From Bogota to Paris, living her dream of working abroad

Andrea Cruz Bayona graduated from EDHEC Business School in 2017 with an MSc in Corporate Finance & Banking. Eiffel Scholarship grantee, she is now a manager at a Paris-based consultancy firm.

 

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Written on 23 Feb 2021.


 

Why did you choose the MSc in Corporate Finance & Banking? Why France?

I started working at a trading desk and then moved to the middle office of the largest bank in Colombia. The MSc in Corporate Finance & Banking was a perfect match for my future career plans because I wanted to have a broader picture of finance. The corporate finance program was the perfect complement for my financial markets profile.
Prior to EDHEC, I had studied Economics, Finance, and International Trade. I also had studied French and was always planning to live abroad. I was lucky to get the Eiffel Scholarship which helped lower the cost of my studies. You get a monthly allowance. Your plane tickets, your health insurance are paid for. You also get vouchers and invitations for activities. And it’s nice to know that you have been chosen among thousands of applicants.

When I was studying at the Universidad del Rosario, I had the dream of going abroad. But when I started working, I got promoted and my dream was pushed back until I decided that I wanted to make that dream come true and started planning for it. I really loved my experience at EDHEC. It was one of the best years of my life.

How different was studying in France? What are the highlights of your studies at EDHEC Business School?

Courses are much longer than in Colombia and final exams determine if you pass or don’t pass a class. It was challenging and formative to learn in another language. I met people from different cultures and engaged in group activities. It was not always easy but in the end, we sharpened our soft skills such as teamwork and group activities organisation. In all the courses, we had practical cases and real-life examples of companies. It was the perfect link between technical and practical things. It prepared us for our work life.

What is your role at Avantage Reply?

I’m working for a European consultancy company, Avantage Reply as a manager. I’m specialised in advising financial institutions, especially French banks, to implement best practices related to financial risk management. Being an EDHEC Alumna helped me join the French labor force and build a multi-skilled profile.

What is your best memory of EDHEC?

First of all, Nice is a beautiful city and easy to study at. In Bogota, I was always stressed about public transportation. In Nice, reaching the campus, located by the sea, is quite easy. I also had very good teachers. To me, it was the perfect combination of very good courses and an enjoyable lifestyle. I had the opportunity to meet a lot of people from all over the world. I now have friends in Russia, in India, in Australia, in France, in China. It helps you be open-minded. One other thing I loved at EDHEC, was the Career Centre services. From the very beginning of the MSc, they started preparing us to apply for jobs, to enhance our LinkedIn profiles. We did mock interviews. It has helped me a lot.

Three words, to sum up, your EDHEC experience

Vibrating, multicultural, stunning.

 

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