ESC Clermont Business School is a Grande Ecole that has been developing business leaders for the past 100 years. It reinforces social openness and equal opportunities, boosts research and innovation, supports entrepreneurship, and encourages professional integration in the business world.
The business school offers three different types of programmes: Bachelor in International Management (undergraduate level), Master in Management as well as MSc. programmes (postgraduate level). All the programmes are available 100% in English.
From Morocco to France: Khawla Machkour’s journey through the MSc. in Corporate Finance and Fintech at ESC Clermont Business School.
What influenced your decision to attend ESC Clermont Business School and how has your experience been so far?
ESC Clermont offers various programmes in business, management, and entrepreneurship, and is known for its strong focus on international business and intercultural management.
I took my decision based on:
- the quality of the programmes
- the reputation of the business school
- the opportunities for networking and professional development
The international experience is extremely valuable, there are more than 17 nationalities in the classroom, allowing me to work with people from different backgrounds and countries, many of whom already have professional experience.
In what ways has the course you are studying been valuable for your personal and/or professional growth?
The course provided me with a solid understanding of financial concepts and financial instruments. It improves decision-making skills: The course will teach you how to analyze financial statements and make informed decisions based on financial data. These skills can be applied in both personal and professional contexts.
We all know that the fintech industry is growing rapidly, and taking this course helped me to stay up-to-date with the latest fintech trends and technologies, such as blockchain and cryptocurrency.
Having a course in this field, makes me stand out from other job candidates. Now, I have two areas of expertise: one as a traditional financial analyst and the other as a technology and innovation specialist. So, the course is giving me the necessary skills and knowledge to pursue my career in fintech, investment banking, risk management or corporate finance.
Can you share any specific examples of how ESC Clermont has prepared you for your future career goals?
ESC Clermont is providing us with Job Marketing courses and access to career counsellors who can help us identify our strengths and weaknesses, explore potential career paths, and create a plan to achieve our career goals.
ESC Clermont is also organizing Meetings with practitioners and some courses are given by practitioners. For example, we had the opportunity to meet with Francis Barel (Chief executive of Paypal France), Ilyas Ghanem (Head of financial services of Capgemini), Luc MINGUET (Head of M&A Department in Michelin) and more. I believe it was very important for me regarding the extent of my academic knowledge from professionals’ point of view, sharing their experiences and insights with students.
ESC Clermont provides us with networking opportunities such as alumni events and industry partnerships. As building a professional network is crucial for finding job opportunities and advancing in our careers, ESC Clermont partnerships with local businesses and organizations to provide us with real-world experience.
ESC Clermont is also shaping our technical skills training through courses in programming (VBA and Python), and preparing us for CFA and Bloomberg certification.
The business school is also improving our soft-skills, such as communication, teamwork, and problem-solving, and providing us opportunities to develop our skills through group projects and extracurricular activities.
How do you see the intersection of finance and technology shaping the future of the industry?
The intersection of finance and technology is rapidly shaping the future of the industry. One of the key technological developments that are transforming finance is blockchain technology. It is secure and transparent. Blockchain has the potential to revolutionize the way we conduct transactions and manage financial assets. For example, blockchain can be used to streamline payment processing, eliminate intermediaries, reduce transaction costs, and improve security. It can also facilitate cross-border payments, as it can be used to transfer funds between different currencies and countries without the need for traditional banking intermediaries.
Another significant development is the rise of central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). CBDCs are digital versions of traditional fiat currencies, issued and backed by central banks. CBDCs are still in their infancy, but they have the potential to transform the way we use and interact with money. CBDCs can be used to streamline payment processing, reduce costs, increase financial inclusion, and promote financial stability.
What do you think are the most pressing issues facing the finance industry today, and how do you think technology can help address them?
There are several pressing issues facing the finance industry today, including high costs, complicated processes, as well as financial inclusion. Technology can play a significant role in addressing these issues.
One of the most pressing issues in the finance industry is the high cost of financial services. Traditional financial institutions charge high fees for services. However, technology can help reduce costs by providing more efficient and cost-effective solutions. For example, blockchain technology can facilitate faster, cheaper, and more secure transactions, while digital wallets and mobile banking apps can provide low-cost alternatives to traditional banking services.
Complicated processes are another significant challenge in the finance industry. The financial system is complex and difficult to navigate, especially for individuals with limited financial literacy or those from underserved communities. Technology can help simplify processes and make financial services more accessible to everyone. For example, chatbots and virtual assistants can provide personalized financial advice and guidance, while robo-advisors can offer automated investment advice at a lower cost.
Financial inclusion is another critical issue facing the finance industry. Millions of people around the world are unbanked. This lack of access to financial services can limit opportunities for economic growth and financial stability. Technology can help promote financial inclusion by providing low-cost, accessible financial services to underserved communities. For example, mobile banking apps and digital wallets can enable people to access financial services without needing to visit a bank physically.
What kinds of job roles or industries do you plan to pursue after graduation?
Thanks to my financial analysis skills, I would like to undertake my first experience in the field of Corporate Finance, Corporate Banking, Risk Management, or M&A
How has your experience been as an international student in Clermont-Ferrand?
Clermont-Ferrand offers a unique blend of natural beauty, history, culture, and cuisine, making it a great destination for international students. Clermont-Ferrand is a vibrant university town, with several higher education institutions located in the city. As a result, there is a lively student community, with plenty of social events, sports clubs, and cultural activities on offer.