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European careers: how you can make meaningful things happen

From AI to biotechnology, there’s no doubting what an exciting age this is to be an engineer or a scientist. Some may view working in management as uninspiring by comparison.

European careers: how you can make meaningful things happen
Professor Vanessa Strauss-Kahn of ESCP Business School

Yet in all the breathless excitement of the 21st century, it’s managers who provide the ‘glue’ to keep pioneering projects on track. We don’t all want to be rocket scientists or vaccine researchers (and what a strange world it would be if we did!) but that doesn’t mean you can’t help build a better future. Could a career in management be the best way to have a real impact on the world?

The Local spoke with Professor Vanessa Strauss-Kahn, European Academic Director of the Bachelor in Management (BSc) at the prestigious ESCP Business School, to explore six reasons to choose management. As Europe’s first business school, ESCP has been the training ground for generations of students preparing to enter the world of management.

Find out more about ESCP Business School – and take this four-minute quiz to see if its Bachelor in Management (BSc) could be right for you.

You make meaningful things happen

Being a manager is about getting things done – no matter what chaos unfolds around you. A world without managers would be like an orchestra without a conductor or a football team without a coach, says Professor Strauss-Kahn. “It’s true that we need scientists, engineers and tech developers more than ever,” she says. “But then you also need managers more than ever to help them bring their discoveries to fruition. If you want to do good for society, your goal is to make things happen.”

As well as learning how to make sure new products and services reach the market, management students today are also encouraged to use their own creativity for meaningful ends. One ESCP graduate, for instance, developed an innovative app enabling students to deliver smart feedback on their classes.

You bring the world together

If you live an international life or want to do so in future, managerial skills can open many doors. Whatever industries are dominant in a particular country, they all need managerial talent to make things run smoothly.

A good understanding of multiculturalism is also an essential skill for managers today, says Professor Strauss-Kahn: “Being able to deal and work with people from all over the world is vital, and that’s new compared to 20 years ago.” Could you be the leader to help, for example, a Brazilian programmer and a Japanese web designer combine to create something wonderful? (if you’re not sure, take this quick quiz to assess your management potential).

Students on ESCP’s Bachelor in Management (BSc) have a thoroughly international experience, studying in three different European countries in three years (with campuses to choose from in Berlin, London, Madrid, Paris and Turin). 

“When they graduate, they’re very mature,” says Professor Strauss-Kahn. “They’ve left home, changed countries, and experienced new cultures. They have a high level of adaptability, which is a good sign for the future.”

Want to study in three European cities in three years? Take this quick quiz to see if ESCP’s Bachelor in Management (BSc) could be right for you

You’re (almost) as cool as a coder

If you want to learn to code, management is the last thing you should study, right? Wrong! It’s not by accident that ESCP’s Bachelor in Management is a BSc, including a high level of focus on science, maths and statistics, while most of its rival courses are BAs. An introduction to coding is compulsory, with students getting to grips with Python.

“Coding is a language but it’s very scary to people who have never done it,” says Professor Strauss-Kahn. “Our students have the opportunity to study this language and learn to understand its mechanisms. This gives them a sense of achievement that will lead them to view many other seemingly inaccessible skills as also within their reach.”

Students who enjoy the course may also choose an elective course on Big Data in their final year.

Two managers discussing business. Photo: Getty Images

You learn about everything

Does the word ‘management’ call to mind endless meetings and even more endless email chains? There’s much more to it than that. As the digital world makes it easier than ever to learn a little about a lot, businesses are moving away from siloed thinking.

“The young generation have a broader view of the world and they want to be involved in understanding everything,” says Professor Strauss-Kahn. “In the past, jobs were more defined within a range of functions and you went for one function. Today, it’s about being able to switch from being a manager to understanding other sides of the project, whether it’s producing goods or what the tech developer does.”

This need for broader perspectives is why ESCP’s BSc balances its scientific teachings with deep learning in other areas, including typical BA elements (liberal arts and languages) and Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) elements.

You can easily change path

New career possibilities are constantly emerging. People eager to explore their options value flexibility, transferable skills, and the resourcefulness of entrepreneurs. If you think studying management means putting all your eggs in one basket, you’re wrong again. It can give you an enviable number of transferable skills and students on ESCP’s BSc do a minimum of two courses on entrepreneurship. 

Around half the BSc students go on to do a Master’s, says Professor Strauss-Kahn, choosing a “very diverse” range of further studies. “They may go for finance or accounting, which are the usual further studies for managers,” she says. “But they may also do a Master’s in Big Data, in law, in politics or international relations, in economics or development.” 

You’ll have no frontiers

What if you do wish to stick with plan A and find a managerial job? Not only will you be ready to make things happen in an exciting international environment, you could also soon find yourself at one of the world’s biggest companies.

Amazon, Bank of America, Bloomberg, KPMG, McKinsey & Company, Porsche – these are just some of the big names to have recruited recent graduates from ESCP’s Bachelor in Management (BSc).

Graduates are also working in many countries, in Europe, Asia, and North America. “They’re so used to living internationally that when they look for job opportunities they have no frontiers,” says Professor Strauss-Kahn.

Interested in a high-level international career in management? Find out more about ESCP and download the brochure for its Bachelor in Management (BSc) 

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EDUCATION

Embassy warns students to avoid French pickles

As thousands of British students head to France to begin their gap year abroad, the UK embassy in Paris has issued a list of warnings on how best to stay of out trouble. From avoiding renting scams to not making any false friends, there are plenty of pitfalls students need to be aware of.

Embassy warns students to avoid French pickles

Congratulations, you’ve been accepted on a French study programme along with thousands of other lucky foreign students. 

You’ve packed your pocket dictionary, a beret and a garland of garlic but are you really ready to embark on a Gallic adventure?

No matter how prepared you think you are, you’re bound to encounter some problems as any seasoned foreign student will warn you.

Whether it’s an apartment scam, an untrustworthy "new best friend" or a lost passport, at some time or another the chances are you are going to get yourself into a scrape or two.

The one place that knows a thing or two about the kind of pickles students get themselves into in France is the British Consular, which has taken the step of issuing a series of warnings this week in order to help students stay out of bother.

“Every year we are contacted by students who have experienced difficulties during their time studying in France. We hope that these tips help ensure fewer students have difficulties," UK Ambassador Sir Peter Ricketts told The Local.

Here's what his staff are advising:

Beware of scammers:

Flat-sharing websites are like Disneyland for many scammers, who can't wait to take advantage of newly-arrived naïve students.

“If you’re asked to pay a deposit by cash money transfer, be wary – does the flat actually exist?” warn embassy staff. “We talk to people every year who have been a victim of scams like this one.”

If you’ve had no luck finding our apartment, check out The Local's top tips for finding a flat in Paris.

Health

Students from Britain spoiled by a free health service are often unaware that you have to pay upfront for healthcare in France.

“You’ll need your European Health Insurance Card to get a Carte Vitale, and you should get top-up insurance too,” say Consular staff. “Talk to the French university about this. Don’t wait until you’re ill, as you may have to pay for your medical costs up front.”

Insurance

“I’m young, why do I need insurance?” you may ask. There are many reasons why you may need travel insurance, ranging from a healthcare concern to a cancelled flight. And don’t just go for the cheapest deal.

“If things go wrong, you may need to be repatriated back to the UK? Does your travel insurance cover that if your travel insurance cover that if you’re on an exchange programme?,” the Consular warns.

Stay safe

No doubt you’ll be meeting lots of exciting new people, after all, that’s one of the main reasons people study abroad. But how much do you really trust them?

“Back home, your friends will make sure you get home safely – is that the case here?,” asks the Embassy.

Drink sensibly

Binge-drinking may now be an official French word now but that’s no excuse to booze it up.

“We’re not going to tell you not to drink (that probably won’t work!) but do make sure that you drink sensibly,” warn Consular staff, who can often be seen enjoying a sensible "demi" (half pint) in bars near the Consulate on a Friday evening.

No means no

No matter how fluent you are in French you are not a native speaker and should watch out for misunderstandings.

“Does that person understand what you’re saying? Does he (or she) understand that you’ve said no?”, staff warn.

Constant vigilance 

Whether you’re from a small town or a big city like London or New York you should always keep one eye open no matter how small your adoptive town is.

“A big city is a big city, even when it’s ‘une grande ville’. Remain vigilant and use common sense, just as you would at home. Don’t carry your passport on you,” staff advise.

Take care of the pennies

Euros may look similar to Monopoly money but you’ll need every cent you can get. French cities like Paris can be pricey places to live, especially on a budget.

“Draw up a budget and stick to it,” the Embassy advises.

For tips on how to do this check out The Local's ten tips for living on a student budget in Paris.

Learn French!

This may seem like an obvious tip but you’ll have much more fun this way as well as gain a vital skill, says the embassy.

Don’t keep it to yourself

If the idea of living in a big foreign city scares the living daylights out of you take this simple piece of advice: “If you run into trouble, talk to someone about it. Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed.”

Are you a student in France? Got into any scrapes you want to share with us? Let us know in the comments section below.

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