In 2016, after graduating from high school with the highest honours, Mathilde Lambert-Pantalacci decided to start her undergraduate business studies at EDHEC Business School. She's currently doing her senior year of Bachelor of Business Administration in the Global Business track at Nanyang Technological University, in Singapore.
I did my high school in Carpentras, a small city in the South of France. During my senior year of high school, I had trouble figuring out what exactly I wanted to. The only thing I truly wanted was to discover the world and have a job that would have an impact on a global scale. Therefore, I had applied to universities in France and the UK. Eventually, I found out about EDHEC's BBA and about the Global Business track. I was definitely appealed by the opportunity to travel, discover new cultures and study in the best universities in the world.
The program has allowed me to become entirely bilingual in French and English
The first year in Nice was the occasion to gain independence after high-school and prepare for the three years coming up, which required to be responsible and autonomous. Coming from a French high school it was also the opportunity for me to get used to having classes taught entirely in English and discover the different business topics that shape the BBA such as marketing, finance or accounting. I also took some Spanish classes.
At the end of the first academic year, I pursued my first internship in Thailand. During two months, I assisted the sales manager for a company in the automotive industry. I had found this internship through my personal network and thought it was an exciting way to experience living abroad on my own for the first time, before moving to Los Angeles. More than independence, working within an international team and with international clients taught me a lot about cultural diversity in the professional environment.
Hence, my first-year internship was a good way to prepare for my exchange at UCLA. Then moving to Los Angeles was a pretty smooth process considering I had found an apartment with some friends from the BBA, prior to our summer holidays. When I discovered the UCLA campus, I thought it gathered all the aspects of the American College. The campus was a city within the city of Los Angeles, with great infrastructures to study of course, but also a variety of stores including two supermarkets and entertainment services like restaurants and a world-renowned cinema. That particular cinema was the place where many movies and shows were premiered causing a whole lot of chaotic fun.
Studying at UCLA has enabled me to discover a different approach to teaching
My favorite classes were global business policies and strategies, global marketing and strategy and business law. Most classes were taught by former executives of large American firms such as PepsiCo and were strengthening our entrepreneurial mind. EDHEC also provided online Spanish classes with a professor from the Nice campus. Being in California, I thought that taking Spanish classes made a lot of sense considering the proximity with Latin America, my several trips to Mexico and the global characteristic of my BBA program. Overall, studying at UCLA has enabled me to discover a different approach to teaching, with a focus on “application” projects and it has given me the opportunity to learn from experienced professionals in a prestigious university. Having the chance to study for a year in the United States was also beneficial for my upcoming internship.
For my second internship, I stayed in California and moved to San Francisco. I had found this internship through my personal network and being legally authorized to work with my student visa following my year at UCLA was of great help. A fun fact about this work placement is that my manager happened to have studied at NTU. For this second experience, I interned as a marketing assistant. The length of this internship enabled me to apply the knowledge I had earned through my two years of BBA but also to gain some new marketing skills. Most importantly, this internship allowed me to take a deep dive into the technology industry and there is no better way to discover an industry than by working within this one.
Having lived in Singapore for several years, my internship manager had given me a few tips to prepare my move there and I was able to find an apartment with some friends from the BBA beforehand. Overall, I felt that the preparation prior to moving to Singapore was easier than it was for Los Angeles as most of the administrative formalities have to be done once you arrive in Singapore. Having performed my first-year internship in Thailand and travelled several times to Asia, including Singapore, the acclimation to Singapore was relatively easy. The NTU campus is huge and there are lots of events and activities throughout the week. Although we are exchange students, we have access to all the activities and facilities of the campus just like other full-time students.
Classes at NTU comprise a mix of marketing classes, focused on Asia, such as digital marketing, Asian branding and value-based marketing as well as finance classes like international finance, investments and corporate finance, a subject for which NTU is renowned. Having a personal interest in marketing, I really enjoy the different classes covering this topic. I particularly appreciate the fact that they are focused on the Asian market, which works differently from European and American markets.
Although we are exchange students, we have access to all the activities and facilities of the campus just like other full-time students
The digital marketing class is definitely my favourite, not only because it is taught by one of NTU’s star professor, Vijay Sethi, but also because it addresses subjects very close to my previous internship such as artificial intelligence and the “Big Four Tech Companies” for example. This course is very interactive, with a group presentation at the beginning of each class and very rare powerpoint lectures. Thus, the teaching approach in Singapore is different from what we had known in France and the United States. Classes usually include case analysis and group projects and a percentage of the final grade is always dedicated to participation which makes the classes very dynamic. I also decided to continue the Spanish classes I took during my first and second year in order to maintain a certain level in my third language.
For this final year, a considerable part of our schedule is dedicated to the realization of our bachelor thesis. For this project, I formed a group with four other students and partnered with Moët Hennessy Diageo Singapore. Our project consisted of performing a market research on the Singapore market. For this, we conducted a survey to which people answered both online and in-person and then analyzed the results obtained before presenting them to the partner company. Thankfully, we had a mentor who is a professor at NTU, with experience in market research. He has been very supportive in this project and gave us all the tools to successfully conduct our project. The bachelor thesis has been a chance for my group to develop some new important skills with the support of our mentor but also to gain another experience in the professional environment.
At the moment, I just started my second semester at NTU and began my internship research. I already had professional experience in Asia and the U.S., and now, I would like to find a position in Europe. I would be interested in pursuing a career in marketing. Regarding the industry, I became interested in technology during my last internship and I would either like to continue in this industry or eventually move to the cosmetics and luxury industries, which are sectors that I was originally very attracted to. After the BBA, I plan on pursuing a marketing master’s degree in Europe, to further specialize in this field.
Overall, the Global Business BBA has been a very unique and enriching experience. It has allowed me to become entirely bilingual in French and English and has offered me the opportunity to develop my cultural awareness and study in some of the world’s best universities. I believe that this global exposure and academic background are great assets that employers are looking for in candidates, and thus I would highly recommend the Global Business Track.