Master in International Human Resources Project Management
Having the opportunity to hear firsthand stories and examples from people of all different backgrounds was both a rare and incredible opportunity, and I’m grateful I had that. I really feel that I learned what it means to work in an intercultural environment, and it was nice to be surrounded by a welcoming group of people who were in the same situation as me and had the same passion for HR as me.
Before deciding to pursue my master’s degree, I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Management. By then, I had taken only a handful of human resources classes, but did have a few professional experiences related to the field. For instance during my time in university, I had a part-time job at the career center, where I was able to help students with their resumes and cover letters, as well as aiding them in understanding more about their career options. I also had two previous internships in HR that helped me confirm this was the career path for me.
My business degree gave me the knowledge and skills I needed in different topics related to business, while also gaining an understanding of various management techniques; however, I realized that what I really wanted to do was specialize in the human resources field. During that time, I had also found that I was interested in working in a more international environment in the future, due to my experiences at the career center and my time studying abroad in Amsterdam for a semester. So with all of this in mind, I applied to the International Human Resources Management master’s degree and haven’t looked back.
I would advise students to have a basic understanding of French before joining this program. While the program itself is in English and French classes are required (and very helpful!), I still believe knowing even the basics of the language will not only help you with day-to-day life, but with your career search afterwards as well if you choose to stay in France. I would also advise to keep in mind that each country is organized differently, so your time as an undergraduate student might not be the same as your time in this master’s. It’s important to adjust your expectations in order to succeed in an international environment regardless, and doing so only helps you to grow as a person.
My best memory of my arrival in Rennes was the very first weekend. I was in a brand new country with the keys to a new place, exploring a new city full of international students, interesting architecture, and new foods to try. I was so excited to begin a new life adventure and have the opportunity to constantly learn and meet new people.
I think my worst surprise would be the constant paperwork and challenges to take care of–there was (and still is) always something that needs to be done. From my experience, French administration can be slow and includes more paperwork than I’m used to—whether through school, banking, visa processes, living arrangements, health insurance, and more, you will be kept busy!
I think the highlight if this course was the international environment. Being able to learn more about different cultures is something I have always been interested in, so having the opportunity to hear firsthand stories and examples from people of all different backgrounds was both a rare and incredible opportunity, and I’m grateful I had that. I really feel that I learned what it means to work in an intercultural environment, and it was nice to be surrounded by a welcoming group of people who were in the same situation as me and had the same passion for HR as me.
Now that my studies are over, I think what I miss most is my fellow students. I can’t express enough how much I enjoyed making friends with the other international students. I definitely miss having dinners and drinks together, exploring Rennes and other regions in France, and I feel lucky to have formed such good relationships. The student life is absolutely something I miss.
My education at IGR is what helped my get my foot in the door for my career in France. Thanks to the education and resources I received through the IHRM master’s program, I was able to find an HR internship in Paris that helped me to jumpstart my career and gave me so many new professional experiences.
If an alumni network were to be created, I would expect the community to help with networking, finding job/internship/apprenticeship opportunities, and to hosting events to bring the community together. It would be great to have a way to stay in touch with all of my classmates, as well as past alumni and future students!
After I left IGR, I had a 6-month internship with Faurecia, a well known company in the automotive industry. As an HR Projects intern, I was able to help with a variety of topics including recruiting, internal communication, VIE coordination, and training and development. This expansive role really allowed me to practice the HR knowledge and skills I learned in my master’s courses as well as get to know the French working environment.