The MSc Management class took a trip to Paris in the first week of May and it was definitely one for the books. It all started with an email we received one February afternoon titled “Save the date: Paris Trip!”. We hadn’t been previously told of any such trip so this email sent the whole class abuzz. Finally, we found out that it would be a 2-day trip for a Digital Transformation Lecture at HEC Paris.
After months of visa preparations and other travel preparations, we were headed to Paris. We had the option of travelling with the school or going the weekend before to have more time in the city of lights. I chose the former option and travelled with the rest of the programme via Eurostar. By the time we finally got to our hotel, checked in and settled in a bit, it was almost 10 p.m.! You can’t spend a night in Paris just in your hotel room so we ventured out to get dinner near Champs-Élysées. And of course, no trip to Paris is complete without seeing the Eiffel Tower!
On Tuesday, we were up bright and early as we had to leave the hotel by 7:45 a.m. We took buses to the HEC Paris campus and got there in time for our lecture which started just before 10. The lecture focused on the many facets of Digital Transformation as a strategic priority for companies. It echoed a lot of what we’ve learnt in our course so far, particularly in the Digital Business pathway I took earlier this spring. A key takeaway for me was the need companies have to manage “Digital Natives”, people my age and younger who were brought up in the digital technology age.
The lecturer emphasized that this group has different characteristics like our preference to share instead of own- Uber and Airbnb anyone?-, the last minute, impulsive decisions we’re known for, our desire to not be bound by anything aka “extreme nomadism”, amongst others all of which have been fueled by our access to different, digital technologies.
Hence, companies need different processes and strategies to manage this internally with digital native employees and externally with this digital native customers who are set to dominate the market by 2017. The great news in this, as the lecturer said, is that it presents amazing opportunities for us. Companies need our insight to design and implement strategies to successfully harness the potential of this group. So let’s just say it’s a great time to be getting an MSc degree here at Imperial. After the lecture, we had some time to quickly grab lunch at the HEC Paris campus and then we were off to Gare du Nord and back to London. Overall, this was a quick but very memorable trip!