October 6 2006
Pioneers of the ILR School and ESCP-EAP Exchange Program
Fall 2006 marks the first semester of the ILR and the European School of Management (ESCP-EAP) exchange program, the first of its kind aimed at graduate students. I recently sat down with the first participating students from ESCP-EAP, Pierre Lassarat and Julien Vincent Mazzacurati, to discuss how they are assimilating to the ILR School and to hear their thoughts on the exchange program.
As a MILR student myself interested in the International reach of the program, I was eager to hear why Pierre and Julien applied and decided to come. There was no hesitation from both French students when they cited Cornell’s reputation as the number one reason they enthusiastically chose to study here. When they discussed the opportunity to study at Cornell with colleagues, peers, family, and friends, all agreed that the Cornell name and quality of academics at the ILR School would contribute significantly to their degree program. In addition, Pierre and Julien saw study in the US as an opportunity to strengthen their English speaking skills and understanding of the culture.
When asked why a MILR student should study at ESCP-EAP, Pierre described his school’s strength in the area of finance. Financial courses and teaching at EAP is well-regarded and whether an MILR student is entering the field of Human Resources or Labor Relations, such skills would certainly come in handy. In addition, Pierre noted that ESCP-EAP's Master's in Management program is ranked the number one program in Europe for International Exposure and second by the Financial Times. Julien also expressed enthusiasm for the international exposure a program like ESCP-EAP offers to American students along with the lively student life in Paris. Needless to say, the chance to live in a beautiful metropolitan city with endless activities in the arts and culture would be of great allure to most anyone.
With the semester almost half-way through, Pierre and Julien, have a lot to comment on their coursework, “Class discussion and debate is not common in France, so it is interesting and nice to be able to participate in such an environment.” The teaching style has come as a pleasant surprise to the two, along with the opportunity to audit classes outside ILR in about every discipline one can imagine. Julien is very interested in economics and in particular that of developing countries. When he found out that Professor Gary Fields, an expert in the field, offered a Labor Economics course, he was very excited to take it. Other surprises Pierre and Julien faced upon arrival in Ithaca were the steep hills that lead to campus and the unpredictable weather.
One can say that Pierre and Julien are the pioneers of this new exchange program. They credit the ILR Graduate Office and International Programs for helping them get situated at Cornell. When they return to Paris, they will put together a report of their experience and a student guide-book for others to follow. Both already have secured internships upon arrival. Julien will be working at the French Research Institute for International Relations in Paris and Pierre will be working at Morgan Stanley’s Paris and London offices on M&A Activities. They say that their future employers where positively influenced when they heard that both where doing a semester at the ILR School at Cornell.
~ Dina Gabriel, MILR '07