November 23 2008
Pioneers of the ILR and ESCP-EAP Dual Degree Program: Berenice Dusausoy, Alice Rauline, Ismael Belkhayat and Chihab Hadine
I recently had the opportunity to sit down with four ESCP-EAPers, who are the first students to pursue the new Dual Degree between ESCP-EAP and ILR School. Berenice Dusausoy and Alice Rauline from France and Ismael Belkhayat and Chihab Hadine from Morocco shared their diverse international backgrounds and reasons for pursuing the Dual Degree program. They also compared the life in France and the US in general and Cornell and ESCP-EAP in particular. I enjoyed listening about their great experiences and I hope you will too!! ~~Ana Stojanovic
AS: Can you please tell us about your background and international experiences that you had?
Hi, I’m Berenice and I’m 24. I was born in Paris, France. While in school, I attended different summer programs in the US and the UK. In 2004 I started the ESCP-EAP, and after a year there I went on an exchange program to Tongji University in Shanghai, China. After a year in China, I came back home and took a gap year during which I did an internship with an advertisement company in Paris, then I did a summer internship in China. Before coming to the ILR, I graduated from the ESCP-EAP with a major in Marketing.
Hi, my name is Ismael and I’m 24. I was born and raised in Rabat, Morocco. Once I graduated from the French High School of Rabat, I moved to Paris and started my prep school. I opted for the dual degree program between ESCP-EAP and City University London and I followed the three-year three-country program in London, Madrid and Paris. I specialized in Entrepreneurship and Market Finance and was awarded the “diplôme Grande Ecole” from ESCP-EAP and the MSc in Management from City University London. I decided to come to Cornell to give a worldwide dimension to my educational experience.
Hi everyone! I was born in Nantes and raised in Sainte-Hermine (Vendée), beautiful countryside in western France. I did my prep school in La Rochelle and my concentration was in Maths and Physics. After that I started the Master in Management at the “INT Management” (National Institute of Telecommunications). I spent one summer in Leeds – England, working in the pensions team of Mercer Human Resource Consulting. That was my first interaction with HR. After coming back to France, I decided to take more HR courses and did my second internship with a domestic company in their Staffing department. During my last year at the INT Management, I studied Strategic Management and worked at the same time in the Training department of Total Oil. Then, I specialized in Management of People and Organizations at ESCP-EAP.
Hi, my name is Chihab and I'm also Moroccan. Once I graduated from the French high-school in Casablanca, Morocco, I went to a prep school in Paris after which I started the ESCP-EAP Grande Ecole Program. I spent three years in Paris majoring in Entrepreneurship and I did my internships every summer in Morocco in an Airline service company. After my European educational experience in ESCP-EAP, I decided to come to Cornell as it is a great opportunity to broaden my educational experience by making it worlwide.
AS: Can one of you explain to us how you’ve heard about the Dual Degree program with ILR?
Alice: Prof. Beatrice Collin gave a presentation at my school and introduced us to the Dual Degree program. I became very interested because I didn’t have much of an international experience. Additionally, I wanted to specialize more in HR, which is not so popular in Europe outside the research area. Cornell is a famous school and having an opportunity to study HR here was truly amazing.
AS: What is the area of your academic and professional interest? Chihab: Entrepreneurship
Ismael: Strategic Consulting
Berenice: Marketing & Consulting
AS: Well that was quite diverse! :) Are any of you interested in Labor Relations?
Berenice: You have to understand LR well in order to be a good HR specialist. In France, we have strikes all the time so LR knowledge is mandatory for everyone :). It is interesting that in France, we first strike and then negotiate, whereas other countries do the opposite.
AS: What is your favorite way of having fun at Cornell and what other places have you visited while here?
Alice & Berenice: We love to travel a lot! So far we have visited NYC, Niagara Falls and plan to visit much more. We also love to dine outside and go to the movies, Cornell sports games, concerts, performances, international student events, etc.
Alice: I’m also planning to go to Miami in January, and was very happy to visit Palo Alto in California for my second round interview with HP.
Ismael & Chihab: We’ve been to Boston, Cape Cod, Niagara Falls, Montreal, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, NYC, and we also plan to cruise the Caribbean Islands in December. We try to spend every weekend visiting a new place so that we make the most out of our time in the US. It is worth mentioning that we have visited different campuses around US (Columbia, Harvard, etc) and in our opinion, Cornell has the best campus.
We also enjoy using the wonderful sports facilities here on campus. We play squash and also do a lot of workout and swimming. It is simply very convenient and we have no excuse to be physically inactive :)
AS: What are some of the things from back home that you miss the most?
Ismael & Chihab: FOOD!!! And not just any food – we mean home cooked meals prepared with motherly love. Here at Cornell we rely on eating out all the time. Cornell dining halls have rather good food, though. From sports, we miss watching the Soccer Champions League. While we were in Paris, we never missed a single game because we’re avid fans of Soccer.
Ismael: I also miss my girlfriend Aurelia very much.
Alice & Berenice: Honestly, we miss streets of Paris: The romantic atmosphere of the city and the simple enjoyment of walking around to places. NYC is so much different than Paris: NYC is full of energy. You feel like going to parties and having fun all the time, and there is a pleasure in that. In Paris, however, you spend so much time relaxing and enjoying the small pleasures that the city had to offer. And of course, we miss our families, especially when we catch a cold and need to be taken care of. :)
AS: Can one of you summarize for us why a MILR student should pursue the Dual Degree at ESCP-EAP?
Ismael: ESCP-EAP is recognized as the second best European Masters in Management program by London Financial Times in 2008. It offers programs at five campuses around Europe (Paris, London, Madrid, Berlin and Torino). It represents a melting pot of diverse cultures. We literally have people from all over the world and we would especially encourage people who have not traveled outside of US to engage in this program. This is a great opportunity to get familiar with and experience many different cultures.
AS: Can you compare ESCP- EAP and Cornell in terms of studies, social life, etc? How do you like your courses at ILR, so far?
Ismael & Chihab: The professors in general are very knowledgeable and helpful inside and outside of classrooms. They are ready to go through extra tutoring sessions and clarify any issues and questions we have. Thus, the grading seems easier here than in France. However, courses are much more demanding in terms of reading requirements. We especially like the course Politics of the Global North with Professor Turner that we’re taking this semester.
Berenice: There is a greater power distance between students and professors in France than in the US. Here, the relationship is closer and it feels almost like a peer-to-peer relationship. In France, students are much more reluctant to schedule personal meetings or extra tutorial sessions with professors. Students tend to work harder on their own to get the answers to their questions.
AS: What is your plan upon graduation?
Alice: I would like to start a rotational program with a company that would allow me to stay in the US for a while and then go back to France. If I could have a rotation in England during this time, that would be great, too.
Chihab: For now, I know that I’m going back to France in May. After that, I’m not so sure of whether I will continue further with my education or start work.
Ismael: Prior to coming to Cornell, I had a job offer from Ernst & Young in Paris. So, I will go back and work for them to gain some experience.
Berenice: I would like to spend some time working in NYC and then go back to France. I would either like to do consulting work or work for a company that provides cross-functional rotation programs.
AS: Thanks everyone! Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
Everyone: We would also like to mention that Cornell has so many different schools and programs where we can take classes outside of ILR School. For example, Chihab took The Postmodern Presidency class in the Government school, a timely class during the American Presidential elections 2008 and he also took the Airline Service Management in the Hotel School. Ismael took a class in Agriculture and will travel to Mexico next semester as a part of a class project. Berenice is planning on taking classes in Johnson Business School and Government School next semester.
Berenice: I would also advise ESCP-EAP students coming to ILR to look at the course roster beforehand and pick the classes. Once you arrive at ILR, you start with the orientation and busy schedule and it is very helpful to know what you want to take. As aforementioned, there is a great variety of classes here!
Everyone: We encourage everyone to use this great opportunity to travel and study abroad and learn about different cultures. It is also a great opportunity to learn a new language!
Written by Ana Stojanovic, MILR’09