Since 2018, emlyon business school has been training the marketing experts of the future -- people who are capable of innovating in a digital ecosystem. Unique in Europe, the program includes a particularly valuable period of study/learning in the United States.

Trip advisor

The figure is stunning: 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last two years. In today’s digital society, it’s impossible to imagine marketing without having data available. Since 2018, emlyon business school has been offering an 18-month Master of Science in Digital Marketing & Data Science, taught entirely in English between Paris and Shanghai. “No other course in Europe is like this, in bringing together two complementary disciplines, both of which are highly-valued by companies,” declared Clément Levallois, associate professor and co-director of the DMDS Masters. Last September, the second cohort of students assembled at emlyon business school’s Paris campus. The 79 students, representing 21 nationalities, will learn the fundamentals of digital marketing, programming and artificial intelligence. The highlight of the first semester was a ‘learning trip’ to the United States from November 30 to December 9, with half of the students flying to Boston and the other half heading to San Francisco.

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From Harvard to Silicon Valley

At Boston, the state capital of Massachusetts, the students and Clément Levallois visited the prestigious university of Harvard and the famous Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). At the headquarters of TripAdvisor, they listened attentively to the advice being given by one of TripAdvisor’s data scientists and the tourism platform’s head of traffic acquisition. The program also included a workshop led by a professor of data science from Northeastern University. “An incredible opportunity to talk,” confirms Giulia. The Italian student also enjoyed meeting the founders of startups that are specializing in digital marketing. “I understand the job of a data analyst much better, and also the business culture in the United States, which involves a very different approach to what we do in Europe.”


On the west coast of the United States, the students visited Silicon Valley, the world’s digital capital (and home to the likes of Facebook, Google and Apple). “The learning trip is designed to make them understand the San Francisco ecosystem, one of the most innovative in the world,” explains Margherita Pagani, professor of digital marketing and co-director of the DMDS Masters. “By having meetings with major innovators, they become familiar with the daily realities of large groups, such as Intel, who welcomed us at their headquarters. We hope that the students now have a better understanding of the skills required to work at companies in the tech sector.”

To create: Leave your comfort zone

It was ‘mission accomplished’, for Ekaterina, who was pleased with the short but stimulating trip across the Atlantic. “This full-immersion week included a series of unique meetings, like the one with Grégory Renard, the co-founder of X-Brain and a world expert on artificial intelligence.” Was there a particular piece of advice that made an impression on the Russian student? “Don’t worry about making mistakes, or encountering failure, because the only way to create something is to go beyond your comfort zone,” she says.
That feeling of a successful visit was shared by Clément Levallois. “The learning trip is one of the high points of the program, a way of turning theoretical knowledge into business practice,” he underlines. “The students showed curiosity and commitment, and they understood the connection between digital marketing and data science. They were also able to build an international network of business contacts. All of this is essential for what happens afterwards.” The next part of the course is taught in Paris, where the students will deepen their knowledge of the various subjects. Along with traditional, classroom-based learning, the course also features hackathons, bootcamps and presentations from managers of major corporations.
In April, the students head for China and the emlyon business school Asia campus at Shanghai. “This will give them a unique opportunity to specialize even further, to be involved in a corporate project and to broaden their horizons – in terms of the Asian culture, business environment and perspective,” Margerita Pagani points out. Finally, a company internship lasting 4 to 6 months rounds off the course, before its participants head for the job market. The hybrid profile of the first cohort, between digital marketing and data science, has already won the approval of major business groups, such as Amazon, L’Oréal and companies specializing in artificial intelligence, such as