International Programs

Student Reports

  1. TOP
  2. International Programs
  3. Student Reports
  4. EDHEC Business School DDP Study Exchange Report from Tokyo MBA student / Jun Qu

EDHEC Business School DDP Study Exchange Report from Tokyo MBA student / Jun Qu

#International #Exchange #Leadership #StudyAbroad

Mr. Jun Qu, a student of the MBA program in Japanese, joined the double degree program in the fall of 2020 at EDHEC Business School, one of our partner schools in France. A Chinese national who works as an International Sales & Marketing Manager for Reed Exhibitions Japan, Mr. Qu further internationalized his experience by taking the opportunity to embrace his Frontier Spirit despite limitations imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

He reports on his exchange as follows.

Mr. Jun Qu

My original plan to study abroad was, of course, impacted by COVID-19. Since there were many students like me who could not travel to France, EDHEC offered classes in a hybrid form of offline and virtual. In reality, as the COVID-19 infection continued to spread, most of the classes were held virtually, but there were some advantages. First of all, because of the time difference between France and Japan, I was able to balance my studies with my responsibilities at work. Also, since there was a lot of group work, I was able to acquire the know-how to efficiently reach my goals in virtual courses. It was a very fulfilling and difficult year, working and studying at the same time, but looking back now, I am very glad that I participated in the double degree program. This experience is a treasure, and I feel that I will be able to apply what I have learned in my future.

About the double degree program

For the double degree program with NUCB Business School, I was able to choose from several programs to participate in. I have been working in sales, but I chose Marketing Management because I wanted to improve my skills in areas other than sales and build a career with a more bird's eye view. This EDHEC program is ranked 7th in the QS 2021 world ranking, and companies such as Groupe SEB and Ubisoft are sponsoring this program. The class was made up of many different nationalities, and many of them were women. Since students can only participate in the double degree program from M2, it is common for students to enter the graduate school first, study at their home school for the first year, and then do a one-year internship before moving on to M2. Here, they all have a certain amount of work experience and a deeper understanding of the M2 subject.

Live Virtual Classes

In the My EDHEC page, you can see a list of the courses you are taking. The class itself is taught by the teacher using the Blackboard Collaborate system, and if you have any questions, you can ask at any time via chat or raise your hand button. As it is a virtual class, once the teacher has recorded the class, it can be viewed on this system at any time.

Compared to the classes at NUCB Business School, EDHEC classes are more lecture-based and you can learn a lot of academic knowledge. Cases are often used for a group work. The atmosphere in the class was very frank, and I could ask the professor whenever I had a question.

The grading depends on the teacher, but basically the grading is determined by three things: individual assignments, group assignments, and the final exam. Therefore, there was not a single course where the evaluation was determined by the final exam alone. It is calculated as a weighted average of several grades.

Some of the group work in the class is based on cases, and some of the assignments are from actual companies. For example, Group SEB (T-Fal's parent company), L'Oreal, and LVTM gave us the opportunity to come up with a proposal and actually present it to the company's staff. In addition, the selected winners were able to go to the company and present their ideas in front of the board of directors. I think this is a great opportunity for students because it is something that they don't get to experience very often.

Starting from the second semester, classes are divided into two areas: Entertainment and Luxury & Fashion, with lectures focusing on each area. In my case, I chose Luxury & Fashion, but when I shared information with my classmates who chose Entertainment, I found that the two courses had a lot in common. For example, the course was based on knowledge that is essential for today's marketers, such as digital marketing and CRM, and included elements of entertainment and fashion, respectively, while using cases tailored to the field. In addition, depending on the field of study, students can go on a tour similar to a school trip at the expense of the school. Although we didn't go this year due to COVID-19, it seems to be one of the most popular events every year and one of the things students look forward to. The Luxury & Fashion event that I attended this year was a visit to Robertet Group in Grasse, France, the world's largest manufacturer in the field of natural ingredients.

Classes that left a deep impression

I was most impressed by the class called International Marketing Strategy. Every year, EDHEC invests heavily to purchase business simulations from specialized vendors to give students practical experience based on real-world factors. The business simulation we used put us in the role of a managing a virtual travel agency. Our team set up an office, chose a plan to sell, chose an accounting firm, hired employees, equipped ourselves with the necessary resources, used advertising, and made decisions together.

The objective is to make decisions together with the team members to make the company more profitable and successful than the competition. This recreation of a real business was set up like a game. You don't just make a plan and sell it - you have to compete to win customers through employee satisfaction, customer satisfaction, purchase quotes, and promotional means. The more teams you have, the more competition you will have, and the more unpredictable the results will be. So, the most difficult part is to make decisions with your teammates in a short time. Since we only had about 30 minutes per decision and we had to make more than 10 decisions in a limited time, the fact that we couldn't do it face-to-face raised the bar even higher.

Through trial and error, we analyzed the behavior of our competitors, adjusted our prices and marketing plans to match theirs, and eventually finished in 6th place. This experience reminded me of the importance of "clarifying the value proposition" and "team play." If you don't have a clear idea of what you want to do and what you want to offer, you will end up looking only at the competition and it will be easy to fall into a price war. There is a limit to the power of one person, but simply gathering people is not a team. There is a saying, "Three people together have wisdom," and I believe that only when a team fully aims for the same goal, works together, and believes in its members, will they be able to solve problems.  

As a side note, the EDHEC Marketing Management is sponsored, so every year the students receive a sweater and a stuffed teddy bear with the class logo printed on it that they made themselves.

Teddy bear and hoodie designed by MSc in Marketing students