by Colton Campbell
Every week, Ethan Brown rides a bullet train from his apartment in Paris, France,
to a city approximately 144 miles northeast of the Eiffel Tower.
It’s in that city – Roubaix, six miles from the Belgian border – that Brown is studying to become a better businessman, having laid a solid foundation in the Richards College of Business at the University of West Georgia.
Brown, who earned a bachelor’s degree in management at UWG in 2016, recently received a scholarship from the French-American Chamber of Commerce (FACC) to continue his pursuit of a master’s degree in business administration (MBA) at the EDHEC Business School in Roubaix.
The FACC Foundation presents the highly selective Serge Bellanger French-American Business Scholarship to French students pursuing their MBA degrees in America and to American students pursuing their graduate degrees across the Atlantic.
“I am honored and humbled to be a recipient of this highly selective scholarship, but I couldn’t have done it without the support of some very important people in my life, some of whom I met while enrolled at UWG,” Brown said. “I was able to forge long-lasting relationships with professors and administrators while earning my undergraduate degree, and it’s because of those connections I made and the opportunities I had that I can continue to live this dream I’ve had for so many years to study business in France.”
Brown was the first member of his family to attend college when he started at UWG. Now he’s in the top 10 percent of his class at EDHEC Business School, from which he plans to graduate with his MBA in December 2019.
“UWG, and the Richards College of Business more specifically, offered me so many incredible opportunities,” said Brown, who works as a digital consultant for a consulting firm in the City of Lights. “As a student in the first cohort of the Southwire Sustainable Business Honors Program (SSBHP), I was able to advance very quickly through the program and be prepared for master’s-level courses. I completed the first year of my master’s classes without any real challenges because UWG had taught me how to learn.”
As the member of the first cohort of SSBHP, Brown worked with his fellow students to develop a bike-sharing program that served as the inspiration for the adoption of Zagster, a bike-sharing company, in Carrollton. But he was also engaged outside the classroom.
“The student life at UWG was absolutely amazing,” Brown said. “I was fortunate to serve as the vice president of the Student Government Association and become very involved with the Center for Student Involvement during my time at UWG, and those were truly transformational experiences for me. As a first-generation college student, I was always looking for opportunities to better myself both in academics and student engagement. UWG and the Richards College of Business offered me countless opportunities to stay involved and grow both as a student and a person.”
Brown, a Tallapoosa native, got his first taste of life abroad when he was nearing the end of his undergraduate degree at UWG, studying in both China and France.
“In my life, I’ve always followed the Mark Twain quote that says 20 years from now, you’ll be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the things you did,” Brown said. “That’s why I decided to pack my bags the first time and come to France. I wanted to accept the challenge of going to a place where I didn’t know the language, and I’ve fallen in love.”
Brown said living in France, he finds himself surrounded by history and by people who come from completely different backgrounds.
“France is magical,” Brown said. “Wanting to stand out from the crowd and striving to be different any way I could has led me to living in France, and I don’t plan to leave any time soon.”