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Master’s experience in Paris

Updated: Jun 14, 2021

This blog post will give the readers a glimpse of my Master’s experience at the Paris School of Business (PSB) in Paris, France. If you’re considering higher education in Paris or PSB specifically this should give you a feel of what to expect!

Paris School of Business - PSB is part of ESG (Ecole’s De Commerce) a french higher education group with seven schools in Paris. It is a leading group of Parisian business schools in terms of a number of students. Founded in 1974, the Masters and MBA programs have been accredited by AMBA, EFMD, AACSB, BGA, the School is accredited by French Ministry for Higher Education and Research.

I went to PSB when the Master’s program was newly introduced and my 2018 batch was just the 2nd Janvier batch for the Hospitality and Tourism Management course. We were together with 7 other programs like MSc in Art and Culture, International Finance, International Marketing and Business Development, International Management, Luxury and Fashion Management, Marketing Strategy and Data Analytics and finally Purchasing and Supply chain Management.

I began thinking about higher education in late 2016, that is when I started exploring different courses, programs, universities for Master’s in hospitality and tourism in different countries. And slowly and steadily came to know about the different steps, stages, and considerations for securing admissions.

Serendipitously enough I came across Campus France, a public institution engaged in promoting French higher education abroad and offering support to foreign students and researchers in France. Campus France publishes a top 10 list of colleges in France. PSB was top 3 on that list. I then looked into college & courses I liked. The course that I liked was a 12-month program making it an intense program with an internship component and also a capstone project or thesis. The best thing about the program was that it was international and diverse in terms of student nationalities, work experience, educational backgrounds, cultures, and perspectives. It was the best learning platform for me as I actively interacted and spent time with a diverse set of ideas, frames of mind, and perspectives, this appealed to me the most at PSB.

My journey to PSB began in August 2017, at that time I was working with Grand Hyatt in Mumbai (a full-time job) and was doing research about colleges, writing emails, filling applications all in my free time. I gave the IELTS - English language exam. I wrote 3 essays for my PSB application:

1- Why do I want to pursue a Master's in Hospitality and Tourism Management?

2- Why would I like to pursue a Master's from PSB?

3- What are my plans after my master's?

In addition, I submitted a statement of proposal, many related documents, and recommendations from the college and the workplace. After this, I had an interview with the program director. It went well and reaching here took a lot of research and on 28th November 2017, I got admission for the 2018 Janvier intake.

I was in a batch of 30 international students. In this batch, the students were from India, Pakistan, Nepal, Taiwan, Georgia, Germany, the USA, Greece, Brazil, Venezuela, Lebanon, China, Japan to give you an idea about the diversity. That year was transformational, I had zero ideas about what to expect and what not to. It was my first time living and studying abroad. Especially somewhere with a different language and very different culture from that of mine. But I was equally excited about the hospitality industry, the wine, the food, and the culture. I genuinely wanted to know what is it about hospitality in Paris, France and also what is in there for me.

There are 5 things I did in PSB which tremendously helped me, which is not just true for PSB but is also true for any college or university program that you go through abroad

1- I attended all my classes. I don’t remember any classes that I skipped. That helps because if you're attentive in class and get proper notes in your own notes 75% of work is done. Just understanding was a key and using them when it's necessary this attitude helped me and I benefited tremendously.

2- I participated in every college event/competition/voluntary work and there is just so much to learn and to explore with what I did. I was clear about being a team member and proactive about contributing wherever I could and learning. Which tremendously helped me to get a perspective “Who I really am and what to and not to do”

3- I spent time interacting with students from different countries and backgrounds. In the 1st week, I saw there were many Indian students as well which was a relief as we always tend to look for our roots or similar people, constantly looking for like-minded people, speaking the same language which is a comfort zone in foreign lands. It happens Indian with Indians, Chinese with Chinese, etc. But I highly recommend that if you go abroad for higher education, spend time with people who are nothing like you. At PSB, in the MSc program of 30 batch mates and 3000 international students in an academic year, you can know so much about the world that you don’t know and that’s what I did. I had my Indian friends after school but I also spent a lot of time with many who were very different from who I am. I constantly spent time with people who I usually would not talk to or hang out with much. This I did by participating in various activities, working in different class works, and group projects. This helped me tremendously because I saw different perspectives, different ways of looking at the same things. I got to know many things which I didn’t know before

“That made me a better version of who I am than a bigger version of who we are”- Ankur Warikoo

4- My program was a very young master's program which was still figuring things out. The administration, management, guest lecturers, faculty, and other things were still getting in place. My role as a class representative enabled communication between international students and the administration. I was also an active member of focus groups involving alumni and management. My voluntary work here led me to the position of Indian student delegate which in turn led me to the opportunity for facilitating and organizing orientation sessions for the subsequent batch of MSc and MBA students that joined PSB the following school year(s).

5- Looking for an internship was another learning exercise in itself. I remember it was mid-May 2018 and we were asked to start our internship in the last week of July 2018 instead of Jan 2019. It was extremely difficult to find an internship in the next two months. In France, internship hiring starts well in advance like at least 3 to 4 months in advance. I was left with no choice but to look desperately for an opportunity so I started with the career council department at PSB, websites, and portals to no success. I started writing emails and looking for references but that didn't work either. So I decided to directly reach out to the desired organization and companies and started calling Human resources and pitching myself and guess what it worked. It was a success and I picked the Hyatt group of hotels from the two offers that I received. Still, I had a backup plan for the worst-case scenario and that was to do a project internship but was really keen on working for professional industry exposure. What I learned from this is “you are ready and prepared to deal with the situation, you have what it takes”

It is needless to say I have learned a lot, I am a different person who has got a different approach to look at things. I am more confident now. I was fortunate to convert my internship opportunity to a full-time contract in the Hospitality industry and it was a different and exciting international experience. Even applying my skills in a freelance gig at PSB for the ESG group was a very uplifting experience that really helped me boost my self-confidence.

I now have a great network, have built my professional identity and profile, and am a proud PSB alumni!

I would say always look forward to experiences and learning opportunities that you can use to transform yourself. That changes and improves your life as it did mine.

Thank you for reading this far. Do you feel you have learned something new from my experiences? I would love to know what information you found useful. Tell me about it in the comments section below.

If you liked the post, don’t forget to share and engage :)

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