Review of Paris Proves Productive

On Course
Title: MKT360 Globalization in Paris
Department: Marketing
Semester: Summer 2011

Paris is known as the fashion capital of the world, and during a summer course called Globalization in Paris, 14 students in the School of Business Administration had an unforgettable chance to learn why.

The four-week study abroad trip to the City of Light enabled the group to embrace French culture and lifestyle while earning three core business credits to study cosmetics giant L’Oréal. Their home base was the Citadines, a centrally located apartment-hotel within walking distance of local markets. Fieldtrips included the factory of Gérard Mulot confections, where they made macaroons, and the kitchen of famed chef Olivier Berte, where they took a cooking lesson. They also visited museums and saw architectural marvels such as the Palace of Versailles, Fontainebleau Chateau, and Pompidou Center.

“Our program had three dimensions: academics, culture, and business,” says director Trini Callava, A.B. ’80, M.S. ’84, a marketing lecturer. “We aimed to create action-based learning experiences that would enrich the students’ resumes.”

As part of the course’s global business component, the students learned about the major current factors and strategic issues affecting international marketing. They got an inside look at GE France, beverage producer Orangina, and L’Oréal’s French headquarters. After researching L’Oréal’s business model and marketing practices, they worked in teams to create a campaign aimed at the brand’s Brazilian market.

“Studying business in the fashion capital of the world was a great experience because we were able to learn about L’Oréal’s products and marketing strategies firsthand,” says rising junior Torie O’Neil, who worked on a campaign for L’Oréal’s Garnier Fructis shampoo.

Before developing their strategic proposals, the undergraduates dissected two Harvard Business case studies about L’Oréal. After returning from Paris, they presented their own proposals to executives from Brazil at L’Oréal’s Miami branch. Top-performing students were invited to interview for a summer internship with L’Oréal in Miami.