Exchange program to KEIO Business School in Japan
French student Gauthier BAERTSCHI joined the International MBA at emlyon business school in 2017. With a background of engineering in nuclear physics and 10 years of professional experience, he was interested in broadening his knowledge of management and leadership, allowing him to open up new and exciting professional opportunities.
After finishing the program in Lyon, France, he decided to go on one of the exchange programs offered by emlyon business school and spent 4 months at KEIO Business School in Japan.
- Why you decided to go on the exchange program?
I decided to go on exchange before applying for the MBA. I worked 10 years on projects in China, Germany and France and I know how experience abroad is important. I would say that having experience abroad is equally important as studying or working. Moreover, I wanted to do an MBA to meet people with different backgrounds, different citizenships and to work on practical cases. What is better that an exchange? Nothing, as exchange is a perfect opportunity to challenge myself and be out of my comfortable zone.
MBA is a year for changing and exchange is the best way to change!
- 2. Why did you choose Japan for your exchange?
The choice for the exchange was not easy as emlyon business school has relationships with very good schools around the world: Argentina, Canada, China, Japan… However, I’m an engineer and I know how production management is critical for my work. Moreover, during the courses at emlyon business school, we learned a lot about supply chain and its importance for the success of the business. And what is better that Japan for the supply chain? Nothing! For instance, Toyota is famous around the world for its production management and its success. My choice was clear: I wanted to go on exchange to Japan to learn about production management, supply chain and some Japanese concepts like Kaizen. In addition to this, I think that the business in the future will be mainly done in Asia region. Japan is a mature market, but it is a good place to “feel” the Asian market and to understand big players like China as Japan and China have strong relationships.
These issues were very important when I chose my courses at the Japanese university: Emerging market in Asia, Production management in Japan and Marketing in Japan. During these courses, I worked with Japanese people but also with a lot of Chinese people.
- How did you find the whole experience?
The first lesson is the uniqueness of this experience abroad. I met people with a different culture, different language and had the opportunity to visit Japanese factories. On the top of that, Japan is an island and has kept its strong identity: among my experiences abroad (China and Germany), Japan is for sure unique!
The second lesson is that I could leverage the knowledge I learned at emlyon business school on practical cases given by KEIO Business School. I realized how we are well trained at emlyon business school to face the future and tackle the good issues in business.
The third and last lesson is how I’m ready to do business with Asia. I learned how to deal with them, what are the opportunities and how is structure the market.
- How it added to your overall MBA experience?
The exchange in Japan is the ideal complement to the courses I had at emlyon business school . I put into practice the knowledge and learned in a different way. Moreover, the good network I have now in Japan plus the fact that KEIO Business School is a very famous School in Asia region give me the opportunity to do business in or with Asia in the future.
During the exchange, I visited also Japan and learned a lot from its culture. It contributed to open my mind which is a relevant asset for an MBA graduate.
Finally, I would say that I strongly recommend doing an exchange and I thank emlyon business school for giving the opportunity to go abroad by having such good relationships with worldwide Schools.