The MSc Management tri-national study trip
I was recently fortunate enough to participate in a two-week study visit to the Grand Est Region of France as part of my Master’s programme. It was the crowning jewel to end to a truly rewarding MSc Management course, and so it is only fitting to share some of my most memorable experiences of the trip.
We resided and spent most of our time in Strasbourg, a city renowned for culture and being one of the three capitals of the European Union. However, our lecturers also ensured we exploited the city’s tri-national proximity, regularly travelling to Germany and Switzerland within a jam-packed schedule of business visits, lectures, cultural experiences and wine drinking!
During the two weeks, we had several lectures from EM Strasbourg Business School focused on Responsible Management, Sustainability and European Integration; this was in preparation of students giving group presentations on the final day of the trip. The lectures provided a different perspective to business relations in a French context, focused on co-operation and sustainability, and were helped by the constant flow of muffins provided by EM Strasbourg!
We also visited several businesses in the region, focusing on their approach to sustainability. This ranged from pharmaceutical giant Roche, in which we were treated to lunch on the 30th floor in the tallest building in Switzerland, to a small start-up named Myfood, which specialise in innovative Greenhouses. However, my personal highlight was visiting the Mercedes plant in Germany, in which we observed how a Mercedes car is built from its first bolt to the finished product. It was simply staggering to view the automated nature of the factory, with robots holding almost complete reasonability in building the cars. This left a significant impression on me and ensured an appetite to be a future Mercedes owner!
In addition to academic and business ventures, we were treated to “cultural” visits, including a Castle tour, European Parliament visit, a cooking class and most notably wine tasting. For many of us, this was our first-time wine tasting, and it is safe to say there are not many better places to experience this since the Alsace region is world renowned for its white wine. This was extremely enjoyable and led to quite a few wine induced purchases!
We finished the trip with a day of presentations in front of a panel of lecturers from Henley and EM Strasbourg. My team, named quite appropriately “LOVEHEARTS”, focused on the highly sustainable start-up we visited in the first week, Myfood, applying theories we had learnt throughout the past year. After this, we were rewarded with traditional French cuisine.
We rejoiced some of the experiences of the last two weeks among a group of much bonded group students. This continued late into the night and we (students) delivered a much deserved thank you to our lecturers for organising a trip we will never forget.
The trip not only provided a different perspective to business in an international context, but also opportunities to bond with other students from a variety of backgrounds and gain experiences I can draw upon for life. As the French would say, Merci et au revoir Strasbourg!
Written by Alex Finch