"I Wasn’t Looking For a Toolbox, But New Perspectives"

Gregoire Medina is pursuing a Master’s in Communication at Sciences Po Executive Education. After ten years of professional experience, he decided it was time to “take some time”, not necessarily to acquire news skills, but to reflect on his profession and industry. In the course of the Master’s, students go on a learning expedition. Gregoire tells us about his experience.

You recently returned from the Learning Expedition in Beijing and Shanghai. Was this trip what you expected it to be?

I had never been to China before but I definitely wanted to learn more about this incredible country. I was not sure what to expect but I knew that China is at the forefront of technological development. Having the opportunity to see the design process for new products and models and how they are then launched onto the market was a great experience.

What was the most significant experience of this expedition? 

This learning expedition was more or less built on a two-step approach.
A first academic step, was listening to lectures at Tsinghua University, the most prestigious University in China. The quality of the speakers was stunning!The second part was more “field-work based”; we had meetings and exchanges with executive members of major Chinese and French companies. (Tencent, ByteDance, Michelin, EDF, Publicis China…) Finally we were given the chance to meet and debate with the Deputy Ambassador of the EU in China. It was a unique and more geo-political opportunity which helped us to understand the EU’s stance with regards to China.

What are the main things you will take away from this trip?

The digital aspect is one of the most significant parts of our jobs. In this field China is increasingly becoming a world wide leader. It was an amazing opportunity to analyse their practices and to see the ways that they use social media solutions and how we can incorporate this into our communication strategies.
The participants of this learning expedition all agree that it has made an impact on how we consider our vision and practice. This kind of experience helps you to think on a global scale and broadens your horizons… It would be great if more people could benefit from such a fantastic opportunity!

You are pursuing an Executive Master’s in Communication at Sciences Po Executive Education. What made you want to return to studying?

I had reached a point where I felt like I needed to confront my ten years of professional experience with intellectual theories. I wasn’t necessarily looking for more skills, I wanted mostly more time to think!
When I decided to apply to Sciences Po Executive Education, I wasn’t looking for a toolbox but rather new perspectives. I knew that I needed to be surrounded by people with a passion for social sciences… And there is no where better to study social sciences than than at Sciences Po! After a year and a half, I had the chance to share my ideas with my classmates, compile a  comprehensive bibliography, meet inspiring professors… I have no regrets whatsoever!

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