Are you looking for an insider’s perspective on the MSc in International Business Negotiation? We recently spoke to four students from the program to ask them about their reasons for coming to IÉSEG, their experiences so far, and a typical day in the program.
Prior to joining IÉSEG in Paris, Ololade (from Nigeria) worked as a Brand Strategist and developed her own non-profit initiative in her home country. She decided to join the program, notably to hone skills/knowledge she could later apply to the future development of her non-profit. With her classmates Johnson, Troels, and Issam, she explains that classes generally start at around 8am at La Défense, and often finish at 5:30pm. Group work is also an important element of the program.
“This program is very intensive,” notes Troels (from Denmark), underlining that students follow their core courses as well as French classes. “For the majority of them (core courses), we have an exam at the end of the week. This program requires a lot of preparation for the classes, presentations, and for these exams.”
The students explain that this program offers them the opportunity to understand all the different elements of a negotiation process, and to engage in an interdisciplinary analysis of negotiation in a global environment. Furthermore, it allows them to learn about their own negotiation style, and develop communication and relational skills, both of which are of key importance for constructive negotiation processes.
For example, Issam (from Morocco) decided to come to the School because he was looking for a master’s program that would help be ‘ready to work’ and was particularly interested in sales and business development.
Troels, for his part, points to some of the practical ‘learning by doing’ activities, which include business simulations where they are asked to act as if they were working in a company/organisation, “You can see how people bring in their cultural perspectives via these business simulations,” he explains.
This awareness and appreciation of cultural differences is an important part of the toolkit that the program seeks to develop. For example, by practicing negotiation with fellow classmates from around the world and international professors, students learn to see how people’s cultural backgrounds, including their own, affect negotiation techniques. “It’s taught us to work with people from different cultures and how to reach agreements,” Ololade adds.
Students also have the opportunity to apply their skills and knowledge by taking part in local or international negotiation competitions (for example students have competed in the Warsaw Negotiation Round).
The four students agree that they enjoy the fact that their class (2019 -2020) is a small, close-knit international group, which has allowed them to develop friendships in a short period.
Issam notes, for example, how inspiring it is to be studying right next to so many companies, in the heart of the business district in Paris. He notes that this puts students on the right track, allowing them to imagine where they might work when they finish their courses.
During the academic year, professional/ business representatives and corporate partners are invited to share their expertise and professional perspectives in their sector and company with students through different interventions, case studies, or visits. This allows students to enrich their academic knowledge by familiarizing themselves with concrete questions related to the business world and gaining experience from professionals.
One recent example was the presentation by John Bailey, Director Global Key Accounts at Hiab AB, and Board member of the Association for Key Account Management (AKAM). He was invited to speak about Key Account Management (one of the potential career paths for students on this program) and the typical missions and objectives of this function (intensifying business relations, maintaining customer contacts, improving market position, etc.). Similarly, he discussed the role of trust in the relationship between the Key Account Manager and clients, and the skills/attributes companies are looking for when they recruit Key Account Managers.
He also presented the Association for Key Account Management (AKAM) Diploma, a professional qualification that students in the program have the opportunity to take during the program (thanks to the School’s partnership with AKAM).
Acquiring a professional qualification in Key Account Management (KAM) can help to demonstrate to companies that students are up-to-date and multi-skilled employees.
For more information about the MSc in International Business Negotiation: https://www.ieseg.fr/en/programs/masters-science/msc-negotiation-organizations/