European careers: how you can make meaningful things happen

From AI to biotechnology, there’s no doubting what an exciting age this is to be an engineer or a scientist. Some may view working in management as uninspiring by comparison.

European careers: how you can make meaningful things happen
Professor Vanessa Strauss-Kahn of ESCP Business School

Yet in all the breathless excitement of the 21st century, it’s managers who provide the ‘glue’ to keep pioneering projects on track. We don’t all want to be rocket scientists or vaccine researchers (and what a strange world it would be if we did!) but that doesn’t mean you can’t help build a better future. Could a career in management be the best way to have a real impact on the world?

The Local spoke with Professor Vanessa Strauss-Kahn, European Academic Director of the Bachelor in Management (BSc) at the prestigious ESCP Business School, to explore six reasons to choose management. As Europe’s first business school, ESCP has been the training ground for generations of students preparing to enter the world of management.

Find out more about ESCP Business School 

You make meaningful things happen

Being a manager is about getting things done – no matter what chaos unfolds around you. A world without managers would be like an orchestra without a conductor or a football team without a coach, says Professor Strauss-Kahn. “It’s true that we need scientists, engineers and tech developers more than ever,” she says. “But then you also need managers more than ever to help them bring their discoveries to fruition. If you want to do good for society, your goal is to make things happen.”

As well as learning how to make sure new products and services reach the market, management students today are also encouraged to use their own creativity for meaningful ends. One ESCP graduate, for instance, developed an innovative app enabling students to deliver smart feedback on their classes.

You bring the world together

If you live an international life or want to do so in future, managerial skills can open many doors. Whatever industries are dominant in a particular country, they all need managerial talent to make things run smoothly.

A good understanding of multiculturalism is also an essential skill for managers today, says Professor Strauss-Kahn: “Being able to deal and work with people from all over the world is vital, and that’s new compared to 20 years ago.” Could you be the leader to help, for example, a Brazilian programmer and a Japanese web designer combine to create something wonderful?

Students on ESCP’s Bachelor in Management (BSc) have a thoroughly international experience, studying in three different European countries in three years (with campuses to choose from in Berlin, London, Madrid, Paris and Turin). 

“When they graduate, they’re very mature,” says Professor Strauss-Kahn. “They’ve left home, changed countries, and experienced new cultures. They have a high level of adaptability, which is a good sign for the future.”

You’re (almost) as cool as a coder

If you want to learn to code, management is the last thing you should study, right? Wrong! It’s not by accident that ESCP’s Bachelor in Management is a BSc, including a high level of focus on science, maths and statistics, while most of its rival courses are BAs. An introduction to coding is compulsory, with students getting to grips with Python.

“Coding is a language but it’s very scary to people who have never done it,” says Professor Strauss-Kahn. “Our students have the opportunity to study this language and learn to understand its mechanisms. This gives them a sense of achievement that will lead them to view many other seemingly inaccessible skills as also within their reach.”

Students who enjoy the course may also choose an elective course on Big Data in their final year.

Two managers discussing business. Photo: Getty Images

You learn about everything

Does the word ‘management’ call to mind endless meetings and even more endless email chains? There’s much more to it than that. As the digital world makes it easier than ever to learn a little about a lot, businesses are moving away from siloed thinking.

“The young generation have a broader view of the world and they want to be involved in understanding everything,” says Professor Strauss-Kahn. “In the past, jobs were more defined within a range of functions and you went for one function. Today, it’s about being able to switch from being a manager to understanding other sides of the project, whether it’s producing goods or what the tech developer does.”

This need for broader perspectives is why ESCP’s BSc balances its scientific teachings with deep learning in other areas, including typical BA elements (liberal arts and languages) and Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) elements.

You can easily change path

New career possibilities are constantly emerging. People eager to explore their options value flexibility, transferable skills, and the resourcefulness of entrepreneurs. If you think studying management means putting all your eggs in one basket, you’re wrong again. It can give you an enviable number of transferable skills and students on ESCP’s BSc do a minimum of two courses on entrepreneurship. 

Around half the BSc students go on to do a Master’s, says Professor Strauss-Kahn, choosing a “very diverse” range of further studies. “They may go for finance or accounting, which are the usual further studies for managers,” she says. “But they may also do a Master’s in Big Data, in law, in politics or international relations, in economics or development.” 

You’ll have no frontiers

What if you do wish to stick with plan A and find a managerial job? Not only will you be ready to make things happen in an exciting international environment, you could also soon find yourself at one of the world’s biggest companies.

Amazon, Bank of America, Bloomberg, KPMG, McKinsey & Company, Porsche – these are just some of the big names to have recruited recent graduates from ESCP’s Bachelor in Management (BSc).

Graduates are also working in many countries, in Europe, Asia, and North America. “They’re so used to living internationally that when they look for job opportunities they have no frontiers,” says Professor Strauss-Kahn.

Interested in a high-level international career in management? Find out more about ESCP and download the brochure for its Bachelor in Management (BSc) 

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What changes for students at French universities in 2023

Re-evaluation of financial aid, a freeze on tuition fees, housing assistance... everything you need to know if you're starting at a French university in 2023.

What changes for students at French universities in 2023

The new academic year has just started in France, and thousands of students are heading back to university – or starting out on their studies, after passing their bac in the summer.

Meanwhile, the next set of bac students are gearing up for their big educational year, and starting to wonder about the mysteries of the French university application system Parcoursup – while parents are concerned about finances, and making sure their children have decent lodgings.

There’s far too much emotional, practical and financial baggage to unpack in that last paragraph for a simple article. But, here are a few things that it’s worth knowing – from how much you’ll have to pay in tuition fees, to how to get grants.

This article mainly concerns students who have been living in France as the situation is often different for overseas students – and in this instance that means students travelling from overseas for university, if your children are joining from a French school they count as home students, even if they don’t have French nationality.


The freeze on university tuition fees has been extended for the fifth year in a row at €170 per year for bachelor degrees and €243 for masters diplomas. 

Non-scholarship students are also required to pay an annual €100 Contribution vie étudiante et de campus (CVEC) to improve living conditions on campus.

Fees for overseas students are calculated differently and can run into several thousand euro. 


Students looking for accommodation at university are advised to go to the Caisse d’allocations familiales (Caf) website for help and advice.

Be aware that this housing assistance could result in a significant decrease in the amount of family allowance available to the families of students at university. It is, however, worth consulting Caf.


Grants (bourses) are available to help students with the cost of university life – if you’re resident in France this is dependent on your income (or the income of your parents if you’re just finishing school). Being a boursier (person in receipt of a grant, also qualifies you for some extra discounts such as reduced-price meals.

The means-tested grants vary according t your financial situation, but the basic rate has increased by €37 per month for 2023, while boursiers studying at establishments in French overseas territories will receive an additional €30 per month on top of the €37 increase.

Students with disabilities and student carers benefit from additional help to gain access to grants based on social criteria. 

This simulator will help you start the process of applying for a university grant by calculating whether you will be eligible for one.


Restaurants operated by the Centres régionaux des œuvres universitaires et scolaires (Crous) – which also offers accommodation services – offer three-course meals for €3.30 in the university canteen, further reduced to €1 for boursiers and students in certain financial situations. 

Special requirements

Students with particular needs (high-level athletes, artists, students with disabilities, employed students, students with families, etc) can benefit from adaptations and arrangements to facilitate their studies.

Health insurance

French students – including all non-French students who have gone through the French education system through collège and lycée and who are registered in the social security system – are not expected to pay social security contributions to access healthcare services.

However, overseas students in France or French students at university abroad may need to pay. Students from the UK can access the S1 form, which allows them to use the French state-funded healthcare system and have their costs reimbursed by the UK. 

Gap years

Students wishing to take a break for a year can ask their university to suspend their studies for up to two consecutive semesters.


Students in a higher education establishment can follow part of their studies in another European country via the Erasmus + programme. This is intended for students wishing to follow a higher education course abroad as part of an exchange programme, or to carry out an international internship.

Masters degree applications

The process for entering the first year of a Master’s degree changed back in February 2023, with applications for the first year of a Master’s degree now submitted on the Mon Master platform. 

The French government’s Back to School Guide (in French) presents the various measures put in place to improve the daily lives of students.

It’s also worth looking at the government’s My Student Services website, which has an English-language version. It offers all sorts of information about university life, finances and housing options.