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EM Normandie 02 / 02 / 2021

What subjects were taught 150 years ago?

Subjects taught at French business schools have clearly changed over the course of the past 150 years. Whereas today we teach skills such as marketing, finance, artificial intelligence and creativity, in 1871 the focus was quite different. We found the first prospectuses of the school, containing the exam program for the academic year 1880/1881, within our archives.
These were the subjects taught almost 140 years ago: commercial office, geography and history of business, goods and raw materials, armaments, legislation, political economy, calligraphy and foreign languages (English, German or Spanish, according to preference). This contemporary document states that:

“The École supérieure de commerce du Havre aims to train traders, managers, and employees to manager our internal trade and develop France's relations with foreign countries. It thus attracts young people who have completed their general education and seek the success guaranteed by in-depth academic study of the areas of accounting, finance and international business, before embarking on a career in business. The School is therefore unique.”
It also mentions that: “the armament course provides students with the main concepts of this sector of human activity, which is highly important for our seaports. General ideas on construction, armament, sailing and steam navigation, etc.”.

Today the subjects have changed a lot. For example, just a few days ago, EM Normandie introduced an MSc in artificial intelligence. The MSc Artificial Intelligence for Marketing Strategy enables students to become specialists in the field of Artificial Intelligence applied to marketing, and thus play a key role in a company’s decision-making process and performance. Students receive training in how to solve complex problems using AI tools, and develop a sound knowledge of mathematics and programming.

Over the years, specialist areas have evolved, and the School has adapted to these changes along the way. As Elian Pilvin recently explained: “Artificial Intelligence enables large volumes of information to be processed, which helps to provide tailored solutions and optimise business performance. Students must learn to master the latest technology in order to transform how we do business and create value. EM Normandie has shown that it is committed to supporting change and developing business practices.”

2006: EM Normandie’s Master in Management is launched!

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2005: The Métis Laboratory is born

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2004: The ESC Normandie Group becomes the École de Management de Normandie (EM Normandie Business School)

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1937: What does the entrance examination for ESC Le Havre look like?

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