felt like I had another opportunity to reflect, improve and change myself.
3. What were the strong points of the program?
The program’s biggest strength are the students that it attracts. Upon joining the program, I found myself surrounded by some of the brightest and most ambitious people I had ever met. Being surrounded by people who aim for the stars and see nothing but possibilities is a great environment to be in. Everyone wants things to be better, and can see how things can improve.
4. How did you get your first and second internship and what was it?
My first internship was with AKKA Technologies, as a strategic advisor to the UK branch’s CEO. I got this internship through the career fair at emlyon business school. They asked me what I was looking for and I told them that I wanted an internship that would push me to my limits, keep me up at night with work and enable me to make a real impact on the organization. In this role I led the prospecting, due diligence and formulation of an acquisition initiative and coordinated a transnational taskforce to make a complex bid for business with the British Ministry of Defense.
My second internship was with Allianz Consulting. During my studies at LMU, I worked as a working student with Allianz Consulting. When it came time for me to write my thesis and do my second internship they made an offer for me to stay and do both with the firm. In this role, I supported on a large-scale analysis of tied agent and broker data in the CEE region and developed hypotheses regarding the drivers of agent fluctuation.
5. What has your career been like since graduation and how long did it take you to get hired?
I was hired fulltime as a Junior Consultant with Allianz Consulting before I finished writing my master’s thesis in 2017 and have been promoted since then to an Advanced Consultant and then to Senior Consultant level. As of April 2020 I will be taking a position as a Senior Associate in Organizational Management at Allianz SE, the global headquarters for the company. The position places me at the highest non-executive position I can hold in the company and on a rapid path to taking an executive level position in the near future.
6. How did the program prepare you for your first job?
It is hard to pinpoint one specific class that prepared me the most, as it always seems like the most unlikely of occasions during my work that something we learned in the program pops into my head, but I can say for sure that I never feel out of my depths dealing with people from other top masters programs at work. I know that my academic business acumen has certainly helped me stand out among my peers, and has enabled me to solve challenging problems at the organization. One of the most valuable things that the European Triple Degree program did to prepare me for the working world was teaching me to be confident working with people from other cultures under intense time pressure. I’m frequently commended by my clients about how well I am able to adapt to the local culture and work with people from around the world on topics under immense stress.
7. Do you have any advice for candidates applying to the program?
The program is what you make of it. Your Master’s years are a wonderful opportunity to challenge yourself and push yourself to new heights, to try new things, to find and chase your dreams. If you make it into the program, indulge yourself in it, be engaged, and don’t forget to enjoy it while you’re at it.
8. Any other points you wish to make?
Allianz Consulting, and Allianz in general, is a really fantastic place to work and gain experience. I have supported many European Triple Degree students with getting internships with Allianz Consulting and -even though I will be switch to SE- I am always happy to support European Triple Degree students with their applications and in the case of exceptional students, make recommendations to partners and managers.
Seek out mentorship from the alumni once you are in the program, most alumni are happy to give advice and support you with your questions and development.