How the consultancy project helped me change sectors
The International MBA focuses strongly on helping the participants achieve their professional goals. Throughout the year, the participants work on a 9-month based consultancy project called the Entrepreneurial Leadership Project (ELP). They choose the project they wish to work on, and use this as a stepping stone to enter into the industry or geographical market that they wish to work in. The project compliments the course work and gives participants practical work experience that they can highlight when searching for employment after the program has finished. Here is how two alumni used the ELP to launch their career:
“Coming from the FMCG industry and with Finance background, my ELP choice was quite strategic. I had an objective to gain as much knowledge and experience as I could in totally different function – in Marketing, and at the same time in totally different industry – Luxury. My ELP project was spot on. Roger Dubuis – Swiss ultra-luxury watchmaker with a retail strategy oriented project was exactly what I needed. First of all, it opened the doors to the world I didn’t know before. Luxury market is quite specific and the drivers of business growth are quite different to what I knew before. At the same time marketing strategies are also specific, as consumer profiles in the luxury industry are quite different. Understanding the mindset of a luxury and ultra-luxury shopper was probably the most eye-opening experience, and also the most useful for my current job.
But ELP is not only about the knowledge, it is also about building professional connections and relationship with professionals from the organization you work for. Despite the fact that a lot of analysis, hard work and collaboration goes into final deliverables, there are only two key touch points when you meet the company and have full attention – at the intermediary and final presentation. This is where you need to shine, because this could be a “door-opening” opportunity for you. I met my current manager during our final presentation. Our ELP project leader from company side invited several high level managers for our final presentation, and my manager was one of them. Yet this was just a beginning. It still took me a few month of follow-up e-mails, before I’ve heard that there might be an opportunity for me and some more time to make turn this opportunity in a real job. But currently I am there where I wanted to be when I joined MBA, and I’m here I am thanks to my ELP project.” Natalja Avramenko, class of 2016
“We all have our personal and professional goals when deciding to do an MBA. In my case, and as a passionate snowboarder and rock climber, it was changing industries and relocating to the Alps. I chose emlyon business school because of its geographical location and relations with the sports and outdoor industry. The ELP was the ideal opportunity to get a foot in the door. Indeed, my ELP mission was to conduct a consulting project for Salomon’s snowboard Business Unit; it was beneficial to my job search post MBA. The ELP is also a human experience as we spend a lot of time with our teammates and learn to work with each other’s strengths and weaknesses. During the ELP we were also able to apply the theoretical elements learned in class and, for those with no previous consulting experience, it is an opportunity to learn how to structure a consulting project and provide qualitative deliverables. If I can offer an advice to future MBAs it is to be proactive about their ELP. I did not wait to see the list of companies taking part in the program to make sure that at least one of them was in the outdoor sports industry. I reached out to Salomon and presented the advantages of the ELP project before putting them in contact with the program’s director. The ELP was for me one of the strongest points of the MBA program.” Mayta Pinard, class of 2015