Winter School Testimonies


Lisa Brümmer - Germany, University of Duisburg-Essen, Duisburg

Winter School Student Testimony 2019 Lisa BruemmerWhat studies are you doing?
I just finished my banking and finance undergraduate degree and I am currently in my first graduate semester. I am studying accounting and finance. During my undergraduate studies I attended University of Duisburg-Essen as well as Fudan University in Shanghai (China) and Plekhanov Russian University of Economics in Moscow (Russia).

Why did you choose the TBS Winter School over other Winter programs?
I have never participated in a Winter School program before and was quiet overwhelmed by the broad range of different programs, but the TBS Winter School program immediately caught my eye. I was scanning the TBS Winter School homepage and spotted the experience reports of former exchange students. Those reports aroused my curiosity and convinced me to check out their website in more depth. In order to gather further information regarding effective strategic leadership, the Winter School offered at TBS matched my major topics. Getting to know the French culture and studying in a fascinating country like France seemed like an ideal chance to gather further expertise regarding business and explore France from the perspective of a student, which is –let’s be honest- a once-in-a-lifetime-experience. When I heard about the highly-skilled lecturers I immediately knew that this program will prepare me well for my future and upcoming assignments.


How did the Winter School Team help you?
What really stood out to me was the way the Winter School Team lead us students through the whole program. From the application process until the moment I boarded the train in Paris to go back home, I was always able to contact our coordinator. There was always a staff member close, even in the middle of the night as they lived at the same accommodation. The staff really made this experience extraordinary, because we students always had someone by our side and even though we came to France by ourselves, it never felt that way.

How do you think that the program will help your future career?
I know that I will make great use out of the presentation skills I gained in my strategic management class. I am so glad I took that class as I feel so much more confident preparing and holding a presentation in front of other people, which is an essential skill in the modern business world. I was also able to improve my (business) English skills. I feel more confident speaking in English about business and economics related topics than before.

Were there any social/cultural activities that you particularly enjoyed?
We went ice-skating at the Grand Palais, which is the biggest ice skating ring in the world! There were cafes inside and the whole building looked like it came straight out of a fairytale! Almost everyone joined at we had such a great time. Another favourite of mine was the boat trip we did at the beginning of the program. Every single participant of the Winter School was there and we had so much fun. I am so thankful that we were able to experience this together with the whole Winter School.

What did you appreciate about the Winter School: the people, the town, the School etc.?
I think it is almost impossible to have a bad time in a city like Paris. But what really made this experience extraordinary were the people. The residents of Paris, who always made sure that you are able to carry your luggage up and downstairs in the metro, the professors who really listened to their students and cared about improving their knowledge, the staff members of the Winter School who made you feel like home and the other participants- I have never met so many people from different countries in one place. Every single continent was present and we had classmates from 16 different countries. Just talking with them about random topics made you realize how very different the cultures of this world are. I remember the conversations I had with my classmates and I learned so much about different cultures and countries. So what did I appreciate most? The cultural diversity!

What advice would you give to a future TBS Winter School participant?
If it works out with the workload of your classes- make sure to participate in the social events organized by TBS. There is always something planned by the staff, from boat trips and visits to sightseeing places like the Louvre museum to walking tours and lunch on campus. So you will be able to experience Paris not only from the eyes of a tourist but as a student as well!

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Raj Singh - United States of America, Baruch College, New York

Winter School Student Testimony 2019 Raj SinghWhat studies are you doing?
I have already finished 3 years of university with a major in Marketing and two minors of French and International Business.

Why did you choose the TBS Winter School over other Winter programs?
The TBS Winter School was my perfect fit and checked every box that I had for a winter program. First, the courses were very relevant to the coursework for my degree which was the primary focus of my search. Next, the locations offered were all places I would have loved to study. Then the value of the program itself, in terms of its structure, resources, opportunities, and every other ancillary quality was greater than any winter school program I saw.


How did the Winter School Team help you?
The Winter School Team was able to answer all of my questions successfully before the program by email and made my arrival in France very easy. During the program there was always someone available to help through any form of communication when we needed it. There was never a moment where I felt lost or unable to complete a task.

How do you think that the program will help your future career?
The program has already helped my future career. I was able to get international experience, learn among an international student body, and meet educators that make an impact both inside and outside of the program itself. My professor, in only just the winter period, is someone I know I can look to for a recommendation letter or career advice.

Were there any social/cultural activities that you particularly enjoyed?
The museum tour and company visits that were part of the program stood out to me. It was nice to have something like touring the Louvre as a part of the program, creating a more well-rounded experience. The company visit was interesting because they were relevant to the coursework and exposed us to how enterprises operate internationally and in France. I would also say that above these two ideas is the time that the students spent together. We ended up creating a ‘social activity’ out of all the time we spent together getting lunch, touring, and just hanging out.

What did you appreciate about the Winter School: the people, the town, the School etc.?
The experience of meeting the other participants ended up being the biggest part of the Winter School for me. I made friends that I continue to speak to and organize meetups with today, 2 months later. The entire student body got along well and the setting of Paris complimented our experience together well.

What advice would you give to a future TBS Winter School participant?
I would say to go into this program with a learning mindset. If you set yourself up to learn from every single experience, big or small, you can leave after 3 weeks learning more than you may have in university so far. The people you meet, the discussions in classrooms, a new setting, and everything in between can teach you so much in a short amount of time.

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Imane El Amrany - Morocco, Al Akhawayn University, Ifrane

Imane El Amrany - Morocco, Al Akhawayn University - TBS Winter School 2018What studies are you doing?
I am in my second year of studies towards a Bachelor’s in Business Administration with a double concentration in Marketing and International Business.

Why did you choose the TBS Winter School over other Winter programs?
I chose it for three main reasons:
- The reputation of TBS as being one of the top business schools in France and Europe.
- All the courses provided by TBS Winter School corresponded to the courses offered at my university with a European/French approach, which I was very interested to learn about.
- The two cities: Paris and Toulouse, in which the TBS Winter program is held, are major business hubs and have a very rich culture.


How did the Winter School Team help you?
The Team was at our disposal from the beginning of the program till the end in case of any issue or request.  The team was available if we needed help to find a place or if we had a problem with the accommodation. What I also appreciated was that they were always checking on us and making sure we didn’t need anything. The Team was very friendly, thoughtful and played a major role in making the participants bond with each other and become friends.

How do you think that the program will help your future career?
The program is definitely an added value for my future professional career. In fact, through the International Marketing course that I took, I was able to get knowledge about how marketing is performed and managed in various international companies. Moreover, thanks to the various projects and case studies that we had to work on, I was able to practice this knowledge in concrete situations.

Were there any social/cultural activities that you particularly enjoyed? 
I enjoyed most of the cultural and company visits. On one hand, the TBS Winter School team chose to make us discover the most famous monuments of each city, which was important for me as a tourist. On the other hand, I had the opportunity to visit some of the most successful companies worldwide: Hermès and Danone. As a business student, visiting these companies was a great way for me to learn more about their work environment and culture. I also got a better understanding of what business professionals are doing.

What did you appreciate about the Winter School: the people, the town, the School etc.?
I think that the TBS Winter School experience was a success for me because of three elements: the people, who were friendly and welcoming, the beautiful vibrant city of Paris, and the quality education with competent professors.

Can you give us a small anecdote concerning your time at TBS?
One great memory that I have of my time at TBS was when other students and I went to Montmartre with a team of videographers to shoot a video for the TBS Winter School. We had a fun time playing in front of the camera and walking around the beautiful place of Montmartre, which I really recommend to future participants to visit.

What advice would you give to a future TBS Winter School participant?
The advice I would give to future TBS Winter School participants is to make the most out of this excellent experience by learning as much as they can from the professors, participating in as many activities organized by the TBS Winter School Team as possible and making as many friends as they can.

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Swapnil Nivendkar - India, Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute, Mumbai

Imane El Amrany - Morocco, Al Akhawayn University - TBS Winter School 2018What studies are you doing?
I have completed B.Tech in Computer Engineering (Bachelors) and I am currently working for Samsung R&D in Bangalore as a Software Engineer after graduating in May 2018.

Why did you choose the TBS Winter School over other Winter programs?
The TBS Winter School provided really interesting choices of courses, in addition to the fact that TBS has a triple accreditation which makes this choice very reliable amongst others. The Winter School takes place in two locations: Paris and Toulouse, which felt like a complete package as it provided the experience of two entirely different cities. TBS also made sure that students at the Winter School get time out of the courses to visit places of tourist interest. The activities lined up by the Winter School were really interesting.


How did the Winter School Team help you?
The Winter School Team were absolutely brilliant with the way they assisted us. Before coming to Paris, I had a lot of concerns since this was my first ever solo international travel and there were a lot of arrangements to be made before I departed, needless to say they were absolutely efficient in answering my queries. On reaching Paris, Naomi (the Winter School Coordinator) was present at all times and assisted each one of us personally. The Winter School Team to me is not just a Team but a big gang full of friendly faces now.

How do you think that the program will help your future career?
I have taken more than I expected from my time with TBS, this was a much-needed multi-cultural experience. With so many students from different countries, it was interesting to learn about their life back at home and learn about new cultures. The courses were reassuring about my choice to pursue management courses in parts of my future career, and were taught by professors who had vast experiences in that field and enlightened us with information that were beyond the course. It is needless to say that the Winter School has had a major impact on my perspective towards the world and is definitely going to help me with my career

Were there any social/cultural activities that you particularly enjoyed? 
Skiing in the Pyrenees was without a doubt one of the best experiences of my life. Some of us were beginners, we were assigned a separate trainer who saw us through the entire activity. Skiing was absolutely liberating and was managed well by TBS. While we may not have skied as much as the experienced ones, there was a learning experience attached to it and by the end of the classes, we were able to race down the mountain with ease. Since back in India it’s not a common sport, I never really understood the thrill about it until I did it. This is definitely something I will be repeating if I ever travel to the European region again. Another activity was the visit of the A380 Airbus manufacturing unit in Toulouse. For somebody who is an avid reader and follower of the aviation industry, I was looking forward to this. We were able to see the plane in the manufacturing process and understand how it works thanks to the explanations of the guide. This technological marvel is quite inspiring and I feel fortunate that I was able to see this in the process.

What did you appreciate about the Winter School: the people, the town, the School etc.?
When I arrived in Paris my major worry was getting to the hotel from the airport. I met a friendly Parisian on the flight who helped me get the tickets and explained how to use the train here. This really impressed me about the people here. They’re always on the go but they will definitely greet you with a smile and a bonjour to go with it. Paris was a city on my bucket list to visit and it happened sooner than I expected. I was in awe of this city - unmatchable beauty that it is, with the Eiffel tower standing tall and shining as magnificently as ever. The remarkable architecture of every single building in this city just makes you want to get lost in it. Our hotel located in the 15th arrondissement, gave an amazing view of the Eiffel Tower, a 10-minute walk away. It cannot be expressed in words what it felt like to sleep facing the Eiffel tower, watching it sparkle in the night. It was breathtaking.
 
As soon as the classes progressed, all the Winter School students got acquainted and explored the night life. With streets like Champs Elysees and shopping centres like Galeries Lafayette, this city is flooded with beautiful spots to visit. What I miss are the boulangeries of Paris, with a sweet tooth I couldn’t get enough of them. TBS had been impeccable with the arrangements: they had arranged for everything that was required for a student from abroad. Completing not only the student requirements but also the tourist requirements, recommending places and taking us there and getting us acquainted with the French culture. Our professor Gilles Nakhle was outstanding, with his knowledge in the field of International Marketing and insightful examples from the world, his course was complete. TBS had made sure that we got the best out of this course and were successful in doing so.
 
Moving to Bordeaux for a much-needed weekend stay, compared to all the rush and pace of Paris this was a small city, very French and very beautiful. Visiting the vineyards on the outskirts and going for wine tasting was a relaxing and fun activity. This is the first time I’ve ever put so much thought into wine and realized the effort that goes into the making of it. If you’re ever in France, this is something that has to be on your list. Travelling to Toulouse from Bordeaux the bus ride was terrific with scenes of the countryside and the green images which left me completely stuck to the window. Toulouse is a calm city which is basically the perfect place for students, with a blend of beauty and pleasant weather. TBS has a big campus in this city and the campus came alive here. We met students from different courses and had a great time socializing with them in student bars. Toulouse is a friendly city with people cycling all around and a pleasant atmosphere everywhere. There was everything right about this Winter School, from all the friends I made, my roommate of Paris Zakaria, the cheerful Indonesians always on the move, the Australia - New Zealand banter, and the Germans who always had a story to share. It was a perfect mix of people, and all the people I met on this trip are definitely going to be missed. This will be an event in my life which will remain very close to me.

What advice would you give to a future TBS Winter School participant?
Socialize and network as much as possible as you will never know who can inspire you. People from different countries coming to the same place can lead to some events in the future you might have not planned for. TBS is a wonderful institution to be a part of and they provide the right balance of academic classes and time to explore the cities. I am really glad that I made this choice.

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