Salomé Thériault is an MBA student at Laval University in Quebec City, specializing in marketing. The 22-year-old Acadian from New Brunswick did her undergraduate studies at Mount Allison University in English but opted to take her MBA at Laval partly to return to her mother tongue. This is her eighth blog in a series.
Time surely flies. I have one more month left of classes before completing my MBA in marketing, and I'm a few months of internship away from obtaining my double masters in management. It feels weird and a bit scary to be so close to the finish line after six years of postsecondary studies but also very exciting since the "real world" will start soon.
I am still in France at the moment for the remainder of my in-class courses. Even though the experience was difficult at first (adapting to the culture and the education system), I do not regret any of it. Studying abroad is an experience that all students, whether at the bachelor or master levels, should experience in their lifetime. It is amazing how it makes you grow as a person, not only educationally but also personally and career-wise. With globalization, the world is so big, yet so small, and to have the opportunity to learn, listen and share conversations with people from all over Europe, the United States, Japan, Vietnam, China, India and so on is truly rewarding. This experience also makes you appreciate where you come from but allows you also to take in all the positive inputs from the people you meet and the places you visit. Not to forget, from a business point of view, it enlarges your network, which is definitely the most important skill to develop in order to obtain a job as a new graduate.
One thing I've loved during my stay here is how social and environmental governance is important in Europe. Young and old seem to have so much passion for what is good. It is refreshing to be part of that environment; it made me question industries and politics in a lot more depth but made me realize that there are so many opportunities that can and must be capitalized on. And coming from Canada, one of the environment's worst enemies, I think we can learn a great deal from Europe. Also, I find that you flourish culturally being on the European continent. The history, the arts, the food, the fashion and so on are fascinating.
Moreover, my double masters requirement is giving me the opportunity to work with two super talented students from Germany and Sweden on an international manager recruitment proposal for the No. 1 independent construction group in France, a world leader in its industry operating in more than 120 countries. This experience gave me some job leads in Europe as well as networking leads in industries where I would love to work. It might not sound like much, but I am telling you, finding a job is a lot more difficult than I thought it would be (probably many fellow students will relate).
One thing I've learned during my study path is that perseverance is one of the best qualities to have and that failure is okay. If you are a hard worker, great opportunities will present themselves at the right timing.
So if you're an undergrad or graduate student reading my blog entries, I strongly suggest you get out of your comfort zone and spend a semester or even a year abroad in Singapore, Berlin, Stockholm, Mexico, Tokyo or wherever you can. I can promise you it will be one of the best and most rewarding experiences of your life as a student.