French capital, Paris is well known as the home of fashion design, great architecture and art galleries combined with fine cuisine and of course the Eiffel tower. But as the world’s sixth largest economy, France is also home to some of the top business schools in the world like INSEAD and EDHEC.
Strathmore School of finance and applied economics students recently had the unique opportunity to visit France and soak up the atmosphere of some of Europe’s most spectacular cities where in Paris they were welcomed at the Banque de France (Central bank of France), INSEAD business school and EDHEC business school in Nice.
On the first day of the weeklong tour, the 55 students from Strathmore made their first stop at INSEAD business school. The institution enjoys the number one ranking worldwide for its MBA program and here our students were treated to a tour of their world-class facilities and thereafter an information session to help answer their questions about the programs in Finance available at the school.
Janet Odawa (BBS in Actuarial Science) one of the students on the trip said, "I think this was a unique opportunity for me to deepen my knowledge through first-hand experience of a world class European business school and further my understanding of a foreign business culture and management. The next stop over for the young Kenyan scholars was Banque de France (Central Bank of France) in the heart of Paris. The mission here was to gain a better understanding of the bank’s role in the European Union and the rest of the world. Through an information session hosted by one of the bank’s representatives, our students explored the bank’s monetary policies and how they are implemented in conjunction with other European central banks in the monetary union."
"This visit was definitely a meaningful one, especially for us as East African as we discuss closer ties within the East African community which will also involve a monetary union" remarked Richard, now in his final year at Strathmore.
Cindy Karanja, another student in the group was quick to add that the session at the bank had provided her with an insight into the challenges facing the European union especially in light of the UK’s recent vote to leave the union and the challenges that posed for the remaining members.
After the Banque de France visit, the students were on the road heading for the 5th largest city in France, Nice.The natural beauty of the city and its mild Mediterranean climate is home to EDHEC business school. According to rankings, the school holds the number 1 position in France in the areas of economy and finance and here our students were welcomed to an exclusive lecture by Prof Abraham Lioui - a key expert on derivatives market at the business school. The lecture was thereafter followed by a chance to network and discuss topics on career and cross-cultural management.
Linda Obwora, another BBS finance student in her 4th year and part of the academic trip was full of fascination after the session. "The atmosphere today was very impressive. Professor Lioui was engaging and impressed us all with his fresh ideas and invitation not to shy away from challenging traditional business processes. I am now also more enthused about pursuing further education after my graduation in June 2017", she remarked.
Issac Kamau, a 4th year BBS Financial Economics student, added, "The discussion on career paths to follow and the various international opportunities was on of the key lessons picked here."
No trip to France would be complete without a guided tour of the local sites and this was no different. Most of the break periods during the trip were filled with visits to iconic landmarks such as the Eiffel tower, Champs Elysees, and the Seine river in Paris. The students were also amazed by the breath-taking views of the Mediterranean coastline in Nice and Monaco where some students got a chance to practice their French language skills as well; French is one of the foreign languages offered at Strathmore.
Dr. John Olukuru, who accompanied the students on the trip noted, "It was lovely to see the students enjoy this academic trip experience and I hope they will have the advantage of being able to apply the knowledge gained here not only in class but in their personal lives as well."