Written on 21 Jan 2021.
I'm a Civil Engineer with 2 years of work experience in project management. I chose EDHEC because it provided all the tools I needed to change my career. Because of the quality, reputation, innovation, and international exposure of EDHEC, I knew that graduating from EDHEC was a direct ticket to find a job in France.
It is not comparable. The higher education in Colombia is very demanding and very tough, so when I came to France I found it easy to adapt and to deliver assignments on time. What I've noticed is that education at EDHEC is focused on preparing the students to occupy leadership positions, which is something I appreciate very much.
I was taken into the theatre association "La Clef des Planches". It was an excellent way to immerse myself in the French culture and make great friends that until today, I consider to be my brothers and sisters in France.
Getting an internship is a challenge for internationals because we're competing along with local students for the same positions, but it is not an impossible task if you work hard (and I confess that the EDHEC brand helps a lot). I managed to get my 1st internship at DHL in Paris in direct collaboration with the world's Vice-President of Automobile components as his personal Supply Chain Analyst (using 50% English 50% French) where I learnt how a multinational company operates within a French working environment. For the 2nd internship, I got a position at a coffee company in Paris called Terres de Café (100% French-speaking company) in which I occupied the position of the Logistics and Supply Chain director's assistant, and promoted to the Director position because of the COVID crisis. During this second experience, I got an extension of my contract and a full immersion within a French company. When I got promoted, I realised that being an international student was not a liability but it was an asset for the company because it was a sign of adaptability, hard work, and motivation.
I came to France because I wanted to change my career path. Fortunately for me, during the gap year, I discovered what Supply Chain was and how I could totally picture myself working in that area. I really do hope to get a full-time position at a multinational company within the Logistics/Supply Chain area in France to then get the opportunity to move around the world. My dream job would be being the head of Supply Chain and Logistics of any multinational company in the Automobile or FMCG sectors, but I'm open to other possibilities.
International, impactful, unforgettable.
The best advice I can give them is to learn French and immerse themselves in the culture. Learn from your peers and don't be afraid to speak up when you don't understand something. Come with an open mind and work hard to reach your objective. Relate with different people, and get out of your comfort zone. Building relationships will be a key point for success, but most of all, enjoy the experience.