Data Science Journey – Adarsh Srivastava, Rennes School of Business

Though Internships are Difficult in FRANCE, they are Possible: Adarsh Srivastava

Meet our Student Adarsh Srivastava 

Adarsh a prior Assistant Systems Engineer had a passion to pursue a career in Data Science. In 2018, he decided to take a huge step and opted for a Masters in Data & Business Analytics, a unique twinning program offered by INSOFE and Rennes School of Business, France. He was excited to study and experience the multicultural lifestyle at Rennes, France. 

Here are a few things that Adarsh would like to share with all the Data Science Aspirants through the INSOFE Masters platform. 

First Attraction in RENNES 

I reached Rennes at midnight and my landlord was nice enough to pick me up from the station to the apartment.
The Welcome team of Rennes SB took us for a tour the next day. We visited the place of Saint Ann, The Opera house, Parc du Thabor, and a few other places. Overall, Rennes is a very nice city to live in. It is not too crowded like Paris but not too quiet also. The summertime is really fun here.

The difference in India & RENNES education system

At Rennes, the focus is more on the projects and assignments that we do during the semester rather than the final exams. So we ideally work throughout the semester instead of just one week before the exam. Also, exams are not very stressful because if you do your projects well, you can surely excel in your exams. Moreover, you get to interact with students and professors from different countries who give you a different perspective. Also, grades are not very important for the companies as they don’t even ask for grades while you are applying for internships.

Challenges Faced

The French language is the biggest challenge. People mostly speak French. They don’t speak English at all and those who do, have a very tough French accent that is difficult to understand. Most students, however, speak good English. But it will be helpful to learn basic French before coming to Rennes. Also, it is good if one can have an idea about French culture and history. If you follow football, then you can easily speak to people because, in France, everyone is a football fan!

Monthly Expenses for a student at Rennes

That depends entirely on your lifestyle. Rent in a shared accommodation would cost around €400. If you take a studio, it would cost around €550 – €650.
€150 for food, if you are cooking at home and occasionally eating outside (at school) and €100 for miscellaneous expenses (travel, recreation, etc). So, €650 per month would be a good comfortable estimate.

Cultural Differences faced

Unlike India, people in Europe generally don’t speak much, unless they need to. So, most of the time, if you want to speak to a french person, you would have to initiate the conversation.
Also, punctuality is very important in France. You would need an appointment for everything, sometimes even while visiting the barber. And if you are late, you would have to take the next appointment. Many professors don’t allow students to enter the classrooms, even if they are late by 5 minutes. So, punctuality is the key there 😛

A Piece of advice to your juniors

Not necessarily but one can easily find a lot of opportunities if they know good French!
Learn as much french as you can! Ideally, if you can finish the B1 level, it would be great. Be open to a different culture and try to mingle with French people. Don’t just have a group of Indian friends all the time. Participate in activities at the school and in the city. There are a lot of student’s clubs that you can engage with.

NETWORKING is very important here. You never know what opportunities will come your way, by just speaking to someone sitting next to you on the bus.

Internships in FRANCE

It is difficult! But not impossible. As we are not good at speaking French, we don’t qualify for around 70% of the opportunities. So don’t restrict to only France, apply in the whole of Europe.
The success rate of a company giving you a positive reply after processing your application is around 3%. And then it also depends on how you perform in the interview and other rounds.

Success Journey to NIKE 

I applied to Nike through their career website as a lot of big companies don’t advertise their vacancies on job portals.
The interview process had 4 screening stages and it took about 3 months for them to confirm the offer. First was resume screening, then a recorded interview. After that an HR interview and finally, an interview with my supervisor (Team Lead). 

The MSc program and especially the projects during the semester were very helpful for me… I was able to talk a lot about the projects during the interviews and the interviewers were also quite impressed. But just the degree is not enough. It is also the effort you put into improving your skills and personality.

All the best

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